The Arduous Work of Treating Narcissism: A Therapist’s Guide

Smiling black mask among white masksNarcissism is difficult to diagnose and treat. As with all personality issues, the narcissistic traits a person possesses exist on a continuum. Not all people with narcissism are the same, and treatment approaches vary from individual to individual. This article is written as a basic guide for treating a person who either self-identifies as narcissistic, or one you identify as having narcissism.

Please note the steps below may need to be repeated over and over again, and not necessarily in order.

Step 1: Understand Narcissism

The therapist must be well versed on what it means to be in a narcissistic relationship. It is one thing to read about narcissism, another altogether to be in a close relationship with someone with narcissistic qualities. Many therapists have no idea how intoxicating, exciting, and heart-wrenching life with a narcissistic person can be.

Understand that the three main traits of narcissism are sense of entitlement, lack of insight, and lack of empathy.

Step 2: Build the Therapeutic Alliance

The therapist must require two things from the therapeutic relationship with a person who has narcissistic tendencies: respect and collaboration. Respect for and collaboration with others is challenging—some might say impossible—for people with narcissism. They will be learning how to practice these interpersonal skills in real time, in vivo, in their relationship with the therapist.

Step 3: Identify the Defenses

The narcissistic person’s defenses come in the form of personality modes or personas (think multiple personalities, but different). The therapist must endeavor to help the person identify some of the protective personality modes they use throughout life. Here are some common examples:

  • The critic
  • The judge
  • The detached persona
  • The addict
  • The womanizer
  • The entitled one
  • The victim
  • The abuser
  • The manipulator
  • The rage-aholic
  • The superior one
  • The bored one

Note: This list is not exhaustive. Therapists should work collaboratively with each person to identify their unique defenses.

All of the above-listed personas are protective personalities that people with narcissism use for emotional protection. The two feelings people with narcissism tend to avoid at all costs are neediness and vulnerability.

Step 4: Identify the Underlying Triggers

The underlying schemas are what cause the need for the protective personas. Think of schemas as triggers or buttons that are pushed when someone causes what is known as a “narcissistic wound.” Here are some common triggers experienced by people identified with narcissism:

  • Feelings of emotional abandonment
  • Feelings of inner defectiveness
  • Feelings of lack of control or security
  • Sense of emotional deprivation
  • Fear of ridicule or shame

Through both role modeling and psychoeducation, you can teach a person with narcissism about the need for re-parenting the early attachment wounds they have experienced.

It is difficult to identify these underlying triggers because you are working with someone who may have low insight and who may be emotionally “split off” or “blocked” from feeling these vulnerable and devastating emotions. You will likely encounter a protective mode before you will identify the underlying “root” of the problem. Understand that the primary emotional experience the person with narcissism is avoiding is a sense of shame. Rather than experience this sense of shame, the person “flips” into a protective mode.

It is important to help the person with narcissism to manage these underlying feelings of shame by teaching self-compassion and offering healthy self-soothing strategies. Also, as you remain in the relationship with the person, being present with them as they dare to “go there,” they will hopefully learn how to experience and process through relational “demons.”

Step 5: Develop an Inner Healthy Adult/Parent

The job of therapy is to help the person with narcissism learn to re-parent their inner hurt child. The inner child is responding to early attachment trauma or some other type of lack of emotional attunement as a child. Without going into a complete analysis of the causes of narcissism, suffice it to say a developmental component exists.

Developmentally, as a child, the person with narcissism was not properly emotionally regulated in the inter-relationship with the parent(s). This may have caused the child to develop “split off” protective personas as defenses to protect their inner sense of shame.

Teaching the person with narcissism to re-parent their inner hurt child, through the process of imagery, is effective and powerful for initiating healthy change in the person’s inner world.

Step 6: Heal the Inner Child

Even before a person with narcissism learns to re-parent themselves, you, as the therapist, can begin the process by trying to meet their inner hurt child and begin bonding with them. You can be a healthy role model, offering a “corrective emotional experience” for the person. Perhaps you are the only person who has ever been able to reach their inner child in a way that represents safety.

Through both role modeling and psychoeducation, you can teach a person with narcissism about the need for re-parenting the early attachment wounds they have experienced. They may deny they have any such hurts, but explain to them that their behavior “tells on them.” Do not argue with the person; rather, simply state and instruct what is happening.

