Narcissistic Psychotherapists Manipulate and Control Their Clients

I have been keenly aware of narcissistic psychotherapists for many years. They come with different degrees and clinical training. Some graduate from elite, academically high rated universities. None of this matters if your therapist is a narcissistic personality. Do not judge the competence of a mental health professional strictly based on their academic background or clinical training. (There are many high quality psychotherapists who provide excellent therapy to their clients. My focus is on narcissistic psychotherapists.) (This post refers to female and male therapists.)

Many clients who go to psychotherapists are in a state of emotional and psychological crisis. They are desperate to get help. They are putting tremendous trust in the therapist they choose. After doing your homework on a therapist, you may not know that he or she is a narcissistic personality until you have been seeing them in session for a while.

Narcissistic psychotherapists are experts at pseudo empathy. They go through all the right motions. They have pleasantly appointed offices; they appear to be very professional; they come highly recommended, etc.

Always remember that you are hiring this person to help you. You decide whether the therapist is up to the task or not.

Narcissistic psychotherapists can be very charming and appear to be highly invested in your psychological welfare. This is an act that works very well for them. They charge high fees, knowing that they offer the highest quality of psychotherapy. They feel over-entitled to make as much money as they can off of their clients’ emotional and psychological pain.  Narcissistic therapists raise their fees as often as possible to keep the money stream, like at great wave, always moving in their direction.

Certain clients represent their bread and butter. These are individuals who suffer from psychological abandonment. As children they experienced maternal deprivation, emotional abuse, scapegoating, gas lighting and suffered a variety of traumas. Their tendency is to develop a strong attachment to the therapist who comes to represent a part of themselves that is emotionally and psychologically damaged. These clients  fuse with the therapist. The narcissistic psychotherapist manipulates the client’s pervasive emotional dependency. He may insist that the client check in with him by phone at certain times. This is done to maintain the dependency connection and to keep the client coming to therapy. The narcissistic psychotherapist does not care about the progress of his client. He is focused only on controlling this individual into long term therapy based on his heady monetary goals.

The client does not progress with healing.  Rather he or she becomes more emotionally dependent on the therapist. At some point the therapist decides that this individual no longer suits his needs for narcissistic supply and manipulates these clients into an quick exit. This is done when the therapist discovers that the client no longer is able to pay his high, accelerating fees. Narcissistic therapists have no difficulty finding “replacements” who will fill their appointment books and increase their income stream.

When choosing a psychotherapist, do your research, get excellent referrals and interview several therapists.  Interview them carefully, paying attention to their authentic interest and concern about your issues, their level of genuine empathy and what you are sensing about their insight and knowledge with regard to you. Also, the therapist must treat you with great respect as a very unique, valuable individual.



Children of Narcissistic Mothers–Heal and Evolve

We are always in the process of evolving. We feel the internal gashes, blows and deep bruises of childhood cruelty and maternal deprivation, especially if we are children of a narcissistic mother. This is one of the greatest challenges in life. There are those who have that moment of awakening and recognize that there mother is a narcissistic personality. Something deep inside them stirs and says they must free themselves of this deep wound. They are determined to break from the psychological and emotional shackles of the parent who never was.

This insight about your narcissistic mother puts you on the path to healing yourself. Your are a unique human being—an invaluable one. Although you may share the DNA of your mother and father and your ancestors, you are not them. You will never be on the face of the earth again–Your special imprint will never appear again past, present, future. You have time left to fulfill the evolution of your original self–the person you were meant to be.

Healing often begins with grieving the mother you did not have. You feel like crying. You are infuriated by all of the years of brainwashing, cruelties, put-downs, constant verbal abuse that has made you wonder if you are too blame. YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME. Always remember this. You didn’t ask to be the child of this mother. An aspect of your healing very many is to sever the “relationship” with this non mother. Other members of the family may object or wonder what you are doing. WHAT ANYONE ELSE THINKS, NOT THE OTHER PARENT,NOT OTHER SIBLINGS, NOT IN-LAWS –MATTERS. THIS IS YOUR DECISION TO HEAL.

Individuals heal in different ways. Let yourself cry, Give yourself the solitude and time that it takes to move through this process. Some individuals benefit from excellent psychotherapy. Make sure that you interview a couple of therapists and make sure that are not narcissists or people who have a strong money motive.

There are a number of healing modalities including gentle hatha yoga with emphasis on the breath, sitting and walking meditation, the company and contact with a couple of friends who care deeply about you and are available at any time. Spontaneous writing done consistently without editing gives your a portal to your feelings and access to your creativity. If you draw and paint, do this–Start a healing art book. Remember, no judgements. Look at yourself. Give yourself love and credit for your psychological survival under horrendous childhood circumstances. I have a deep commitment to those who are children of narcissistic mothers. I am amazed by their compassion and kindness. I am honored by their presence in the world.

