Covert Narcissists: Scheme Your Downfall in Secret

Covert narcissists are incapable of forming and maintaining genuine relationships.  So often I speak with clients who have unwittingly married a covert narcissist. (This post refers to male and female narcissists.)

There is no way the innocent party could have known that this individual is a narcissist.  In the case of the Covert it is exceedingly difficult to discern the true nature of this wolf in sheep’s clothing.

The covert narcissist is masterfully clever at concealing his malicious, dark, cruel traits.  The Covert is an expert at presenting himself as charming, giving, kind, genuine, empathic and psychologically grounded.  The charm offensive of the Covert is acted out with perfection: a Broadway level performance.

The Covert is above all, Secretive.  These individuals lead several lives at one time.  You have been chosen by them to provide the maximum in narcissistic supplies. You offer an excellent external image. You come from a fine family, are well educated, physically attractive, are socially adept, professionally successful– and the long list goes on and on. You are the perfect “catch” for this person who has calculated your value to him from the beginning.

Soon after the marriage, trouble begins with the narcissist’s drumbeat demands, devaluing, demeaning manner. He picks away at your “faults.” These are manufactured by the narcissist to weaken your sense of self, to lower your self respect, feelings of optimism.

The Covert narcissist knows who you are and exactly how he will tear down your psychological and emotional reserves.  He must extract the maximum amount of narcissistic supplies out of you before he discards and replaces you with someone else.

All the while the covert narcissist is plotting and scheming to control, manipulate and eventually bring you down emotionally, financially, psychologically and physically.  Some of those who are married to Coverts develop chronic illnesses as a result of the accumulated stress, fear, depression and trauma that they have internalized over many years.  At these times that the covert narcissists doesn’t want to deal with you anymore.  When you are at your lowest ebb, he is tap dancing with high energy and a complete lack of care or concern for your well being.

After the narcissist has taken everything from you and more, you are left alone, discarded, disheartened and in some cases, physically ill.

The covert is so secretive and clever that the victim remains unaware of what has happened to them.  Some of those who contact me even say that it was all their fault. Never blame yourself for marrying a covert narcissist.

Know that you can heal from this dreadful series of ordeals, that you will recover fully: emotionally, psychologically, physically, spiritually.

Begin by putting yourself first. Start getting the sleep you need and deserve.  Eat in a balanced way that works with your biochemistry.  Exercise in the way that works best for you. As you recover, always remember to pay close attention to your intuition–it is the voice of the absolute truth.  Some healing modalities are acupuncture which balance the body, mind and spirit, restorative yoga, gentle walking, being in Nature, finding people who respect you as an individual and whom you trust.  Take time each day to put yourself in the calming part of the nervous system through some form of meditation, prayer, affirmations, etc.  You decide what opens the doors to being calmer, more comfortable and gentler inside of yourself.

You are entitled to heal fully and to use your many creative gifts.  You have turned on to a new pathway: one of hope, health, beauty and a source of continued evolution and transformation.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Narcissistic Psychotherapists-Identify Them and Keep Your Distance

There are many excellent psychotherapists who help individuals, couples and families to identify, work through and resolve psychological and emotional issues in an ethical and competent manner.

In this post I am speaking about narcissistic psychotherapists—including psychiatrists, psychologists and various counselors who have narcissistic personalities and can cause psychological and emotional harm to their clients. This is particularly the case if the client is in a chronic state of crisis, emotionally dependent, lives in continual fear of abandonment and has severe symptoms of clinical depression and/or anxiety. Some clients live in a state of mental confusion and are delusional in their thinking. These people are particularly vulnerable in the outside world. There are narcissistic therapists whose major goal is to create and expand their business empire. For them only the bottom line that matters—how many patients will pay them at the highest fees possible for their services. Some therapists keep clients for monetary gain over periods of years rather than referring them to a professional or group that can be helpful. .

