The impact of pathological narcissism on psychotherapy utilization, initial symptom severity, and early-treatment symptom change: A naturalistic investigation

William D. Ellison, Kenneth N. Levy, Nicole M. Cain, Emily B. Ansell, Aaron L. Pincus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The impact of pathological narcissism on psychotherapy has seldom been investigated empirically, despite extensive clinical theory proposing that highly narcissistic individuals should be reluctant to engage in treatment and derive smaller benefits from therapy. In this study, we investigate the relationship between scores on the Pathological Narcissism Inventory (PNI; Pincus et al., 2009), which assesses both narcissistic grandiosity and narcissistic vulnerability, and clinical variables in a sample of outpatients (N = 60) at a community mental health center. Results indicated that grandiosity, but not vulnerability, was negatively related to the use of adjunctive services and positively predicted client-initiated termination of psychotherapy. In addition, grandiosity and vulnerability were related to initial levels of different symptoms in multilevel models using a subsample (n = 41) but not generally related to the linear rate of symptom change in early psychotherapy. The results highlight the clinical utility of assessing pathological narcissism in a real-world psychotherapeutic context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-300
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Volume95
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2013

Fingerprint

Narcissism
Psychotherapy
Community Mental Health Centers
Outpatients
Therapeutics
Equipment and Supplies

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this

@article{0caffb3e6f014b37aea54eb6a222c8dd,
title = "The impact of pathological narcissism on psychotherapy utilization, initial symptom severity, and early-treatment symptom change: A naturalistic investigation",
abstract = "The impact of pathological narcissism on psychotherapy has seldom been investigated empirically, despite extensive clinical theory proposing that highly narcissistic individuals should be reluctant to engage in treatment and derive smaller benefits from therapy. In this study, we investigate the relationship between scores on the Pathological Narcissism Inventory (PNI; Pincus et al., 2009), which assesses both narcissistic grandiosity and narcissistic vulnerability, and clinical variables in a sample of outpatients (N = 60) at a community mental health center. Results indicated that grandiosity, but not vulnerability, was negatively related to the use of adjunctive services and positively predicted client-initiated termination of psychotherapy. In addition, grandiosity and vulnerability were related to initial levels of different symptoms in multilevel models using a subsample (n = 41) but not generally related to the linear rate of symptom change in early psychotherapy. The results highlight the clinical utility of assessing pathological narcissism in a real-world psychotherapeutic context.",
author = "Ellison, {William D.} and Levy, {Kenneth N.} and Cain, {Nicole M.} and Ansell, {Emily B.} and Pincus, {Aaron L.}",
year = "2013",
month = "5",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1080/00223891.2012.742904",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "95",
pages = "291--300",
journal = "Journal of Personality Assessment",
issn = "0022-3891",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis Ltd.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The impact of pathological narcissism on psychotherapy utilization, initial symptom severity, and early-treatment symptom change

T2 - A naturalistic investigation

AU - Ellison, William D.

AU - Levy, Kenneth N.

AU - Cain, Nicole M.

AU - Ansell, Emily B.

AU - Pincus, Aaron L.

PY - 2013/5/1

Y1 - 2013/5/1

N2 - The impact of pathological narcissism on psychotherapy has seldom been investigated empirically, despite extensive clinical theory proposing that highly narcissistic individuals should be reluctant to engage in treatment and derive smaller benefits from therapy. In this study, we investigate the relationship between scores on the Pathological Narcissism Inventory (PNI; Pincus et al., 2009), which assesses both narcissistic grandiosity and narcissistic vulnerability, and clinical variables in a sample of outpatients (N = 60) at a community mental health center. Results indicated that grandiosity, but not vulnerability, was negatively related to the use of adjunctive services and positively predicted client-initiated termination of psychotherapy. In addition, grandiosity and vulnerability were related to initial levels of different symptoms in multilevel models using a subsample (n = 41) but not generally related to the linear rate of symptom change in early psychotherapy. The results highlight the clinical utility of assessing pathological narcissism in a real-world psychotherapeutic context.

AB - The impact of pathological narcissism on psychotherapy has seldom been investigated empirically, despite extensive clinical theory proposing that highly narcissistic individuals should be reluctant to engage in treatment and derive smaller benefits from therapy. In this study, we investigate the relationship between scores on the Pathological Narcissism Inventory (PNI; Pincus et al., 2009), which assesses both narcissistic grandiosity and narcissistic vulnerability, and clinical variables in a sample of outpatients (N = 60) at a community mental health center. Results indicated that grandiosity, but not vulnerability, was negatively related to the use of adjunctive services and positively predicted client-initiated termination of psychotherapy. In addition, grandiosity and vulnerability were related to initial levels of different symptoms in multilevel models using a subsample (n = 41) but not generally related to the linear rate of symptom change in early psychotherapy. The results highlight the clinical utility of assessing pathological narcissism in a real-world psychotherapeutic context.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84876678152&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84876678152&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/00223891.2012.742904

DO - 10.1080/00223891.2012.742904

M3 - Article

C2 - 23186259

AN - SCOPUS:84876678152

VL - 95

SP - 291

EP - 300

JO - Journal of Personality Assessment

JF - Journal of Personality Assessment

SN - 0022-3891

IS - 3

ER -