Narcissistic Therapists Cause Psychological Harm to Their Clients

There are many highly qualified therapists who have fine clinical training and are excellent working with clients and helping them to heal.

This post is about a segment of psychotherapists who are narcissistic. This includes psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, psychologists and various other licensed counselors who work with clients. Narcissistic psychotherapists are out strictly for themselves. They often have a money motive as the primary purpose of their practice. Certainly, professionals are entitled to be paid fairly for the services that they offer. I am speaking about outrageous fees that climb higher and higher and are based on endless sessions of non-therapy. In some cases I know of narcissistic therapists who spend entire sessions talking about their private lives and their personal dilemmas, including their failed marriages, money issues, etc.

Narcissistic psychotherapists project their unconscious self loathing on to their clients. When you are alone with a narcissist you are vulnerable to their toxic projections. I hear many stories about clients who were told that they were incapable of getting better, who were too dysfunctional and had to be in therapy indefinitely, who were very difficult clients and were not worth treating, who put you down and criticized you or belittled you.

Clients in crisis are in a difficult situation. They need help–Now! Narcissistic psychotherapists mercilessly prey on these people. They get money out of those who are desperate. Narcissistic psychotherapists can lead clients to feel confused and worthless and cause psychological harm.

When you decide to go to a therapist, do a lot of excellent research. Check the therapist’s credentials carefully. If you can get a referral this can be helpful. However, choosing a therapist is personal. You are looking for the therapist who is best suited to your personality. Make sure that the therapist is very clear about the fee. Check the fair rates for payment depending on the education, clinical training, degrees, etc of the therapist. Interview several therapists before you make a decision. You don’t have to stay with a therapist with whom you cannot work. If you don’t feel heard and understood after the first session, it is your right to not return to this professional. After all, you are hiring them. You are in charge. Always remember this. Pay attention to how you feel when you are with the therapist. Do you feel secure, accepted, understood. Is the therapist highly empathic–capable of putting themselves psychologically and emotionally in your place. Is the therapist’s ego dropped or is he or she name dropping or polishing his or her image during the session. Does the therapist have a calming temperament and give you a genuine feeling of hope.

How well do you think the therapist knows himself/herself–This is essential. Therapists can be highly trained and recommended but if they are not self aware, they cannot successfully work with clients. Is the therapist a steadying influence in your life? As yourself these and many other questions and always remember to pay special attention to your intuition about the prospective therapist. What are you intuiting about this person?

The answers you receive are invaluable. I wish you the very best in finding the psychotherapist who will help you to heal, become calmer, more assertive, creative, more capable of loving yourself and others and having full use of your many creative gifts and capacities.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers–Treasure Your Intuitive Gifts

Intuition is a knowing of the truth that strikes faster than the speed of light. It comes through us automatically like the exhalation of a breath or the blowing of the wind or the crack of a branch of a tree in the forest. Intuition is part of our human nature although most people are unaware or not in touch with their intuition. Some individuals receive intuitive messages but discard them as irrational or strange.

I have known many daughters of narcissistic mothers who, despite all of the painful psychological and emotional issues associated with being the child of a narcissist, have access and use their intuitive gifts. For many it is what allowed them to survive a childhood of maternal deprivation and verbal abuse. Deep inside this small child knew that something was very wrong with her mother’s lack of feeling, cold non connection and cruel behaviors. Some of these daughters blame themselves and believe they are lacking when the psychopathology lies with the narcissistic mother.

Using one’s intuition is a gift that deepens and strengthens throughout life. Intuition communicates in a special form to each individual. Some of us get a gut feeling and know we have hit upon the truth. Others hear a voice that gives them messages of truth, warning, inspiration, creativity. Intuition can be activated by someone with whom we are strongly connected. Intuitions come through when we are in a peaceful state of relaxation, meditation or involved in a creative project. Intuitions are always coming through. They never stop making attempts to get our attention.

