All About Narcissistic Personality Disorder and How to Overcome it with Psychological Therapy & Counselling


What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a mental health disorder characterised by a life-long pattern of exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration from others, difficulties empathising with other people’s feelings and a tendency to exploit others for self-gain.

It tends to surface in early adulthood and may persist for very long periods or even throughout the lifespan.

Whilst there are no standardised treatments for NPD, psychotherapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Psychoanalysis are frequently used.

It is unusual for NPD sufferers to seek out therapy because they generally perceive that their behaviours are consistent with what they believe about themselves.

In most cases, it is the pressure from those who live or associate with a narcissist that drives them to consult for help.

This is often problematic because the desire to make changes (to be motivated to change) is a key outcome predictor in psychotherapy.

Common symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms

The main symptoms associated with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are:

  • An inflated sense of self-importance.
  • A preoccupation with fantasies of power, unlimited success, personal brilliance or beauty.
  • Beliefs that they are so special that they can only be understood by people with equal specialness or status.
  • A need to be excessively admired by others.
  • A sense of entitlement or that they should receive special consideration or treatment.
  • Exploitative behaviours for their own gain.
  • A lack of empathy and a failure to take other people’s feeling into consideration.
  • A beliefs that other people envy them.
  • A highly arrogant attitude.

A diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder requires that at least five of these nine sysmptoms occur concurrently.

Whilst many of these traits or behaviours can be seen within any population, it is the degree and severity of the symptoms that indicates the presence of NPD.

Psychiatric Diagnosis for Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Technically, only a psychiatrist can diagnose a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but in the UK general practitioners have tended to diagnose mental health problems by using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

The DSM lists specific symptoms against a range of disorders and whenever a person meets this criteria, they are said to be suffering from that disorder.

Diagnostic procedures do NOT make use of medical testing (for example blood tests) in order to produce a diagnosis, but rather is an opinion based on the observation of certain behaviours in the person who is suffering.

Because of this lack of verifiable medical testing, diagnosis remains a controversial subject, particularly within the psychological (non-medical) community.

However, in the UK access to support services is often contingent on receiving a diagnosis, so in this sense, a formal diagnosis may be useful.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder sufferer in therapy session

Counselling for Narcissistic Personality Disorder

We offer a number of different types of therapy and counselling for Narcissistic Personality Disorder and related problems.

Choosing the most suitable therapy depends on a number of different considerations including factors such as:

  • How long you have had the problem.
  • Your personal preferences.
  • How your problem is affecting you today.

You can read more about the different types of therapy for Narcissistic Personality Disorder on the following links:

Although all therapies use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.

Research suggests that this therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.

The behaviour change framework

Behaviour Change Framework – BCF

All of our counselling sessions and programmes are enhanced by applying the Behaviour Change Framework (BCF).

This scientifically proven protocol clearly defines the incremental stages of behaviour change that you need to go through in order to achieve long lasting and sustainable change.

Drawn from the Transtheoretical Model of Behaviour Change (TTM), the framework provides a roadmap that not only gauges the current stage of progression through the change process, but also indicates if more change is required before entering the next phase of therapy or coaching.

In this way, we are able to ensure that you get the best possible level of support in overcoming your problems as well as ensuring that we don’t terminate the change process prematurely.

You can read more about the Science of Change here.

Free initial consultations for Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Arrange your FREE initial consultation here.

If you’d like to find out more about overcoming Narcissistic Personality Disorder or recovering from any of your mental health problems then why not arrange a free initial consultation with us.

During this consultation we will discuss your particular issues and the different types of mental health counselling we offer (including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – CBT) without you having to commit to any counselling going forward.

The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet with either Paul or Joan and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.

Getting a Mental Health Diagnosis

Please be aware that Lee Psychology do not diagnose mental health disorders.

Our psychological counselling services do not require you to have been formally diagnosed but should you wish to obtain a formal mental health diagnosis, then please contact your GP who can arrange it for you.

Psychiatry Through the Looking Glass

Read what the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) and the United Nations (U.N.) said recently about the biomedical models of mental illness on Psychology Today.

W.H.O. and U.N. Join Calls to Transcend the Medical Model


Applied Psychology Solutions

If you’d like to learn how to overcome Narcissistic Personality Disorder but dislike the idea of having “therapy”, then why not learn how to change the way you make sense of your experiences with the CORE Programme.

If you believe that your problems are the result of what has happened to you and not because there is something wrong with you, then this is the solution you’ve been looking for.

Not Ready to Commit to Therapy Quite Yet?

Then why not see if you can solve your own problems using our comprehensive, Online Self-Help CBT course.


Written especially for people who prefer not to engage with a therapist before doing everything they can to overcome their problems.

Mirroring our in-house course of CBT, it contains everything that you need to know to tackle mental health challenges for only £149.

Counselling Locations

We offer counselling for Narcissistic Personality Disorder problems for people living in:

  • Wombourne
  • Wolverhampton
  • West Midlands
  • Shropshire
  • South Staffordshire
  • Telford
  • Shrewsbury

You can also access our services around the World using online therapy with Paul.