Eps 360: Being in relationship with a narcissist with Stephanie Kriesberg

Episode 357

My guest today is Dr. Stephanie Kreisberg. 

Stephanie starts by explaining what a narcissist is, what they’re driven by, & what that may look like.  Stephanie shares what it’s like to be in relationship with a narcissist, how you might feel growing up with a narcissistic parent, and how that ripples out into other relationships.  Casey asks for indicators that someone may be a narcissistic parent and what that relationship looks like as an adult.  They talk about setting limits & boundaries that work versus cutting a parent out.  Stephanie shares her wisdom on radical acceptance & letting go. Casey & Stephanie dig into how people can start dismantling their negative thinking.

Stephanie Kreisberg is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Concord, MA.  She specializes in the treatment of adults with narcissists in their lives as well as people struggling with anxiety disorders.  Her book, “Adult Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers: Quiet the Critical Voice in Your Head, Heal Self-Doubt, and Live the Life You Deserve” was published by New Harbinger on November 1, 2022.

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Takeaways from the show

  • What is narcissism? 
  • What’s the experience of someone who’s in relationship with a narcissist? 
  • Indicators that someone might be a narcissist 
  • Role-reversal & daughters comforting mothers 
  • Relationships with narcissistic mothers as an adult 
  • Setting limits & boundaries that work 
  • Radical acceptance 
  • Dismantling negative thinking

What does joyful courage mean to you

During COVID lockdown, I went through a painful situation in my family, and it really knocked me over.  What I really did, this comes from acceptance & commitment therapy, I really focused on my values which means showing up in the world the way that I want to, doing things that matter to me, and being the kind of person that I want to be no matter what’s going on in my life.  

I’ll give you an example: even though something was going on that was really hard I thought, “Well, what matters to me? Connecting with other people and doing things with other people.”  We were still on lockdown, so I took an online Mahjong class (don’t laugh!).  I learned how to play it online, and now that we’re not on lockdown, I play regularly with a group of women.  I always thought, “I don’t have time to do that.  I have to work!  Work, work, work.”  Now I feel more connected.  That was something that’s important to me and that was living by my values: getting out of my comfort zone, connecting with other people.  To me, that’s joyful courage! 



Stephanie’s Website

Stephanie’s Book – “Adult Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers: Quiet the Critical Voice in Your Head, Heal Self-Doubt, and Live the Life You Deserve” 

“Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers” Book 

New England Society of Clinical Hypnosis 

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