The Human Magnet Syndrome - Excerpts - page 3

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3
INTRODUCTION
Everything has gone so fast—so very fast! On July 5, 2011, a prominent U.S. training company showed
an interest in my newly created professional training
Codependents and Narcissists: Understanding the
Attraction.
This was an exciting prospect as I had already put out feelers to work with similarly
prominent companies. But what made it even more thrilling was their apparent interest in a training I
just created that was based on both my personal and professional codependency recovery discoveries.
My initial enthusiasm was quickly countered by a requirement to travel at least once a month—giving
three back to back full-day trainings. It would have been a simple decision if I had not just opened a
brand-new counseling center in Arlington Heights, Illinois
[1]
as was committed to my 25 psychotherapy
clients. But since this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I said yes…hell yes!
As with anything desirable, there was a caveat: I would be required to be the talking head for a pop-
psychology based training
Surviving Emotional Manipulators
, specifically designed by their research and
development team. As far as I was concerned, the term “emotional manipulator” had absolutely no
clinical value, as it could describe almost anyone, including both codependents and narcissists. I
couldn’t embrace a training that was designed to fill seats while only offering limited professional
usefulness to its psychotherapist registrants.
The intersection of my ethical dilemma and professional opportunity was a frustrating place to be.
Thanks to a moment of inspiration and some creative thinking, I convinced the company to let me use
my newly developed training and swap out my “pathological narcissism” concepts for their “emotional
manipulation” term. Not only did both parties embrace my seminar and its merit, so did the registrants
of the 60 events I headlined.
The success of the seminar prompted an opportunity, offered by the training company, to write a book
for their new publishing company. They believed my training could be easily converted into a book
which would be a sure-fire best-seller. Despite being ecstatic and grateful, I was not happy at the
prospect of writing a book that used the “emotional manipulator” term/concept, even though I had
broadened it to represent a group of actual diagnostic terms. The best I could do was agree to use it in
the manuscript as I did in the training, however, I would not agree to use “emotional manipulator” in
the title.
For me, it wasn’t a matter of differing opinions or my professional ethics, but it was also a legal issue.
Realizing that I had made the quintessential rookie mistake, I had signed a contract that relinquished my
rights to determine the book’s title. When I learned of how the contract technically neutralized my
position in the decision-making process, I was naturally upset. Like other dilemmas in my life, I sought
my wife’s support and advice. She agreed with my decision to break the contract, despite the potential
ramifications. It was indeed a frightening time.
Not unlike hundreds of other mornings following an evening filled with anxiety, fear and apprehension, I
awoke with a perfect solution for the book’s title
The Human Magnet Syndrome
. Not only was the
publisher delighted with this title, but we both were able to easily put aside the tensions surrounding
our disagreement.
[1]
Clinical Care Consultants. More information at: www.ClinicalCareConsultants
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