Treating Narcissism Essay

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Using Biological and Cognitive Models of Therapy to Treat Narcissism Matt Kramer Narcissism is considered one of the most difficult psychopathologies to treat. While factors that cause narcissism have not yet been definitively identified, some professionals believe the causes are a combination of genetic, biological and social factors (Psych Central Staff, 2012). For these reasons, I chose the biological model as one of the methodologies to study. Biological theorists work on the principle that abnormal behavior is a consequence of a malfunction, or possibly a set of malfunctions of the organism (Comer, 2008). While research has yet to identify any specific contribution, there is speculation that a connection between the brain and behavior plays a role in the development of narcissistic behavior (Mayo Clinic staff, 2012). I have a personal theory that the inclinations for narcissism may be a vestigial holdover from prehistoric times when such self serving egos were significant in ensuring the survival of the species in the face of threats from various enemies, including other humans. Given that the biological therapy model addresses genetic contributions to behavior, more research along these lines may be fruitful. Cognitive therapy looks at how a brain’s cognitive process affects logical thinking and its consequential assumptions (Comer, 2008). A cognitive therapist will help patients recognize how their beliefs are unhealthy and self-destructive and, in the process, replace those assumptions with positive and healthy traits and behaviors (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2012). Narcissists are complex and diverse in how they function in society. Pursuant to the possibility that their pathology is affected by a combination of factors, addressing therapy with both biological and cognitive models may provide better results than employing any single model. While some

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