Post–traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating mental condition that develops after exposure to extreme stress or a traumatic event. While the majority of people will resolve the short-term distress such an event causes, individuals with PTSD continue to be affected for much longer. Treatments: Cognitive behavioral therapy.
How Does All of This Affect Couple’s Therapy?
Effective couples’ therapy requires each member of the couple to be willing to reflect on his or her beliefs, behaviors, and impact on the other person. It is necessary for people in couples’ therapy to be able to admit where their behavior or their expectations for the relationship are unreasonable. Narcissists cannot admit their flaws without in their own mind shifting from feeling special to worthless. This makes it highly unlikely that they will actually be able to utilize couples’ therapy to try to improve their approach to the relationship.
Although narcissism is difficult to treat, progress can be made over time. Even weekly sessions over a shorter term can yield benefits. Patients’ functioning and adaptation to reality can improve through gaining some control over their defenses and by working through past trauma (Masterson, 2004). They can learn to manage their anger, rage, and impulsivity. Although narcissists may feign empathy in order to get close or win others’ approval, subclinical narcissists (without full-blown NPD) have been taught empathy by using their imagination to put themselves in another’s shoes (Hepper, Hart, & Sedikides, 2014). Narcissists who are philanthropists or volunteers in the community for the public approbation to boost their self-esteem can learn to empathize and be less self-centered by helping others without personal gain.
There are several approaches to dealing with narcissism, but therapy typically involves these essential steps:
identifying existing defense mechanisms
exploring reasons behind these coping methods
learning and practicing new patterns of behavior
exploring how behaviors affect others
examining connections between their internal voice and their treatment of others
The key to lasting progress often lies in:
helping someone see how positive change can benefit them helping them explore causes of narcissistic defenses without criticism or judgment offering validation
encouraging self-forgiveness and self-compassion to manage shame and vulnerability.
… that no man is hurt but by himself.
Diogenes said that, and he was right. Every person’s experience is created internally, by him or herself.
No one outside of you can tell you what anything means, or whether you are “hurt” or not.
If you feel hurt by something or someone, it is the result of your decision to feel that way.
This may be tough to hear, but it is true. You can change your mind at any moment about how something is affecting you.
|What is the most amused, fun-loving, or silly you felt?|
|What is the most angry, irritated, or annoyed you felt?|
|What is the most ashamed, humiliated, or disgraced you felt?|
|What is the most awe, wonder, or amazement you felt?|
|What is the most contemptuous, scornful, or disdainful you felt?|
|What is the most disgust, distaste, or revulsion you felt?|
|What is the most embarrassed, self-conscious, or blushing you felt?|
|What is the most grateful, appreciative, or thankful you felt?|
|What is the most guilty, repentant, or blameworthy you felt?|
|What is the most hate, distrust, or suspicion you felt?|
|What is the most hopeful, optimistic, or encouraged you felt?|
|What is the most inspired, uplifted, or elevated you felt?|
|What is the most interested, alert, or curious you felt?|
|What is the most joyful, glad, or happy you felt?|
|What is the most love, closeness, or trust you felt?|
|What is the most proud, confident, or self-assured you felt?|
|What is the most sad, downhearted, or unhappy you felt?|
|What is the most scared, fearful, or afraid you felt?|
|What is the most serene, content, or peaceful you felt?|
|What is the most stressed, nervous, or overwhelmed you felt?|