The harm that comes to the partners in relationships involving narcissistic abuse is unique, complex, and often rooted in earlier trauma. Survivors of this type of abuse often struggle with “aftermath” symptoms such as flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, obsessive rumination, cravings for the person who hurt them, cognitive dissonance, loss of former self/identity, and difficulty focusing and making decisions.
Few therapists have the training needed to recognize and treat survivors of narcissistic abuse. I’m proud to be one of them.
We’ll work together to help you understand which approaches will deepen your pain and contribute to feeling “stuck” when you’re attempting to recover. We’ll also focus on how your brain responds to certain words, activities, experiences, and contact with your former partner. Throughout this process you’ll gain a better sense of the predictable way personality pathology plays out in relationships, as well as the neuroscience behind your aftermath symptoms.
We’ll zero in on identity formation, childhood emotional neglect and abuse, your unique attachment style, self-soothing, Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, parenting, divorce coaching, family court, spiritual abuse, sexual abuse and coercion, and existential conflict.
While I always assess and recommend the best approach for you, I often use a blend of EMDR and attachment-style psychotherapy to address narcissistic abuse. Research and experience tells us that healing from narcissistic abuse is not only about "understanding" or "figuring things out." While an important first step, narcissistic abuse recovery must also address the automatic reactions and dispositions in the limbic system (the part of the brain associated with memory and detecting threat) after trauma has occurred (Van der Kolk, 2020).
Backed by my own academic research involving more than 2,000 narcissistic abuse survivors, as well as my therapeutic treatment of more than 150 individual survivors, most of my clients see significant changes after 4 to 6 months of dedicated weekly therapy or consulting.
That said, recovering from narcissistic abuse is deeply intense personal work. Change is painful, but not nearly as painful as spending an unfulfilled life in a narcissistic family system or relationship. You can break the cycle of generations of abuse and dysfunction, and I am committed to guiding you throughout the process.