To protect yourself from narcissistic psychotherapist, watch for these character traits and behaviors in your psychotherapist:
Poor eye contact. The therapist is distracted and restless.
Taking telephone calls or initiating them during a session.
Constant self reference–therapist talks about himself and his family rather than focusing on his patients
Pattern of changing appointment times
Therapist displays behaviors of grandiosity and extreme self entitlement
Therapist does not listen and is not attuned to the client’s feelings, thoughts, fantasies, fears, worries.
Therapist does not make himself/herself available during times of crisis
Argumentativeness and defensiveness–The therapist is always right; the patient is always wrong.
Therapist’s lack of empathy.

It doesn’t matter how many degrees, clinical internships, books authored or prestigious universities a psychotherapist has attended. With all of the perfect credentials a psychotherapist can still be a narcissist especially if this is a smooth well rehearsed convincing role.

To protect yourself from narcissistic psychotherapists, do your homework. Referrals from professional people whom you trust is important. This does not guarantee that this is the right therapist for you. Pay very close attention to your intuition. If you are getting the impression that this therapist has narcissistic issues, regardless of his/her educational and clinical experience, listen carefully to this message. Don’t respond to any pressure a psychotherapist places on you to enter treatment. Interview several therapists. You are hiring someone to work with and help you. You are in charge of this decision. There are many excellent psychotherapists who are highly competent, knowledgeable, clinically and personally fit and highly empathic. Visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Buy the book
:amazon and amazon kindle edition Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Marital Counseling with Narcissistic Spouses-Taking a Big Chance

Many men and women marry narcissists without knowing the truth about their personality structures. This is not surprising. Narcissists appear to have it all—the image of physical attractiveness, smooth social skills, charm, even charisma combined with great self confidence. What’s not to fall for. In the beginning the narcissist is very attentive to the partner he/she has chosen. Many of these masterful manipulators bend to your every wish, even anticipating what you want before you ask for it. They are lavish in their attention and giving. As time moves on, the emotional scene changes and you notice how demanding, perfectionistic, cunning and deceptive they are. For many spouses a time comes when the non-narcissistic spouse has reached a point where she can no longer tolerate marriage to this self absorbed unempathic partner. Some spouses want to save the marriage. They unwittingly believe that they are dealing with a normal person—someone who is willing to go into therapy with the best intentions and try to sort out the mutual and individual issues that will improve their marriage. This happens frequently and doesn’t have a favorable result.

It is your decision to enter couples therapy. My clinical experience has been that narcissists believe that they are superior, have no imperfections, that problems with the marriage belong to their partner. They will either refuse to go to therapy or if they do will sabotage the process. In some cases, they persuade the therapist to take their side. That’s the cunning of the narcissistic personality disorder.

Rather than trying to fix or change your narcissistic spouse, it would be more helpful to you, if you are seeking therapy, find an excellent counselor and see them one on one. It is important that this professional has studied narcissistic personality disorder in depth and has counseled many spouses who are married to these individuals. Think about your emotional and psychological welfare first and that of your children. There are solutions. They may not preserve the marriage but they will help you to reclaim your life, your emotional and psychological well being. Visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Buy the book: amazon.com and amazon kindle edition
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Narcissistic Psychotherapists Cause Psychological Damage

Today we are surrounded by narcissists in our personal and professional lives. Narcissists have entered every profession and many of them are highly successful psychotherapists. Narcissists are often very intelligent. They frequently attend the finest universities, get first rate clinical training and have the confidence and drive to establish a successful clinical practice. Even today graduate schools and medical schools and those in charge of internships do not do an adequate job of weeding out applicants who are not psychologically suited to treat individuals who are suffering from a variety of mental disorders. Most licensing for psychotherapists of various kinds require very little private therapy on the part of the applicant. If your grades are good and you have succeeded in your internships and passed the exams, you have earned a license for practicing psychotherapy.

