Supporting the partner to stop reacting to the narcissist is the first step. Teaching the client to speak assertively is important. Partners need to learn to effectively ask the narcissist for what they want and to set boundaries on abusive behavior. This empowers the client and builds self-esteem. It also reduces denial and awakens the partner to the reality of the narcissist’s limitations. Intervening this way intrapsychically and systemically in individual therapy often substantially improves the couples’ interpersonal dynamics.
Do not try to be a therapist to a narcissist. This is not only dangerous, impossible, and can backfire, but can damage a partner’s own self and self-esteem.
Instead, partners should learn all about narcissism, reclaim their self and self-esteem and take the steps in Dealing with Narcissist: 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries with Difficult People.
© Darlene Lancer 2015.
Published in The Therapist, July, 2015
Written by Darlene Lancer Originally appeared in WhatIsCodependency.com Republished with permission.