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Traumatic Narcissism: Cult and Relational Subjugation with Daniel Shaw LCSW

  • Broadcast in Psychology
A Fine Time for Healing

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In today's special guest, Daniel Shaw, LCSW's book, Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation, he demonstrates how narcissism can best be understood not merely as character, but as the result of the specific trauma of subjugation, in which one person is required to become the object for a significant other who demands hegemonic subjectivity.

Before continuing his post-graduate education in psychoanalysis, Dan was a student of yoga and meditation for more than a decade, living in India for several periods of study, and traveling extensively as an international organizer and manager of yoga education programs. It was out of these experiences that Dan developed his interest in the study of cults and charismatic leaders. These studies in turn led Dan to develop the concept of the “traumatizing narcissist’s relational system,” the subject of his book, Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation.

Daniel Shaw, LCSW, is a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City and in Nyack, New York. He received his Masters Degree in Social Work from Yeshiva University, New York, in 1996 and was certified as a Psychoanalyst in 2000. Dan has been providing professional counseling for former members of cultic groups, and friends and family members of those involved in cults, since 1994. Post-cult recovery is for many former cult members a difficult process, involving struggles at many levels to return from a restrictive, authoritarian culture to a life of freedom and autonomy.

Traumatic Narcissism, was published by Routledge for the Relational Perspectives Series and nominated for the prestigious Gradiva Award. In 2018, the International Cultic Studies Association awarded Dan the Margaret Thaler Singer Award for advancing the understanding of coercive persuasion and undue influence.