Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Personality disorders are long standing patterns of inner experience and behaviour that are markedly different from what is expected by the person’s culture. These patterns are inflexible and pervasive across many situations. The onset of the pattern can be traced back at least to the beginning of adulthood, usually earlier.
To be diagnosed as a personality disorder, a behavioural pattern must cause significant distress, dysfunction or danger/damage (either to self or others) in personal, social, and/or occupational functioning.
Most individuals with personality disorders lead pretty normal lives and often only seek psychotherapeutic treatment during times of increased stress or due to social demands from others. Most people can relate to some or all of the personality traits listed. The important difference is that the trait doesn’t affect most people's daily functioning to the same degree it might someone diagnosed with one of these disorders.
Personality disorders tend to be an integral part of a person, and therefore, are difficult to treat. They are patterns of interaction and functioning that you have come to rely on over time. The problem is these reactions are invisible to you and that you lack flexibility due to a lack of insight and limited alternatives.
You don’t have enough variety of different strategies and are not good at choosing an appropriate strategy to fit a particular situation for the best result.
What do Narcissistic Traits Looks Like
It is vital to recognise that prioritising your own needs, seeing the world through your own eyes and seeing yourself as important are, of course, natural and healthy. Undermining and sacrificing yourself through "People Pleasing" or martyring your needs is as destructive as being too self-focused.
The core domains of narcissism as a personality disorder (NPD), include the following:
- Grandiosity: Exaggerated feelings of self-importance, superiority, and uniqueness.
- Need for Admiration: An excessive desire for attention, praise and admiration from others.
- Lack of Empathy: Difficulty recognising or understanding the feelings and needs of others.
- Sense of Entitlement: Believing that one deserves special treatment, privileges or recognition without earning it.
- Exploitation: Taking advantage of others to achieve one's own goals or needs.
- Arrogance: Displaying arrogant attitudes, behaviours or demeanour towards others.
- Fragile Self-esteem: Despite outward displays of grandiosity, individuals with NPD often have underlying fragile self-esteem that can be easily bruised.
Narcissistic traits, such as self-centeredness, grandiosity, and a need for admiration, can be found in varying degrees within the general population. Likewise, the presence of narcissistic traits does not necessarily indicate the presence of a personality disorder. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the estimated prevalence of NPD in the general population is around 1% to 6%. It is more commonly diagnosed in males than females.
In recent years, there has been increased awareness and discussion of narcissism and its impact on society, particularly with the rise of social media and self-promotion culture. While it is difficult to quantify the exact prevalence of narcissistic traits within society, it is recognized that societal factors can contribute to the manifestation and expression of narcissistic tendencies in individuals.
It's important to note that Narcissism is a complex and multifaceted issue, and individuals with the disorder may exhibit a range of other traits and behaviours beyond these core domains. A formal diagnosis should be made by a qualified mental health professional based on a comprehensive evaluation of an individual's symptoms and functioning.
Experienced Psychological Treatment for Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Unlock Your Path to Healing and Growth
Welcome to our comprehensive psychological treatment program designed specifically around that complex issue of Narcissistic functioning and impacts. We work with all the people affected, including individuals with Narcissistic functioning, their family members as well as those targeted and living with the consequence. We understand the complex challenges faced by those affected by NPD, and we are here to guide you towards greater self-awareness, internal resolution and healthier relationships. Resulting from our decades of experience, this evidence-based approach combines Mentalization Based Therapy, Schema Focused Therapy, and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) to provide a holistic and tailored treatment experience.
Introduction and Understanding
At Storm's Edge Therapy, we recognize the impact that narcissistic traits and Narcissistic Personality Disorder can have on individuals and those around them. Our dedicated team of experienced professionals is committed to supporting you through this journey of discovery, learning and growth. Whether you are someone struggling with NPD, a family member seeking understanding and coping strategies, or are being targeted, we are here to provide the guidance and support.
Mentalization Based Therapy
Mentalization Based Therapy (MBT) forms a core component of our treatment approach. It focuses on enhancing your ability to understand your own thoughts and feelings while also empathizing with the experiences and emotions of others. Through MBT, you will gain valuable insight into your patterns of thinking and relating to others, ultimately fostering healthier relationships and developing a stronger sense of self. It is an integrative form of psychotherapy that was developed in the 1990s specifically for people with personality disorders with extensive research validation.
