narcissistic abuse recoveery program

8 Things You Need From a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program

Sharing is caring

Living in the death grips of narcissistic abuse feels like you’re stuck in a spiraling black hole you’ll never get out of.

Like an addict, you feel that every choice in your life led you to this horrible situation. Fate brought you here.  You assume that this toxic relationship is your destiny.

You’re not a victim, you’re an active participant, right? You made a choice to enter a relationship with a narcissist and now you must stick it out to the end – no matter what.

You can’t abandon your romantic relationship when things get tough. You can’t disown your mother just because she “says some mean things.”

All of this could not be further from the truth.

Think of it this way. You would never say these things about a drug addict or alcoholic: that they made a choice to use and must accept their fate.

No, you would tell them that they’re facing a deadly disease and there’s always a way out. You would tell them to find support, have hope, and pull themselves up.

You would say it won’t be easy, but it’s possible if they put in the work and life can be better than they could ever imagine.

The truth is, a narcissistic abuse recovery program can help you live the life you deserve. It can help you become the person you were meant to be – and were on track to become – before the narcissist entered your life and squeezed every drop of your joy, energy, and identity.

However, not every expert running a narcissistic abuse program has your best interests at heart. In other cases, a therapist’s heart may be in the right place, but they’ve never had to deal with getting over a relationship with a narcissist first-hand.

Here’s how to choose the best narcissistic abuse recovery program.

Why is Getting Over a Relationship with a Narcissist So Hard?

Getting out of and getting over a relationship is never easy – even when the agreement to split is mutual and there’s no abuse involved.

In a relationship, we form habits. If the relationship is with a narcissist, these habits aren’t healthy, and they more closely mirror a relationship between drugs or alcohol and someone with substance abuse.

Chances are, this isn’t even your first relationship with a narcissist. Here’s why getting over a relationship with a narcissist is so hard.

They Warp Your Sense of Identity

Gaslighting isn’t just annoying and rude. Long-term exposure to gaslighting removes your personal perspective and replaces it with the narcissist’s perspective.

Over time, your identity disappears and you exist solely to please the narcissist. Your opinions, goals, interests, and sense of self all vanish.

After extended narcissistic abuse, many survivors struggle to answer basic questions about themselves outside superficial labels like their job title, for example. The narcissist has created an identity for you instead.

They Isolate You from Family and Friends

It doesn’t help that the narcissist wants you all to themselves, so you have no choice to develop an identity outside of them.

In some cases, a narcissist may outright forbid you from seeing your friends or spending time with your family alone and threaten you if you go against them. In other cases, the narcissist may simply pout, whine, and make you feel guilty about leaving them alone or having the audacity to spend time with other people.

The Relationship Functioned Like a Drug Addiction

In a narcissistic relationship, the narcissist purposefully withholds affection from you and rations it out when it’s convenient for them.

Have you ever heard the phrase “never let a good tragedy go to waste?” The narcissist lives by this mantra.

It’s important to remember that narcissists don’t process and display emotions like normal people. While it’s incorrect to say that they don’t have empathy, it’s correct to say that they don’t have compassion.

They do have cognitive empathy and they use it to attack you. You’ve no doubt noticed how a narcissist can understand your perspective enough to get in your head, manipulate your thoughts, and pull their desired emotions out of you.

They Damaged Your Perception of How Healthy Relationships Function

You’re not damaged goods, but you do need to relearn (or learn for the first time) what makes a relationship healthy and how supportive partners treat each other.

When you’re getting over a narcissist, it’s easy to bring the same habits with you into new relationships. You’ll always second guess what your new partner says or assume they’re trying to manipulate or spite you for fun.

Or worse: you may find yourself attracted to another narcissist and repeat the cycle!

A comprehensive narcissistic abuse recovery program is essential for building healthy relationships in the future.

How to Get Over a Narcissist: Recovery Isn’t Optional

Everyone knows that it’s foolish to ditch drugs or alcohol cold turkey without a recovery program.

As a society, we understand that substance abuse is a biochemical disease. We understand that it requires building a new identity outside of using. It requires developing new mental health habits and communication skills.

Why don’t we treat narcissistic abuse recovery the same way?

You should. Because if you don’t go through a reputable narcissistic abuse recovery program, take it seriously, and make the effort to change, you’re just going to repeat the cycle.

Narcissists have a way of latching onto victims of narcissistic abuse. Victims have a way of gravitating towards narcissists as well.

You can break the cycle and become a survivor. You don’t have to keep repeating this abuse with every relationship – be it with romantic partners, parents, in-laws, siblings, coworkers, or anyone else.

8 Factors to Look for in a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program

Only someone who’s been through narcissistic abuse first-hand genuinely understands how to get over a narcissist and build a strong identity to avoid future abuse.

