How to Find a Therapist Who Understands Narcissistic Abuse Recovery & NPD: 10 Powerful Questions

How to Find a Therapist Who Understands Narcissistic Abuse Recovery & NPD: 10 Powerful Questions

When you're going through narcissistic abuse recovery, you might want to find a good therapist. If so, you're obviously going to want one who is familiar with the topic of narcissistic abuse and also has a good understanding of narcissistic personality disorder and the extreme effects being involved with this sort of person can have on your entire life.

Research proves that the most effective therapy happens when the relationship between the client and the therapist is comfortable and where the client feels understood.

This is especially important for narcissistic abuse survivors, because so often, we are starved of any personal validation. We need to know that they "feel" us - feel me?

Ideally, schedule an in-person or telephone interview in advance - or schedule a single session to evaluate the therapist and whether he or she will be a good fit for you.

If you can only ask one question or you prefer to avoid the more direct approach, here's a quick way to find out if your therapist is familiar with narcissistic abuse recovery and narcissistic personality disorder.

Ask the therapist "What is your take on gaslighting? And how would you explain gaslighting to someone who hadn't heard of it before?"

I've had a lot of clients tell me that their therapists aren't familiar with that term, and if they're not, it's a really great sign that they don't know about it. I also suggest, if possible, that you find someone who has at least a bit of personal experience with emotional abuse - and if they have, they'll generally admit that to you. 

How to Interview Your Therapist: 10 Questions to Help Determine if They Can Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

If you've got time for a full-on interview, here are some questions to consider.

1. I'm hoping to work on recovering from an abusive relationship. Are you familiar with narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse recovery? How would you go about treating that.

2. Regarding your therapy style, do you lean more toward cognitive behavior therapy or digging into the deep psychodynamic root of the problem? If you want to start feeling better by treating symptoms and learning coping techniques, you want a therapist who is more CBT-based, but if you want to reach the root of the problem, you will want to dig into it with a psychodynamic-based therapy style. Ideally, you might want both - so a program that starts by treating the immediate pain and that leads to digging into the root causes as you go. A combined approach would probably be best for you as a narcissistic abuse survivor. It's good to understand how you got there so you won't be there again.

  • Coach tip: If it fits in your budget, get a narcissistic abuse recovery coach along with your therapist. This way, you can focus on learning coping techniques and getting validation from a coach who understands where you are, as well as traditional therapy.

3. Are you more directive or more of a consultant? (Some therapists use really harsh "in your face" kinds of therapy and this is usually not good for survivors). You want to know if they're going to lead the sessions with a tight, planned structure or if they'll let you lead with whatever you're dealing with. I like the idea of a flexible session - so if you want to talk about a specific thing, it's okay to put your planned goals for the scheduled session on hold. (This is how I roll in coaching).

4. Have you ever helped someone like me before? Are you familiar with domestic violence and/or emotional abuse in relationships and what is your best piece of advice for recovering from this kind of trauma?

5. Do you offer phone check-ins or text support between sessions?

6. Will you give me advice if I ask for it specifically?

7. Will you give me assignments and/or coping techniques I can use between sessions for healing and managing during recovery?

8. Who is your ideal client?

9. Is our session completely confidential, or will you disclose details to my insurance company (or employer)?

10. Do you think you can help me?

The Most Important Part: Does it FEEL right?

During the interview, take notes on:

  • How quickly you were able to feel comfortable with the therapist.
  • Whether you felt rushed or if you were allowed to go at a comfortable pace.
  • Whether the therapist seemed to "get" you from the start, or it took several attempts to help them see your point of view or perspective, or to understand what you were trying to explain.
  • Whether you understood the responses clearly and comfortably.
  • Whether you think you'd feel comfortable sharing your deepest secrets with this person.

My best tip? Go with your gut! Use your intuition! Since you might be an empath, pay attention to how the therapist makes you FEEL. You should feel comfortable and not feel the need to hide who you are in any way from this person. You should not feel "judged," just safe.

Suicide Prevention Mission: See Our New Resource List

Suicide Prevention Mission: See Our New Resource List

Suicide Prevention for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors

There's an unfortunate epidemic of victims of narcissistic abuse becoming suicidal, and at QueenBeeing.com, we want to do everything we can to prevent even one person from taking an action that they can't take back. Not only is suicide NOT an option, it's something that will affect so many more people than you realize.