Keep evolving–there are no limits—keep loving–Keep giving solace to others as you have all of your life.

You will find peace and your gifts will expand and deepen. We are so fortunate to share a place with you in the world.

Unmasking the Narcissistic Personality

Narcissists, especially those who are very successful in the social and business worlds, wear many masks that are highly appealing to most people. Often they are bright and attractive and have tremendous charisma and fine social skills. They learn how to “act the part of the Charmer” when they are very young. Often they are chosen by the mother or father as the exalted one in the family. The other siblings are secondary to this special child.

Early on the narcissistic child grows in the fertile atmosphere of extreme self entitlement. There are no rules for him or her. He is given the run of the house. In some cases the mother and father usurp their authority to this little tyrant to whom they bow. I have seen this happen in some family constellations. In other cases the mother molds the budding narcissist as her possession as if she has given birth to a  godlike living being. The mother is psychologically fused with this “perfect” child. She gives all of her attention to this one and not the others. They are unimportant to her and must fend for themselves.

During childhood the little narcissist learns to put on a number of masks that eventually become the false grandiose self. The child knows that h can do anything he wants and will not be corrected or contained. When he doesn’t get what he must have, he throws royal tantrums and then is rewarded for this obnoxious behavior. Some mothers reinforce their golden child’s cruelties to siblings. This is exceedingly hurtful and damaging to siblings who have not been picked for special positive attention and adulation.

Throughout the years the narcissist develops a false self that is put in place of the real self. The real self resides in the unconscious of the narcissist and is revealed through primitive cruel projections that are pushed on to those who get in his way or try to deflate his enormous ego. These unconscious projections are exhibited and ejected on to others through the narcissist’s life. If you find yourself being the target of this venom it is essential that you find ways to deflect and avoid this toxicity. Often the only way to do this is through going no contact with the offending person. This is difficult if it is a family member but often necessary. These outrageous behaviors on the part of the narcissist are very painful and psychologically corrosive to those on the receiving end of this cruel treatment.

Study the narcissistic personality so that you understand how they operate and why.Take time to appreciate your unique individuality, especially if you grew up with a narcissistic mother, father, or sibling or if you are married to a narcissistic spouse. Begin your self healing now and carry this through each day. Put yourself first. This is not selfish but an essential part of the healing process that will lead you to inner peace and deep grounding in your own authenticity and appreciation of yourself.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.


You Survived A Narcissistic Mother–Be Kind to Yourself

I hear from sons and daughters of narcissistic mothers who went through hell and back as children of narcissistic mothers. They psychologically discarded their kids except when it came to harsh torturous punishments. As adults they remember their mother’s screams thundering through the house:”I never wanted you.” “You are a piece of trash.” “I wish I had aborted you.” “You are to blame for every bad thing that ever happened to me.” “You make my life miserable every day.” When children are very little, some narcissistic mothers tell their children that because they are so bad, they are going to send them away. There is never an explanation to the child of what that means but it strikes terror in the heart of the child that lingers as a morbid threat.

The father in these family constellations is often very weak and terrified himself of his spouse. He becomes a workaholic and in some cases an alcoholic. He is completely unavailable to his children emotionally. Some fathers disappear and leave the home early in their childrens’ lives. They are irresponsible and infantile and flee the scene without ceremony.

Moment to moment these children are living in what can be described as a prison. Their nervous systems are constantly jarred by the NM’s demands and intimidations. Some children learn to tune out mother and they become numb to their own feelings. Others are in a constant state of fear, always waiting for the next catastrophe to arrive. Some children leave the home early and find relatives or friends who will take them in. And others stay in NM’s gulag for the sentence of their childhood and teenage years. Some kids act out through alcohol and drugs and sexual escapades to numb the pain and take them temporarily out of their living nightmare. This is self destructive but not surprising.

As older teenagers and young adults some abuse victims leave the home from hell and make efforts to forge their own lives. Some of these children pick themselves up and move forward with their education and careers. On the surface some are successful but inside they carry the painful imprint of their time in the house of desolation with the narcissistic mother. Others have a difficult time functioning in the outside world. Some adult children repeat the childhood pattern by marrying narcissistic spouses who psychologically incarcerate them.