I have had a lot of experience with clients who have had either mediocre or poor quality psychotherapy that not only didn’t solve their issues but made them feel more helpless, frightened and discouraged. Some clients have been drawn into inappropriate sexual relationships with their therapists and had to deal with severe emotional and mental fallout from this deep level of betrayal. A serious transgression of this kind can cause the patient to emotionally regress and lose ground from all of the work they have done in the past. They have to start over again, finding a professional whom they can trust and is worthy of this role. Narcissists have severe boundary issues. Everything belongs to them. People are their possessions, created for them to do their bidding. When a narcissistic therapist crosses the sexual line with a patient he/she has no conscience about the devastating effects of these actions. The therapist controls the patient, is having his ego and sexual needs fulfilled and doesn’t give a damn about the psychological consequences to someone whom he is professionally and ethically and legally required to protect. The client is in a vulnerable position of transferring powerful feelings and fantasies on to the therapist. Narcissistic therapists often take full advantage of these emotionally fragile individuals who are at their mercy. (There are psychotherapists who are not narcissists who have sexual relationships with their clients.) Fortunately, in some cases, the therapist is reported to the appropriate authorities and his/her license is revoked. However, there are many more instances in which the patient is discarded by the person they trusted the most. They believed they were in love with the therapist and now are mercilessly discarded to fend for themselves. Some patients end up hospitalized and in a very fragile psychological state as a result.

Many narcissistic therapists are never caught and quickly move on to their next victim. The outrageousness of these acts cannot be overstated. A client comes to a professional therapist in desperate need of psycholological help. (There are both male and female narcissistic therapist perpetrators. Male therapists are still more prevalently reported in the literature). Her guard is down—she is highly vulnerable. She believes that a trusting therapeutic alliance is growing between them. The psychotherapist breaks the boundaries of trust and professionalism, has sex with his client and when he is finished with her, he moves on to leave his previous client’s life in a state of emotional and psychological chaos. The majority of psychotherapists are professional and ethical. I am speaking about the exceptions. Nevertheless, narcissistic therapists do a tremendous amount of psychological damage to their patients and to the profession itself. Visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation
Email
: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Freeing Yourself from Your Narcissistic Mother

Even if you have long severed your relationship with your narcissistic mother, there can be residues of feelings that remain.Some children of narcissistic mothers after many years of estrangement, still believe that they can renew their relationship with mother and that this time it will be different. They tell themselves that in the passing years, mother has mellowed, softened. She may even be capable of insight. She could even say that she is “sorry.” Many of these children with whom I have had contact find that the narcissistic mother has not changed. She is still blaming her son or daughter for everything that doesn’t work perfectly for her. She accuses these children of abandoning her, when for many decades, from early childhood on, she has made her sons and daughters lives, unbearable. She has been unrelenting in her criticisms, venomous projections, cruel betrayals, pitting one child against the other, insisting that her child must follow a specific profession that will bring honor and prestige to the family. These children are not allowed to choose their own personal destinies. The narcissistic mother is the ultimate controller. Some of these mothers choose partners and career paths for their sons and daughters. Children in the family who show an independence of mind are are hounded and criticized. The narcissist child in the family, the individual who moves synchronistically to mother’s choreography, is venerated like a member of royalty in the family. Mother cannot stop obsessively praising this child, openly comparing him/her with the other children.

After all of the psychological pain of not having a mother who is genuinely capable of love find ways to heal themselves through quality psychotherapy and a number of modalities including meditation, hatha yoga, tai chi, etc. Many find support groups of other individuals who have suffered from having a narcissistic mother. Some find comfort and peace through learning how to still the mind through meditation, practicing yoga, tai chi, qi gong and other healing practices. The process of individuation–becoming a resourceful whole separate human being is lifelong. We are always a work in progress— bringing intellectual curiosity to our activities, developing mental and spiritual steadiness, working with our unique creativity and reaching out to others who will be comforted by our kindness and receptivity to them. Visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Buy the book
: amazon and amazon kindle edition
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife

Narcissistic Psychotherapists-Identify Them and Keep Your Distance

There are many excellent psychotherapists who help individuals, couples and families to identify, work through and resolve psychological and emotional issues in an ethical and competent manner.