Some programs will teach the scientific basics and send you on your way – but you need more from a narcissistic abuse recovery program if you truly want to free your life of abuse for good.

1. Well-Researched Material with Social Proof

You’ve been through enough scamming and abuse. You need the peace of mind that you’re going through a high-quality narcissistic abuse recovery program and not getting ripped off.

Look for clues that the creator has done their research. They should understand the psychology of narcissistic abuse and the emotional toll it takes.

Look for social proof in the form of testimonials. While some people may not be comfortable disclosing their name, all anonymous reviews are a big red flag.

2. A Safe Environment Free of Victim Blaming

A narcissistic abuse recovery program should put your healing and emotional wellbeing above everything else. Narcissistic abuse isn’t your fault and this isn’t a situation where you’re both toxic or both in the wrong.

They abused you. Unfortunately, some therapists who haven’t suffered through narcissistic abuse themselves will make insensitive remarks about how you played an active role.

Not only is this a fundamental misunderstanding of narcissistic abuse, but it also delays or reverses your progress.

3. A Mix of Science and Spirituality

Science is good. Learning about mental health, depression, abuse, PTSD, brain chemistry – all of this is helpful.

However, it’s only one side of the situation. You also need to learn how to heal yourself spiritually and emotionally.

Your identity and spirit are broken and you need guidance to heal. Getting over a narcissist involves so much more than just learning about the “why.” You also need to strengthen your identity and psyche to help overcome your abuse.

4. Peer-Reviewed or Endorsements from Mental Health Professionals

A narcissistic abuse recovery program creator doesn’t necessarily need a specific degree themselves. However, they should have the endorsement of mental health professionals.

Again, narcissistic abuse is a lot like substance abuse. It’s a biochemical addiction so it requires a comprehensive understanding of how narcissistic abuse affects the brain and why it’s so hard to get out.

5. Creator has Gone Through Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Themselves

Getting over a relationship with a narcissist isn’t something anyone can genuinely understand unless they’ve gone through it themselves.

When someone goes through substance abuse recovery, they can tell within the first five minutes if their assigned therapist has struggled with addiction themselves.

Narcissistic abuse is the same way. Your creator won’t understand the terror and loss of identity you’re going through and how to get over a narcissist unless they’ve been in your shoes.

6. They Understand There Are Other Experts and Modalities

Expertise is important, but your narcissistic abuse recovery program creator should never want to be the lynchpin holding your future together. (That actually seems like a narcissistic red flag.)

You need well-rounded recovery and that depends on support from multiple places.  Sometimes this might require stepping outside your comfort zone but it’s essential.

Your recovery program creator should encourage you to speak with other survivors and talk to your friends and family about your recovery. They should encourage you to experiment with different modalities, knowing that people are individuals with their own personalities and learning styles.

7. Resources for Building Independence and Coping Tools

Getting over a narcissist means rewriting your identity and sense of self. Some people are attracted to narcissists like magnets because it’s all they know.

Your narcissistic abuse recovery program should help you find resources to lead an independent life. Once you build genuine confidence, set realistic goals, and get on your feet, you’ll be less likely to fall for the scam of narcissism again.

How will you spot the red flags? What will you do if you start falling for someone before you notice they’re a narcissist? A program should help you answer these questions.

8. Strategies for Communicating with Others and Building Relationships

Survivors fresh out of narcissistic relationships struggle to form healthy relationships and communicate with others.

For a long time, you may feel paranoid. You’ll feel like everyone is out to get you or manipulate you.

Is anyone telling you the truth? You may even notice that you’re displaying narcissistic characteristics yourself that you picked up as defensive tools during the abusive relationship.

No, you’re not a narcissist too. You do, however, need to learn how to communicate with people in a compassionate and assertive fashion.

Take the First Step Today

I understand how to get over a narcissist because I’ve been through it myself. It’s not easy. Recovery involves rewriting everything you thought you knew about yourself. It requires rebuilding your identity – or in many cases building an identity for the first time.

Like someone suffering from substance abuse, you need a narcissistic abuse recovery program that can help you avoid relapse by learning about yourself, habits, and triggers.

The Essential Break Free Bootcamp may be the missing piece of the puzzle. 

I know what you’re going through and I’m here to help. Learn more about the course and see what my students and neuroscience experts have to say about it.

Sharing is caring

Leave a Comment:

Karen Mellor says September 14, 2020

Im scared and alone but cant afford the bootcamp fee, nobody knows true extent of my damaged soul, cant take much more.

    Virginia says November 1, 2020

    I’m where u are at. Its hard to over come them when they are around all the time. Just when you get strong’ there they are. Its a long and very hard thing to do, but you can do it.

