The Dating and Relationship Group: 
How to Recognize the Covert Narcissist

While there has been a resurgence of interest in narcissism in the popular culture, narcissistic problems remain poorly understood.   Unresolved narcissistic issues play a significant role in romantic relationships and often give rise to unhealthy relational dynamics, communication problems, and persistent unresolved conflict.  Much attention has been given to understanding the "overt narcissist," but recent scientific research and psychological theory have described the "covert narcissist."  In the next meeting of the "Dating and Relationship Group" on Saturday, October 15, 2016, 12:00 to 1:15 PM,   I will describe what is known about covert narcissism, how to recognize a covert narcissist, and how to negotiate the relational space with this particular characterological style.  To prepare for this meeting, please browse the following: a summary of "Two Faces of Narcissism," the nature of victimization covert narcissists may commit, tips for how to recognize a covert narcissist, and  a characterization of the covert introvert narcissist. 

The Men's Group:
The Midlife Crisis and the U-Curve 

The so-called "midlife crisis" is commonly misunderstood as a kind of regression during midlife that occurs to relieve the individual of the accumulating strain of years of adult responsibilities and sacrifice for others.  Yet, psychological evidence and theory suggest that the midlife crisis is an important phase of development, one that is especially significant for men.  In the next meeting of the "Men's Group" on Saturday, October 15, 2016, 10:45 AM to 12:00 PM, I will present what is known about the midlife crisis and the role it serves in men's emotional and psychological development.  This discussion will also address various perspectives on happiness and contentment across the lifespan and explore the notion of the U-curve.  To prepare for this meeting, please browse the following readings: an article from Scientific American that questions the validity of the construct of the midlife crisis, an account of the psychological themes men experience during midlife, how issues of midlife impact men's relationships with their families, an appraisal of men at midlife and the U-curve, and
a succinct account of how the U-curve explains shifting levels of happiness across the lifespan.  

The Buddhism and Romantic Love Group: 
How Buddhist Psychology Approaches Romantic Love 

A core element of Buddhism and Buddhist psychology is the notion that conditioned, habitual and largely unconscious "attachments" to what is desired inevitably results in suffering.  Of all the experiences in life, perhaps no other activates desire and trying to attain what one wants than romantic love.  Yet, Buddhism teaches us that human relationship are precisely the context in which non-attachment must be applied.   In the next meeting of the "Buddhism and Romantic Love Group"  on Saturday, October 15, 2016, 9:30 to 10:45 AM, I will present the major ideas and perspectives from Buddhist psychology applicable to the particular challenges of relationships and love.  To prepare for this meeting, you may want to review the following material: a podcast/audio presentation on relationships by Ines Freedman, a description of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, an article on attachment and "letting go," an account of romance and non-attachment, an interview of Khenpo Sonam Gyatso Rinpoche on sexual energy, and an article from Tricycle on love, relationships, and sexuality.  
James Tobin, Ph.D., PSY 22074 | 949-338-4388 |