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In December of 2015 I was working at Butte County Behavioral Health as a therapist in the Oroville Outpatient office. One of the psychiatrist with whom I worked pulled me aside one day and asked if I had had any specialized training in working with narcissism or personality disorders in general. I replied, “No. Not specifically.” To which he responded, “Well you might want to get some because your last client is a narcissist and going to eat you alive.” That same week a flyer showed up in our office for a free Monday night discussion group for therapist to discuss working with personality disorders. As I was (and am) always interested in hearing about and learning new ideas and ways in which to improve as a therapist I decided to go.

The group turned out to be a small gathering of therapists meeting at the Unitarian Universalists Fellowship in Chico to hear Dr. Diggs’ talk about his theories on personality disorders and learn new ways to treat these challenging presentations. I thought that if nothing else it would be a great opportunity to network with other therapists in the town I’d only lived in for a little more than a year and maybe get some directions before “being eaten alive.”Turns out it was both.

At the first meeting I found Steve’s ideas both compelling and confusing. I really liked that he was going back to the foundations of therapy to present these ideas. He was talking about object relations, Freud, solution-focused therapy, developmental theory, evolutionary psychology, and attachment theory. The groups were interesting and challenging, questions and experiences were encouraged, and connections and community were formed. So much so that Dr. Diggs offered me a job to come open the Nysa Clinic with him and Mary Wittenberg.

After the clinic opened we moved the discussion group from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship to our office here on Rio Lindo and picked up where we left off. The group continued to evolve, and the discussions became more refined with each person bringing more questions and more experiences. Connections continued to be made and we even hired a few more therapists out of that group. However, like so many good things, it had to come to an end.

After almost 3 years of our free discussion group, we decided it was time to move on to bigger and better things and the group had run its course. We decided to start the Therapist Development group which would require a one-year commitment and provide much more in-depth training and to focus on developing content for our online learning management system. I should also add that we continue to be extremely busy seeing patients here at the clinic every day. So, we had to figure out where to best focus our time and energy.

It was a difficult choice to end the discussion group. We’ve had a great time and it’s been amazing meeting and hearing from so many of the talented therapists here in Butte County. Even if you only attended one meeting we would like to express our gratitude for you time and input. We hope that you attend one of our upcoming lectures, keep up with us and keep in touch. We’re always interested in hearing from you. Also, keep your eyes and ears peeled for more training opportunities as we are always working to find new and exciting ways to get the Nysa Method out there.

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