Family Constellations & Narcissism ~ A Facilitator Discussion

Axx – What does Family Constellations say about narcissists? Any author, video or podcast that addresses this topic from the perspective of FC? Has anyone worked with any degree of “success” with a person with NPD? Thanks

Sxx – Interesting topic! I’ve heard that Family Constellations can provide valuable insights into the dynamics of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). According to some therapists, NPD is often rooted in unresolved issues from the past, such as unconscious conflicts or unmet emotional needs. By exploring these underlying issues through FC, it may be possible to help individuals with NPD gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationships.

Bxx – Narcissism in Family Constellations is seen as a systemic disorder, one that affects everyone in the system and some very strongly.

Axx-Bxx – thanks for your answer. Somewhere I can read about this topic. In your experience, what outcomes can be seen in these cases?

Exx – Do people with NPD ever come for help?

Txx-Exx – you are right, usually not. Unless it will benefit them in their manipulations or with their supply in some way.

Zxx-Txx – It can be challenging for some facilitators to hold the space without being scared by the manipulation or the reflection. It requires a delicate balance of strength, courage and just enough tenderness to reach the wound.

Txx-Zxx – I have never in all my 25 years of therapy and witnessing constellations by masters seen a diagnosable NPD client voluntarily take the chair. If they may have been coaxed up there, the constellation THEY will see will further their own illusions and delusions of themselves as it will be near impossible to see the facts as they really are

Zxx-Txx Thank you…

Through those who have attended some of my workshops, I have gained a different perception of what it is to be human and struggle.

Would I suggest others work with people with this ‘diagnosis’? Certainly not. Why? Because if you have to ask about how to work with it or read a manual, you are not prepared. You can’t prepare. No book can teach you.

I am most certainly not suggesting that anyone here run out and start inviting people with this kind of deep wounding to come to a workshop. Back in the past, there were facilitators close to Bert who did. That time has gone.

As you say, people with NPD will not come to this work, so there is little chance anyone here will have someone randomly booked in.

A psychiatrist once said to me only someone with a personality disorder can identify a narcissist. Warmly,

Txx-Zxx – I hear you. Your experience is very up close and personal as is mine. I feel an empathic alignment with you and know that you and I have no illusions about what we are dealing with.

Yxx-Exx – I believe, if we speak of a disorder (i.e. not about certain traits) they don’t come for help, because of too much insecurities – the therapy will be “ruining” their “I’m perfect, and you are bad” world and self identity.

Or they come with the idea that “their partner needs help, because something is wrong with her/him”, etc.

Zxx-Exx – Yes, but only if we don’t refer to them as ‘narcissists’.

The appeal of FC therapy is that traditionally facilitators tended not to use labels or judgements. As facilitators this language closes us off. Can we say we are facilitators of this work if we close ourselves off?

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    Axx-Axx – I had some beautiful insights about this. As Bxx mentioned it is a systemic disorder, and the narcissist carries it for the system. Of course, as always you will work phenomenologically to see how this is manifesting within a specific system.

    Nxx – seem to be working mostly with those who suffer from them as people with a fully blown Narcissistic disorder so not come to really work on themselves.

    However, many children of narcissistic parents show some clear lines of it, not on the level of a disorder and then there is certainly much that can be done.

    Jxx-Bxx-Axx – Any generalizations about the systemics of it you have handy?

    Bxx-Jxx  – The original entanglement seems to be with a child whose mother hates them and a father who is a perpetrator (rape/enslavement/abuse) to the mother. A very old pattern that is paradoxical. I feel/see consistently that narcissism begins in the descendants who are entangled with the child and in successive generations one or more members carry it for the others, but everyone is affected.

    Txx-Jxx – I think it’s important to note that you may understand the systemic entanglement, but its unlikely it will heal / help the narcissist. They will not change or get better and its better for those around to accept that. The best option for the empath is to honor everything needed to honor and then to put a very clear boundary – in most cases they will eventually come to no contact. To play into the idea that a narcissist can be healed can be dangerous for all involved.

    Jxx – To add to Txx words which sound true to me. If it feels right you can put the narcissists in your heart and have no involvement. Of course this depends on many other aspects of the unique situation.

    Txx-Jxx yes agreed that it depends on many things how the individual case will play out, especially with co-parenting. However, to create an illusion for a client that a narcissist partner or parent will change may assist them in further entanglement of ‘if only i do better or he/she changes’ and thereby remaining in an abusive relationship

    The Codependent & The Narcissist

    An Unhappy Love Story

    The article explores the Codependent’s attraction to narcissists &
    what is needed to heal.