We know it hurts right now, and a lot of us have been there. But please don't do anything to hurt yourself - you can't take it back - and what if you don't succeed? Angie knows a lady who tried to commit suicide and she ended up losing half of her face and will spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. You don't want that.

Unfortunately, since our members are all over the world, we're not equipped to handle suicide threats. But we know you need help, so we've created this page full of resources that can help you. Check it out if you need it. 

See the Suicide Prevention Resource List

Depression Suicide: What to do if a loved one is Suicidal

Depression Suicide: What to do if a loved one is Suicidal

Depression, characterized by erratic mood swings, loss of interest in hobbies and activities is a very serious emotional disorder affecting about 9.5 per cent of the nation.

Needless to say, it is could be a lot more fatal if a depressed person is heading towards suicide.

Therefore, here are some signs to know if your loved one is considering suicide as a result of depression.

Depression Suicide: Warning Signs to be Aware of

1. Mentions of Suicide or Death

2. Wanting to tie up loose ends or give away personal belongings

3. Engaging in reckless behavior such as heavy alcohol and drug use

4. Withdrawing from family and friends

5. Erratic mood swings

6. Inappropriately saying goodbye.

7. Verbal behavior that is ambiguous or indirect: (for example: "I want to go to sleep and never wake up.", "I'm so depressed, I just can't go on.", "Does God punish suicides?"

Though the signs and warnings may vary from person to person, it is important that you are able to recognize such warnings and take some steps to help your loved one.

Helping a loved one who is showing signs of Depression Suicide

If you believe someone is contemplating suicide do seek help immediately, however there are a several suicide prevention web sites and hotlines available to help those in need, but in case these are not within your reach, you can try the following:

1. Cultivate Physical Closeness: Simple hugs, kisses on the cheeks, loving pats and compliments go a long way in healing a broken heart or depressed mind. Remember, sometimes the little things DO count.

2. If the person is acutely suicidal, do not leave him or her alone.

3. Remember: suicidal behavior is a cry for help. Thus if someone contemplating suicide turns to you, it is likely that he believes that you are more caring and more informed about coping with depression, and more willing to help. This in itself is a positive, thus it will be time to empower yourself to be what a suicidal person views you to be; stronger and you are.

4. Other steps to take include reassuring them that help is available and that with appropriate treatment they can feel better. Try not to patronize them by simply telling them that "everything will be fine," or that "they have everything to live for.

5. Try to search the house for dangerous items such as guns and knives that could be potentially harmful.

In addition to the factors above, if you are of a spiritual inclination, this will be a good time to pray according to the framework of your faith. Indeed, prayer when used effectively can work wonders to aid in curtailing depression suicide.

Moreover, in the hopes that your loved one begins to show signs of improvement from the warnings indicating depression suicide, it will be great to start to include such drug-free approaches for depression treatment such as exercise: namely Yoga, a proper diet for physical health which in turn heals the mind and positive thinking and affirmations.

Naturally we all would get concerned or frightened if a loved one seems on the brink of suicide resulting from depression, however as with all life's problems, if we can catch it early and nip it in the bud, depression suicide can be prevented. If things may have gotten more advanced, then it may be time to seek professional help or as an alternative double up on our efforts to steer the loved one back to a positive outlook on life.

Introducing the Recovery Roadmap for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors: Navigating No-Contact

Introducing the Recovery Roadmap for Narcissistic Abuse Survivors: Navigating No-Contact

I'm very excited to announce that my brand new book, Navigating No-Contact with a Narcissist: A Recovery Roadmap for Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse, is now available at Amazon.com in both ebook and paperback formats.

This book came together after years of practicing no contact with toxic people in my own life, and coaching my clients to escape and remain free of toxic relationships with abusive narcissists in their own lives. 

In addition to a comprehensive guide to implementing and maintaining the practice of no-contact with a narcissist, the book offers personal stories and advice from three other survivors, including one who chose to remain anonymous who tells her story of being abused in a toxic lesbian relationship with a narcissist

Also featured are Jillian Tindall, Esq. and Carlita Vega, two other narcissistic abuse survivors who have both taken back their lives, partially with the help of the advice they found in my videos on narcissistic abuse recovery.

I want to share a little bit about my fellow authors with you for a couple of reasons - first, because they are fellow survivors as well as amazing, accomplished women. And second, because they deserve recognition for their contribution to this book - they provided thoughtful, inspiring and raw stories that readers will identify with on a profound level.

