Finding a good therapist isn’t always as easy as it may seem. Every person has their own unique personality, beliefs, ways of thinking & more, so finding a therapist who is compatible with you can be a challenge. When you are seeing one to help you to deal with the effects of narcissistic abuse however, the challenge can be much more difficult.
For one thing, there are many therapists out there who are narcissists. Narcissists are drawn to the helping type professions such as teachers, clergy, doctors, law enforcement & even the mental health field. I’m not saying all teachers, clergy, doctors, law enforcement officers & mental health professionals are narcissists of course. Many very good people are in those fields too. When it comes to finding a therapist that can help you cope with issues stemming from narcissistic abuse though, it’s especially important to be certain your therapist isn’t a narcissist. No one needs to be subjected to a narcissistic therapist! It only makes things much worse!
There is also the fact that most in the mental health field received little to no training on the cluster B personality disorders like narcissism. Unless a therapist has personal experience with a narcissist, chances are they won’t know ways to help you to heal. They may not even recognize the type of person who abused you. And, if they don’t understand the person who abused you, there is the chance that they may not believe you let alone be able to help you heal. Honestly, much of what narcissists do is pretty unbelievable. I think back to the things I was subjected to at the hands of narcissists, & can barely believe it. I was there! It shouldn’t be hard to believe it, yet it is. If your therapist doesn’t believe you, that is a sign you need to find a different one.
If you are considering therapy after narcissistic abuse, I hope I haven’t dissuaded you. That certainly isn’t my intention at all. I just want to let you know that finding one who can help you may not be easy. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible though!
Many therapists have areas they specialize in such as drug rehabilitation, sexual problems, marriage counseling & more. Find one who specializes in trauma & abuse. Often their specialty is listed on their website or on your insurance carrier’s list of providers who accept your insurance.
If you know other people in your area who have been to counseling, ask them about their counselor. What did they like or dislike about that counselor? Even if they saw that counselor for a different issue than what you want to see one for, you never know. That counselor may not specialize in helping others recover from narcissistic abuse, but may be highly empathic & able to think outside the box enough to help you.
Remember that the first counselor you see may not be one that you stay with. Or the second counselor. Or even the third. Things may start out just fine then something happens that makes you think this counselor may not be the one for you. Don’t worry about that! It happens sometimes. Not everyone is compatible with every counselor. Don’t give up easily, but don’t stay with a counselor for longer than you feel comfortable either. The goal is to help yourself, so do what you need to in order to help yourself. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure if it takes you seeing a few counselors before you find one that you really like.
Don’t be biased, either, when seeking a counselor. If you’re a woman, you may be more comfortable talking to women about personal issues as a general rule, but that may not be the case with a counselor. You may end up finding a male counselor more effective for you. Or, vice versa- a man may prefer a female counselor. Remember, men & women think very differently as a general rule, & sometimes those differences can be very helpful.
I wish you the best in your quest to find a good counselor!