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, or talking to a therapist, 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. The type of therapy used can include:
- 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 affect 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 2018