Step 7: Develop a Recovery Plan

Not only is it essential to heal the inner world of the person with narcissism, it is also important to identify all of the person’s “bottom-line behaviors” and begin a “program of recovery.” In essence, treat the narcissistic symptoms as part of an addiction of sorts that needs to be put in remission.

Here is a list of some possible items to go on the abstinent (“no-fly zone”) list of the person with narcissism:

Help the person identify their own “go-to” strategies for self-protection.


As you can see, helping a person with narcissism to heal is a challenging endeavor. While you are working within this relationship, make sure you take care of yourself. I will end by offering these final words of advice for self-care:

  • Require and model respect.
  • Consult often; debrief after each session.
  • Exercise and take care of your physical health.
  • Do not personalize the behaviors of people with narcissism.
  • If you feel defensive, back off, take a deep breath, change something.
  • Do not have a power struggle with the person you’re trying to help.

Remember: While it takes hard work to help a person with narcissistic qualities, there is little to be gained from working harder than they do.

© Copyright 2017 All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Sharie Stines, PsyD, therapist in La Mirada, California

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Cole


    January 12th, 2017 at 6:50 AM

    Lots of steps to understanding and treating as I am sure is the case with any personality disorder

  • Jonathan S

    Jonathan S

    January 12th, 2017 at 12:14 PM

    I noticed womanizing was mentioned twice. When woman experience narcissistic traits, do they tend not to engage is a usury type relationship with men in their life?

  • Sharie S.

    Sharie S.

    January 13th, 2017 at 8:27 PM

    Some do. But most of these types of women get the label, “borderline personality.”

  • travis


    January 13th, 2017 at 7:46 AM

    I know my limits
    I don’t think that I could handle the conceit working with them

  • c


    January 13th, 2017 at 6:36 PM

    Anyone that enters into a relationship with a narcissist will be in for a big surprise. Sometimes the “victims” will believe they are within a relationship just to find out that it was all an illusion! Mind games that’s right. The narcissist will play mental games and make you think and believe you are connected just to discard you at will when they want to leave and tell you it was all in your head. If and when they do leave because they will! It’s because they are bored, not stimulated enough, you stop supplying their needs; and if you should happen to leave them first they may become fierce or violent at first just to keep you hanging then dump you. Then they will play nice again to befriend you but this time to set you up and punish you, and they will do that you can bet on it. If you do get away from them for awhile then you may get surprised someday when they come back. When that happens run and don’t look back! You will never recover from their comeback I kid you not. I can’t stress it enough that you should leave with carpet tied to the souls of your shoes so as not to leave any tracks. Then hide and pray for a lifetime.

  • Rissie w. m.

    Rissie w. m.

    January 16th, 2017 at 12:43 AM

    Narcissists follow me throughout life. I want to be free from their tactics.

  • Pat


    October 4th, 2017 at 6:02 PM

    The trick seems to be in changing the relationship dynamic. All-good attracts all-bad, to put it simply. Overly caretaking/altruistic sorts tend to attract Narcs, again and again. You need more self-compassion in your life. It is not bad to think of yourself to a reasonable degree. You must; it is your protection against these monsters. Read “Human Magnet Syndrome” by Ross Rosenberg or “Reinventing Your Life” by Jeffrey Young.

  • Margie


    September 12th, 2017 at 6:22 PM


  • Jackie M.

    Jackie M.

    November 4th, 2017 at 7:26 PM

    You have described my experience exactly. While the article gives hope of some sort of improvement in the behaviors of the narcissist, After 12 years with one, I don’t believe there is anything close to a cure for the disorder. It is so tragic.

  • Mills


    January 14th, 2017 at 12:24 PM

    I have been in a relationship before where the whole thing was always about her and always head to be about her. There was never any compromise to it, that’s just the way that things had to be because in her world, well, life always had to fully revolve around her. It took me quite some time to figure out that hey, I was not going to live like this, and be put down like this all the time. But I was so sucked in by her and her actions that it still took me a while to extricate myself from the tangled web that she had us wrapped up in.