    Ingrid Fisher, Certified Life Coach ( iPEC) says January 5, 2021

    For those who cannot afford the program, I would suggest that finding a good 12 step group woud be a good support group. There is ACO ( Adult Children of Alcoholic or otherwise less than nurturing families), SSLA, ( sex ad love addiction anonymous) and other like CODA and Alanon i think ACO and SSLA might be the best choices but shop around. You get recovering friend and a free sponsor too. Many of us have also suffered financial abuse. Our Narcissist has cost us money and chances to bud u own safe future. We have lost health , money, friends ,often a house, and more. Free help is a need. Even next to a paid abuse program, when we can afford that. In service, Ingrid.

Reland says May 12, 2020

I feel as if I have finally found the recovery site I’ve been looking for!
You definitely understand every level of what the abuse has made me feel in my healing journey! I was with a covert narcissist for over 27 years , out of marriage since 2013(separation began, divorce final 2015). Despite gaining parts of myself back & remarried, I still wonder what love from a man is like. I know my husband loves me ……..I am not sure I know what it looks & feels like. Ex love bombed me hard & often because he chose an intelligent woman to abuse. I still have trouble with communication because I go over everything I say first to keep it from being twisted back on me, lol. I’ve been reading the emails you send & get a compassionate vibe from you that calms me. Thank you for that! I’m already a survivor aiming for warrior status! I will never understand the cruelty in emotional abuse or how it cuts so deeply into our core being using our love against us……I cannot fathom damaging someone that way! But I have to say that learning it was all a lie …….WOW! That’s one jagged ass pill to swallow!
I will hang tough & prevail!
Thank you for all your efforts & support!

Karen Diane says March 7, 2020

“”However, it’s only one side of the situation. You also need to learn how to heal yourself spiritually and emotionally.

Your identity and spirit are broken and you need guidance to heal. Getting over a narcissist involves so much more than just learning about the “why.” You also need to strengthen your identity and psyche to help overcome your abuse.”

I am glad you said the word “heal” twice and that your identity and psyche need to be strengthened. I am recovering from a suicide attempt just 3 months ago. It was then that I realized my husband was the problem. Back from the hospital, he begged me to try again, I have no friends, family, finances, job, ownership of anything, or confidence.

In addition, I come from a severely sexually abused childhood that went from the earliest memory of 6 until 17, and included trafficking. I have been with my narcissistic husband for nearly two decades. I have acute C-PTSD.

Back in 2012 I was kicked out of a church for dissension by a now defunct narcissistic pastor and his bobblehead elves. That is when my narcissistic husband took advantage of my loss of church, community, friends, small group, spiritual life to isolate, devalue, and deplete me of any avenue of escape. Slowly and deliberately over the years he took pieces in the name of removing stress from my life.

I recently began attending a new church after an 8 year void. However, the pastor has already broken confidence twice (that I know of), the team of helpers have either disappeared because I could not take help the way they offered, bouncing from one stranger’s house to another for safety and expected to interview with strangers to evaluate if they want to let me stay with them (mind you, I am dealing with boundary issues and the church is trouncing on them further).

My spiritual team of two women have weighed me down with legalism and MY overwhelming sin. My sins are fear, anxiety, worry, doubt, and spiritual warfare. I deal with flashbacks, now acute since the suicide attempt and marital stress. My team are not therapists but have ordered me to stop my sinful behavior of living in the past, stop having flashbacks, and stop journaling – all sinful, ungodly and unhelpful activities according to them despite my therapist’s counsel.

They stress that I NEED to get right with God. I NEED to understand His character. I NEED to stop believing Satan’s lies. Am I really saved? They are CRUSHING me in the name of helping!

When I tried to set boundaries with the church I am met with “we know what is best,” “we are trying to help” and my favorite, dismissing me entirely, JUST LIKE MY NARC HUSBAND!

I ended up returning home to my narc husband disappointing church leadership. I know I need to get from under this church and these “helpers” who have been driving me toward suicide as a viable solution again. However, it puts my husband back in full control and isolation again while I search for another church (are there any good one’s left?).

I NEED help to HEAL not to be further wounded by God’s bible thumpers. I NEED to find my identity and get my psyche back as you stated. The church is woefully lacking in understanding and training, especially when a wounded lamb shows up with childhood trauma and narcissistic abuse.

How do we get the churches attention? How to prepare churches for long term, deep trench help that heals? How to set up teams to help with shelter to finances and confidence to career?

Arthur Hutley says September 29, 2019

Thankyou Kim for your comments and help. My daughter is recovering from a second and devastating relationship and your material has helped me to understand and provide the helpful guidance at the appropriate time. My wife and I have been married for 49 years and we have been blessed however it appears we did not prepare our children for the abusive relationships that followed the introduction of the foul publications and videos of the last 40 years..

Add Your Reply