I thought that Couple Counselling was going to be the answer to our failing relationship. Here is why I was dead wrong.
Here is the video version of this blog where I talk about why Couple’s Counseling did not help our relationship and in fact was more damaging to me. If you would like to read this post or read along with the video please look below the video.
You may be at a point in your relationship where you’re asking yourself whether doing couples counseling is the next step to try to resolve your issues with your narcissistic partner. I found myself at this place with my partner. We went to two therapists together for joint counseling.
I thought, “Nothing else has worked, maybe it’s worth a try, maybe it will help him see the damage he is causing” and I was willing to try because I wanted things to work out with my partner, unlike my narcissistic partner who did not want things to work out between us. He just did not want to have his narcissistic supply cut off.
Before you possibly expose yourself to even more abuse, please take the time to read this post. It will help you understand the different behaviors you can expect before, during, and after you seek joint therapy.
It could save you an enormous amount of pain and energy.
Over the past several years I have helped many people heal around the world. I’ve had people who’ve tried or considered couples counseling with a narcissist. And I’ve tried it myself.
In this article, I’m going to share exactly what you could expect to happen if you try couples counseling, how the narcissist behaves, how they manipulate counselors, and whatever else that could happen.
How The Narcissist May Behave Before The Counseling Sessions
Here’s a look at how the narcissist may behave before the actual counseling sessions because this is very important and you may have experienced what I and so many others have. The narcissist says they are remorseful for things that happened in the relationship or they say they want to help or they’re sorry.
This happens when you’ve reached your limit and have had enough, you’re getting strong, you’re about to leave, or maybe you’ve already left. This is when they tell you that they’re all for counseling. I believed my partner and you may believe yours as well.
You might have been pushing it with them saying, “We need to do this.” They all of a sudden say, “Yes, okay. I know I’ve got problems. I want to get help. I’m going to go to counseling with you.” They might have even suggested it. My ex-partner never suggested we go to counseling because according to him, there was nothing wrong with him. He knew I was at the end of my rope and if he did not agree, I was leaving. He was too cunning to give up his narcissistic supply.
In normal circumstances with normal non-narcissistic people, you could feel hope. Unfortunately, many of you have been through this.
What Happens When You Attend The Counseling
So what happens when you do start the actual counseling?
The support that you might have felt from your partner, and also the accountability they pretended to have are long gone. In the counseling sessions, you begin to see that the narcissist is no longer taking responsibility for their behavior.
The thing with narcissists is you can try to check to see if they will be responsible and see if they’re going to behave like normal people but you will begin to hear things like, ” I’m sorry but I did this for you. ” They will always twist things around.
You’ll start to see that the focus is coming back on you. You have been traumatized and you feel broken. But all of a sudden it’s changed from the narcissist saying, “I know I’ve got problems and I treat you terribly but I want to get to the bottom of this. I want to fix our relationship.” It starts coming back to the relationship and it would be all your fault.
You may feel that the therapist doesn’t get it, and it’s going down the wrong track. You’re getting frustrated and the narcissist is looking like Mr. Wonderful in the therapy session. This is what happened when I went to couple’s counseling. The first go-around I mistakenly chose a female therapist which was the problem. She had to be fired because he would not go to a female therapist. I then found a male therapist who did not get what was going on in the relationship and blamed all the problems on me. I would listen to my narcissistic partner lie through his teeth, manipulate, and twist the truth, and never raise his voice or get upset. He saw only me getting irate, frustrated, distraught, and triggered.
The Narcissist manipulate The Counsellor
The narcissist will try their best to actively manipulate the counselor. They’re turning it back on you. The counselor may not have had any personal experience with someone with a narcissistic personality disorder. They’re missing the warning signs. In the case of the therapist who saw us this is exactly what happened.
What are the warning signs?
That you are broken. That’s the warning sign.
The things I was saying, were very, very common for somebody who’s been narcissistically abused. If a counselor has never experienced narcissistic abuse and doesn’t know it at a deep level, knowing it from a textbook is not enough because they’re going to miss important things. This is how the therapist we saw let me down.
If they don’t know it at a deep level, then they may say things to you like, you need to work harder on your relationship, you need to heal your past issues and your childhood wounds. It does not matter what you need to work on. If you are with somebody who has a narcissistic personality disorder, which is maliciousness and with the ability to punish you, it’s a false self that will never take responsibility, pathologically lie, and is capable of horrendous stuff, it doesn’t matter what you’re going to do with yourself and your wounds.
You are never going to change your narcissistic partner and you are never going to have a healthy relationship with him.
