11h 30m CPDConference

Pathological Behaviours in the Workplace Conference

2-Day Conference for All Nurses

Pathological Behaviours in the Workplace - Brisbane 2019


12 - 13 Dec 2019
Mercure Hotel Brisbane,
85-87 North Quay

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Why Attend

Pathological behaviours are complex and can have devastating consequences if left unrecognised and unmanaged. This conference will enable you to consider practical solutions to this persistent area of stress and conflict. Topics include:

  • How to recognise gaslighting in the office
  • Why covert narcissism can be harder to recognise than other types of narcissism
  • The key to not taking “it” personally
  • How PTSD can stem from narcissistic abuse
  • Disarming stress at work to reduce toxic behaviour and much, much more…

Come along to this popular event – Book now!

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Day One

8:30 Registration for Day One


Welcome and Introduction

Luke Lindsay

Personality Pathology: Understanding Where It Begins

Negative behaviours, such as lying, manipulation and exploitation, are often a topic of conversation in a workplace environment. This session will look deeper into pathological behaviours and where it all begins. This opening session includes:

  • What are the different types of personalities?
  • What exactly are pathological behaviours and what are they not?
  • Who is more likely to act in a destructive way?
  • Where does it all begin?
  • How can you identify when someone is acting pathologically?
Luke Lindsay

Pathological Lying: Symptom or Condition?

Everybody lies, but what if nearly everything that comes out of someone’s mouth is a lie? This session explores pathological lying – frequent and repeated lying during a prolonged period of time – and will discuss:

  • What is pathological lying?
  • What are the signs that someone is a pathological liar?
  • Is pathological lying connected to any mental health disorders?
  • What is pseudologia fantastica?
  • Should we be concerned if our colleague is a pathological liar, even if it doesn’t seem to impact their work?
11:00 Morning Tea

Anneke Bull

Turning the Tables: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Colleagues

What’s wrong? Why are you acting that way? We can often quickly judge a colleague’s actions during a shift. However, there is often an underlying reason for why a person is acting in that particular way. Understanding the impact of adverse childhood events and cumulative stressors later in life is essential if we are to create a safe environment that promotes resilience. This session will turn the tables and discuss the emotions of your colleagues. It includes:

  • How can adverse events impact the way someone is acting?
  • What are the effects of chronic stress and trauma?
  • What is a trauma-informed approach?
  • How can you incorporate a trauma-informed approach towards your colleagues?
Anneke Bull

Boundaries: The Key to Not Taking "It" Personally

Too often, people in the workplace experience negative emotions as a result of incivility. This, clearly, can be destructive and lead to disengaged workplaces where no one benefits. Establishing and maintaining clear personal boundaries has proven to be an effective strategy for dealing with the unpredictable and unstable behaviours of others, including other staff. This session highlights:

  • How can personal boundaries protect you from manipulation?
  • How can you build and maintain boundaries you are comfortable with?
  • What do you do when your boundaries are challenged?
1:30 Lunch and Networking

Karen-Anne Clarke

Wicked Games: Covert Narcissism

Of the different types of narcissists, covert narcissists are the hardest to spot. Often referred to as “closet narcissists”, they may come across as the opposite of a narcissist, only to show their true colours in the end. This session will discuss the following topics:

  • What are the signs that someone is a covert narcissist?
  • Can covert narcissists change for the better?
  • How can we handle covert narcissists in our workplaces?
  • What are harm minimisation approaches, and how can this be useful when dealing with a covert narcissist?
3:30 Afternoon Tea


When Bullies Operate Under the Radar

A considerable challenge for all staff is dealing with bullies who operate “under the radar”. The insidious nature of this type of highly destructive behaviour can be a management nightmare and affect morale because it is so difficult to detect. This session looks at:

  • How to create a zero-tolerance environment for gossip and poor group behaviour that ignores and isolates a person
  • Dealing with non-engagement, sulking and sabotage
  • Creating an inclusive environment and other strategies
4:30 Close of Day One of Conference

Day Two

9:00 Commencement of Day Two

Karen-Anne Clarke

Playing with Fire: Gaslighting at Work

Involving manipulation and deceit, gaslighting is more than plain and simple bullying since the affected person may end up questioning their sanity. This session will focus on an increasingly popular concept and includes:

  • What are the signs of gaslighting?
  • Why is gaslighting different from bullying?
  • What are the ways that we can deal with gaslighting?
  • How can we support someone who has been subjected to gaslighting?

