About the Author

California Clinical Psychologist License No. 12878

Joseph Burgo, Ph.D., has practiced psychotherapy for more than 30 years, holding licenses as a marriage and family therapist and clinical psychologist.

He is the author of Why Do I Do That? Psychological Defense Mechanisms and the Hidden Ways They Shape Our Lives and The Narcissist You Know: Defending Yourself Against Extreme Narcissists in an All-About-Me World (Touchstone, September 2015). A regular writer and commentator for news outlets including The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Atlantic and NPR, he is also the voice behind the Psychology Today blog “Shame.”

Joe provides face-to-face video psychotherapy through a secure online platform to clients in Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as throughout North America. He earned his undergraduate degree at UCLA and his masters and doctorate degrees at California Graduate institute in Los Angeles and has taught at the graduate level. He has served as a board member, officer and instructor at an affiliate of the International Psychoanalytic Association.

This site condenses Joe’s insights garnered over a lifetime of work in the mental health field, and from his personal struggles to continue growing after his own 13 years of individual psychotherapy and psychoanalysis came to an end.

About this Website

Welcome to After Psychotherapy, an online mental health resource for those who may have begun their journey of self-discovery during psychotherapy and want to continue along that road now that their treatment has ended. As any good therapist would do, the posts here aim to bring you closer to those parts of yourself outside of awareness: emotions you’d rather deny or avoid, conflicts you’d prefer not to confront. The opinions and guidance offered here are no substitute for psychotherapy, however; if you find that you need to consult a professional, you might want to read my post on “Choosing a Therapist” first, by clicking on this link.

For information about the site’s author, Joseph Burgo, click here.



Sharon Bially, (508) 655-2676


Gillian MacKenzie


Michael Eha & Associates


Because the volume of site visits has grown so dramatically and I now receive daily appeals for advice, I’m no longer able to provide this service free of charge. To reply to an email that asks for answers to simple questions set forth in a paragraph or two, I now charge $20, payable in advance; payment can be made via PayPal using this email address: afterpsy@gmail.com. If you would like my professional response to a detailed account of your situation, I charge $50.

If you’re interested in psychotherapy via Skype, please read all of the material to be found here, including the Disclosure Statement.

About Narcissistic Personality Disorder

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV, the following are the essential features of Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

(1)  has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

(2)  is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

(3)  believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

To continue reading, click here.