  • Dianne


    January 14th, 2017 at 7:54 PM

    Narcissists can’t be cured with therapy. And it’s dangerous to try to treat them. All it does is give them more understanding of how to abuse their victims. Stay away from narcs. Leave them be in their disturbed sick world. Only a firing squad is adequate treatment for them. Or a labotomy. They are defective in the brain. So unless you can require their brain and give them the grey matter they are missing they are never cured. They all should be in jail. That wreak havoc on society in every way imagineable. mental nut jobs.

  • Susan


    January 15th, 2017 at 9:42 AM

    Just started new George Simon book on Disturbed Character. Very applicable here and opposes this article’s tenet of underlying weaknesss. Previous book was Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.

  • T


    January 15th, 2017 at 8:40 PM

    I feel ashamed that I didn’t see the warning signs. I broke up with him 3 times, so I think I must of known deep inside he was wrong. I should’ve have known when, he told me his last three girlfriends were bipolar and when he told me ” I’m pretty famous around here!
    So alluring, I believed everything he said. He had his own rule for his AA program. It was ok to smoke weed, sponsor women and take xanax.
    My eyes are wide open now, strong as ever with absolutely no contact x 6 mos!!!!!!!
    He still continues to fool everyone. Still claims he is sober and continues to be a famous Sponsor😞
    I’m peaceful now, but I just want to be able to trust again.

  • T


    January 15th, 2017 at 9:00 PM

    Healing and learning to trust again

  • Lori


    January 16th, 2017 at 7:06 AM

    curious how many instances of someone go into therapy stem from this issue?

  • Pryor


    January 19th, 2017 at 11:10 AM

    And now here we are
    getting ready to install a classic one into the highest office in the land tomorrow

  • Roxanne


    January 24th, 2017 at 10:45 AM

    Dr. Stines, it would be interesting to know how many individuals with this disorder seek therapy? Or rather, what would prompt someone to seek treatment with these traits? Are there a disproportionate number of people involved in certain crimes or situations where therapy is court ordered or is that ever an option? From a layman’s view of your article, it does not seem like an action they would ever willingly seek out. Indeed, recognition of their effect on the world and lack of self-awareness must make any diagnosis and resulting therapy rare as these individuals do not acknowledge they’re culpability in any way. Thank you for your article and any response.

  • Tim


    July 20th, 2017 at 10:35 AM

    Roxanne, I have NPD and I am seeking therapy. It has taken 29 years of marriage and almost losing it all for me to finally see how devastating NPD is. The best way I can describe it is you feel stuck but don’t even know it. I praise my wife of 29 years for her love and her persistence! She is truly an angel for putting up with this horrible disorder for so long.

    Dr. Stines nailed it for me in step 5! It won’t be the same for every person with NPD, but for me that was spot on! I can recall in vivid detail at the age of 4 being accused of something I never did. My parents took me to our neighbors next door to apologize to their son for hitting him. I begged my parents to believe me that I never did a thing to that kid. My parents spanked me in front of them and forced me to apologize for something I never did. As a child, it devastated me that my parents did not believe me. Yes, as silly as this might sound, it was traumatic. The core or trigger of my NPD has ALWAYS been about accusing me of something I didn’t do OR something I did but refuse to admit it out of shame. Literally EVERY argument with my wife has been about this. It could be as little as turning down the wrong lane while driving. I would blame the driver in front of me and my wife said it was me. I would go off!! I would always accuse her of being like my father – never believing me. He (my father) used to accuse of me of “popping pills” at the age of 16 because I had sinuses (like him) and would take some of his sinus pills – another traumatic event that I can remember and site in detail. Now, I will also mention that my dad has NPD as well, really bad! He went through 3 wives and I see why. He never dealt with it and surely would never admit to it.

    So for me, narcissism is woven in my DNA and a few traumatic events that has lead me to this horrible disorder. To finally realize what I have is a HUGE burden lifted off me and I credit my wife for her struggles with this. I have hurt her dearly with this disorder and it breaks me that I have allowed this to happen!

    Will I be “cured”? I will always struggle with NPD, but at least now I can SEE IT and try to stop it before it gets out of hand! I am writing this a day after my wife and I had one of the worse arguments ever! Again, I refused to think I did anything wrong and showed no empathy towards her. I was stuck again! NPD will always be a work in progress in for me.

