There are many psychotherapists who are highly skilled, ethical, moral and empathic. I am talking about the exceptions--the narcissistic psychotherapist. In many cases they are highly recommended and have sterling academic and clinical credentials. I have been recommended to several throughout the years who were classic narcissists. They had very successful practices, had published in many of the finest clinical journals, were held in high esteem by their colleagues and had a huge following for seminars, books and professional events. A narcissist garbed in this impressive academic and clinical package is highly convincing, especially if the patient has severe emotional and psychological symptoms that are disrupting his daily working and personal life.
Narcissistic psychotherapists know how to become indispensable to you. You are ready to become dependent because you have traveled a long painful road through horrendous symptoms--deep depression, frequent severe mood swings, phobias, unyielding anxiety. No one has been able to give you any relief. When a "gifted" narcissistic therapist takes you on as a patient, you are in for a ride--a very bumpy one. You may feel very attracted to this therapist and that draws you in closer. You become willing to listen and internalize whatever they say. You believe it is the truth about yourself.
In some cases these highly trained professionals are projecting their unconscious thoughts, impulses, hidden traumas, etc on to you. With all of their formal work---they do not know themselves. They have no acquaintance with their unconscious.. They are in deep denial. The psychotherapist role for them has become strictly a business. It is the money making and prestige that makes them tick, not the welfare of their patients.
Remember that a narcissist, regardless of his/her title, training or experience has certain indelible traits---self absorption, grandiosity or its opposite--phoney humility, lack of empathy, deceitfulness, eploitativeness, extreme self entitlement, feelings of superiority. To protect yourself from narcissistic psychotherapists of all kinds, study the narcissistic personality disorder in-depth. Visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life