Intuition warns us about the narcissist we have just met. We sense this person and know instantly that he or she is not right for us. We feel the powerful sway of the narcissist’s irresistability like an errant tide that is pulling us out to sea. Yet there is a voice (nor our own) that is saying: “Stay away from this person. He/she will cause you pain and trouble. Step away now.”

Use your intuition to heal from your narcissistic mother. Intuition provides us with many ways of separating and individuating from the narcissistic non mother. Ask for healing and listen to the messages that lead you along a different path where you will find your true self more and more each day and through it deep inner peace and the use of your creative and spiritual gifts.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers—Stop Feeling Guilty–It Wasn’t Your Fault

I hear and read many life stories of adult daughters of narcissistic mothers who suffered horrible psychological deprivation and verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of their exceedingly cruel narcissistic mothers. They were as the great psychoanalyst Alice Miller said: “Prisoners of Childhood”. That is a profound phrase that sums up the horrific experience of life with a narcissistic mother. This woman never wanted you and if she did it was her plan that you reflected her perfection. She needed to mold you into a mini-me child. When you objected to that, she punished you with terror, threats, violent rages and betrayals. She went down the list of her children until she found the one who was most like her and whom she could mold. Very likely that child became a narcissist and was the bane of your existence. No only did you have mother breathing down your neck you had to be wary of your sibling at all times. The other children cowered in the presence of these two and became shadows and echoes of mom. You were the stand out child–the one who knew that there was something very wrong and dark in the family.

Along the way you carried a lot of guilt about not loving your narcissistic mother. That’s the rub. Now that you are well into adulthood, ask yourself: How is it possible to blame myself and feel guilty over something I could never control? I was a small child and had to survive. She was the one who punished me constantly, terrorized me within an inch of my life, had night raids when the greatest punishments even tortures took place.

Take a long look at yourself and your life. I know those who hold on the guilt and they are still suffering. You can and will let go of this haunting from the past. You deserve so much more. Believe this with all of your heart. I know that you can heal. You have so much of yourself to activate. Learn self care–yes for the first time in your life–put yourself first. Rest, sleep, enjoy your spontaneous self, become immersed in what you love to do, learn to laugh out loud–even if people are looking at you funny. That’s the best of all. Not giving a damn about what others think!!! Go for it all the way. Feel the joy of letting loose like a child dancing wildly to a great tune. Flow with your creativity–Feel your lovely heart open. Fly, Soar, Transcend!

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

BooK: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life

Gaining Strength and Wholeness After Narcissistic Abuse

When we have been raised by a narcissistic parent or been married to a narcissistic spouse, it takes time and effort to first recognize the truth about what we have suffered. So many individuals blame themselves for narcissistic parents who controlled, manipulated and projected great cruelties upon them throughout their lives. Those who are married to narcissists are often in denial about the true nature of their spouse. They make the assumption that they don’t deserve to be treated kindly, respectfully and with empathy. Abused spouses and children of narcissists go along to get along. They are in survival mode. Quite often, those who grew up in a home surrounded by narcissists tend to marry one. How dreadful is that! I know many of these individuals through my email and blog. There is a tendency to repeat with the choice of a narcissistic spouse what we experienced as children. There is a lack of entitlement to peace of mind and being valued for one’s authenticity, creative gifts and precious individuality. The first step is to stop blaming yourself. The next is to learn everything you can about the narcissistic personality. This gives you the control and power to psychologically separate from the narcissist in your family of origin or your narcissistic spouse or both.

After you know the truth and are holding fast to it, your healing proceeds with learning to take very good care of yourself. Healing is a process that we work on all of our lives. Many of us don’t know how it feels to be calm. We have lived in the Fight or Flight mode since before we can remember. It is “normal” for us. There is another way of being inside and in the world. That is the calming part of the nervous system–the parasympathetic nervous. In this place inside we feel safe, protected, grounded and free. This is your true nature and you deserve to feel this way. Your body/mind is inclined to put you in this state when you practice self care. This requires discipline and routine and a lot of patience and perseverance.