When we mentalize we are engaged in a form of (mostly preconscious) imaginative mental activity that enables us to perceive and interpret human behaviour in terms of intentional mental states (e.g., needs, desires, feelings, beliefs, goals, purposes, and reasons) (Allen, Fonagy, & Bateman, 2008).
Schema Focused Therapy
Schema Focused Therapy is another integral part of our treatment program. This therapeutic approach targets deeply ingrained patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that contribute to NPD. By identifying and challenging maladaptive schemas or core beliefs, we help you develop new and healthier ways of thinking and behaving. Our skilled therapists provide a safe and supportive environment to explore and modify these schemas, leading to noticable and lasting change.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) offers practical skills and strategies to address emotional dysregulation, impulsivity and relationship difficulties often associated with NPD. Our DBT-informed therapy helps you develop mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness skills. These valuable tools empower you to navigate challenging emotions, build healthier coping mechanisms and improve your overall well-being.
Support for Family Members and Targets
We understand that NPD not only affects individuals with the traits, but also has a profound impact on their family members and others, like friends or colleagues. Our treatment program provides a supportive and compassionate space for others to also gain understanding, coping mechanisms and tools to establish healthier boundaries and promote healing within relationships. We offer specialized therapy for those recovering or managing Narcissistic attacks, helping them process their experiences and to regain their self-worth.
Take the First Step Towards Healing Today
We at Storm's Edge Therapy are dedicated to helping individuals with NPD, their family members as well as their targets to reclaim their lives and foster healthier connections. Our compassionate and experienced team is ready to guide you through evidence-based therapies which have been integrated through clinical experience.
If you find difficulty with some of the following this may indicate that you have Narcissistic traits that are affecting your relationships, work progress or personal development.
- Relationship Issues: Individuals with narcissistic traits may seek therapy due to ongoing difficulties in their relationships. They may experience conflicts, power struggles, and a pattern of failed or strained connections with others. These challenges can motivate them to seek therapy to improve their relationships and understand the underlying dynamics contributing to their difficulties.
- Work or Career Challenges: Narcissistic individuals may encounter problems in their professional lives. Their inflated sense of self-importance and entitlement can lead to conflicts with colleagues or superiors, difficulties in collaborating as part of a team, or unrealistic expectations about career advancement. Seeking therapy can help them develop more effective interpersonal skills and work strategies to enhance their career success.
- Emotional Instability: Individuals with narcissistic traits may struggle with emotional instability and intense mood swings. They may experience episodes of anger, frustration, or emotional emptiness. These emotional difficulties can significantly impact their well-being and relationships. Therapy can provide them with tools to regulate their emotions, enhance emotional stability, and improve overall emotional well-being.
- Lack of Fulfillment or Meaning: Despite external achievements, individuals with narcissistic traits may feel a persistent sense of emptiness or lack of fulfillment. They may realize that their constant pursuit of validation and success has left them feeling hollow. Therapy can assist them in exploring their deeper needs, values, and finding a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives beyond superficial external validation.
- Legal or Financial Issues: Narcissistic traits can sometimes lead individuals to engage in risky or impulsive behaviors, resulting in legal or financial problems. They may struggle with financial management, engage in deceitful or manipulative practices, or experience legal consequences due to their actions. Seeking therapy can help them address these issues, learn healthier decision-making, and develop a more reansoned approach to legal and financial matters.
- Identity Confusion: Individuals with narcissistic traits may struggle with their sense of identity and a lack of true self. They may have constructed a false self-image based on external validation, leading to confusion and disconnection from their authentic identity. Therapy can support them in exploring their underlying selves, clarifying their values, and developing a more genuine and integrated sense of identity.
- Loneliness and Isolation: Ironically, individuals with narcissistic traits can experience feelings of loneliness and isolation. Their difficulties in forming meaningful and authentic connections may leave them feeling disconnected and misunderstood. Therapy can provide a safe and supportive space for explore their relational patterns, develop empathy, and cultivate healthier and more fulfilling social connections.
It is important to note that individuals with narcissistic traits may not initially present for therapy acknowledging these specific issues. They may seek help for unrelated problems or external pressures. A skilled therapist can help uncover and address the underlying narcissistic traits and their impact on the individual's overall well-being and functioning.