I have previously discussed the idea that it can be helpful to understand what lies underneath hurtful, harmful “narcissistic” behaviour or responses – behaviours which often appear to demonstrate a lack of empathy for others, an inability to regulate certain emotions when feeling wounded among others. While much of the literature out there suggests people further along the narcissism spectrum or those with full blown Narcissistic Personality Disorder are poor candidates for psychotherapy, this article suggests that is not necessarily true. The author suggests that “Narcissistic behaviors are mainly habits that we learned during childhood [and are often impacted by childhood trauma]. Habits can be changed with [patience,] planning, diligence, and effort”. She offers specific suggestions for addressing behaviours the clients or patients themselves want to change through psychotherapy or counseling. While this blog in no way suggests you should stay with and/or connect closely to someone who exhibits harmful narcissistic traits, the article referenced here gives hope to therapists; to those who feel victimized by narcissistic behaviours; and to those who question their own behaviours or responses — feeling ashamed and unhappy with the ways in which their reactions and behaviors have impacted their lives and their relationships.
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