There are many avenues to the calming part of the nervous system. You will find your own that work for you in s special way. I will mention a few. One of the finest is acupuncture—ancient and powerful intervention that puts the patient in the parasympathetic mode of relaxation, inner safety and feelings of expandedness  and well being. Another is using yoga with the breath to focus on basic poses that lead to calm and the acquiring of body strength and excellent mental focus. Listening to your special music that you find calming is another way to access this part of the nervous system. Go deep into the music–let it take you to a lovely place. Be spontaneous with it. Music is magical in its power to heal. Some people find that writing spontaneously frees them up to express anything that is in their mind and heart. Some people find great peace in Nature–gardening is a refuge to many, cooking is another one that brings joy and relaxation.

Find what you love and do it regularly.

The healing is waiting for you to activate it inside yourself. Remember, you deserve this. Wishing you a lovely voyage along the road to your inner  peace, creativity and discovering beautiful mysteries that lie within you.

 

From Budding Narcissist to Full Blown Pathological Narcissism

There is a young woman whom I have known as an acquaintance for the past ten years. I  met her when she was ten years old. This was in the context of a neighborhood party. Her mother is a fully developed narcissistic personality. Exceedingly self entitled, expecting perfection of others, physically vane to a fault, highly manipulative of her husband, friends, etc. this lady demands having her way and gets it. Her husband is a weak man who gives into her constantly. She is the ruler of the household and has complete control over her very naive spouse.

On one occasion I went over to their home to return some mail that had been sent to the incorrect address. After the preliminary greetings, the daughter who was ten years old at the time, suddenly asked me in a stark cruel tone: “What’s wrong with your eye?” I was shocked by this personal question. I wondered for a moment if she could tell that I was wearing contact lenses. Many scenarios passed through my mind as I felt anger, outrage and shock run through my nervous system. My eye was healing from a  minor infection. Silence reigned. The mother didn’t say a word, look at her daughter, apologize to me, tell her child not to invade some one’s privacy and cause them emotional hurt and pain. I stepped into the breach and said: ” There are personal questions you never ask another individual. This is impolite, disrespectful and inconsiderate.” My words hung in the air. The girl sat defiantly in her chair, staring me down, daring me to speak further. Mother didn’t react at all–not one eyelash quivered. In fact narcissistic mother appeared to be bored and restless and needing to “move on” from the entire incident. It was over for her before it began because it wasn’t about her and how perfect she was. Her daughter was becoming a narcissistic Mini Me.  In addition her father was and is a fool about his little girl. She got away with whatever she wanted with him. I left this scene, knowing that there was a process in motion that would result in a full blown narcissistic disorder.

Recently, I spoke with the daughter in the company of her mother and got a more narcissistic vib from her. She is now a college student so full of herself she can hardly stand still. This young woman shows no interest, concern, understanding or care for others unless she is narcissistic supplies –praise, adoration, favors, accolades, intros into social circles, etc. from them. Her friends are Yes Sayers to her, small echoes of her highness. They laugh at those whom they see as inferior—meaning people who are not exactly like them.

This daughter will go through the rest of her life as a narcissistic personality, hurting everyone in her reach. She will make the lives of others pure misery unless they learn about the complex in-depth facets and many faces of the Narcissistic Personality.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Narcissistic Relationship Cycle: Use, Abuse, Dispose

We live in a narcissistic society today. Look around at those wielding the most power and influence. A large percentage of them are narcissists. (There are exceptions—individuals who have tremendous success and have great character and integrity).

Narcissists adopt a predictable cycle of Use, Abuse, Dispose. This pathological repetition can last a few weeks or decades, depending on how long you put your fate in the hands of a narcissistic personality. With a narcissist there is never an authentic relationship. He/she is a grandiose false self without conscience, empathy or compassion. Narcissists are ruthless and exploitive to the core.

Learn to recognize the NPD quickly and accurately. If they are oozing with too much charm and you get the intuition to step back, pay attention to this inner wisdom. Giving you the rush is part of their scheme to control and manipulate you. Narcissists always want something from you. If you think they love you, give that one up quickly. NPD’s are users only–They put on the show of a lifetime–consummate actors at center stage with their adoring audiences.

