"Enlightened" Returns! [EXPERTS]


"Enlightened" Returns! [EXPERTS]
The narcissistically-challenged characters on season 2 of HBO's "Enlightened" can teach us plenty!

Narcissists often feel humiliated in therapy, unless the therapist does "Oh, poor baby" therapy or tells them how wonderful they are, neither of which is helpful. Treating narcissism involves lowering the patient's grandiose ideas of themselves to the reality of the person as someone working to have a satisfying life, instead of being king or queen of the universe, and raising the patient's idea of themselves as a humiliated, insignificant nothing to the reality of, again, someone working to have a satisfying life.

Everyone struggles with narcissism, and I don't just mean the characters in "Enlightened." It's a question of degree. Can good therapy make narcissism go away? I wish! It's a matter of learning to catch ourselves and think our way back to reality, rather than indulging it. When Amy is insisting that the article detailing the corruption at her company run on the front page, she's indulging her narcissism. When we run down someone else to make ourselves feel superior, we're indulging our narcissism. And whenever we indulge our narcissism, it becomes an even larger problem. If narcissism—protecting your superior position or feeling humiliated—is keeping you from fully enjoying your life, as is the case with the characters from "Enlightened," good therapy can be very helpful.

More from YourTango: Communications Technology Vs. Relating


Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Diane Spear, LCSW-R


Diane Spear, LCSW-R, is a NYC-based psychotherapist who helps couples and individuals throughout the world find the joy in everyday life! She has been in practice since 1995, working with older adolescents up through older adults. Check out her website at to learn more about her therapy and counseling practice and couples and relationship therapy; and be sure to read her blog.

Connect with Diane through email here, or call 212-353-0296


Location: New York, NY
Credentials: LCSW-R
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Life Transitions
Other Articles/News by Diane Spear, LCSW-R:

"Nurse Jackie" & The Behavioral Approach To Addiction


Season Five of Showtime's darkly comic "Nurse Jackie" proves my contention that "if you deal with the behavior without confronting the underlying issues, you're just switching chairs on a sinking ship." I was referring to substance abuse in the quote, but it really holds true for the behavioral approach to all psychological problems. ... Read more

How Wedding Fever Can Ruin Your Relationship


Melissa and Tom (whose names have been changed to protect their privacy) argued as they drove to meet their vocal coach. "Why do you want to sing The Wind Beneath My Wings?" she asked. "It's such a cliché, and I'll never hear the end of it from my dad." "You're not doing much better with that Shania Twain song," ... Read more

Communications Technology Vs. Relating


Communication is supposed to be helped by technology, right? We're available 24/7 now, through cell phones, texting, Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. We may be communicating, but are we relating? Is a Facebook friend really a friend? Is the first time you tell the person you're dating that you love them in a text? I know couples who have fights because ... Read more

See More

Recent Expert Posts

6 Texting Shockers You Must Avoid!

Sending your man a text message sounds easy enough, but get it wrong and it could be the end of you.


The addiction to "busy"ness: How to live with more intention

Is the daily routine of life getting you down? Find your passion and live a more authentic life!


Guide to Becoming a Soulfull Woman Understand Your Beliefs

Once you understand where your beliefs about yourself came from, you determine what's really YOU

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no time…

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>