    Best advise I can give to a NPD like me, when you get into an argument 1) DO NOT DEFEND YOURSELF and 2) ALWAYS THINK OF THE OTHER PERSONS FEELINGS FIRST!

    I am open to talk with anyone with questions to a person with narcissism…and knows it!

  • Jaye


    July 20th, 2017 at 3:17 PM

    Tim, My husband has the disorder and I don’t know what to do to help him, where to start. I am worn out after 37 years of trying to fix him and us. I don’t want to leave him but it’s hell staying. Any suggestions?

  • bill


    July 27th, 2017 at 5:29 PM

    I’ve recently come to the realization that I have NPD. I’ve put my wife through hell for 23 years and she’s always tried for me. Now I’m at a critical time for my wifes meantal and physical health as well as my own and my kids well being. I know I have terrible problems and want help, need help and feel I can’t wait. Faking my way through life and trying to balance love, family and work are killing me. I can’t stand the pain i’ve cause my wife and feeling like I didnt realize i was hurting her and god knows who else. The problem, among many, is that ive tried to get an appointment with a therapist and nothing is available for months. I’m litterly getting crazier with fear that im going to permantly damage my wife and our relationship and maybe never get better. Everyone is saying run from someone with NPD. I want help, I don’t want to be like this. Please, any suggestions I would gladly take.

  • Heidi


    August 19th, 2017 at 10:09 PM

    I know I am a narcissist too… It’s eviden by my life after 30-40 years of denial. Please, can I heal from this?

  • Ela


    August 23rd, 2017 at 10:51 AM

    Tim, my adult daughter who’s the custodial parent to my 9 year old granddaughter is showing all traits to be NPD. She does not believe to be the one with the problem, but her parenting and actions show clearly that she needs help. Sadly, my granddaughter is feeling the abuse from her moms narcissistic behavior. Unfortunately, my daughter and I have a very toxic relationship, mainly because I try to protect my granddaughter and because I am the only person that knows of her true actions, lies, etc How can one get a person to seek help when they don’t think they have an issue or are the problem? Thank you in advance

  • S.D.M.


    August 28th, 2017 at 3:10 PM

    Keep up the strength and the will power to think of the other person’s feeling firstly before reacting. I am struggling in a relationship with a person who looks for a external source of blame at all times. I can see it is so unhealthy for them because deep down, it does not allow them to deal with the shame they are feeling. It just allows that shame to fester and cause them further depression. Life is so difficult with the daily need to support them emotionally yet not being supported in return especially in times of grave need such as in the death of a loved one. Good for you and your ability to recognize your dilema/condition. Continue your healing for the sake of your wife and loved ones!

  • Swapna


    September 23rd, 2017 at 9:26 PM

    Dear Tim, I need your help. Can you please provide your email address? Thank u.

  • sasha


    November 12th, 2017 at 4:23 PM

    Hello, thank you for sharing your experience. I would like to ask you a few questions if you’re available.

  • Sharie Stines

    Sharie Stines

    January 25th, 2017 at 6:52 AM

    The only time I see these types of clients is when someone else drags them in to therapy. But once there, they seem to enjoy it and actually make some changes. You know, everyone is different. Some people are willing to change more than others. I have never done or read an official study on the number of people who actually seek treatment. All I know is that all of the clients I see are either victims of abuse or abusers themselves, so I live in this world.

  • bill


    July 27th, 2017 at 5:32 PM

    I’ve recently come to the realization that I have NPD. I’ve put my wife through hell for 23 years and she’s always tried for me. Now I’m at a critical time for my wifes meantal and physical health as well as my own and my kids well being. I know I have terrible problems and want help, need help and feel I can’t wait. Faking my way through life and trying to balance love, family and work are killing me. I can’t stand the pain i’ve cause my wife and feeling like I didnt realize i was hurting her and god knows who else. The problem, among many, is that ive tried to get an appointment with a therapist and nothing is available for months. I’m litterly getting crazier with fear that im going to permantly damage my wife and our relationship and maybe never get better. Everyone is saying run from someone with NPD. I want help, I don’t want to be like this. Please, any suggestions I would gladly take.

