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Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents & Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse

  • I am particularly passionate about working with adult children of emotionally immature or narcissistic parents, as well as those struggling to see their worth in relationships with others.

  • The clients I have worked with often hold some or many of the following beliefs at the start of therapy:

    • My worth is derived from what I do vs. who I am

    • I'm not "seen or heard" in relationships or in my family

    • I always feel responsible when things go wrong

    • I never feel good enough, no matter what I do or how much I accomplish

    • I have a hard time setting boundaries

    • I can't trust my own experiences, feelings, or perception of what's real

    • I'm "too sensitive, dramatic, or "too much"

    • I can read the room and feel others' emotions so that I can be what they need me to be for them

    • I have to please others to prove my worth and value

I am trained in Dr. Karyl Mcbride's 5 Step Recovery Model for treating adult children of narcissistic parents.  I have found this framework to be especially effective for clients with attachment wounds and emotional abuse.  I use this in conjunction with other interventions that may be appropriate given the individual needs and experiences of the client.


Dr. McBride's Five-Step Approach:

  1. Acceptance and Grief: this phase allows us to process the trauma of not having an emotionally available, consistent, and attuned caregiver.  I typically utilize Internal Family Systems (IFS), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) and/or Brainspotting during this phase to support clients with healing and working towards acceptance of the limitations of the caregiver(s).

  2. Separation/Individuation: we will work together to support you with developing a separate sense of self from the identified narcissist.  You will learn to identify what is a projection from the narcissist to challenge negative and untrue thoughts about self.

  3. Building Your Authentic Self: you will learn strategies to reparent your inner child and learn how to embrace your authentic self, without feelings of fear/obligation/guilt.

  4. Boundary-setting: you will receive support in setting boundaries with the identified narcissist.  Whether you choose to go no-contact or have more limited interactions, I will support you with identifying what level of contact feels "right" for you.

  5. Ending the Legacy: you will take a closer look at your current relationships and parenting to identify and address any unhelpful behaviors and learn more helpful ways of fostering more meaningful and authentic relationships with others.

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