Individual Presentation:
• Richard Wood: Does Trump Fit a Model of Malignant Narcissism? (60 min)

Abstract: In this presentation, Richard Wood will initially identify some of the most salient characteristics of malignant narcissism. As a propositional list, he would include: over-investment in strength; denial of weakness and vulnerability; destruction of others’ voice; compulsion to dominate and obliterate an opposing other; displacement of science and truth with fabricated realities; perceived self-interest that displaces empathy; personal contrivance rather than authenticity; and an inability to form deep, lasting, mutually respectful relationships based upon caring, sacrifice, and regard for the other rather than transactional value. The presenter will argue that these characteristics grow out of a personality built around a relentless grandiose self. The discussion will then focus upon provision of some examples that would seem to confirm the salient characteristics that were identified. At the end of the presentation, the emphasis will be made on such personality representing a significant danger to democracy.

Bio: Richard Wood, PhD, is a psychoanalytically oriented clinical psychologist based in Ontario, Canada, with over 45 years of experience. He was educated at Cornell University (undergraduate studies) and Wayne State University (graduate, PhD, studies). He served as a staff member, and then as Acting Director, of the Department of Psychology at Mount Sinai Hospital from 1974 to 1982. Dr. Wood was also an associate professor in the Department of Behavioural Sciences at the University of Toronto Medical School, from late 1970s through mid-1980s. Currently in private practice and semi-retired, Richard Wood writes, mostly on the topics of narcissism and malignant narcissism. His recent books include A Study of Malignant Narcissism: Personal and Professional Insights (Routledge, 2023) and Psychoanalytic Reflections on Vladimir Putin: The Cost of Malignant Leadership (Routledge, 2024).