Suboru, Anonymous

Suboru is the name selected for the pen name of our anonymous contributor, who is a fellow narcissistic abuse survivor. While she has chosen the cloak of anonymitiy for her own safety, Suboru is passionate about helping narcissistic abuse survivors to overcome abuse and create the lives they want. She's also an advocate for abuse awareness in LGBTQ relationships.

Jillian Tindall, Esq. 

Jillian M. Tindall, has been practicing law for over 17 years, and has an extensive background litigating a wide range domestic relations matters in Las Vegas, Nevada, including, but not limited to, divorce, annulment, child custody and visitation, child support collections and defense, modification of child support, property valuation and distribution, debt division, alimony, domestic violence proceedings and protective orders, termination of parental rights, annulments, name changes, adoptions, legal separations, and the international recovery of children through Hague Convention proceedings. 

Ms. Tindall has practiced in Federal and State Courts, including Municipal and Justice Courts, and has experience with the Nevada Supreme Court.

She has written and lectured on domestic relations issues for multiple continuing legal education providers, and has received recognition for her contributions for pro bono representation in Clark County, Nevada.

Ms. Tindall is experienced with high conflict litigation, as well as mediation and alternative dispute resolution options, whether your case is highly contested or simple and uncontested. 

Ms. Tindall's earlier background experiences involve thousands of hours of work in crisis advocacy for victims of domestic violence, and she received a combined B.A. degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Oregon, in 1996, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with honors in Psychology for her Autism research with Oregon Health Sciences University, and her thesis on Autism, studying behavioral differences among gender groups. 

Ms. Tindall also received a certificate in Substance Abuse Prevention. In 1998, Ms. Tindall received her Juris Doctor from the University of Oregon, and she is licensed in Nevada and Kansas. Prior to attending the University of Oregon, Ms. Tindall pursued studies in early childhood education.

Carlita Vega

Carlita is a hard-working and loving mother of four children ages 23, 16, 11 & 7. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from the Cleveland School of the Arts.

She relocated to Georgia in 2002 and currently resides in Fayetteville. She is a survivor of child molestation, rape and most recently, narcissistic abuse.

She has managed to retain her mental and spiritual stability in spite of life’s difficulties.

Ms. Vega is a passionate entrepreneur, and also wants to help women that have been and are being subjected to this type of abuse.

She is presently improving her mental and spiritual health with research, meditation and prayer.

A Little More About the Book

Navigating No-Contact with a Narcissist is a practical and inspiring guidebook that will help you to let go of the feelings you still have for the narcissist and to stop feeling like you want and need to engage with him or her. Inside the guide, you'll learn how to reclaim your sense of self, take back your life and as you move forward, to safely move on to a better relationship. You'll learn what "no contact" really means in terms of narcissistic abuse recovery, where the term came from and how to implement it in your own life. Plus:

  • How to break an unhealthy relationship cycle
  • Dealing with smear campaigns and rude narcissists
  • How to deal with co-parenting with a narcissist
  • How to help your kids through the separation and divorce
  • How to find yourself again after recovery
  • Why no contact works so well and why it's hard to execute
  • The steps you need to take to make it happen

The book will also take you through the stages of recovery and show you what to expect in each one, as well as offering exercises and activities for each stage. Written by certified life coach, author and YouTuber Angela Atkinson, aka Angie Atkinson, this book is both comprehensive and written in a way that is easy to read. This book is for you if:

  • You've done your research and you already know or are pretty sure that you're dealing with a narcissist.
  • You've been abandoned, or you've left your narcissist.
  • You're still in the relationship, but you know you want to leave the narcissist, and you need some help.
  • You've gone or recently decided to go "no-contact" with a narcissist.
  • You want to go no-contact, but you're not sure how.
  • You're already no-contact, but you are tempted to go back to the narcissist.
  • The narcissist is trying to hoover you and you need help resisting.
  • You are ready to take back your life, right now!

So what are you waiting for? Order this book, become a no-contact master, and take back your life today, starting right now!

Want to change something? Do it. It’s easy!

Want to change something? Do it. It’s easy!

You really can do anything you set your mind to - and that includes almost literally everything. 

Many of us have big dreams that we try not to think about. Some people want to be astronauts, some people want to be rock stars… but few people will admit that when asked at a party what they're interested in.

