How You Can Protect Yourself From Self-Proclaimed And Fake Narcissism Experts

Fake Narcissism

When it comes to getting help for narcissistic abuse, there are lots of ‘narcissism experts’ out there, who rather than helping, tend to cause more damage. It’s important to be aware of them and never rely on them for your healing.

Fake Experts

A few months ago, a new client tearfully expressed her disappointment and severe frustration over an online life coach who she sought help for her codependency and narcissistic abuse. 

Like thousands of others seeking critical mental health and life skill services, she was unable to discern the difference between coaches or psychotherapists who prematurely or inaccurately described themselves as specialists or experts from those with legitimate and accurate claims.  

The most influential, and perhaps manipulative element of such self-described “gurus” is the exaggerated promise for long-term relief from exquisitely painful narcissistic abuse. These “successful” content producers purposely hide their lack of problem-specific education, training, experience, all of which would qualify or disqualify them from being legitimate codependency or narcissistic abuse treatment specialist. 

Related: 10 Things NOT to Say to Victims of Narcissistic Abuse

Perhaps the most effective strategy that falsely proclaimed experts rely upon is their emotionally evocative and inspiring heroic survival story over their own pathological narcissist, and the higher-level lessons they learned because of it.  

Despite my respect and appreciation for life coaches and psychotherapists, I took notice of an emerging pattern of harmful incompetence from a sub-group of “online famous” individuals who prematurely or without merit, describe themselves as codependency and narcissistic abuse experts. 

With increased experience, it became easy to identify such individuals, as their free narcissistic abuse or codependency-focused online content was inextricably tied to heavily promoted professional services that over-promise positive outcomes.    

Marketing Funnels

Bringing in paying customers is often achieved through highly interesting, relatable, and evocative online content, that, by design, entices people to explore their profitable service-based website. The financially “successful” but harmful false experts lure people into their programs or treatment through enticing and interactive websites, that are designed by experienced marketing professionals.  

The other effective “hook” is strategically developed online content that is invisibly connected to a business plan, otherwise known as a marketing funnel. The marketing funnels that fake experts rely upon are often a brainchild of highly specialized mentors or handsomely paid online marketing specialists.  

According to Christina Gillick, a writer for, the primary goal of marketing funnels is to turn leads into customers. They successfully cast a broad net to drive brand awareness, capture as many leads as possible and then nurture prospective customers through the purchasing decision, which narrows in each stage of the funnel.  

Without this marketing “golden egg,” these fictitious experts would not be able to create profitable online mental health treatment or life-coaching programs that are designed to lure in victims of narcissistic abuse or Self-Love Deficit Disorder/SLDD™ (my term for “codependency”). 

Therefore, the vulnerable, naïve, and misled suffers from SLDD, often fall victim to the glitzy presentation of promised help, marketing funnels, creative payment options, and the lower price tag when compared to legitimate mental health services.

Related: The First (and hardest) Step To Healing From Narcissistic Abuse

The Angry Bully Pulpit

Many of these “experts” dangerously and irresponsibly promote a pure “victim” position that blames the narcissist for the harm, while claiming complete innocence in any part of the dysfunctional relationship “dance.” Such individuals even use their online platform as a judgmental and blaming “bully pulpit” where they rage against narcissists while spewing out angry vindictive and finger-pointing vitriol, most of which is disguised as life-changing advice.  

Sadly, such “educational” and “supportive” stories, advice, warnings, inspire droves of SLDs (people with SLDD) to “bear arms” against their narcissistic captors.  The futility of a defensive or aggressive challenge to the more manipulative and cunning narcissist is best summed up by George Bernard Shaw: “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”

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Ross Rosenberg M.Ed., LCPC, CADC

Ross Rosenberg M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, is the owner of Self-Love Recovery Institute. He is a psychotherapist, educator, expert witness, and author. Ross is known globally for his expertise in codependency (Self-Love Deficit Disorder™), Pathological Narcissism, Narcissistic Abuse, and Trauma Treatment. He is a keynote speaker and educator who has presented in 30 States/70 cities and abroad. Ross has been regularly featured on national TV and radio. His “The Human Magnet Syndrome” books sold over 120K copies and are translated into 10 languages. His YouTube Channel has amassed 19 million video views and over 200K subscribers.View Author posts