What Therapy for Narcissism Involves: Steps and What to Expect – Healthline

Posted: December 16, 2020 at 12:58 am

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Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) under the personality disorders category.

NPD is characterized by a:

We often hear the word narcissist used in general conversation. In this context, people are usually referring to one who exhibits some self-centered, vain behavior.

But having the tendency toward narcissistic behaviors doesnt mean you have NPD. Either way, change is possible.

A 2018 research review showed that true NPD is not common. It requires a diagnosis by a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Treatment for NPD can be challenging. Much depends on the persons willingness to enter therapy and to stick with it.

There are several forms of therapy that can be used to treat NPD. Lets take a look at some of them, plus tips on where to find help.

Your mental health provider will begin by assessing your psychological functioning. Theyll also consider differential diagnoses and coexisting conditions before recommending a plan for treatment.

Therapy for NDP will likely involve:

Psychoanalysis is a form of talk therapy. Through one-on-one sessions, youll explore the reasons behind your feelings and behaviors.

As you begin to understand your past, current emotions and behaviors come into focus. This can help you better manage your thoughts and feelings. Then, you can start changing the way you react to them.

The focus of CBT is to identify unhealthy patterns of thought and behavior and replace them with healthier ones.

Youll practice new skills with your therapist. Youll also have homework assignments to put these skills into action between sessions.

There are many CBT techniques, such as:

Schema therapy is an integrative approach to therapy. It combines elements of psychotherapy and CBT.

The aim is to help you identify and understand unhelpful patterns and coping mechanisms that formed from early childhood experiences.

Once you uncover these maladaptive schemas, you can learn to modify them. With practice, youll find new ways to help meet your emotional needs and change your behavior toward others.

Gestalt therapy is a form of psychotherapy. Youll focus more on the present than the past or the future. Earlier life experiences are considered in the context of how they affect you today.

Youll be encouraged to reflect on whats happening in your life now. Youll work on improving self-awareness and self-responsibility.

MBT works on improving your ability to reflect on yourself, as well as the thoughts and emotions of others. Then, youll learn to connect emotions to behavior patterns.

Youll explore the intent behind other peoples behavior and work on thinking things through before reacting.

In TFP, you take your emotions about someone else and direct them toward the therapist. This may make it easier to talk things through. The therapist can help you gain insight into your thoughts and feelings.

DBT is a form of CBT with a focus on:

DBT may involve individual and group therapy sessions where youll learn and practice new coping strategies.

MIT is a step-by-step treatment designed to:

The therapist will also look for barriers to effective therapy and work to help improve them.

In EMDR therapy, the assumption is that narcissism is based on difficult early life experiences or traumas.

EMDR therapy is a step-by-step process divided into eight distinct phases. As you progress, youll be encouraged to address:

As you do, the therapist will direct eye movements to divert your attention. The goal is to lessen the impact of traumatic memories.

If youre concerned that you exhibit narcissistic behaviors, consider contacting a medical or mental health professional for evaluation.

Even if you only have a few tendencies toward narcissistic behavior, therapy can help you look at things differently.

According to a small 2017 review of case studies, people who have NPD experience significant social problems and multiple medical conditions, so its worth seeking help.

Also, what appears to be narcissistic behavior could very well be due to another condition. Other causes of similar symptoms include:

NPD doesnt always present the same way. A broad spectrum may exist that includes covert narcissism and malignant narcissism. A qualified doctor or therapist can help determine the best approach.

If youre ready for change, now is the time to take that first step toward improving your life.

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What Therapy for Narcissism Involves: Steps and What to Expect - Healthline

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December 16th, 2020 at 12:58 am

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