Narcissists completely lack empathy–the ability to feel and understanding what another person is experiencing on a deep level. They also lack compassion and are not introspective. They are street savvy and know how to find your most vulnerable parts and learn how to play to perfection.

Once the narcissist has gotten what he wants–status, pleasure, power, connections, intrigue, romance, etc. he sends you out the door without an apology, true explanation or a hint of guilt. Remember, these individuals do not have a conscience so they don’t experience guilt. They sleep very well at night while you are tossing about in emotional and psychological agony. Don’t let this happen to you. Study these NPD’s deeply and you will know how to identify them and keep them out of your life or show them the door with great dispatch.

Your life is precious. It belongs to you. You have many gifts. Use them—all of them and more. You deserve deep inner peace and relationships that are warm, loving, supportive and empathic.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Celebrate! You’ve Been Dumped by a Narcissist before It Got Serious

This may sound like tough talk but I have known too many victims of narcissists who married them not just once but two or three times. The psychological and emotional pain of enduring years and decades of verbal abuse, cold manipulations, treacheries, chronic lying, hidden agendas and the constant whiplash of living with a narcissist is astounding. It brings their victims to their knees and leaves some crawling. If you are going with a man or woman whom you suspect is a narcissist and this person has decided to show you the door, give you the cold shoulder, place you in the background of his/her life or simply give you the heave ho–it will smart at first but then remember it is a necessary blessing. If your intuition has been telling your for months that this person whom you are planning to marry has a serious personality issue you can’t put your head around but feel deep in your bones, listen up! You are getting the warning loud and clear, that this individual may likely be a narcissistic personality disorder. Listen to the music of his self absorption, obsession with his looks, over-love of money and status, inability to listen to you and honor your feelings, his authoritarian ways, his inappropriate forcefulness to get what he/she wants. Intuition always tells us the truth. When he or she shows you the door or if you beat the narcissist to it, run out into the clear blue sky of evening and kiss the stars. You are free!!!

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Freeing Yourself From the Narcissist in Your Lifewill be published in a paperback edition on August 15, 2013

Martyred Married Narcissists–Spinning Tales of Woe That You Caused

Some spouses become alarmed when their narcissistic partner of many years suddenly appears docile and weak. He moans and mopes around you, making noises that you haven’t heard before. You start to feel sorry for him—but you have done your homework and pull back. “Wait a minute, this is a new act he is trotting out and I’m not buying it.”

The martyred narcissist tells everyone in reach how you have made his/her life, hell on earth. You have pressured him, caused him emotional distress with your unrelenting demands. You talk behind his back and tell lies about his fine character. You are cruel to his (narcissistic) mother who adores him. These mutterings  are bald lies. Turn all of this around and you know this is exactly what he has done to you. He is spinning tales faster than the leaders on the final round of the Tour De France.

Despite all of the drama you are going to win. You are well prepared and ready to end this horrid excuse for a marriage. With all of your documentation, an excellent attorney, the company of trusted support, you are ready to sever this non-relationship. You imagine sweet freedom each day as you move toward your goal. No one can ever fool you again. Be proud of yourself. It’s time to shine the light of your creative gifts, to feel your sails billowing as you move forward with ease and inner peace.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Freeing Yourself From the Narcissist in Your Lifewill be published in a paperback edition on August 15, 2013

Narcissists—Can’t Stop Talking About Their Superiority

A short time ago I was strongly reminded of the narcissist’s persistent adoration of self. This occurred after a meeting I attended. The narcissist of the moment came over to a small group of us and started talking about himself in grandiose terms and gestures, giddily swirling with his greatness. I had a strong urge to leave since I could feel the deluge coming but said to myself:  “I want to see how far this fellow will go. Will he ever stop talking about how superior and wonderful he is.” I and the clutch of those within his range were “treated” to an “I adore myself” soliloquy without periods, colons, semicolons or even a tiny comma. This was like a manic sales pitch with him and his innumerable accomplishments as the product. This grandiose classic narcissist presented a detailed professional history with extravagant hand gestures and body postures. He was mesmerized by his presence alone.

