What is narcissistic abuse?
A pattern of psychological or emotional manipulation, or controlling behaviour, and antagonistic relationship style, often involving a structured pattern of intimidation, isolation, threatening behaviour, or criticism. It can happen in families, at work, in the community, or in intimate relationships, and are often highly individualised to the personal dynamics of your relationship.
Is it a personality disorder?
Abusers may or may not meet criteria for a personality disorder. Narcissistic abuse often stems from low self esteem and a habitual use of manipulative, and controlling strategies to desperately attempt to boost their self-image. Abusers may at times seem "perfect," especially to those outside of your relationship, but their low ability to hold accountability and empathy, truly look at themselves, inevitably causes harm.
Narcissistic abuse often has a traumatic and stressful impact on survivors, and can lead to the development of serious mental health conditions such as PTSD or cPTSD. It can erode your sense of self-worth, create confusion and self-doubt, cause severe emotional distress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, or cognitive and neurological difficulties. It can also escalate to life-threatening violence.
How therapy can help
If you are in relationship with a narcissistic person, you know just how confusing, hurtful and distressing it can be. Therapy can help survivors gain confidence and clarity, learn and practice effective coping strategies, process and heal traumatic experiences, rebuild your sense of agency, protect your self-esteem, and cultivate safe, and secure connections in relationship with yourself and others. We can help you through it.
Narcissistic abuse is often about power and control, and healing from it requires reclaiming your own power and autonomy.
- Les Carter