Treating Narcissism

NarcissismThose with Narcissisism suffer from underlying feelings of inadequacy, which they have to protect by trying to be perfect, so they do not feel this way. James Masterson describes two types of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, including Manifest Narcissism and the Closet Narcissism.

The Manifest Narcissist are also known for being grandiose or exhibitionist, by being preoccupied with beauty, power and wealth. Underneath they have a harsh opinion of themselves, covered with the false grandiose self that acts confident. They seek  admiration in order to inflate their grandiosity. They appear self assured, but it covers their real fragility underneath. They have an over inflated sense of ‘self’ and caught in a illusion about their successes and self importance. They do not want to give up their grandiose fantasies and strive to keep perfecting themselves. Their loved ones become a narcissistic extension them. They strive on feeling unique and superior or above others, feeling entitled to do things their way. narcissismIn couples counselling in Melbourne, they struggle when others do not see their view and suffer immense pain when their partner does not see things the same way they do. They often feel disappointed that others are wrong and have to convince them to see the world the same way. They relate best when they feel others are on the same page as them, being  one minded and not able to separate. They often end up in relationships where others are very accommodating, to boost their narcissistic grandiosity and give them supplies. In Melbourne relationship counselling, they will be upset when their partner does not agree and will put pressure on them to  be on the same page.

Narcissisitc affairs

Narcissistic fragmentation

Therapy with these manifest narcissists is about modulating the collapse of their self essteem, so they can live in accordance with reality, while manage the pain of getting in touch with their real impaired self, which feels empty and inadequate. They can feel chronically depressed when faced with their real feelings, since their self has been hidden and not able to grow . But the empty void never gets filled with supplies, so they’re never really fulfilled.

Whey become injured when their partner does not mirror their grandiosity or give them supplies. When wounded,  feel  intense pain, due to the fall of the grandiosity and they expect perfect attunement or  perfect understanding without actually exposing how they feel. They expect partners to read their mind. Often they will have  infidelity or discard their spouse by defeating them, when they feel wounded by them. When life crashes, the supplies run out and they face  disappointments, this is when the their real self can begin to emerge. Once they get in touch with the real self, that feels empty, they can begin to get in touch with who they really feel and have more authentic encounters. However, giving up the perfect façade in not easy. These individuals fear getting hurt, or exposed , so they struggle to show their real self that feels inadequate.

Romance Manifest narcissists feel the best during the dating scene, when they can fuse with a partner who can give narcissistic supplies, in order to refuel the empty self and boost their esteem. They can be charming and impress. They struggle with conflict and martial spousal issues when relationships become more long-term. They become  injured when other doesn’t treat them special. As a protection they devalue their partner to avoid feeling criticised, so they cannot take on board feedback about themselves. Relationships can feel empty since they put up a wall to protect them from exposure, so they do not have a deep connections, but spend their time impressing others. All the attempts to seek supplies, only keeps their real self more impaired and empty, it does not fill the emptiness.

Therapy is often required to manage  the collapse of the false grandiose self and rebuild the real self, that has been hidden from exposure and remains stuck and impaired. In essence these manifest grandiose narcissists feel inflated when others admire them, agree with them, and are on the same page as them.

 Narcissism Counselling in Melbourne

James Masterson describes the second type of narcissism, as the Closet Narcissistic Disorder of Self. These individuals are covert narcissists; they can hide their grandiosity and seem shy or pleasant. Their parents were critical when they didn’t perform for them and they felt humiliated and shamed for being their real self, so they learned to hide their real self. They got approval for meeting their parent’s expectations, that is when they felt grandiose by getting narcissistic supplies. These individuals are often  married with a manifest narcissist, who they look up to and idealise, where they can seek approval from them. So they are often fused with meeting the expectations of significant others, in order to feel special. They can appear perfect and  get  approval, but lots of effort goes into making you like them. They feel good when basking in the glow of those who they can idealise, to feel important and special to them. So they put a lot of effort into these relationships, so they get approval of those they look up to. If they feel perfect in their eyes they feel perfect in themselves.

Often they will put a lot of effort in, to be perfect for their spouse, not focusing on themselves. It is often the spouse that brings them into marriage counselling Melbourne. Since their own real self feels flawed for not being perfect, they avoid exposing themselves to be criticised, giving up on developing real self pursuits.

Relationships with Narcissists

Probmlems with intimacy

Narcissistic emptiness

They fear intimacy because it exposes the fact they are not perfect, which can leave them feeling vulnerable of getting hurt. So, often they protect themselves by not letting partners  see them, by hiding themselves. This means their relationships can feel empty, yet they connect by impressing partners to avoid judgement. They present themselves in the best light that will get a favourable response from others.  Many are so fearful of judgment, they spend so much time working out how to respond, so that they look good in other peoples eyes. Not being ones real self can leave them feeling bored, dull and  unsatisfied.

In counselling for relationship difficulties,  assists these couples to get in touch with their underlying vulnerabilities and express themselves to each other, to foster a deeper connection. Relationship counselling PerthCloset Narcissists cover up, they do not say what they really think and modulate their behaviour to act in accordance with the expectations of others. So they modify their behaviour to suit others and edit what they say to gain approval and avoid disapproval. So they give up on real self pursuits that could make them happy.

A Closet narcissist might become a doctor because their parents wanted this for them, so they get their approval (false self).  It may not fit with what they wanted (real self). They often will support their husbands, who may have a successful business career but feel inadequate when they have lived in the shadow of them. Other times they will get approval from their boss and other idealised objects, by performing for them. They have high expectations and strive to be perfect, even if they hide this. Deep down they can feel like a fraud for not being perfect (real self) and wear a mask to disguise themselves (false self). When they stop focusing on pleasing others and meeting their expectations, they will  feel exposed as inadequate, when being their real self or putting themselves out there.

Therapy can assist to rebuild their real self, by managing the pain of letting go of the false self and idealised object, so they can invest in their real self and live their own lives. Rather, then putting effort in propping others up to feel good in their eyes. These individuals feel narcissistically wounded when they are faced with judgement or criticism. So they will put a lot of effort to perform for others, to get their approval. They often exhaust themselves, by pleasing idealised others  (e.g bosses) so that they feel elevated, so they do not feel inadequate (real impaired self). Yet, they can crash and burn;  then they recover and do this all over again. They feel anxious when they cannot win others over. Depression can hit when they feel failure or face disapproval with an idealise object. They seek others to validate them,  who can give them positive feedback. However, these individuals stay depressed because the real self remains empty and inadequate, not being developed to grow. When they gain acceptance for the real self, when these  affects are modulated, they can rebuild the real self and develop satisfaction in life. At Melbourne Counselling, the Masterson Psychoanalytic therapeutic approach is a treatment designed for narcissism. Many enter counselling for depression when they deflate and lose the supplies, when faced with the real empty self.

Nancy Carbone is specialized in personality disorder treatment from the International Masterson Institute in New York

All content is copyright 2017 Nancy Carbone

Click here for signs of relationship a narcissist, relationships with narcissists and the origins of narcissism

For Further information Counselling Service Melbourne, contact Nancy on 0449 861 147 or use the enquiry form below

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