Healing from narcissistic abuse using hypnotherapy
Narcissistic abuse is a phenomenon that occurs within established relationships between people, whether this is intimate, with family and even the workplace. It is a form of emotional abuse that is projected onto another person. Narcissistic abuse mainly focuses on emotional and psychological aspects, however, can also focus on financial, spiritual, and sexual.
Examples of verbal abuse include;
Note that many people occasionally make demands, use sarcasm, interrupt, oppose, criticise, blame, or block you. Consider the context, malice, and frequency of the behaviour before labelling it narcissistic abuse.
Manipulation: Generally, manipulation is an indirect influence on someone to behave in a way that furthers the goals of the manipulator. Often, it expresses covert aggression. Think of a 'wolf in sheep’s clothing'. On the surface, the words seem harmless - even complimentary - but underneath you feel demeaned or sense a hostile intent. If you experienced manipulation growing up, you may not recognise it as such.
Emotional blackmail: Emotional blackmail may include threats, anger, warnings, intimidation, or punishment. It's a form of manipulation that provokes doubt in you. You feel the fear, obligation, and/or guilt sometimes referred to as "FOG".
Gaslighting: Intentionally making you distrust your perceptions of reality, or believe that you’re mentally incompetent.
Competition: Competing and one-upping to always be on top, sometimes through unethical means, e.g. cheating in a game.
Negative contrasting: Unnecessarily making comparisons to negatively contrast you with the narcissist or other people.
Sabotage: Disruptive interference with your endeavours or relationships for revenge or personal advantage.
Hypnotherapy can be utilised in a way that can initiate and augment the healing process, and help an individual get the strength they need to manage the situation. When thinking about having therapy for this topic, it can seem a bit daunting, as you may not know how the therapist can help or even what to work on.
How can hypnotherapy help?
Ego strengthing: Ego strengthening is a technique that is utilised in therapy as a means of helping develop psychological strength and increase psychological resilience. This can be utilised to help the client feel more comfortable about putting boundaries in place and also increase awareness of the abuse occurring. This may take you a few sessions, as the narcissistic abuse has occurred over a prolonged period, so there is a lot to heal.
Boundaries: Boundaries aren't merely to keep things out - they protect things from being disturbed whilst they are growing and developing. Narcissistic abuse has a horrible tendency to erode a person's boundaries by creating feelings of self-doubt, and even shame and self-hatred. These types of emotions, unfortunately, have a toxic effect on people's boundaries and, in turn, make people vulnerable psychologically. Hypnotherapy can be used to help strengthen your boundaries and allow you to cultivate the positive psychological resources that you are trying to develop.
Hypnotherapy for anxiety and depression: Unfortunately, and understandably, people that have experienced prolonged narcissistic abuse can also develop systems of anxiety and depression. This can be due to having to cope with a wide range of emotional and psychological attacks from the narcissistic abuser and, as a result, anxiety and depression can occur. Hypnotherapy can help with this as your therapist may utilise cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in combination with hypnotherapy to address these issues and help you to get to a better place.
Ego state therapy: Ego state therapy is a form of therapy that is utilised with hypnotherapy as a way to help the client strengthen different aspects of themselves and can also be very effective for breaking cycles of behaviour. For example, with people that are recipients of narcissistic abuse, they may find that they are in a cycle of behaviour where they are always going back to the person that has caused them psychological and emotional pain.
Ego state therapy can be utilised in a way that allows you to look at what powers these behaviours at the unconscious level, and with the help of a therapist be able to break these patterns. This will then allow you to develop new healthier patterns of behaviour to help enrich your life.
Trauma work: Hypnotherapy can be very effective for working with trauma. The effect of having to deal with narcissistic abuse over a prolonged period can be very traumatic for someone's psyche. This can lead to developing systems of trauma. Some examples of this are intrusive thoughts, hypervigilance, constant worry, and even flashbacks. The main symptom of trauma is the risk of minimalising your trauma, as one of the key symptoms of trauma is that you feel that you are not worthy of care or feel that you are undeserving.
I appreciate this may seem extreme, however in a lot of cases these feelings are there. With your therapist, you can utilise hypnotherapy to help with these thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that are created by trauma using an array of methods. Some of these being EMDR (eye movement desensitisation reprocessing), a technique called the rewind technique, and also EFT (emotional freedom therapy). All of these can be utilised in a way that can assist with the processing of the trauma that has been experienced.
I hope this has been helpful to whoever reads it.