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Best therapy for narcissism

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Best therapy for narcissism

Postby GadSitar » Fri May 24, 2019 9:06 am

I have the opportunity to go for therapy with a psychologist. I think this will be a good opportunity to work on my issues. But what do you think is the best therapy to focus on? I have suffered a tremendous amount of abuse in a childhood that is very different than most. Should I consider trauma therapy? How effective is this therapy? Or should I focus on some other aspect?
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Re: Best therapy for narcissism

Postby Akuma » Fri May 24, 2019 11:01 am

GadSitar wrote:I have the opportunity to go for therapy with a psychologist. I think this will be a good opportunity to work on my issues. But what do you think is the best therapy to focus on? I have suffered a tremendous amount of abuse in a childhood that is very different than most. Should I consider trauma therapy? How effective is this therapy? Or should I focus on some other aspect?


Not every therapist offers every type of therapy, so it depends what the therapists available to you can offer.
But foremost: What goal(s) do you have for therapy?

As to trauma therapy, I'm not sure what that is
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Re: Best therapy for narcissism

Postby GadSitar » Fri May 24, 2019 11:18 am

Akuma wrote:
GadSitar wrote:I have the opportunity to go for therapy with a psychologist. I think this will be a good opportunity to work on my issues. But what do you think is the best therapy to focus on? I have suffered a tremendous amount of abuse in a childhood that is very different than most. Should I consider trauma therapy? How effective is this therapy? Or should I focus on some other aspect?


Not every therapist offers every type of therapy, so it depends what the therapists available to you can offer.
But foremost: What goal(s) do you have for therapy?

As to trauma therapy, I'm not sure what that is


I'm not sure what it's called but I guess what I mean is a form of psychoanalysis focused on childhood trauma...

As to what I am looking for, it's mainly to improve my connection with people in this world. I have contacts but I have always struggled to make meaningful and long-lasting connections with people. My lack of empathy, arrogance and general asshole like behaviour/attitude does not promote me feeling connected to people. A while back I became so isolated I developed psychosis. To defeat what I considered a weakness (ie: needing people) I killed a part of myself off which triggered the psychosis. I felt that now I can be self sufficient on my own and not needy of others.

To be honest this has worked in some ways. I am still isolated but I don't struggle with feeling soy sadness or depression associated with it. The problem is that now I make "zero" effort to connect with people, even on a superficial level it has died down to almost nothing. I do keep in touch with some people by phone but they are so far away that there is no inclusion into their lives. The issue with all this o course is that I have no meaning in my life. I am not depressed as far as I am aware (I work, hit the gym, eat healthy, seek women out...etc). But my life feels good and meaningless. I have plans but they feel like nagging in the wind and I believe the issue is a disconnection from people and the affairs of society.

This is the main thing I want to work on but I also suspect I need to process my childhood trauma (mother attempted infanticide, assaulted strangers in front of me, sexual acts in front of me, trying to burn grandmothers house in front of me, emotional abuse). I believe the trauma is at the heart of my narcissistic defender and why I can't connect with others.
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Re: Best therapy for narcissism

Postby Akuma » Fri May 24, 2019 11:34 am

Well when youre more schizoid then if I may give a tip, I'd look for a therapist that can complement that a bit. Else you might end up in a therapy where he gives you supercool interpretations to your absolutely amazing free-associations, which might leave you convinced that its working really great and you might feel very good about it (or relatively) but in reality its just a sort of wanking circle and no real progress is made.
Also psychoanalysis I think is suited pretty well, but the speed of it will probably be slow. I dunno if youre aware of this, so its probably good to say this up front, thats a thing of many years. It depends a lot on your psychological setup and the therapist himself. My therapist is very "respectful" as he always says of my kinds of defense and what is defending against so even while I'm irritated sometimes that its so slow, its less dangerous - both in terms of you leaving therapy abruptly, or becoming more ill.
Also - but that also will be talked about with your therapist after a while I assume - it might be necessary or a good addition to get into a rehab center or psych-clinic for a while while in treatment for specific stuff - some stuff can be resolved more quickly in that way, or so I hear.
Finally as to childhood trauma, I dont think theres a therapy form that "focuses" on this per se, if its psychoanalytic, because the focus is on whats on your mind currently. So while that might be a bit weird and chaotic, it also means you can talk about stuff and in ways you feel ready for it when youre ready or when you feel like it.
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Re: Best therapy for narcissism

Postby GadSitar » Fri May 24, 2019 1:34 pm

That's exactly what I am now, schizoid... I will keep what you said in mind.

I guess we both agree I need psychoanalytic. Good. That's at least a starting point.