In this post I am speaking about narcissistic psychotherapists—including psychiatrists, psychologists and various counselors who have narcissistic personalities and can cause psychological and emotional harm to their clients. This is particularly the case if the client is in a chronic state of crisis, emotionally dependent, lives in continual fear of abandonment and has severe symptoms of clinical depression and/or anxiety. Some clients live in a state of mental confusion and are delusional in their thinking. These people are particularly vulnerable in the outside world. There are narcissistic therapists whose major goal is to create and expand their business empire. For them only the bottom line that matters—how many patients will pay them at the highest fees possible for their services. Some therapists keep clients for monetary gain over periods of years rather than referring them to a professional or group that can be helpful. .

To protect yourself from narcissistic psychotherapist, watch for these character traits and behaviors in your psychotherapist:
Poor eye contact. The therapist is distracted and restless.
Taking telephone calls or initiating them during a session.
Constant self reference–therapist talks about himself and his family rather than focusing on his patients
Pattern of changing appointment times
Therapist displays behaviors of grandiosity and extreme self entitlement
Therapist does not listen and is not attuned to the client’s feelings, thoughts, fantasies, fears, worries.
Therapist does not make himself/herself available during times of crisis
Argumentativeness and defensiveness–The therapist is always right; the patient is always wrong.
Therapist’s lack of empathy.

It doesn’t matter how many degrees, clinical internships, books authored or prestigious universities a psychotherapist has attended. With all of the perfect credentials a psychotherapist can still be a narcissist especially if this is a smooth well rehearsed convincing role.

To protect yourself from narcissistic psychotherapists, do your homework. Referrals from professional people whom you trust is important. This does not guarantee that this is the right therapist for you. Pay very close attention to your intuition. If you are getting the impression that this therapist has narcissistic issues, regardless of his/her educational and clinical experience, listen carefully to this message. Don’t respond to any pressure a psychotherapist places on you to enter treatment. Interview several therapists. You are hiring someone to work with and help you. You are in charge of this decision. There are many excellent psychotherapists who are highly competent, knowledgeable, clinically and personally fit and highly empathic. Visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Buy the book:amazon and amazon kindle edition Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Narcissistic Spouses-Psychological Torture

There are innumerable forms of torture. When we think of torture our imaginations create mental pictures of extreme, prolonged physical abuse–flogging, beating, stoning, whipping, sleep deprivation. In recent studies of adult victims of torture the results show: “Degrading treatment and psychological manipulation cause as much emotional suffering and long-term mental damage as physical torture.”

Many spouses of narcissists experience psychological, mental and emotional abuse that can be described as torture. These inhumane forms of treatment are unrelenting and long lasting. Constant barrages of volcanic rage, sadistic criticisms and humiliations can break the spouse down, creating a person who feels helpless and hopeless. Some of these individuals don’t know how they will survive through another moment and others feel the pull to give up completely. The victim of narcissistic torture is a prisoner even if he or she lives in a mansion and leads a heady lifestyle. It is in the privacy of the inner walls of home and mind that the constant assaults on the self take place. Friends, relatives and acquaintances often believe that this is a perfect couple. They have everything and are high achievers. The external image is stunning in its perfection. Beneath this surface is pure hellish terror that lives inside the abused spouse. Never underestimate the lengths a narcissist will go to undermine and attempt to destroy a marital partner.

