Will therapy with a narcissist help?
After all, you’ve apparently committed some serious grievances against them. According to him or her, it’s a wonder you’re not on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. With their persuasion, you think back to the times you had nuclear meltdowns as you pick up the phone and dial your insurance company to find marriage counselors in your area.
You have been feeling high-strung and confused lately. Maybe seeing a therapist will help you slip past your toxic partner’s defenses, leading to an improved relationship.
Before you start going down the list of marriage and relationship counselors, it’s important to consider that going to therapy with a Narcissist will accomplish three things: 1) waste time and money, 2) keep you in a relationship that is doomed to fail anyway and 3) likely result in your feeling like more of the “crazy lunatic” your partner keeps claiming you are.
The hard truth is that in my experience working with clients who have been pathologically abused–as well as the hours of research I’ve done–I’ve not come across one success story as it relates to couple’s therapy with a narcissist.
Not one. (It sure did nothing to help me!)
Sure, your toxic partner might agree to go to counseling with you, but it’s not to make any improvements or lasting change. Narcissists don’t go to therapy because they finally realize they’re selfish and have been mistreating you. They do it to keep you feeling hopeful (in order to keep you trapped longer) by enhancing their facade of trying to “make it work”.
Narcissists don’t go to therapy with goals in mind (such as improving their relationship with you). They go to therapy with agendas in mind.
There are many reasons for the lack of counseling/therapy success with a narcissist, including:
Please understand that this article is not meant to discourage anyone from seeking individual therapy. This post was written to highlight some of the reasons why therapy with the narcissist is a recipe for disaster.
There are some very competent therapists who can detect a cluster-B disordered person within minutes of meeting one. Those who are skilled in this area will usually inform the abuse victim of their observations regarding the emotional abuse and exploitation dealt out by the narcissist, usually due to the narcissist’s sense of entitlement and tendency to be self-focused. They don’t tend to admit to mistakes or be very open to considering another person’s perspective.
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