Understanding and Recognizing Narcissistic Abuse

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About this course

As clinicians who come in contact with patients complaining of a wide variety of symptoms every day, you may have worked with victims of narcissistic abuse and not recognized the signs.  Victims often don’t know they are suffering from narcissistic abuse and instead reach out for help because they have somatic symptoms. Others feel they are not coping with their own lives and present with multiple psychological issues that are inaccurately diagnosed.  They have no idea that a toxic relationship is at the source of their despair.

Narcissistic abuse frequently does not look like domestic violence. It is harder to identify because often there are no obvious signs of abuse. The victims may spend years in a vicious cycle of love bombing, isolation and gaslighting, enduring tremendous loss and psychological destruction before they learn the root of their problem. As a clinician, you may be the first person to ever have the opportunity to name and validate the patients’ experiences and get them on the path for help.

Narcissistic abuse is growing in recognition among the psychological healing community, with discussion of the term, “narcissistic victim syndrome” used to describe a cluster of trauma symptoms that are caused by living with someone with narcissistic personality traits.

In this webinar, you will learn the key pattern of narcissistic abuse, common tactics used in narcissistic abuse, how narcissistic abuse affects victims, and how to recognize the signs of narcissistic abuse in your clients.


  • What exactly do we mean by narcissistic abuse?
  • The narcissistic abuse cycle, and how it differs from the domestic violence cycle
  • Family dynamics when one parent is narcissistic
  • Tactics of narcissistic abuse: gaslighting, projection and rage
  • The impacts of narcissistic abuse on the victim

About the instructor

Tiffany Kettermann, LPC, CADCI, MPA, MA, is a licensed professional counselor and a certified drug and alcohol counselor with a private practice, Health Allies Counseling, in Portland, Oregon.

“We all have our own unique journeys in life,” she says. “Hurt and pain are an inevitable part of that journey. However, I believe we are built for connection and are not meant to be alone, particularly as we face difficult times. A stable and safe relationship with a trusted counselor can be an important part of a client’s journey, helping him or her to feel supported and to arrive at useful and positive solutions.

Ms. Kettermann has a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a post-graduate certificate in Trauma Response Services from George Fox University.  Her training includes working with individuals, groups and families; lifespan development; anxiety and depression; crisis, trauma and abuse; personality disorders; neuropsychology; health psychology; substance abuse; diversity issues; diagnosis and assessment, treatments and interventions. She is a member of the American Counseling Association and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Cost and credits

The cost for this course is $49 for two hours of instruction. Once you purchase the course, you can view it as often as you want. There is no expiration date. This course offers 2 hours of continuing education credit for psychologists. For more information on credits, click here.

Mental health professionals who complete 8 Lovefraud CE credits are eligible for a free 12-month listing in the Lovefraud Professional Resources Guide.

No commercial support was provided to Lovefraud Continuing Education or the instructor for this program.

Learning objectives

This workshop will enable mental health professionals to:

  1. Define narcissistic abuse
  2. Identify the pattern of narcissistic abuse
  3. Identify tactics used in narcissistic abuse
  4. Identify the cluster of symptoms typical of individuals who have suffered from narcissistic abuse

Program Agenda

 Instruction — 55 minutes

  • Objective 1 – Define narcissistic abuse
    • Narcissistic injury
    • Early definition of narcissistic abuse
    • Narcissistic supply
  • Objective 2 – Identify the pattern of narcissistic abuse
    • Adult to child abuse cycle
    • Adult to adult abuse cycle
    • Compare to domestic violence cycle
    • Adult to adult narcissistic abuse
    • Narcissistic family dynamics
    • What is the pattern of narcissistic abuse?
      • Step 1: Find narcissistic supply
      • Step 2: Engage in the three-step process
      • Pull the empathetic person into a trauma bond
    • Trauma bonding

Break — 5 minutes

Instruction — 50 minutes

  • Objective 3 – Identify tactics used in narcissistic abuse
    • Gaslighting
    • Projection
    • Narcissistic rage
    • Other tactics of narcissistic abuse
  • Objective 4 – Identify the cluster of symptoms typical of individuals who have suffered from narcissistic abuse
    • Who is in distress?
    • How to identify clusters of symptoms typical for victim of narcissistic abuse
    • What narcissistic abuse looks like (in a therapy setting)
    • How does it present in the health care system
    • Impacts of narcissistic abuse
    • Impacts of chronic fight or flight
    • Impacts of disassociation
    • Effects of gaslighting
    • Clusters of trauma symptoms
    • What victims are struggling with when they make it to the therapy setting
    • How to help the victim identify what the problem really is

Questions and answers — 10 minutes

Narcissistic abuse is not the same as domestic violence — but is just as damaging to the victim. Take this course and you’ll learn the cycle of narcissistic abuse, the tactics employed such as love bombing, isolation and gaslighting, and how it all affects the victims.

Risks and Limitations

  • The accuracy and utility of the statements included in this presentation are based on referenced materials from reliable sources that are accessible and obtainable by all.
  • The limitation of the content presented herein is that the results of execution have not been measured, therefore, expectation of outcome is not predictable.
  • It is presumed that professionals executing the guidelines presented herein will apply such holding to the precise standards of their professional code of ethics, to reduce risk of ethical violations. As in all therapeutic interventions that may provoke emotional triggering, the professional may be required to perform risk assessment for suicidality, homicidality or other incident requiring emergency psychiatric services.

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Course Materials

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