I have been in communication with spouses who were psychologically tortured for years and finally escaped their captor. The first step is recognizing the severity of what is being done to you, knowing that you absolutely do not deserve this treatment and that you can and will find ways to escape the narcissist and re-capture and reclaim your life. Good psychotherapy provides the opportunity for a strong steady therapeutic alliance that is an essential zone of safety for the client. There are support groups that help victims to recognize that they are not alone and have different life options. Work on building your spiritual foundation through a regular practice. This can take the form of meditation, prayer, gentle yoga. Your intuition is a life companion. Call upon this great gift often and it will strengthen and steady your entire life. Visit my website:www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Narcissistic Psychotherapists Endanger their Patients

There are innumerable psychotherapists who are highly skilled, empathic, competent, professional and completely devoted to their clients.

This post is about narcissistic psychotherapists who have a severe personality disorder. They are highly educated with Master’s and Doctorates and have completed extensive clinical training and practice. They may be experts in their area of specialty and highly respected by their colleagues. However, they have all of the attributes of the grandiose, ruthless, duplicitous, unempathic narcissistic personality. The major motivation for their practice is monetary and all of the narcissistic supplies that they collect: adulation, respect, perception as clinical experts, veneration by clients, etc.

Narcissistic psychotherapists victimize the most psychologically vulnerable of patients–those who are are so desperate that they cannot tolerate their emotional pain from one moment to the next. They have many kinds of psychological problems: severe anxiety, panic disorders, dissociative disorders, bi-polar disorder, severe clinical depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc. These narcissistic clinicians are particularly focused on clients from whom they can extract the largest sums of money. Many of them frequently increase their fees to keep up with their personal lifestyles. When a client comes close to leaving them, they often scare them, saying: ” We have done a lot of good work but you are still having a lot of symptoms and if you leave therapy now, your problems will become more severe. I don’t think you want to take that kind of risk.” The therapist has become a respected authority figure to the client, taking the place of the parent the client never had. If you are having anxiety attacks day and night or if you are so depressed that you cannot get out of bed without great difficulty or have frightening symptoms of extreme mood disorders, you are not likely to leave this therapist and go it alone. Narcissistic therapist know exactly how to reel you back in and reinforce their psychological and emotional hold on you. In the meantime you are not making any real progress and that works for this ruthless money driven therapist.

Patients who should have been referred to a competent clinical expert are taken on by these narcissistic clinicians who claim to understand their diagnosis and treatment. This is highly immoral and unethical but that doesn’t matter to them. As long as they can get away with it and are prospering, that is all that matters.

I know of patients who have suffered emotional and psychological harm from these unscrupulous psychotherapists. Their conditions either don’t change or become more severe. Protect yourself from these immoral and unethical practitioners. Research clinicians– their professional reputations and make sure that you interview several of them. Having a referral from a friend or family member can be helpful, but even if a therapist is highly qualified, they may not be the right clinician for you personally. Take your time. Remember, you are hiring this person. You are in charge. Ask questions. If you get defensive or angry responses, this is a red flag. Never tell yourself that you can’t know if a therapist is excellent or not. Use your intuition to lead the way. Be assertive and confident in yourself. To learn about the narcissistic personality disorder, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Covert Narcissists – Ruthless Chameleons

The grandiose narcissist stands at stage center on all occasions. If a party is being given in someone else’s honor, the narcissist will steal the show, making sure that he/she is noticed, applauded and praised by every guest. He goes through his current life rundown— recent business successes, excellent decisions that have put him on top, his adoring perfect family. I have heard narcissists speak about the special pedigree of their pets, which is always very rare and precious. God forbid that they would have a mutt or a shelter rescue pooch.

