"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.


This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by

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 www.dianespeartherapy.com 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
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