Blame and shame are often the legacies of having a narcissistic mother as well as residual feelings of anxiety and depression. First—don’t blame yourself. You didn’t ask to be born to a narcissistic mother. It happened and it is horrible but don’t take this upon yourself. Focus your attention on a deep appreciation of who you really are and that you did everything to survive and achieved something great and very difficult.  Learn to be kind to yourself. This begins with self care. Acknowledge the wonderful unique person you are. Take time with the basics—good sleep, healthy eating, exercise in a form that works for you. Give yourself time each day to be quiet and uninterrupted where you can meditate, do basic yoga poses with emphasis on breathing through the nose which calms the nervous system. Writing what you are feeling and thinking privately offers many a source of freedom. Listening to music and allowing its beauty to become internalized inside is a source of healing. Some adult children find that excellent psychotherapy can help them work through many of the residual issues. If you decide psychotherapy is a possibility, I recommend that you interview several of them. I have found that there are fine therapists but there are others who are narcissistic and out for the money motive and making you dependent on them for that purpose.

Use your creative gifts–You have them. Be receptive to knowing what they are. Above all, use your intuition all of the time. It tells us the truth and is a companion throughout every moment of our lives.

I hold a special place in my heart for children of narcissistic mothers. I stand with you always.

The following comment is one I just received from a wonderful man, a great survivor of a narcissistic mother. I have his permission to share his life story with you:

My mother is a Covert narcissist. She wears the mask of the do gooder, the angel of mercy, the saint…the community praises and raises her to Sainthood, yet I know the truth. I was the golden child, but never a narcissist. The golden child is chosen as the one who is lavished upon, shown off to friends and family as the smartest, brightest, most attractive. She groomed me to be the best at everything I did yet never for my sake. It was all done for her, so she can say “look at my son, look what he can do, look at how much he knows!” Everything I did, whether it was winning at the swim meets, or running faster than anyone, and specifically in my case, being the most intelligent, was for her. I was quizzed everywhere we went since i was 2. And I reveled in it. This all began to change when I reached puberty. I began the natural rebelling state of pubescent boy. But she wouldn’t have it. She knew she was losing control so she tightened her grip. She became hateful, yelling and screaming. Emasculating me at every chance she could. My father was always working and when around, had no control because he was a victim of this Narcissist, as well. She had won, my puberty was the worst time of my life. I had learned to fear woman, mistrust them. I was looking for affection everywhere I could and a boy my age who had been molested himself, molested me. As deeply shameful as it was, it was still attention and in my twisted mind, affection. I spent 35 yrs. never knowing a woman, always befriending them, but terrified of letting them in. I didn’t think I was gay, but I was a tall, attractive person who spoke well on many subjects and I found friendship and attention in the gay community. I never had a sex with these men, but always went back to the first one who molested me. Throughout my life I used drugs and alcohol to medicate myself and to make it easier to be with this person and not feel the pain and confusion my mother caused. The thing is, I never consciously knew any of this. I had pushed it so far down I didn’t know what was wrong with me. And everytime I’d have contact with my mother, she knew exactly what to say to pull me back in and push me further down. I hated her, but wasn’t allowed to hate her. She is a master manipulator and confuser to such a degree that I didn’t know up from down, left from right. And she reveled in it. I knew something was wrong, but was never allowed to question her, or anything she did. I was hers. At the age of 40 I quit all drugs and alcohol cold turkey. I went through severe withdrawals. At one point I thought I had cancer. I told my mother this and she didn’t say a word. A month later, after my mind was clearing up I told her I didn’t have cancer. She screamed at me “I was going to take care of you while you died, how dare you take that away from me!” Pretty sick. But during my withdrawal, I was also withdrawing from my mother. I began to gain a strength I didn’t know I had. I started fighting back, and with every step forward I took, the less power over me she had. This was and still is a very long process. Today I don’t talk to my mother. There’s no use. She’ll twist whatever I say into something else, she’ll try to manipulate. What I’ve finally learned is that nothing I do, or say is going to help her make changes. So I finally said no more! And with that, my life is changing everyday for the better. I would never have known any of this if it weren’t for finding Dr. Linda Martinez-Lewi’s Site. I would have gone to an early grave, which would have been satisfying to my mother because she then would have won. As sick as that sounds, it’s how these people are. My deepest and most sincerest thank you, Dr. Martini-Lewis, you literally have changed my life!


Narcissistic Brother Intimidates His Siblings

Having a narcissistic brother in your family is exceedingly painful and frightening. There is no way of controlling him. If he is the Golden Boy,mom and/or dad view him as perfect and make no effort to create psychological boundaries that must not be crossed with his siblings. He has been chosen for a variety of reasons: he is very attractive, bright, confident, even cocky, has athletic skills and is socially adept. The parents who are often narcissistic themselves and  have found the perfect son who reflects them and enhances their external image.