    Bxx-Txx – So true, and true in any situation and dynamic. Acceptance of ‘what is,’ challenges and free us to live or stay entangled with the past.

    Jxx – Once we are aware that hoping someone will change is wishful thinking, setting boundaries and moving on from people who have narcissistic behavior could be a good idea.

    Then hold them in our hearts or else

    We may find another person with this quality to be in a relationship or even ignore the ‘narcissistic’ tendencies in ourselves.

    The classic Constellation part is we push this person out of our hearts as was done in past generations continuing this cycle in some way shape or form that our descendants will deal with. Of course it’s more nuanced than this, but enough for a Facebook thread.

    The heart holds immense capacity — that goes beyond what we can comprehend.

    Exx – Early attachment problems, e.g emotional incest, leave the child no where else to go but inside, walling off others, being ‘good’, people pleasing while often not trusting or being cynical of the kindness of others. Emotional incest tends to be transgenerational and is on the rise: fewer mothers planet-wide are being given the support and intimacy they need to co-parent a child. In my constellations work, closeness to Spirit, shows up frequently as opening up new options for those narcissistically wounded.. true grounded spiritual hunger and practices, not spiritual bypasses.

    Ixx – In my experience sometimes it is about the consequences of murder with torture and pleasure of the murderer to torture the victim, before killing it. The next generation loses empathy and humanity and the courage to love. Out of fear they protect themselves by abusing the one that loves them, but they know what they are doing and repress the guilt and shame. The corresponding trauma is the Empath that believes love can heal everything, but they confuse personal love with divine love. Both of them are systemic traumas and we can say their relationship is “karmic”. Narcissist need to acknowledge that they cannot reverse the torture and murder, and lost of dignity, and Empath to accept that they need to love themselves first and their sacrifice cannot atone for somebody that hurts other person in the past, that they do not own the divine love. Both of them can transcend with a lot of work and humility finally…

    Ixx – I see the NPD in connection with Empaths- In my experience the Empath is the mirror of NPD. They are always together, while we can talk about Empaths without Narc, we cannot talk about NPD without their victims, usually very empathetic persons.

    Axx – I find it interesting how much the word narcissist and empath are being used currently – Almost like it means perpetrator and victim

    Rxx – Narcissist is not getting energy from primary parents which results in trying to get energy from everyone else, and keeping hooks (entanglement) into anyone they have a relationship with.

    This doesn’t preclude other dynamics mentioned in this thread but would be one layer of what may be present.

    Nxx-Rxx – I completely see this over and over

    Pxx – Narcissists carry the abuse of some generations. They show the abuse to close people expecting to solve, that’s the subconscious dynamic. We are always reproducing the dynamics we are supposed to heal until knowledge comes to break the pattern. If a person abuses is because abuse was inflicted before. In which way it is displayed should be analyzed individually. We should never label and standardize any subconscious dynamics, it’s very dangerous, you could miss the truth of that case. The best thing is to search with a clear mind and go building theories according to what you observe. Pardon my English it’s not my native language

    Mxx – I’m all ears on this topic. Where’s the popcorn!

    Dxx – In addition to Bxx insight I’d like to add that if by chance one does get through the narcissistic individual’s mechanism (character trait) of being absolutely right or absolutely good, they are left with nothing. They have no internal resources to manage anything but being right, or good. That nothingness leaves them highly susceptible to suicide. It’s rare we will encounter this, but worth noting.

    Nxx-Dxx – There was a very famous case of a famous TV person in xxx who did lots of good, publicly.

    Then he got caught paying someone to threaten a “rival” and went into jail, also very publicly and there he committes suicide.

    Narcissists are more prone to suicide due to shame I think Dxx-Nxx Perhaps.

    Nxx-Dxx perhaps, it’s just a hunch

    Axx – Working with narcissists it would be necessary to work on acknowledging the perpetrator energy that they hold and act upon. Hellinger teaches that we all need to acknowledge the perpetrator within us. Narcissists tend to see themselves as victims and have the right to take and take and take. The connection with mother love is vital to healing. It may not be their own mother who may have badly abused them early in the process but connection with a greater force of mother love could shift something. I work on my own ego fascination and

    desire to be bigger than others. This is many times what victims of narcissists can do. Look deeply at their own ownership of what we do. Healing of the narcissist has not been something I have encountered personally.

    Ixx – So many useful insights from the comments. Thank you.

    Bxx – Narcissism is the spectrum of avoidantly attached therefore there is often loss in the system. It is simply one cannot hold their own trauma as well.

    Jack – I hope this conversation has been valuable. Let’s keep it going. Please share your comments and thoughts below.

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