Problem is, we feel a bit silly admitting to our ambitious dreams and hopes because we know they have a small chance of becoming real. We let a fear of failure prevent us from speaking about our aims – and even prevent us from acknowledging them!

But this is hugely misguided. The reality is actually that it is easy to achieve anything you want to achieve. And you can be whatever you want to be – just like the teachers told you at school. Read on and we'll look at how and why this can be the case.

How to be a Rock Musician?

If you want to be a rock musician, what do you do?

The first step is simply to start playing rock. What you could do next though is to start recording that playing and maybe upload it to YouTube. Do this enough and eventually you'll get a following as people start to add you and subscribe. Over the course of a few years, you could eventually end up with a list of subscribers that's long enough to make you legitimately something of a minor celebrity…

Want to be a novelist? Then you can write a book and publish it on LuLu (a self publishing site) to be able to legitimately say you're a 'published author'.

The point is that it's actually very easy to become the thing you want to be. Getting to the point where you're professional is harder but you don't need to make your job the thing that defines you. So in other words, if you want to say you're a 'writer' all you have to do is to 'write'.

Once you start looking at your goals and dreams like this, it allows you to completely forget the idea of failure. Failure is no longer an issue and so you can attack your goals with vigor. You can't fail to 'write regularly' and this allows you to enjoy the thi8ngs you are passionate about without feeling the need to lie or to downplay your hopes and objectives.

You can be anything you want to be – and being good comes with time!

Narcissism at Work: How to Deal with Real Life ‘Horrible Bosses’

Narcissism at Work: How to Deal with Real Life ‘Horrible Bosses’

What if your boss is a narcissist? The fact is that it's quite possible - after all, narcissists are often in leadership positions. Why? Because they present a strong and well-honed image to many people in their lives.

And in general, narcissists are always seeking validation, so they're looking for positions that help them feel good about themselves.

Subconsciously, a narcissist feels inferior, helpless, not good enough - all of the things they project on to their various sources of narcissistic supply.

That's why they need people to keep reminding them how superior they are; because their narcissism causes them to need that every-second reassurance from the world around them - hence the reason they use their subordinates as their at-work "supply."

In this video, I'll share ways you can deal with your narcissistic boss ethically and keep your job (if you need to!), as painlessly as possible.


Ever notice how many jokes about bad bosses people tell? And how many movies are there about evil, selfish bosses with ugly agendas?

JenniferAnistonWave08TIFFEven Jennifer Aniston has starred in at least two movies that were all about Horrible Bosses - is  it all Hollywood's fault?

Think bosses get a bad rap, or is there something to the idea of bosses being jerks? 

Useful Link: 35+ Tools & Resources for Victims of Narcissism

Whether they're a low-level supervisor or a CEO, a narcissistic boss is a constant source of conflict in the workplace. That's your first clue.

Related: Top 10 Warning Signs You're Being Gaslighted

And, apparently, narcissists are often in leadership positions. Why? Because they present a strong and well-honed image to many people in their lives.

And in general, they're always seeking validation, so they're looking for positions that help them feel good about themselves. 

Subconsciously, a narcissist feels inferior, helpless, not good enough - all of the things they project on to their various sources of narcissistic supply. 

That's why they need people to keep reminding them how superior they are; because their narcissism causes them to need that every-second reassurance from the world around them - hence the reason they use their subordinates as their at-work "supply."

Why your boss is a jerk and what you can do about it

What It Feels Like to Have a Narcissistic Boss

Since they always need people to build them up and since they need to feel better than everyone around them, a narcissist in a position of power can make everyone around them miserable. 

That's because our very human nature recoils when someone treats us as an inferior life form - and that's exactly how the narcissist sees people outside of himself. 

So how can you deal with such a boss? Can you ever successfully work with a narcissist? 

While it isn't easy, it's definitely possible. Here are some tips to help you along the way. 

Related: How to Control a Narcissist

How to Work Successfully With a Narcissistic, Controlling Boss

Controlling bosses, whether they're narcissists or not, can slow you down and undermine your confidence, to say the least. Maybe your supervisor second guesses your decisions and expects you to be available 24/7 - and if he's a toxic narcissist, chances are, it goes much deeper than you realize. 

Overbearing management styles are all too common and counterproductive. Most employees say they've been micro-managed at some point in their career, and studies show that workers perform worse when they feel like they're being watched.