He is not taught to respect his brothers and sisters, to be kind, to learn how to be empathic.  The narcissistic brother rules the household by intimidating his siblings. He strikes fear in them, goads them, laughs at them, humiliates them.  Some narcissistic brothers are monstrous. In public they can win anyone over. They know how to make people like them. It is one of their well honed skills that they use to get whatever they want.

I hear and read many life stories of children who grew up dealing with narcissistic golden boy brothers. Some kids hide and stay away from the house as much as possible. Others literally find a place in the house where they will not be discovered. These children are always frightened, wondering when this monster will appear and terrorize them. Children who grow up in these households are in a state of fight or flight much of the time. They cannot relax. They don’t feel safe or secure. In some instances the siblings create alliances to protect one another.

Some children learn to create entire worlds with their imaginations and to tune out the ugliness of their narcissistic family members. These kids learn early that they must go it alone to survive. They call upon all of their resources and strengths to get through each day. Many children leave these homes early to escape the wrath of the narcissistic brother and their enabling parents.

I have great respect for the children who must live with these loathsome siblings. They are courageous and inventive. As adults children from these highly dysfunctional families benefit from high quality psychotherapy to work through the core issues of growing up in a constant unprotected psychological war zone.

Don’t wait for your narcissistic brother to “get his” as they say. They best way is to create your own life and to be proud of yourself as an individual of integrity with many gifts.


Sadistic Narcissistic Husbands and Wives Take Revenge during Divorce

I know of a number of cases, especially during custody disputes when the narcissistic husband (or wife) turns sadistic and gains pleasure and narcissistic supplies by threatening to take your children away from you. In some instances he/she succeeds because he/she has the financial resources and the charm and raw confidence to persuade mediators and judges that he is the better parent. This man or woman doesn’t give a damn about the welfare of your children. He is out for revenge because he gets pleasure from watching you suffer. The narcissist builds a strong case in the role of the “good mother” or “good father.”” He/she spreads lies about you and may even turn your family members against you.

Arm yourself with as much in-depth information as you can about the narcissistic personality. Make sure that you have a very savvy attorney who specializes in family law and is unintimidated going up against the narcissist. He or she will have hired a barracuda of a lawyer who is out to win despite any human cost.

Go into battle fully armed with knowledge about the narcissistic personality. You need to know this person a whole lot better than they know themselves. Take good care of yourself during this process and beyond it. Keep your eye on the prize—getting your life back after the narcissist. Lead the life that you have always deserved—filled with warmth, authenticity, the full use of your creative gifts and the freeing of your spontaneous spirit.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Renew Your Life–Go No Contact with Narcissistic Sister

All of your life, your older, younger or twin sister has been putting you through hell–The reason—She is a Narcissistic Personality and in some family constellations, she was chosen to represent its sterling image. You felt psychologically dispossessed, a stranger in your own house that was not a home to you. In every way your narcissistic sister undermined you. When she wasn’t doing that, she was scaring you, intimidating you, demeaning you, humiliating you, threatening you. She was going to get you into trouble with mom and dad no matter what. Not by telling the truth but by her very convincing lies. Narcissists lie about everything in order to get exactly what they want. This is easy for them since they do not have a conscience. And—They Get Away With It!

Now that you are an adult, your narcissistic sister has continued her Weird Sister act and she is never going to stop. The NPD is a fixed personality disorder that does not change.

It is time to stand up for yourself by focusing on taking very good care of yourself. I mean that you decide on the best program that helps you to heal from your narcissistic sister’s ongoing abuse over a long period.

Spend time in a quiet way with yourself. Listen to music that you love and has meaning to you. Get the sleep that you need and deserve. Sleep puts us into the quieting mode of the nervous system and is essential to healing on every level. Let your creativity flow. Write spontaneously every day or when you can, the thoughts and feelings that come through your mind without editing. Do exercise that you enjoy or at least can tolerate. Think of other ways that you relax–Cooking, Gardening, Sewing, Reading, etc.  Spend time with individuals whom you trust and that contribute to your healing. Go with the givers and cross out the takers.

This is the beginning of a new life cycle for you.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Living with a Narcissistic Spouse Eclipses Your Life

Like an eclipse of the sun at mid-day when the earth is darkened, your life married to a narcissist diminishes your creativity, your physical health, your peace of mind, your dreams, your sense of hope. Maybe you think that you are compromising with this spouse of yours but that is never the case with a narcissistic personality. When the marriage gets ugly and the word divorce  is floating through the atmosphere, you suggest marital counseling. This can be helpful to many couples but with narcissists the process is different. Narcissists are great actors. They can easily pretend that they are cooperating as clients. Sometimes, they win over the therapist who then finds that you are the one at fault.