  • Betty


    September 24th, 2017 at 6:58 AM

    Bill, this is the beginning of change for you. Many people with NPD are proud and love being the way they are because it gives them free pass on life. They do not care but only appear so. This seems different for you. You have the courage to show your weakness. That is the beginning of vulnerability, the prerequisite for human connection. You show caring for your wife and kids. I wish I could offer you strategies and help. I am sorry but I do not know of any. Personally, when I was at my lowest, very sick and surrounded by many people with NPD and not knowing what was happening I turned inward, I began to seriously practice meditation. That turned my life around. Practicing meditation in order to discover your own truth and not to reach some amazing states is what brings us into greater truth of who we are. There are more narcissists waking up from this nightmare and realizing they are caught in this awful programming and deciding that they actually do care. This is the beginning of true love. If there was any strategy for living in this world it would be love. It doesn’t matter that it’s small at the beginning. The amount of love does not matter in the least. What matters is if it is true caring which means you might and certainly will be hurt. Even if you have a tiny sense of caring it is already a true treasure which has the power to see you through this hell you were born with. I send you blessings of peace on your journey.

  • anna K

    anna K

    September 15th, 2017 at 8:52 PM

    My life partner of 40 years isa victim of abuse and an abuser himself. mostly of me. he lies and decieves , denies in front of others the abusive words he said to me. I`m considering separtion , I feel sorry for him knowing his condition, but I don`t want to suffer for the rest of my life either. He doest`n listes to reason like normal people would.

  • Pat


    September 23rd, 2017 at 5:29 PM

    Be terribly careful if planning to leave a pathological Narcissist when there are children involved — even teens and young adults who are still dependent. Narcissistic revenge is absolutely ungodly. These people have no mercy. See the website of Dr. Craig Childress on Attachment-based Parental Alienation. Contrary to popular myth, this is not first and foremost a divorce/custody issue, but an issue of triggered Narcissistic Personality Disorder in one of the parents. You not only lose your children perhaps forever in this terrible issue, but they will serve you buckets of Narcissistic Abuse before they go. Your own children become as cruel as the NPD spouse — even death threats to the targeted parent. You would have to live through this to believe it exists. These are kids who previously had normal loving relationships with the targeted parent. Then poof!, it is all over, and they turn into something you did not even know existed. Pathological Narcissists have the nasty trait of alienating other people in many forms; they exclude or dis-acknowledge or bully them. Silent Treatment is just the beginning. Be glad if you get off that lightly. This is what Parental Alienation is about, writ large. One day a switch flips in your own children, and they begin spewing hatred. Their NPD parent has subtly encouraged this behind the scenes for perhaps years. Again, read Dr. Childress’s books or blog. He nails it. If you try to get out of the NPD marriage, you can lose your kids too. And it is THEY who will insist they hate you and want to live with your spouse. How do you battle that in court? They are hostages as in Stockholm Syndrome, or a cult, but knowing that is worth little when you are going through such horrors. And I do not exaggerate here. This is a true horror. Pathological Narcissists are Sadists. They love to inflict pain on the innocent, and what better way to do it than turning your own children against you? Is your spouse spending a lot of time alone with the kids, even in driving them to extra-curricular activities regularly? Or does he/she whisk them away for “trips” without your knowledge or consent, though you are an intact family? This may be your Narcissist’s indoctrination time. They have the kids as a captive audience, dependent fully on the NPD parent. That parent starts calmly suggesting complaints against the other parent, and it takes off from there. Just little suggestions, you see. Not outright hatred at first. The kids are lulled into a certain mindset. Happens before they realize. So be very, very careful.
    I would also think about the fact that Pathological Narcissists marry Caretaking sorts, as a rule, or even other less powerful Narcissists. Mainly the vulnerable caretakers, though, who are always good, always looking out for others, and always trusting. I suggest Ross Rosenberg’s book, “The Human Magnet Syndrome.” But then again, if you have married one, it was probably Repetition Compulsion; you likely grew up with an NPD parent (or two), without realizing it. They primed you to be NPD fodder in adult life. YOU can change easier than the NPD spouse can or will. See some of the better material on Codependence. See Jeffrey Young’s Schema Therapy (“Reinventing Your Life). Can be done. Stop thinking your mission in life is to caretake others, particularly since they seldom appreciate it. Get away from the extreme poles of life. Life is far better in the center of the spectrum instead of at the end opposite to the NPD spouse. Opposites attract. You are better off being somewhere around the middle, in terms of your own traits. Too much self-sacrifice leaves your own flank exposed. And then the NPD spouse attacks it.

