How to overcome a narcissistic relationship through counselling

Are you or have you felt trapped in a relationship with someone who constantly puts their own needs above yours? 


Do you or have you felt like you are walking on eggshells, always trying to avoid upsetting them or triggering their anger and criticism? 

If so, then you may be dealing with a narcissistic individual.

Narcissists and narcissism are current buzzwords, that have found themselves ever more ‘popular’ in society, where we often see them being labelled to people as an insult as opposed to fully recognising the personality disorder that it actually is.

Narcissists can cause significant emotional damage to individuals close to them, which can also have an effect on the people around the affected individual, with them also feeling drained, isolated, and hopeless. 

Fortunately, counselling can help individuals overcome the negative effects of a narcissistic relationship and move forward towards healthier relationships filled with love and respect. 

In this article, we will explore how counselling can support your journey towards recovery from a toxic partnership with a narcissist.

Also to clarify from the start, we are discussing any kind of relationship, throughout this article, whether that be a friend, partner, loved one, relation and/or work colleague/employer.

Recognising the signs of narcissistic abuse

Have you ever found yourself in a relationship where your partner constantly belittles and undermines you? 

Do they make everything about themselves, leaving no room for your needs or wants? This could be a sign of narcissistic abuse. 

As I have discussed in a previous article on the Empowered Counselling Services website you first need to establish, whether you are dealing with a narcissist or someone with narcissistic traits.

There are various traits that have been attributed to a narcissist, however, to be classed as one, they need to have all of them (I have listed them below):

  • sense of self-importance
  • preoccupation with power, beauty, or success 
  • entitled
  • can only be around people who are important or special
  • interpersonally exploitative for their own gain
  • arrogant
  • lack empathy
  • must be admired
  • envious of others or believe that others are envious of them

Someone who has narcissistic traits to can be as toxic to you individually as an actual narcissist. Also, it must be noted that for someone with some of the traits, there may be some redemption for them and the chance to resolve things between you both.

However, open and honest conversations are needed to determine whether this is the case or not.

Narcissistic abuse can leave you feeling powerless, but recognising the signs is the first step towards regaining control. 

Some common signs include constant criticism, gaslighting (making you doubt your own reality), and emotional manipulation. 

If any of this sounds familiar, it is time to seek help.

By speaking with a counsellor for example at Empowered Counselling Services in Wigan we can help you gain or regain that inner strength and clarity to help you to overcome this type of abuse. 

Remember, seeking help whether you are male or female is not a sign of weakness - it takes strength to admit that something is not right and take steps towards fixing it. 

In the next section, we will discuss how to find the right counsellor for narcissistic abuse so that you can get started on your journey towards healing.

Finding the right counsellor for narcissistic abuse

When it comes to overcoming narcissistic abuse, finding the right counsellor is crucial. 

But where do you start? 

Firstly, it is by recognising that you need to speak to someone, that you can trust will be impartial and will allow you to feel safe and secure so that you are able to speak openly and honestly.

Therefore, you will want someone who can provide empathy and understanding, while also challenging your thought patterns and behaviours. 

A good way to find a potential counsellor is by asking for referrals from friends or family members. 

Alternatively, there may be someone on social media that ‘calls to you’ whether that is from posts that you have seen or on something that a friend has shared. You could also search online, whether that be a general search on Google or on online directories, such as Counselling Directory.

It is vitally important that you feel comfortable and safe around your counsellor as this will be the foundation of any progress made during counselling sessions. 

Remember that choosing a counsellor is not a one-size-fits-all solution - take your time and trust your instincts when making this decision.

As a side note, this is the same if you are looking for a counsellor for any issue that you are looking to process/talk through/overcome.

By taking the time to find the right counsellor, you are already taking steps towards healing from the trauma of narcissistic abuse.

Now that you have found the right counsellor for you, let us explore how counselling can help overcome narcissistic abuse.

How counselling can help in overcoming narcissistic abuse

Counselling can provide the support and guidance necessary to overcome the effects of narcissistic abuse.

Firstly, it is essential to understand that overcoming narcissistic abuse takes time and effort. It is not an easy journey, but with the help of a skilled counsellor, you can begin to heal. 

In therapy sessions, your counsellor will validate your experiences and emotions while also helping you develop coping strategies for dealing with future triggers.

Also in sessions, you will be able to speak openly and honestly – this may sound simple when you first read this. 

However, you may be at a point where you are not being fully truthful with others around you if/when you discuss this toxic relationship and in turn, this now could have the effect, where you are no longer being fully honest with yourself either.

Therefore, the ability to speak openly and honestly in a safe, confidential environment enables you to think and then feel more about the situation, using the truth as opposed to what has been built up in your head.

Additionally, and importantly is that counselling can help you identify any underlying issues that may contribute to why you became involved in a narcissistic relationship(s) in the first place. 

Maybe low self-esteem, past trauma or issues from childhood have played a role. 

By exploring these root causes, you can gain insight into how to avoid similar situations in the future.

Remember this is vital, as being able to overcome the ‘here and now’ you will then feel empowered to figure out and see these patterns, this will help to equip you when dealing with future relationships.

It is crucial to remember that everyone heals at their own pace. The road to recovery from narcissistic abuse is not linear and requires patience and resilience as there will be certain ‘truths’ that you may see in yourself that will need to be processed.

However, with dedication and commitment to therapy sessions, you will eventually start feeling better about yourself.

Seeking counselling is an important step towards overcoming narcissistic abuse. Remember that this process takes time, so be patient with yourself as you navigate your way through it all. 

Please know that healing is possible when guided by an experienced therapist who understands what you are going through. Together, we can work towards creating healthier relationships moving forward.


In conclusion, overcoming a narcissistic relationship can feel like an insurmountable task, but with the right support and guidance from a qualified counsellor, it is possible to heal and move forward. 

By recognising the signs of abuse and finding the right therapist who you can ultimately feel comfortable with, you can begin to reclaim your power and rebuild your sense of self-worth. 

With counselling as your ally, you can break free from the chains of emotional manipulation and emerge stronger than ever before - ready to take on whatever challenges life throws your way. 

Trust me when I say that seeking professional help is worth its weight in gold.

If you are from Wigan and/or the surrounding areas and wish to book to see me for a face-to-face counselling session, then please contact me today. We can have an initial, free, no-obligation conversation on the phone to see what is going on for you and take it from there. 

Alternatively, if you are from the UK and wish to book a telephone counselling session, then the same applies, where we can have an initial, free, no-obligation conversation on the phone to see what is going on for you and take it from there. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Wigan, Lancashire, WN1
Written by Ray Cruise
Wigan, Lancashire, WN1

I am an Integrative Psychotherapist/Counsellor based at Empowered Counselling Services.

I really enjoy working with people through their issues in a safe, non-judgemental, warm, empathetic environment - to see them change and transform as they begin to have their own realisations and in turn find and make the changes they need.

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