Individual and Marital Therapy with Narcissists | Psychology Today

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.

Dealing with narcissism

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.

Mental toughness

Mental toughness is about more than just having resilience and control in difficult situations. It relates to a psychological frame of mind that endorses confidence and commitment to success. In his book Developing Mental Toughness, the psychologist Peter Clough describes mental toughness as a combination of the following:

  • The amount of control a person believes they have over their life and emotions;
  • How much commitment is placed upon achieving goals despite hardship;
  • Being able to see potential threats as opportunities for self-development;
  • Continuing to strive in changing environments;
  • The level of confidence a person has in succeeding despite setbacks.

Mental toughness levels are influenced by many different factors. While genetics are partly responsible, a person’s environment is also relevant. For example, both positive experiences while you’re young and mental toughness training programmes have been found to make people mentally tougher.

https://theconversation.com/mental-toughness-can-help-you-cope-with-challenging-events-like-the-pandemic-heres-how-to-cultivate-

Self-efficacy

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Self-efficacy is, according to psychologist Albert Bandura who originally proposed the concept, a personal judgment of how well or poorly a person is able to cope with a given situation based on the skills they have and the circumstances they face.[1]

Self-efficacy affects every area of human endeavor. By determining the beliefs a person holds regarding their power to affect situations, Self-Efficacy strongly influences both the power a person actually has to face challenges competently and the choices a person is most likely to make. These effects are particularly apparent, and compelling, with regard to investment behaviors such as in health,[2] education,[3] and agriculture.[4]

A strong sense of self efficacy promotes human accomplishment and personal well-being. A person with high self-efficacy views challenges as things that are supposed to be mastered rather than threats to avoid. These people are able to recover from failure faster and are more likely to attribute failure to a lack of effort. They approach threatening situations with the belief that they can control them. These things have been linked to lower levels of stress and a lower vulnerability to depression. [1]

In contrast, people with a low sense of self-efficacy view difficult tasks as personal threats and shy away from them. Difficult tasks lead them to look at the skills they lack rather than the ones they have. It is easy for them to lose faith in their own abilities after a failure. Low self-efficacy can be linked to higher levels of stress and depression. [1]

No man is hurt but by himself

… 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.