On the other end of the spectrum but possessing the same corrosive personality structure is the covert narcissist. The manner is often very polite and subdued. The covert narcissist is playing up your ego with a worshipful voice and endless compliments. They’re throwing you off the scent, disarming you. You can go several rounds with a covert narcissist without realizing who they are and what they want. Their pseudo humility and low key personality style is clever camouflage. If you are working with one of these disguised narcissists, beware of their cunning. As they play up to you and earn your trust, they are talking behind your back, spreading lies about your personal life and your professional shortcomings, so they can leave you in the dust when promotion time arrives. This often happens when men or women are competing for partners. A covert narcissist thinks nothing of gaining access to your husband or wife, making herself/himself irresistible and destroying your marriage and family. When you look back you recognize that this person was always playing a role. There was no exchange of empathy. These clever predators move in and out of our lives. The numbers of narcissists are growing within a society that rewards them so handsomely. In some venues if you are not ruthless and amoral, you can’t get ahead. The media and entertainment often applaud the narcissistic character, focusing their lenses on the perfection of the image rather than the solid individual who can be trusted, is honest about himself and who is deeply empathic. To learn about every facet of the narcissistic personality disorder, visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Buy the book: amazon.com and amazon kindle edition

Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com

PsychologicaL Ambush by Covert Narcissist

Many of them go unnoticed at social events. They appear to be self effacing with a low grade ego. Meet the covert narcissist—that individual who is a narcissistic personality disorder without the elaborate persona. The covert narcissist seems to blend in like a chameleon. They fool a lot of people with their practiced pseudo empathy and fake humility. Covert narcissists are low key but watch their moves. They are highly competitive, manipulative, intensely secretive and willing to mow you down to get what and whom they want like their
grandiose cousins. Covert narcissists like to play the role of “ordinary” or “don’t make a fuss about me” or I’m not important; you are.” That’s another one of their ruses. They put themselves at your feet, at your service. Their motive is to win you over and gain your trust. Watch out—you’re about to be ambushed.. You think you have a genuine relationship with one of these individuals. You have confided in them. You trust them. Then you find out that they have spread your personal information like a virus. Covert narcissists are exceedingly envious of those whom they view as rivals. They cunningly whisper rumors about “your past”—spreading downright dirty lies about your character. They often get away with this because they appear to be impeccably innocent and perpetually unsuspected.

Learn to tune into the cues of this type of narcissist. If you sense an effusiveness toward you, be wary. Using your powers of observation and your keen intuition will always lead you to the truth about a person’s intentions toward you. Be ready for the psychological ambush—this is a signature tactic of the covert narcissist. They are friendly, helpful, your biggest cheerleader, etc. You let down your guard and wham–You get the rude inquiries: “How are you doing with your stocks?””How much money do you have invested in the market?” “Do you have a pension plan?” “I thought you inherited money from your family–Is that true?” “How old are you?” “Do you rent or own your home?” These are only a few of the thousands of questions that fling out of the mouths of covert narcissists. These questions are designed to put you off balance, to humiliate you, to make you feel anxious and unable to think clearly. The bottom line is that the covert narcissist feels superior at your expense. It is difficult not to overreact to outrageous questions and comments that are not only rude and impolite but purposely structured to fracture your composure, leaving you feeling helpless and inadequate.

To protect yourself from the covert narcissist, study every facet of the narcissistic personality disorder. Remember that these individuals are false selves filled with rage, highly manipulative, duplicitous, cunning, psychological stalkers of those whom they sense are vulnerable. Covert narcissists get a thrill out of disturbing your sense of peace. They revel in putting you in an emotional tailspin. They are hardened to their own feelings, incapable of empathy and seek to weaken your sense of self.

You can learn how to deal with covert narcissists by understanding every aspect of their psychopathology. Become keenly aware of their game playing. Learn to detach yourself so that you will not overreact to them. That’s what they’re waiting for you to do. Meditating regularly is one of the many ways that you can still the mind and body. As a result of this practice your concentration is honed, your focus on every detail in the moment is clear and your nervous system is calm despite nasty verbal volleys thrown at you.

You are in charge of yourself and your reactions to others. You don’t owe anyone an answer to his/her question. You are no one’s possession. You are a unique human being who will never be replicated. Knowing this and renewing your promise to be faithful to your true nature, keep peace and stillness inside of you. They are your touchstones. Visit my website:www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Buy the book: amazon.com and amazon kindle edition
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife.com