Group Therapy: Surviving Narcissistic Abuse
Updated: Oct 17, 2020
We are happy to announce confirmation of the group therapy opportunity: Surviving Narcissistic Abuse, A Support Group.
Narcissistic abuse is characterized by verbal/emotional abuse, manipulation, gaslighting, emotional blackmail, competition, negative contrasting and sabotaging, exploitation, lying, neglect, character defamation, privacy invasion.
If you or someone you know has experienced or is in a situation of abuse there are resources available in your community. Please see our resource page for support
What is Narcissism?
Narcissism is a personality trait that is most often associated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). NPD is often associated with classic signs and symptoms of; exaggerated and inflated sense of ones own importance, a deep need for excessive attention/admiration, feelings of grandiosity, trouble in relationships, and a lack of empathy towards others (Mayo Clinic, 2020). Although "narcissists" feign an exaggerated façade of self importance, they suffer from an extremely fragile self-esteem, making them vulnerable to even the slightest criticism (Mayo Clinic, 2020). NPD leads to trouble in many domains of the persons life, including; relationships, work, school or finances. Research suggests that those with NPD are very "shame-driven", and they will go to extremes to avoid those feelings of shame. In this, they often employ destructive defense mechanisms that cause damage to their relationships and immense pain and hurt to their loved ones (Lancer, D., 2020). Many of these coping mechanisms are abusive, hence the coined term "narcissistic abuse" (Lancer, D., 2020).
What does Narcissistic Abuse Look Like?
Narcissistic abuse can come in different forms including, verbal/emotional, physical, financial, sexual, psychological and spiritual. Often times victims report experiencing substantial verbal and emotional abuse. This can look like; bullying, belittling, name calling, blaming, accusing, shaming, demanding, controlling, criticizing, undermining, raging towards their loved one or opposing (Lancer, D., 2020). Many others experience manipulation, used to indirectly influence the victim in a way that self-serves the individual. Manipulation can sometimes feel complimentary to the victim, however often times they are left feeling degraded or demeaned and there can be a sense of hostility (Lancer, D., 2020). Emotional Abuse and Gaslighting are other signs of narcissistic abuse. Often times individuals with NPD will use threats, anger, outbursts, intimidation or punishment to control their loved ones. Gaslighting is a psychological tactic used to undermine ones sense of perception of reality and memory of events (Lancer, D., 2020). Examples of gaslighting include; convincing a loved one their understanding or perception of an event is incorrect or "crazy" when speculation of infidelity occurs. Other characteristics of narcissistic abuse include but are not limited too; sabotaging, lying, invading loved ones privacy, exploitation of others for self gain, and neglect (Lancer, D., 2020).
Surviving Narcissistic Abuse: A Support Group
To provide support through group connection and skill building for any adult (18 years or older) (non-gender/sex specific) who has experienced narcissistic abuse and/or any other means of psychological abuse. This is not a trauma group. This group will emphasis support first, through members sharing experiences and building trust and community. Client's are encouraged to attend individual therapy to explore trauma processing and emotional regulation skills.
- learn skills that build resiliency (compassion, acceptance, self-love)
- focus on rebuilding self-esteem
- focus on acceptance and moving forward
- learning skills in grounding
- challenging negative thoughts
- understanding core beliefs
- understanding potential triggers
- find connection and validation through the group experience
Eligibility for the group:
Any adult (regardless of sex or gender) that is 18 years of age who has experienced narcissistic and/or psychological abuse. The individual does not need to have previous counselling experience. This group is not for persons looking for relationship advice or resolution. The group is held online via zoom, so participants need to have access to a computer, internet, webcam (or a phone that has these capabilities).
Cost and Group Structure:
Group will be held Monday’s from 6 PM-8 PM starting on Oct 5, 2020 until Nov 30th, 2020. There will not be group on Oct 12th, 2020 due to that being thanksgiving weekend.
The cost of the group is 40$/session + GST, which is required to be paid in full prior to admission on Wednesday, September 30th, 2020. The total cost is 320$ + GST for the 8 sessions. Members can register and pay up until Wednesday, September 30th, 2020, however priority will be given to participants who have paid (i.e. if 8 participants pay prior to Monday, you will not receive a spot). This is not a drop-in group. This helps the group members build trust and facilitates the group experience. Payment and registration is required to hold your spot as there is limited availability. Any questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or directly using the contact form.
Registration for the group closes September 30th, 2020. There are only 8 spots being offered and a minimum of 3 participants will be needed to run the group. If the minimum required participants do not sign up, refund will be provided to anyone who has already signed up and paid. In this case, options will be explored including postponing the start date, changing the day, etc.
** Information in this blog is not intended to substitute medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided to you by a doctor, mental health professional or any other medical health professional. The purpose of this blog is to provide education only, it is not intended to provide treatment or diagnosis to any individual. If you are need of urgent care, please contact your local mental health crisis center, call your national or local crisis line(s), or call 911. Those numbers and other resources can be found on our Resources Page.**
Lancer, Darlene. (2020). How to Spot Narcissistic Abuse. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/toxic-relationships/201709/how-spot-narcissistic-abuse
Mayo Clinic (2020). Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/narcissistic-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20366662