It can be difficult for someone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) to seek treatment since they generally do not recognise they have a problem. The first step to recovery is for the NPD sufferer to become aware that their behaviour is affecting their life and relationships.
Psychotherapy is the most useful treatment approach, although more research is required to determine the most effective therapies. The aim is to develop a more realistic self-image and enable the person to relate to others more positively. There are a number of models of therapy used:
- Psychodynamic therapy – long-term individual therapy that helps a person to understand their behaviours, moods and disruptive thoughts. These insights can help them find better ways to relate to others.
- Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) – helps people identify negative, unhelpful behaviour patterns and replace them with more productive and positive ones.
- Family or marital therapy – NPD can have an adverse affect on families. Coming together for a session can help people in dealing with relationships, with problem solving solutions and positive communication.
If you are concerned about suicide risk for a person with NPD, then seek medical advice urgently.
Last reviewed: December 2016