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How to Heal from Narcissism and Emotional Abuse

If you’ve read or seen anything on the internet regarding narcissistic and emotional abuse, the outlook is bleak. Most people will tell you to run, get out while you can, there’s no hope! But how to heal from narcissism and emotional abuse? Dr. Hawkins walks you through what comprehensive treatment looks like for couples who are struggling with narcissistic and emotional abuse in their marriage, and desire to stay together.

How to Heal from Narcissism and Emotional Abuse

Narcissism and emotional abuse are complex issues that can leave lasting scars on individuals and relationships. Whether you find yourself as a victim of such abuse or recognize that you might be a perpetrator, there is hope for healing and rebuilding. In this article, we will explore a comprehensive approach to healing from narcissism and emotional abuse, drawing insights from the Marriage Recovery Center’s perspective.

Understanding the Complexity

Narcissistic and emotional abuse can be intricate and difficult to detect. Covert emotional abuse, in particular, often operates beneath the surface, making it challenging to identify but easy to experience. Victims of such abuse frequently feel overwhelmed and, in some cases, even question their own sanity. To address this issue effectively, professionals and individuals alike need to be well-informed and experienced in dealing with narcissism and emotional abuse.

The Path to Healing

The first step in healing from narcissism and emotional abuse is acknowledging the need for recovery. This acknowledgment applies to both the victim and the perpetrator. It’s important to remember that in many cases, couples desire to stay together despite the odds. With this orientation in mind, the path to healing can be explored.

Healing for the Victim

For the victim of narcissistic and emotional abuse, healing often involves finding recovery from the trauma they’ve endured. It necessitates taking responsibility for their healing journey. Sometimes, this entails temporarily separating from the abusive relationship, whether emotionally or physically. This separation allows the victim to receive specific help and healing for the trauma they’ve experienced.

Concurrently or as a primary focus, the victim may need to engage in a program tailored to their healing process. This program should address the emotional and psychological toll of the abuse. Key components may include trauma recovery, cognitive behavioral counseling, emotion management, interpersonal effectiveness, and learning how to tolerate distress.

Healing for the Perpetrator

On the other side of the equation, the perpetrator of narcissistic and emotional abuse must also embark on a healing path. This journey involves confronting their abusive behavior and accepting responsibility for it. It means addressing patterns of dysfunctional behavior, including avoidance of responsibility, blame-shifting, rationalization, and justifications.

Therapies and interventions focused on emotional growth, accountability, and confrontation play a crucial role in the perpetrator’s recovery. They must learn to manage their emotions and interpersonal relationships effectively.

The Intersection of Healing Paths

While the healing paths for the victim and perpetrator are distinct, there are points of overlap. Both individuals may benefit from cognitive behavioral counseling, emotional management, and interpersonal effectiveness skills. However, it’s crucial to emphasize that these paths often occur separately, as individuals must primarily focus on their own healing and growth.

Transition to Couples Counseling

Once progress is made in their individual healing journeys, and with careful consideration, couples may transition to couples counseling. However, this step should only be taken when both individuals are ready, and the timing is right. Couples counseling requires a readiness and willingness to engage in open and constructive dialogue.

In couples counseling, both parties can further enhance their communication skills, conflict resolution abilities, and overall relationship dynamics. By addressing their individual healing needs first, they are better prepared to work together on building a healthier partnership.

Success Through a Comprehensive Approach

The Marriage Recovery Center has witnessed significant success with its comprehensive approach to healing from narcissism and emotional abuse. This approach recognizes the distinct needs of both victims and perpetrators and provides tailored solutions for their recovery. By addressing the trauma and dysfunctional behaviors associated with abuse, individuals can pave the way for healthier relationships.


Healing from narcissism and emotional abuse is a challenging but attainable goal. By understanding the complexity of these issues and taking a comprehensive approach that prioritizes individual healing, victims and perpetrators alike can find hope for a better future. If you find yourself in such a relationship, remember that seeking professional help and taking the time to heal individually can ultimately lead to a stronger and healthier partnership.

To learn how we can help, reach out to us at (206) 219-0145 or info@marriagerecoverycenter.com to speak with a Client Care Specialist

Also read: How to Practice Mindful Speaking

About Dr. Hawkins:

The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.

Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.

He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.

In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more


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