When we talk about pathological personalities, narcissism is usually one of the most prominent and causes the most intrigue and curiosity. Obviously, absolutely all people can have certain narcissistic traits or behaviours, even presenting them without associating them with narcissism. When we talk about the narcissistic personality, we mean that this trait is predominant and generates dysfunction in some vital areas.
Generally, the most affected areas are those related to social interactions and bonds (friendships, other relationships). Those related to personal and affective ties (partner and family) and the labour area. However, depending on the severity of the psychopathology, other relevant vital areas may be affected.
But… for what reasons does the narcissist go to therapy?
A person with a narcissistic personality disorder is not always aware that they suffer from this pathology. In fact, he often notices that the relationships he establishes with the environment are not healthy or constructive, and he incurs constant feelings of feeling attacked, offended or misunderstood. This leads to problems related to mood and anxiety.
For this reason, the narcissist may consult with symptoms compatible with depressive disorder, major depressive episode, generalized anxiety disorder and other types of anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder with agoraphobia. On very few occasions is, personality pathology itself the main reason for consultation, which makes it difficult for the professional to work on these narcissistic traits that cause so many problems for the patient and their environment.
Can narcissistic personality traits be worked on?
The short answer is: it depends on the severity of the case, but generally, yes. Therapeutic work is essential in this problem, but it is often very important to have the active participation of the family, partner or friends in consultation in order to broaden the therapeutic horizon. And although it is very helpful to have these external agents, sometimes it is the patient himself who refuses to let other people participate in the process. This does represent an important turning point in the therapeutic process.