  • Ellie


    September 29th, 2017 at 1:22 AM

    Pat, thank you for this wake up call!

  • Betty


    April 27th, 2017 at 8:50 PM

    It is wise to read George Simon Ph.D. rather than follow this article’s old understanding that all narcissists act that way because of their childhood wounds. Such a narrow way of thinking. “Viewing someone who’s in the act of aggressing as being defensive in any sense is a major set up for victimization” George Simon “In Sheep’s Clothing”. I had a therapist who was a narcissist with a few very strong psychopathic traits. He had me trauma bonded to himself for almost two years. I cannot stress how little psychotherapists know about this condition. My therapist was in his own therapy before where he learned to perfect his guise. Then he became a true master of deception through training in one very good school for psychotherapy. It is so easy for them to fool their own psychotherapists and mentors because of their unbelievable ability to perfectly mold to what the other wants to see. Shari Stines above says ” once there, they seem to enjoy it and actually make some changes.” Yes, exactly, she only fails to mention that the reasons for these “desirable” changes are ulterior and will serve a more perfected form of manipulation and are not a form of healing. These people do not submit! They will fake it if they can see a positive outcome. But they do not submit! I have never suffered so much in my life as when my therapist cut me up from inside with his therapeutic interventions which always appeared to be most loving. He could touch my heart so deeply, so lovingly. And when I would experience cognitive dissonance and many other insanely intense emotions which accompany such relationships he’d gently point to my childhood trauma so that it’d look as emotional flashback or old pain resurfacing. He is a masterly slaughter machine. Ruined my health and finances completely and had zero remorse. It took me a long time to recognize the three phases of every such relationship (idealize, devalue, discard) were all part of his game. But he unwittingly opened my eyes to many other predatory people in my life, including my husband. Now I have not one such person in my life left. I am on my way to be free. Do your research before you reach these outdated victim-mentality driven conclusions of everyone acting out of some deep hurt. There are many other reasons for acting as a predator. Check them out.

  • None


    July 27th, 2017 at 12:16 PM

    Are you sure you’re not the one with NPD? Sounds like everyone is to blame but you. You got rid of them all because they weren’t up to your standards. You’re always the victim.
    Perhaps you can’t tell if someone had remorse or not because you can’t empathize?
    I’m not saying this to tease or to be cruel, but honestly… how can anyone be sure? The NPD thing is a bit of a catch-22. It’s like anyone who disagrees is in “denial”.
    Anyway, this is what I wonder about myself, so my questions to you are genuine and not meant to trigger you.

  • Betty


    September 13th, 2017 at 8:49 PM

    To None from July 27:
    Yes, I am sure I am not the one with NPD :-) Do your own homework if someone played with your head so hard that you wonder that about yourself. I can actually empathize so deeply that I tried to understand “the devil himself” so to speak. There is an absolutely excellent research published in “Women who Love Psychopaths” by Sandra Brown. It shows that most of women abused possess extraordinary degrees of what she calls super traits. It is so true for me. Finally I understood why I was drawn and brutally used by these people. These hyper traits include: compassion, empathy, truthfulness, extraversion, relationship investment (very often mislabeled as dependency), helpfulness, integrated conscience, responsibility, acceptance, and many others. The one which shocked me most is cooperativeness. This is bad news for me. I am so extraordinarily cooperative that I literally would try to understand the most vile head games believing the person to be genuine. For them it was a game of pleasure. For me it was hell. Such are the outcomes of these relationships. No, NPD is definitely not catch 22. But the games they play are. Your comment sounds very narcissistic though. And the general sweeping statements you are making about me are completely out of touch with reality.

