Encouraging someone with a narcissistic personality to seek therapy is often difficult, however there are certain complications associated with ignoring this type of behavior. Complications can range from difficulties at work and in relationships to depression and substance abuse. While there is no cure for the disorder, psychological based counseling, or psychotherapy, may help lessen some of the negative aspects associated with it. There are different types of therapy for narcissism that fall under psychotherapy. These therapies include group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, family and individual therapy.
Group therapy sessions are a gathering of narcissistic patients who meet in small groups with a therapist. This type of therapy is meant to help patients learn to interact with, support and acknowledge one another as individuals. Discussions are often focused on common behavior, emotions and thoughts. During these sessions, narcissistic patients can learn to empathize with others through group discussions on experiences, behaviors and even from confrontations that may occur in the group. It is important the therapist maintain some form of control during these sessions, to keep individual talk times at a minimum and participation respectful.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that is commonly used in the treatment of narcissism. It is a type of therapy for narcissism that targets both the patients thoughts and his behavior. This is done by helping the patient to recognize narcissistic behavior, emotions and thoughts. The therapist also teaches the patient how he can react in a more positive manner. Although this will not completely eliminate narcissistic tendencies, it may help the patient to interact better with others in his private and social life.
Another type of therapy for narcissism involves interaction between family members and the narcissistic patient. It is called family therapy and may involve spouses, partners, adult children, or parents. This type of therapy allows the people who are closest to the patient to express their feelings and communicate how the narcissistic behavior effects them. With the help of the therapist, the narcissistic patient can learn to see how certain behaviors harm important relationships.
Individual therapy is a more traditional form of psychotherapy. It involves one-on-one discussions in which the therapist examines the reason behind the narcissism, such as insecurities or fears the patient may have. With this understanding, he can then proceed to help the patient to recognize and cope with potentially defensive, narcissistic behavior. During individual therapy for narcissism, the therapist will typically refrain from any direct, negative comments regarding the patient's narcissistic tendencies, which can lead to resistance to therapy in general.