If you have a partner with suspected or diagnosed BPD, NPD, or ASPD, and they are trying to involve you in joint counselling this is putting the cart before the horse and recipe for disaster and going nowhere.
It is the playground of many a narcissist (and people with BPD) who have not received their own treatment and are great blamers of their partners and want to convince therapists of things in a gaslighting abusive way that lacks a lot of truth and is full of their own projections. If you are the partner, you are not going to be helped by your NPD/BPD partner going to joint therapy with you or you with them.
Joint therapy or Couple’s Therapy/Marriage and Family Counselling is not applicable with an untreated narcissist, borderline, or anti social personality disordered partner. Before anything in a relationship with these toxic relational dynamics involved can be addressed, it is vital that the suspected, if not confirmed, personality disordered partner gets a full professional assessment and diagnosis and then gets their own therapy first.
It is only in this order that there can be any hope for joint therapy or counselling to have a chance to work for both people in a relationship. Otherwise, putting the cart before the horse only tends to make everything worse.
I can’t make a blanket statement but more Mental Health professionals who specialize in Marriage and Family (couple’s joint therapy) do not also specialize in personality disorders.
The joint therapy before a personality disordered partner is first treated is not only putting the horse before the cart. It is likely to only add to emotional damage for the loved one. It is like trying to shove a round peg into a square hole. It is just not the correct most helpful order of things or modality necessary when one or both people in a toxic relationship or relational dynamic have a personality disorder.
Nothing, or certainly not much will change in the relationship, and the worst case scenario is that the borderline or narcissist (ASPD even more so but harder to get anywhere near a therapist) will only take ample opportunity to play more mind games on unsuspecting professionals and their partners at the same time in the name of forwarding their “everybody-needs-to-know-and-agree I AM RIGHT” agenda.
Joint therapy when a borderline or a narcissist has not been through their own therapy process to some successful extent first makes a mockery for the BPD/NPD/ASPD partner who will only be more abused in what is supposed to be a process of healing.
Joint therapy is not recommended with an untreated BPD/NPD partner at all.
© A.J. Mahari, January 11, 2016 – All rights reserved.