Your Mandatory Obligations in the Workplace

The regulation of practice aims to mitigate a range of risks by providing a framework for safe, legal, professional, ethical and accountable practice. What happens when a person’s behaviour falls outside of this? What if we believe that public protection is placed in doubt because of the pathological behaviour of a health professional?

  • What is our duty of care in this situation?
  • What are the ethical and legal responsibilities when someone’s behaviour becomes grossly unacceptable?
  • How should reporting occur?
  • What protections exist for those who are reporting professional misconduct?
11:00 Morning Tea

Tania Cusack

Playing God: When Narcissism Turns Deadly

Narcissistic people enjoy attention and, sometimes, they are willing to do anything to get it. This session looks at the deadly side of narcissism and includes:

  • Are there any warning signs that may indicate a person could potentially cause harm?
  • What can you do if your workmate is displaying behaviours that may endanger others?
Karen-Anne Clarke

When Trauma Causes Long-Term Problems: PTSD from Narcissistic Abuse

Like any survivor of abuse, those who have received narcissistic abuse may develop long-term mental health issues. This session will consider why some people who have experienced narcissistic abuse proceed to develop PTSD. It includes:

  • What are the signs that someone may have PTSD from narcissistic abuse?
  • What are the long-term problems that may arise?
  • How does this affect interpersonal relationships?
  • What are the impacts on day-to-day life?
  • How does trauma-informed care help those who have developed PTSD from narcissistic abuse?
1:30 Lunch and Networking

Jane Stanfield

Cool as a Cucumber: Dealing with Conflict Comfortably

Working with pathological people often results in continued conflict. This is likely to be detrimental to health, wellbeing and patient or client outcomes. Clear communication when faced with hostility and a calm head can help YOU manage conflict better. This interactive session looks at:

  • Avoiding conflict with destructive personalities
  • Attack or defend? Working out your stance in a conflict situation
  • Communication is key – when to defuse and when to engage
  • Knowing what makes your emotions get out of control in a conflict situation
3:15 Afternoon Tea

Jane Stanfield

Disarm Stress at Work to Reduce Toxic Behaviour

Where does toxic behaviour in the workplace come from? Is it simply that people behave poorly at times or is there something underlying this behaviour? Almost half of Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime and almost all of us experience stress. In this session, you will:

  • Learn the relationship between stress and toxic behaviour
  • Create awareness around your own relationship with stress
  • Understand the link between stress and blame, bias, judgement and ego
  • Recognise the power of mindfulness to reduce stress, improve resilience and increase clarity
  • Gain the skills to remain calm and diffuse toxic behaviour at work
4:30 Close of Conference and Evaluations

The Goal

Need for Program

Pathological behaviours are the subject of endless discussions in the workplace. The term is used to explain a raft of bad behaviours, including lying, manipulation, and exploitation. Understanding their implications will assist those who are at the receiving end and those who may not have identified these behaviours within themselves. In addition, it will ensure that workplace productivity and patient outcomes are not undermined by petulant and self-serving attitudes.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this conference is for nurses and midwives to be able to identify and understand destructive interpersonal and organisational relationships that adversely affect them and their patients in the workplace, as well as considering strategies to overcome such pathological behaviours.

Your learning outcomes:

Use emotional intelligence to identify and respond effectively to pathological behaviours in the workplace
Minimise the impact of highly destructive behaviours of others on the self through enhanced personal resilience
Establish clear personal boundaries and maintain them to diminish the effect of manipulative behaviours
Initiate a positive, patient-centred culture that decreases the impact of self-serving behaviours on workplace productivity


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Jane Stanfield

Jane Stanfield is a health service improvement coach. She comes with 30 years’ experience in healthc... Read More

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Anneke Bull

Anneke Bull is a highly qualified, credentialed mental health registered nurse. Anneke holds a maste... Read More

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Luke Lindsay

Luke Lindsay is an experienced mental health leader with a Masters of Mental Health; Post Graduate D... Read More

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Tania Cusack

Tania has been working as a university lecturer for several years and she collects degrees for fun. ... Read More

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Karen-Ann Clarke

Dr Karen-Ann Clarke is a registered nurse and a specialised mental health nurse with 30 years’ exper... Read More

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To Be Determined

... Read More


12 - 13 Dec 2019


Mercure Hotel Brisbane
85-87 North Quay
Brisbane QLD,4000


$610.00 (two days)
Book Online Now  

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