Narcissists Do Not Like Psychotherapy

narcissists don't therapy

 

Narcissists Do Not Like Therapy

  1. NPD’s, in or out of therapy, frequently deny personal responsibility when blamed for a problem.
  2. A person diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) resists seeking psychotherapy.
  3. The NPD’s tendency to blame others and deny responsibility for their mistakes, misdeeds and/or problems, inhibits the experience of cognitive dissonance or the affective experience of guilt, shame, or self-anger.  Cognitive dissonance is often the antecedent or motivating factor for one’s decision to seek psychotherapy.
  4. As a result of the NPD’s lack of insight into their role in personal and interpersonal problems, their participation in psychotherapy is limited to the cessation of discomfort others are causing them.
  5. The potential for positive outcomes in insight-based psychotherapy with an NPD client is low.
  6. The NPD’s lack of empathy inhibits the collaborative problem-solving process necessary for most couples-based psychotherapy to succeed.
  7. If and when a psychotherapist directly attributes a problem to the NPD client or challenges their lack of empathy and/or denial systems, the likelihood of an eruption of anger, resentment and paranoia (narcissistic injury) is high.
  8. Psychotherapy terminations are likely if and when the NPD client perceives the psychotherapist agreeing with or supporting (taking sides) another party in the psychotherapy process.
  9. Narcissistic injuries are the most common reason for psychotherapy termination.
  10. NPD’s temporarily participate in psychotherapy to seek forgiveness or to alleviate a consequence.  When the threat of the consequence has been lifted or neutralized, the NPD often terminates psychotherapy.
  11. NPD’s may leverage their participation in psychotherapy as a “bargaining chip” to manipulate another person.

NOTE: I use the term “Narcissist” to represent Pathological Narcissists, which included those with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Antisocial Personality Disorder / Sociaopaths (ASPD) and, of course, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).  It also inlcudes a person active in an addiction.  They all share the following characteristics.

  • Impaired thinking, mood & control of impulses
  •  Impaired relationships
  •  Trouble perceiving & relating to situations & people
  • Rigid & inflexible thought & behavior patterns
  • Resist change despite consequences
  • Unaware of the harm they cause others
  • Commonly project blame on others

(c)    ©Rosenberg, 2016

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT © 2016
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us