If your boss is hovering over your shoulder, encourage them to give you more space. Try these steps to gain more freedom and still get along with your boss.

What You Can Do Alone and On Your Own 

You've gotta start by covering your own ass a little, because you never know when a narcissist will turn on you. Here's what you need to do.

1. Be honest with yourself. Evaluate your performance. Start out by investigating whether you could be contributing to the situation. Do you show up on time and follow through on your responsibilities? Close supervision could be a rational response when an employee tends to be less than reliable.

2. Take action! Be proactive. Once you've assured yourself that you're on top of your work, you can turn your attention to how to cope with your boss's management style. Identify their anxiety triggers and figure out your plan of action in advance.

3. Team up! Coordinate with colleagues. Chances are your co-workers experience the same issues you do. Coordinate your efforts to show your boss that they can trust you to pull together to overcome challenges even while they're traveling or focusing on strategy.

4. Keep a record of what you're really doing at work. Document your activities. Logging your accomplishments creates a paper trail. Having your facts straight helps you to prove your worth and maintain your peace of mind.

5. Get some help! Seek intervention. When appropriate, you may be able to consult others without alienating your boss. If senior management asks for feedback, let them know your supervisor's good qualities in addition to changes that could help you do a better job. Your HR department or employee assistance program may also offer relevant advice.

Beware of the flying monkeys at work!

A narcissist at work has a whole agenda that you may not even realize. Something to watch out for is the flying monkey syndrome - this happens with many narcissists, and it's especially prominent when the narcissist is your boss. Read more about flying monkeys and how to release them from your life. 

The EAR Method

I love this suggestion from Bill Eddy - it's all about how to deal with a narcissistic boss, and I think it's solid advice.

"Try to connect with Empathy, Attention and/or Respect (E.A.R.). I know this is the opposite of what you feel like doing. But this really works. Look interested when your narcissistic boss talks to you. “Butter him/her up” with an occasional compliment, asking a question (such as asking for advice on something), sharing an interesting tidbit of information, or thanks for some positive contribution.  But be careful not to lie about a compliment, or put down your own skills in the conversation. Just be matter-of-fact and let the focus be on him or her for a few minutes. Don’t get defensive, because their comments are not about you. Resisting your own defensiveness can take great personal strength, but you can do it – especially if you remind yourself “It’s Not About Me” before you have a talk. It’s about the narcissistic boss’ insecurities and lack of effective social skills. "  ~ Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.

Other Steps to Take with Your Narcissist Boss

1. Keep him (or her) posted. Provide updates. Frequent status reports keep your boss informed without their having to ask. Assure them that things are running smoothly. Remember that a narcissist is prone to narcissistic injury, so pay plenty of attention to them by keeping them posted on everything unless they specifically tell you otherwise.

2. Do something nice for your boss's career. Create more opportunities. Is your boss interfering with your work because they don't have a full plate of their own? Add value by presenting them with public speaking opportunities and sales leads. Helping your boss to shine is a smart way to advance your own career.

3. Understand who you are in relation to your job. Clarify your role. Listen closely to your boss and observe their behavior. That way you can understand their preferences and anticipate their needs. Maybe they like booking their own travel arrangements. Maybe they care more about employees following instructions than taking initiative.

4. Don't be shy! Ask for feedback. Find out what your boss is thinking. Ask questions about what results they're looking for and how you're measuring up. Pinpoint strengths you can build on and changes that they would like to see.

5. Keep emotion out of it and don't take it personally. If there are conflicts that you want to confront, be direct and gentle. Speak in terms of finding solutions rather than criticizing their personality or work habits.

6. Give your boss the credit he (thinks he) deserves. Give praise for progress. Congratulations if you're making headway. Reinforce any positive interactions by letting your boss know how much you appreciate their efforts when you're allowed to take charge of a project or find your own approach. Tell them that you enjoy working with them and that they're helping you to contribute more. A narcissist loves people who credit them for work they didn't have to do.

7. Create a personal connection. Respect and compassion enhance any working relationship. Remind yourself of what you like about your boss. Make time for small talk and sharing common interests. A strong foundation will make any disagreement easier to handle.

Being proactive and empathetic will transform your relationship with a micromanaging boss. Learn to collaborate as a team, or at least maintain harmony. Your life will get a whole lot easier. If he's a narcissist, simply understand his limitations and work within them to manage it. Check out these tips too.

What do you think? Have you ever had a narcissistic boss? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.