What I'm also starting to realise is I need to make an effort and may be required to invest in this therapy. The issue I have is that I cannot "yield". This act feels like a defeat of some sort and in worst cases like putting my head in a guillotine. Too much vulnerability. But I'm sure I will need to make efforts to change if I want to improve as a person.
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Re: Best therapy for narcissism

Postby Greebo » Fri May 24, 2019 5:14 pm

Akuma, given this forum once again seems to have an influx of users advocating it, what’s your opinion on the “get in touch with your feelings” approach to combating pathological narssism?
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Re: Best therapy for narcissism

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Fri May 24, 2019 5:40 pm

Psychoanalysis is not the treatment of choice for childhood trauma, and yes, there are therapists trained in the treatment of it, so you should seek one out. It sounds like you are very cut off from your emotions--dissociated from them--which is very common in traumatized people. Someone who is an expert at treating complex PTSD and dissociative disorders would probably be the most helpful. You can find a list at ISST-D.org (International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation). Most people don't realize that prolonged abuse in childhood causes complex PTSD and dissociation and that this accounts for many of the symptoms that we have as adults. One can't really put one's bad childhood behind (as I used to think you could) and just go on from there. It comes with you in all sorts of ways, and most of them are hidden from awareness. It affects basic things like relationships, trust, self-image, etc, and people often think that's just how they are when it really has a lot to do with how they were treated as a child.
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Re: Best therapy for narcissism

Postby ZeroZ » Fri May 24, 2019 9:56 pm

Has anyone ever had a therapist imitate a behavior or something you said in what seems like a mocking way? This one is starting to do this now and challenging me more, the last one did it a lot too. I don’t know if this is a technique or not it’s really annoying and is one reason I stopped therapy last time:
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Re: Best therapy for narcissism

Postby Akuma » Sat May 25, 2019 4:01 am

ZeroZ wrote:Has anyone ever had a therapist imitate a behavior or something you said in what seems like a mocking way? This one is starting to do this now and challenging me more, the last one did it a lot too. I don’t know if this is a technique or not it’s really annoying and is one reason I stopped therapy last time:


No. Not even my CBT guy did that. It also deosnt allign with what I know about how to treat NPD. I'd confront them with it and ask for their motivation.

-- May 25th, '19, 06:03 --

Greebo wrote:Akuma, given this forum once again seems to have an influx of users advocating it, what’s your opinion on the “get in touch with your feelings” approach to combating pathological narssism?


I'm surprised you ask me o_O.
I think the question contacts a lot of layers. On the very basis I would say affect tolerance is the essence of all psychotherapy, learning to tolerate what you cant tolerate and understand the reasons and connections. But I think its also very naive to think that one would be able to just "get in touch" with stuff one can't get in touch with. Since we have lots of ways to forget what we dont want to remember and to not see what we want to see, it seems obvious that what you can get in touch with is mostly stuff that is not hidden and therefore also not a deep, causative problem - or that might be even mistaken for something it is not, because one gets blinded by some things [apparent] intensity.
My therapist has tried out a lot of methods and been in a lot of workshops and he for exampel is very opposed to therapies that purely promote "letting out", like primal therapy and the like - he says he has seen people being "mentally destroyed" by it, and I think it makes sense, because it can promote disintegration, false ideas, and paradoxically moving away from central issues and oneself, too.
On the other hand side the pure contacting of emotions itself is narcissistic of course. If you keep on staring at yourself, at your thoughts, or at your feelings, that can be a form of narcissistic withdrawal or obsession and since you are using only the visible to look at the visible, while having no means [and no motivation] to look at the invisible, in the best case it wont change anything, in the worst case its going to give you a lot of false impressions and make you worse than before - or in a different way.
So no, while experiencing unpleasant mental states is of course an aspect of therapy, pathological narcissism can't be battled by withdrawing into your chambers somehow and meditating, or taking drugs and hallucinating, or whatever. The narcissistic idea stream can only break itself in the prism of another person - the identification with the idealized imagos or the withdrawal into the schizoid shell only be solved in the interpersonal field. I dont think I've understood much yet, but of this I am absolutely certain.
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Re: Best therapy for narcissism

Postby Greebo » Sat May 25, 2019 4:39 pm

Akuma wrote:I'm surprised you ask me o_O.
Well I wasn’t planning to start advocating it :lol:
but my knowledge on the subject of NPD could only be charitably referred to as primitive while your depth of knowledge is considerably greater. I was curious what your view was and to a degree was using it to check my own understanding.

Also the OP was asking about therapy to deal with trauma. I’ve no experience of either behavioural or analytic therapies for a PD but treatment for PTSD does tend to involve a lot of being encouraged to get in touch with your feelings. I could see how that would be benificial when it comes to processing a traumatic event but was failing to see how it could do much for a PD and thinking it would potentially lead to going further down the rabbit hole.
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