Every avenue this man went down led to his street of dreams that all came true due to his brilliance and perfection. (I applaud those who through their efforts and talents experience professional success.) I am speaking about the narcissistic personality disorder’s constant hunger for narcissistic supplies, his inability to listen to anyone else, his manic high on himself/herself as the ego soars to mythic elevations. Psychologically fueled by his delusional sense of self, this fellow traveled out of the earth’s orbit beyond gravity.

Finally, I made a movement toward the door and the spell was broken as others began to leave.

Beneath the surface of this unabashed display of adoration of self, is the broken damaged real self. On other occasions I have witnessed this narcissist’s primitive unconscious projections, perpetrated on unsuspecting others. In these instances this narcissist’s veneer had thinned and his unconscious feelings of self hatred and subjective emptiness were ejected on to innocent unsuspecting recipients.

Learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth. This knowledge will be your guide to recognizing these individuals quickly and protecting yourself from their endless self adoring litanies.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Freeing Yourself From the Narcissist in Your Lifewill be published in a paperback edition on August 15, 2013

Narcissistic Spouses Discard You When You Need Them The Most

Narcissists are essentially solo acts. They are incapable of forming genuine relationships, especially their spouses and children. Narcissists are duplicitous. They have many secret agendas. They compartmentalize their lives skillfully and without conscience.

After you have been married to a narcissist for a while you realize that this man or woman is not the person you met and with whom you fell in love. He switches quickly from one mood to another, almost as if he/she is changing personalities. Even when he is getting everything he wants–praise, success, adulation, prestige, etc. he will suddenly turn on his spouse. He is projecting and spewing his unconscious self loathing and psychological emptiness on to you. Spouses on the receiving end of these assaults often learn to ignore and rationalized these cruel behaviors. “Oh, he’s going through a tough time right now.” “He puts too much pressure on himself/herself.” Actually the narcissist applies full pressure and intimidation to everyone else. He moves in the fast lane of life, often weaving through the traffic, jeopardizing others. Since he doesn’t have a conscience, this doesn’t bother him in the least. He/she only knows that winning is everything.

After the marriage has turned stale—and this can happen quickly with narcissists since they have very short attention spans for spouses–the narcissist needs to figure out exactly what he is going to do with you. If you have become psychologically, emotionally or physically ill, the narcissist leaves you in the dust. I have heard stories of women in labor who had to drive themselves to the hospital. Narcissists are pretend parents. They use their children as narcissistic supplies. They need to present the image of themselves as the “great parent.”  This elaborate presentation fools most people who believe that the narcissist is a fine human beings, spouse and fine parent.

Narcissistic spouses are irritated and disgusted with spouses who are ill, have injuries or chronic physical problems. This cramps their style and doesn’t suit their high flying energy. Besides, it’s dreadful for their grandiose image. In many instances they find another partner and quickly plan to replace the spouse who has psychological or emotional problems or is going through a painful illness. Narcissists are without mercy or empathy. It is not part of their psychological makeup. After the divorce the spouse in great need and crisis is quickly abandoned like a piece of paper flying in an errant wind. Often there are no warnings that this individual is going to be abandoned and left without financial resources that have been purposely depleted by the narcissistic spouse. If there are children involved that don’t fit the image that the narcissistic spouse requires, he or she abandons them as well, leaving them to fend for themselves.

Narcissists never look back at the horrendous pain they have caused—pain and suffering that completely disrupts and damages the lives of their own spouses and children. They never think about this again. They are not haunted by any memory of their cruelties. They sleep well at night and are still completely full of themselves as they change the stage set for a renewal of a fresh new life with another person. This is a travesty, a horrible true scenarios that is repeated over and over again by narcissists with impunity in this world.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Freeing Yourself From the Narcissist in Your Lifewill be published in a paperback edition on August 15, 2013