  • Rs


    July 5th, 2017 at 10:39 PM

    Needs information on narcissist abuse

  • Soulgiah


    September 10th, 2017 at 5:58 PM

    Upon my quest to research the various platforms of information, to gaining and practicing better behavioral patterns. That have affected my own journey in life. In addition to finding alternatives outside of simply giving up on a “defective” human being. I’ve realized, I wouldn’t want someone to give up on me. If the shoes were on the other foot. I also ask myself, how many times have I sinned? How many times have I felt the knife in my heart, from being so highly misunderstood in society, communities, group settings and work environments? It is a deep rooted and truly complexed plane of existence. That leads one to dark and unknown paths when they don’t know, themselves how to even begin to understand what it is. Or where certain emotional and mental behaviors stem from. Yet it continues to grow inside your soul. Until the pattern becomes clear by looking back on your life and through those that have been affected by the Narcs unforeseen mental illness. As a society, I think it’s important for us to also place ourselves in the Narcs position. Remembering, that this is scientifically, a birth defect. Just as there are a number of other birth defects, no one asked to be born with. The key is to not focus so much on blame, but to gain biological, historical & environmental assessments as well. And gauge ways to execute awareness and effective individual treatment plans. I don’t believe in giving up on a human being, who has gone most of their lives, being undiagnosed. Being that they do not have certain brain functions deemed as “normal”. We simply must make it known that they are not alone. Guide, monitor and direct them by not continuing to shut them out. This I’ve seen, only results in making them severely mentally ill, beyond societies standards or social repair.

  • Betty


    September 13th, 2017 at 9:01 PM

    Yes, I truly believe that shutting NPD and psychopaths out is not the solution. But neither is the engagement. People like me have been burnt enough, even scorched to the ground to engage in any contact with people like you. But this is not all lost cause. There is a wonderful platform where we all meet. It is our own consciousness, which is always One and already and always at peace. This is the place where you can be present to yourself and see your own darkness and learn the ways of acceptance. This is the place where I am learning to love and heal myself. This is the space where we all exist beyond our psychology of division. Right now we live in the times of explosion of self-awareness. But self-awareness is not enough. We need to go much deeper into your very won source. This is the platform for meeting ourselves and each other. This is where you are not shut out but always welcome. But it is the place where your own experience directs you, though of course there are many people who help us by giving guidance. I invite you to take responsibility, dive deep within and see where you come from.

  • Diane


    September 29th, 2017 at 8:59 AM

    Difficult to diagnose? Hardly. They all do the same things. Almost perfectly. The same tactics. The same head games. It’s a farce to say it’s hard to diagnose. I’ve met 6 in my life. They are all the same. Born from the devil himself. They are very seriously disturbed creatures. Almost non human. pride is one of the 7 deadly sins for a reason. These creatures have pride over the top. It’s so excessive they kill for it. That’s disturbing. Psychology is failing society as far as handling this situation. These creatures are called sociopaths for a reason. They destroy all that’s good in society. In fact it’s so bad now it’s destroying 1 in 3 children being born to these creatures. They are abusers! Prisoners are better cared for than a parent with npd sociopathic evil demon. They understand only one thing. To destroy. That’s it. Period. Why you find that hard to diagnose it’s absurd. Just sit in on family law courts and divorces. The victims are telling their stories. No one listens. Judges dismiss this abuse because there is no bruises. How absurd. Ignorant.

  • J


    October 2nd, 2017 at 4:51 PM

    I completely agree, Diane. Even EXTREMELY well-qualified therapists can miss what, to a woke victim of N abuse, is really obvious NPD. I believe victims are being failed in HUGE numbers because people constantly apply “human” rules to people that lack almost any semblance of humanity. I am actually not for tossing them out with the trash, but non-victims and therapists alike need to acknowledge the very serious and profound depths of their cruelty, depravity and lack of empathy before healing modalities can start to develop. We are SO far behind the curve on this one. I fear in 100 years the world with be nothing but Narcs.

  • Betty


    October 3rd, 2017 at 1:18 AM

    I agree with Diane and J. Psychology is failing this world in a myriad of unbelievable covert ways, perhaps unconscious but nevertheless very harmful. Psychologists are neck-deep involved in participation in abuse orchestrated by Narcs and psychopaths by turning a blind eye to those who have been manipulated. Over fifteen years ago I was for four years in therapy, dutifully describing all the details of my husband’s covert narcissistic tactics. I was only guided to look at myself!!! Horror, it is horror in broad daylight. And this therapist is an incredibly loving and caring soul, a truly amazing human being. yet he was trained to only look at supposedly imbalanced behavior in me. Never did he go to do his homework and check who was making me so sick. All the red flags were there. It is not better when I do tell psychotherapists what has happened in my life. They are still blinded by their terribly incomplete education and training and refuse to learn! I contacted quite a few after my discovery and not one was willing to really look at the issues which are here. They much more prefer the safe terrain of him/her as an authority versus us the poor lost victims who know nothing. These are very covert ways, very subtle, hard to see if you do not know what to look for. I recommend you google history of psychiatry to see the full extent of torture, currently used by interrogation agencies, perpetrated in the name of treatment. There are many excellent YouTube documentaries on how these early psychiatrists experimented on us to supply them with pleasure and fun. Shocking as it is this field has been founded by sadists. Read their biographies and all the traits of NPD are shining on every page. Do your own research.