Now, many counselors don’t get that. You need to inquire before you start if they understand and have worked with people who have been involved in a toxic relationship. If you are going to a counselor in joint counseling with a narcissist, and you have narcissistic abuse syndrome, you need to ensure they understand what a toxic relationship looks like.
You need to get very clear about what you’re dealing with. If they don’t get it, you need to stop going to this counselor, because if they’re telling you (and it happened to me), “do your part, take responsibility, try harder”. This will not work with an abusive partner because It doesn’t matter what you do in an abusive relationship with a narcissist, he will never change. He does not want things to get better between the two of you. He wants only to have his narcissistic supply continue.
This will end up all about you and your issues when you’re the one that needs the help. This happens because the narcissist is charming the therapist. This is literally what happened with me, this is only going to cement the narcissist’s ability in being able to abuse you even more.
If The Narcissist Is Confronted They May Leave Therapy
We can’t completely blame the counselor. Narcissists are extremely convincing. If you do get a good therapist, who’s going to confront the narcissist and try to hold them accountable, the narcissist will find a way to discredit the therapist, (this is what happened with the first therapist we went to who was also a female) leave therapy and will not come back. With a narcissist, if their mask is taken down, they’re going to run. They have to get away and not come back. It’s too much of a narcissistic injury.
If the narcissist feels slighted, whether real or imagined, (narcissistic injury) then they won’t deal with it at all and they will need to leave. They will not continue the therapy.
It’s important to understand that you’re either going to have a narcissistic personality in your sessions whose one goal is to maintain the false self. The false self says: “This is your fault. I’m right, you’re wrong. There’s something wrong with you.” They are going to punish you for trying to leave them and make you responsible for everything wrong.
If their mask gets pulled down, they are going to leave and discredit the therapist because they’re not going to deal with their dysfunctions and inner traumas.
You’re Hoping That Therapy Will Save Your Relationship and Your Sanity
You probably started off feeling hopeful. You thought that your partner loved you and was wanting to work on the relationship but you realized that the narcissist’s goal is not unity, love, harmony, or peace. It’s actually about narcissistic supply. It only took two sessions with the therapist for me to realize that he had no idea what a relationship with a narcissist was. My narcissistic partner was in full charm mode and had this guy fooled completely.
You’re not going to get a solution either way. There’s no solution to get anyhow. But what will happen is you will suffer more abuse and more trauma if you remain in joint couples therapy with a narcissist.
Unfortunately, no therapist will validate what you’ve been through and they’re not going to hold the narcissist accountable. I wanted someone to save me, or even see my ” side” but I realized that a therapist would never do either.
In reality, no one can save you, not your friends, not your family, not a therapist. This is our responsibility, to heal and validate ourselves.
A narcissist is simply going to use the therapist as another pawn against you because for couple counseling and therapy to work, there’s got to be two real humble people, ready to meet their wounds, work through them, and be supportive. You have to have conscious individuals to do this.
In most cases, couples therapy with a narcissist does not work.
I have found that logical talk therapy for those who have suffered severe narcissistic abuse may provide some support for the victim and as in my case, it helped me identify that I was in an abusive relationship and I was supported to leave my narcissistic partner.
The reason that talk therapy does not work is the trauma is in our bodies. We have to do deep inner work and processes on that trauma. The cognitive part of our brain doesn’t even reach the limbic system, the emotional part of our brain, the traumatic parts that have been damaged. To heal from this severe trauma you need something much deeper.
It wasn’t until I did the deep inner work in my body, that I was able to reclaim my soul, my life, and my mind.
I hope that this has helped clarify some things for you. I know that you may be frustrated and are trying joint therapy. You want it to work.
I am here to tell you there is another way. I know firsthand with my ex-partner how he manipulated the therapist when we went for couples therapy and it would never work.
This other way is where you can detach, stop trying to hold the narcissist accountable, which only gets you abused, and come back to yourself using a system to heal, which bypasses all of the pain, the confusion, and the years of trying to work out your relationship and work on yourself.
This healing system is something that will give you the strength, power, and confidence, to release relationship patterns, narcissistic abuse, and narcissists.
If you are ready to get out of the insanity, then send me an email or DM me on Instagram or Facebook.
I am an Energy Therapist and if you want to find out more about that and experience my healing system, you are more than welcome to reach out to me. I know it is hard to ask for help but believe me, this is the best thing you can do for yourself.
I hope this post has helped you realize therapy with a narcissist doesn’t work and the reasons it doesn’t work.
Love to you