Therapy for Narcissistic Abuse

As a victim of narcissistic abuse, getting therapy and support can change your life. People with narcissistic personality disorder inflict emotional abuse that is terrible, and you, as the victim, need the support you need to feel well after being wounded so frequently.

Therapy for narcissistic abuse recovery will vary depending on the patient’s circumstances and symptoms, but the following are some popular forms of therapy that can assist you in recovering from narcissistic abuse. If the effects of trauma on your nervous system and general health are affecting your functioning and quality of life, it’s time to get help.

What is narcissist abuse?

The phrase refers to a particular kind of emotional abuse perpetrated by an individual suffering from narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Low empathy and a sense of inferiority toward others are characteristics of people with NPD, which can result in toxic, abusive actions.

Therapy for Narcissistic Abuse

Suffering from narcissistic abuse can be quite challenging. Insults, threats, and accusations are some of the ways that someone with NPD may try to get you to do what they want. You can learn more about narcissistic abuse and find support by speaking with an online therapist or provider. You can start your healing process from emotional abuse caused by someone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) as soon as you have a clearer knowledge of the situation.

Narcissistic Abuse examples

A narcissist’s abuse isn’t always evident. They’ll employ a range of strategies to subdue and dominate you. Even though they might not even be conscious that their actions are hurtful, they will never stop trying to exert control over you. When their immediate demand is satisfied, they could switch to a more sophisticated or aggressive strategy.

Typical instances of narcissistic abuse consist of:

  • Withholding: This can entail keeping things from you, such cash, sex, conversation, or affection.
  • Emotional blackmail: This is another tactic used to manipulate you into experiencing uncertainty, guilt, or dread. To keep you in line, they could resort to threats, violence, intimidation, reprimands, or punishment.
  • Sabotage: When someone meddles with your affairs or relationships in an attempt to exact revenge or further their own agenda.
  • Financial abuse: can take many forms, such as putting you under control by economic dominance, depleting your funds through extortion, theft, manipulation, or gambling, or it can involve selling your personal belongings or accruing debt in your name.
  • Spreading lies: Telling others false information or nefarious rumors about you.
  • Accusations: A narcissist has the power to accuse you of doing things like lying, cheating, or participating in some other way.

Therapies for narcissist abuse

These are the following therapies that helps people in healing.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

In order to address negative self-perceptions, anxiety, and self-doubt, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) enables survivors to identify and combat cognitive distortions originating from narcissistic abuse.

Therapy for Narcissistic Abuse

This therapy gives trauma survivors the tools they need to identify and confront self-perceptions that are harmful, anxiety, and self-doubt—all common consequences of narcissistic abuse. Upon discovering the connections between their ideas, feelings, and behaviors, survivors are eventually able to reclaim emotional stability, control, and self-worth.

Cognitive distortions, or harmful, unproductive thought processes that may have developed as a result of abuse, are addressed by CBT. In addition to teaching you coping mechanisms and relaxation techniques, CBT-trained therapists will probably also teach you how to manage high anxiety episodes and triggers. In the end, you’ll learn to have a positive relationship with your ideas and emotions.

Exposure therapy

A subset of CBT is exposure treatment. Prolonged exposure (PE) therapy is helpful for people who experience narcissistic abuse and go on to acquire PTSD. The majority of trauma survivors steer clear of memories or circumstances that set them off or serve as a reminder of the abuse and trauma they experienced. On the other hand, this might serve to remind the brain that these substances are, in fact, hazardous. PE seeks to combat this as a trauma therapy.

Extended exposure therapy is intended to assist those who have experienced trauma, such as verbal or emotional abuse in a toxic relationship with a narcissist, in facing and processing the upsetting memories and feelings connected to their traumatic experiences. A therapist guides you through this process in a safe and gradual manner, giving you coping mechanisms as you go. In the end, this will aid in the promotion of healing and recovering.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR)

Through EMDR, survivors can delve deeply into their traumatic experiences and the feelings that go along with them, reprocessing them in a more healthy way. This innovative therapy helps you handle upsetting, triggering memories by using bilateral (side-to-side) stimulation, such as back-and-forth eye motions.

Therapy for Narcissistic Abuse

An experienced EMDR therapist can ensure that the memories of narcissistic abuse cause fewer distressing physiological reactions when you think about them, which will speed up the processing of trauma associated to it.

During an EMDR therapy session, your therapist may ask you to recollect a traumatic memory related to abusive behavior, whether it be from your early childhood or a more recent experience. You will also be asked to focus on external bilateral stimulation, such as moving your eyes to follow your therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth. This assists you in less emotionally charged reprocessing of the painful memories. The intensely upsetting feelings connected to the trauma lessen as the sessions go on.

Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)

DBT is a type of therapy where the goal is to teach patients how to recognize and control their challenging emotions. Different approaches are taught to you in individual and group treatment settings by therapists who have received training in DBT.

Therapy for Narcissistic Abuse

This treatment comprises of four main parts:

  • Mindfulness: You can cultivate acceptance and present-moment awareness by engaging in mindfulness exercises. You can learn how to observe and step back from your negative thoughts and feelings without passing judgment with some practice, through mindfulness exercises and meditation. This will assist you in improving the way you interact with your thoughts. 
  • Emotional control: You will discover how to recognize upsetting feelings and then control them. “DBT teaches people how to regulate their emotions, which helps them regain control.” It gives individuals the ability to broaden their emotional tolerance window, which enables them to handle the ups and downs of emotions with grace and fortitude, according to Goldstein.
  • Distress tolerance: These abilities enable you to deal with difficult emotions in a healthy way, preventing you from turning to harmful coping strategies like substance misuse or self-harming actions. These techniques include radical acceptance, timed breathing, and muscle relaxation.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness: This element focuses on your relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners as well as those you have outside of therapy. Gaining interpersonal connection skills can enable you to resolve disagreements, express your needs more effectively, develop self-respect, and much more.

Narcissistic Abuse’s Effects

Your physical and mental health are negatively impacted by narcissistic abuse. Even if the narcissistic abuser leaves your life, being in an abusive relationship with someone who exhibits narcissistic traits can have long-lasting consequences.

Depression and anxiety

While not everyone is affected by abusive actions in the same way, victims of narcissistic abuse may feel fear, despair, or anxiety even in situations that seem normal to them.

Therapy for Narcissistic Abuse

Social isolation can raise the risk of depression, and narcissists often isolate the people they abuse. It can be difficult for many victims of narcissistic abuse not to believe the disparaging remarks made by their narcissistic abuser, which can leave them feeling unworthy.

Post trauma stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be brought on by the trauma of narcissistic abuse. PTSD sufferers may experience elevated anxiety and a constant sense of unease. They often suffer from severe emotions of guilt and humiliation and have memories of the trauma they have endured.

Cognitive problems

Your brain releases stress chemicals in response to trauma. This may eventually affect how the brain functions. Individuals who have been the victims of emotional abuse may experience memory problems or find it difficult to focus.

Symptoms related to health

Narcissistic abuse can have an adverse effect on your physical health in addition to its emotional effects. Prolonged abuse-related stress can lead to minor physical symptoms like headaches and nausea, but it can also raise your risk of developing major health conditions including heart disease, ulcers, and neurological diseases.

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