The techniques for gaslighting are powerful, mind-games; they are similar to certain forms of brainwashing, interrogation, and torture formally practiced by Central Intelligence Agencies and Religious Cults for decades. The narcissist uses gaslighting as a deliberate and cruel way to manipulate the victim into thinking that they are loosing their mind. They bombard the victim with such uncertainty that eventually they are unable to trust their own perception anymore. When they reach this state, they begin to doubt everything about their own selves, their thoughts, their opinions, their ideas, their ideals. Often they think they are loosing their minds, and they become very co-dependent on their abuser for a sense of reality.
This is a quick exploration of the complicated subject of Narcissistic Victim Syndrome, and hopefully I have demonstrated the need for a therapist to have a good working knowledge of the “isms” of what Narcissist Personality Disorder entails. It is my opinion that without this knowledge the therapist would not be informed enough to be able to take the victim deep enough into their own story. They need to educate the victim about narcissistic behaviours so that they can make sense of the long painful journey they were on with their narcissist dance partner (whether it is a parent, sibling, friend, co-worker etc). Without putting these separate parts together (personal therapy and educational therapy), I fear that it would leave the victim vulnerable to future re-victimization. Many victims seem to progress from crisis to crisis, making them particularly at high risk of re-victimization. This is because the victim will continue to attract narcissists like a moth to a flame because they have been well groomed in their responses, this leaves them looking like obvious willing partners to the convoluted dance with the narcissist. Of course, this is far from the truth, because the victim is totally unconscious of there being any dance going on, they are totally oblivious to the fact that they are a partner in the dance. This ignorance leaves they open to the danger of forming another dangerous liaison and be victimized yet again