Victims are more likely to present themselves in counselling or psychotherapy, not because they know that they may be suffering from NVS, but because they are not coping with their lives. I have spoken to many other psychotherapists, and although they know of narcissism, none feel that they have been sufficiently trained for recognizing narcissistic behaviour and its effects on victims, let alone work with Narcissistic Victim Syndrome. Because most Irish psychotherapy courses do little or no training in this area, and the fact that little or nothing has been written in the medical literature regarding the victims of narcissistic abuse, it is my observation that, the majority of therapists, through no fault of their own, are ill equip to work with clients with this syndrome. If you read any of the Support Forums for survivors of narcissistic abuse, you will constantly hear them say that their therapists did not understand the depth of suffering they had been subjected to, and that the term “narcissistic abuse” had rarely been mentioned to them.
Understanding Narcissistic Victim Syndrome (NVS) first requires an understanding of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD):
In order to be an effective therapist in the area of narcissistic victim abuse, it is vital to understand all that you can about the spectrum of narcissistic behaviour. The spectrum of narcissism exists on a continuum, from healthy narcissism, to unhealthy traits, and all the way to pathological Narcissistic Personality Disorder. By the way, the narcissist does not have to display all of the traits associated with the full blown pathological stage of narcissism in order to do untold damage to their victims. For that reason, therapists need to familiarize themselves about narcissistic traits and the relationship dynamics between the narcissist and their victim. I am talking about the narcissists overwhelming need for entitlement, control, power, grandiosity and specialness, and how they use these traits to keep their omnipotent fantasies and their vulnerable ego in tact.