HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Baltimore, Maryland, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

5th Edition of Global Conference on

Addiction Medicine, Behavioral Health and Psychiatry

October 21-23, 2024 | Baltimore, Maryland, USA

GAB 2024

Sam Vaknin

Speaker at Addiction Medicine, Behavioral Health and Psychiatry 2024 - Sam Vaknin
Southern Federal University, Russian Federation
Title : When suggestible patient pleases therapist


Suggestibility is a clinical features of certain mental health issues, such as Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD), Paranoid Personality Disorder (PPD), Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Schizotypal Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorders, and Psychotic Disorders.

Suggestibility is often comorbid with impaired reality testing and a pronounced fantasy life bordering on a delusional disorder. Patients with this profile are very amenable to a wide spectrum of cues, including subliminal and body language ones.

Some suggestible patients try to please their therapists: they fake expected behaviors and they collude in or originate a shared fantasy with the clinician.

The shared fantasy involves both transference and countertransference. The therapist is coopted into becoming an active participant in the contamination and compromise of the therapeutic process thus undermining the therapeutic alliance.

Boundaried therapists should prevent this from happening. But, regrettably, some of them don’t because it caters to their own psychological emotional needs and to their cognitive distortions (such as grandiosity).


Sam Vaknin is a former Visiting Professor of Psychology, Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia and Professor of Finance and Psychology in CIAPS (Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies). Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited and other books about personality disorders. His work is cited in hundreds of books and dozens of academic papers. He spent the past 6 years developing Cold Therapy: a treatment modality for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Over the years, with dozens of volunteers, he found that it was effective with clients suffering from a major depressive episode as well. Sam Vaknin's primary interests lie in the realm of personality disorders