Some of those married to narcissists don’t feel sufficiently entitled to lead the life that they deserve. As children they didn’t feel good enough or smart enough or equal to a brother or sister who was “golden.” Parents were highly critical and demanding and often one of them was narcissistic. One would think that if you were raised by a narcissistic mother you would not seek out a man or woman who was a narcissist. But there is a tendency to repeat painful behavioral and psychological patterns that hurt us the most in childhood with our relationships as adults.

As the years being married to a narcissist create a profound burden on you and eclipse the core of your individual life, a reckoning has come. Learn everything you can about the true nature of the narcissistic personality. This is empowering and will enlighten your perceptions of your spouse. No longer will you be able to make excuses for this person who is making your life a living hell and thwarting your opportunities to use all of your talents and energies, to feel free to express yourself authentically.

You will learn to feel entitled to a full life, a free one that is deep, meaningful, spontaneous, filled with some special people who love you and you, them. Explore your creative gifts and discover your unique talents. Spend time in peace and solitude for the first time in your life. Sleep more deeply and dream in every color of the rainbow. Access the healing power of the parasympathetic nervous system which is like moving along the gentle waves of an endless sea of peace.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.


Divorcing A Narcissist–Watch for Narcissistic Greed

When you met this man or woman you were captivated–carried away by his/her charm, ambition, success, confidence and promises of love. Today you are either contemplating a divorce, divorced or going through a very ugly divorce from your narcissistic spouse. One of the issues that makes it very painful besides a fight for custody over the children is their GREED. Never think you can negotiate in good faith with a narcissist. They will run the table on you if you don’t hire one hell of an attorney to fight them tooth and claw.

Narcissists are greedy and demanding. During the divorce they are completely uncooperative. They love to put obstructions in your  way, rattle your nerves and scare the hell out of you. They throw barrages of threats to ruin you financially. First, they have been stealing from you for a long time. They lie about their assets constantly during the marriage–even in the good times. Narcissists are exceedingly secretive. They must always have the edge over everyone else even if it is a spouse or child.

When the divorce is on, the narcissist goes into full battle mode. You are bombarded by his attorney’s  countless questions and insinuations, designed to wear you down to nothing so you will give up. Narcissists get a thrill from watching others suffer. It makes them feel even more superior, knowing that they are controlling your emotions and they are exposing what they perceive as your weaknesses—meaning your humanity.

Prepare yourself for battle by having a deep working knowledge of the narcissistic personality. When you have the background, you have a better edge at predicting their moves and developing excellent strategies.

Don’t ever give in to the “I have changed. I want this divorce to be amicable” routine. This ploy is used to throw you off balance and re-consider. Don’t fall for it–ever!

Make sure that you learn to take good care of yourself during the divorce and for the rest of your life. You are a first priority. You will never capitulate to someone who is a taker, not a giver.

You will prevail–I know you can. Remember, you are an authentic, strong, talented and empathic individual.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Narcissists Treat Their Spouses Like Possessions

Male and female narcissists are incapable of genuine feelings of love, caring, giving comfort, having empathy or being merciful.

When you are married to a narcissist you become his/her possession. Narcissists are completely disingenuous. They are deluded human beings. It doesn’t matter how successful they are in the world; in their personal lives they are unable to give or receive on any level.

Narcissists believe they own their spouses. They are highly manipulative and secretive. Most spouses have no clue about the concealed lives that they lead right under your nose. Narcissists enjoy the thrill of their clandestine lives. It is an adrenaline rush for them–like the fastest down hill run.

Narcissistic spouses are known for hiding money from their husbands or wives. They want everything for themselves and are always planning what they will do when they decide to dispose of you. Of course, they will move on to a new life. For them everyone has a price and everyone is expendable.

The spouse is an object for the narcissist like a painting that can be auctioned off to the highest bidder. While you are married to the narcissist, he or she insists that you maintain a perfect image that is a reflection of his importance and outward power. After all, you are a living reflection of his/her worth.

When you discover who this individual truly is and decide to divorce him/her, be prepared in advance before you are dumped or put to the side. Do your homework and research. Do not share your plans with the narcissist. You cannot trust someone who has treated you like a non-person.

Begin to take very good care of yourself and maintain your psychological and financial independence as much as you can. Recognize that you are moving in the right direction to re-engage your own life and to rediscover your true self. This is a journey well worth taking.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.