  • Pat


    October 4th, 2017 at 5:23 PM

    I agree entirely. Most of grow up being taught to follow the Golden Rule, and that if you treat others well and with respect, they will of course treat you this way in return. However, it absolutely backfires with Narcs. The better a person you are, the more trusting and vulnerable you are, the more giving you are — the more you are going to attract those vicious Narcs who love nothing more than to take all you have to give, then destroy you when they go on to better pickings. To someone who doesn’t understand pathological Narcissism, it is as if you are describing creatures from another Galaxy. No one gets it. “Surely, if they treat you badly, well……you must have had some part in it, right? Takes two to tango and all that?” Your unaware critics give you a knowing look, and try to shame you into admitting that you own at least 50% of the fault. NO!!! You do NOT! How do you explain to the non-Narc-initiated that these creatures LOVE the naïve, giving, really, really GOOD people, whom they can suck dry, and who will rarely fight back? And if they do fight back, the Narc just crushes them, and goes off to find someone else. You can have lived a lifetime with someone like this, in ever-loving dedication on your part, and then tomorrow morning without warning they decide they are tired of you, or you have perhaps criticized them ever so mildly, and… are put out with the trash. You cease to exist for them, even after 20 or 30 years together. And not only do they want you gone IMMEDIATELY, from their lives, their family, their property — though it was all owned jointly by both of you — but they will take delight in hurting you in whatever way is possible. False allegations flow from them. They charge their saintly partners with unspeakable crimes. They learn how to use social authority against you. They conduct smear campaigns, where they are suddenly telling everyone who knows you, even slightly, that you are a criminal, or mentally ill, or whatever can be worse than that. They destroy your life, your reputation, your relationships with others, your finances, you name it. And all the while, they maintain the phony façade of being the good guy, the injured party. Personally, I think that going through a destructive natural disaster is easier than dealing with a vengeful Narc. These people don’t stop until you are barely alive any more. They destroy everything dear to you, and do it with a demonic grin on their faces. You know, in this supposedly secular age, if you have gone through serious Narcissistic Abuse, you will believe in the devil. Even Harry Potter fans know the validity of the fight between good and evil in our world. It is as if this particular mental condition opens some kind of portal for evil to enter a person. They strike a deal with the devil — he gives them the ability to think of themselves as God-like, and they willingly cause human pain to those who love them, with glee. But if you have never dealt with a Narc in cold blood, all of this will seem fantastical to you, and you will mumble all of that tripe about peace/love/tolerance. In other words, you think the Narc-victim must be inviting this behavior somehow. Well, the only way they are inviting it is by being TOO GOOD. So then, the peace/love/tolerance crowd retreats, because they can’t get their minds around this one. Too much good attracts evil? Yes, indeed. You need to move towards the middle yourself to fight this off. More self-compassion, less Narc-compassion.

  • John


    October 4th, 2017 at 8:19 PM

    People in the comments
    Narcissism: Obsession with feelings of superiority
    Anti-sociality: Lack of concern for the well-being of others
    Sadist: One who takes pleasure in causing others pain

    Psychopaths: All of the above.

  • JV


    December 4th, 2017 at 5:08 PM

    Narcissistic Personality Disorder can’t be treated. Articles like this are dangerous because they imply that improvement is possible. Do your own research — there are no documented cases of full recovery of individuals with NPD. Look at the MRI brain scans of sociopaths — their frontal lobe in the area of empathy and compassion is black. People with NPD often feign getting better or seeking improvement, but in reality, they are only using therapy towards selfish ends in accordance with their disorder.

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Title   Content   Author is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptom or medical condition. Never disregard professional psychological or medical advice nor delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on