Narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic trait disorder are associated with selfish behaviors and lack of empathy toward others. Clients with either of these initial presentations in therapy show a self-centered profile and lack of empathy or concern about the suffering they may cause in other people, but this is only part of the picture. Sometimes the lack of empathy and selfishness is only a defense. To fully understand this problem, it is also necessary to be aware of underlying self-definition issues that drive the behavioral manifestations of narcissism. As in any psychological problem, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment needs an understanding of how early experiences lead to future symptoms. Understanding the pathways from early experiences to narcissistic features (including covert presentations) is essential for an adequate case conceptualization as well as comprehending the defensive mental structures that impede accessing the core adverse experiences underlying the symptoms.
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Mosquera, D., & Knipe, J. (2015). Understanding and Treating Narcissism With EMDR Therapy. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 9(1), 46–63. https://doi.org/10.1891/1933-3188.8.131.52
Journal of EMDR Practice and Research