My Step-children live with their mother who is without any doubt has narcissistic PD. How can my husband, their father, help counter the negative outcomes of being raised in an unhealthy environment. We have finally gotten her to agree to counseling, but I want to do as much as we can to help support them and/or counter some of the emotional toxicity they experience. Due to her constantly suing us for more child support, we don’t have the funds to sue her for custody. Additionally, Illinois is not a very progressive state and the family laws are not equitable, favoring mom in many cases. I look forward to your thoughts. (From the USA)
Dealing with an ex-spouse with a personality disorder can be very challenging. I’d recommend being consistently supportive and available to listen to your stepchildren. What typically happens over time is that the children will recognize the same issues as you. They will need to have a safe place to talk about developing coping strategies, and making their own adjustments. Since I don’t know the ages of the children I can’t comment on specific strategies. However the therapist who will be involved in the counseling should be able to make specific recommendations for coping.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Step Children/Narcissist Bio Mother. Psych Central.
Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/08/28/step-childrennarcissist-bio-mother/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.