What is the role of group therapy in the treatment of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)?

Updated: May 16, 2018
  • Author: Sheenie Ambardar, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Answer

Besides individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy, group therapy and CBT have also been used to treat NPD. Group therapy was initially thought to be unsuitable for patients with narcissism because clinicians assumed that these patients would be unable to handle the requisite give-and-take inherent in the group process.

This initial assumption about the unsuitability of group therapy was reasonable, in that group processes usually require empathy, patience, and the ability to relate and connect to others—traits are deficient in narcissistic individuals. Nevertheless, studies [21] have suggested that long-term group therapy can benefit patients with narcissism by providing them with a safe haven in which they can explore boundaries, receive and accept feedback, develop trust, and increase self-awareness. [21, 22]


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