Narcissistic-Like Traits Within Mental Health Professionals

Even though it’s healthy to challenge ourselves in order to achieve our professional goals, we must never forget what motivated us to become mental health professionals. Narcissistic-like extensions of what is socially idealized can cause us a load amount of distress, because it can easily detach us from our true aspirations in life.

This situation is usually observed in people who take prestigious jobs they dislike because they are obsessed with power. As a result, these people tend to get bored and/or irritated at work and have a difficult time giving all of their effort on a daily basis.

We must never forget that we are not only dealing with our happiness, but with human lives (either directly or indirectly) as well.

Society is filled with mirages of what is better for us. However, it is up to each individual to find his/her correct path regardless of the standards of others. Trying to deny our professional identity will most likely result in a tiring struggle with our ego. Our ego will look to confuse us either by making us feel hopeless or by creating unrealistically inflated expectations of ourselves.

By putting aside our ego, we unleash our true unique potential. Losing our career path at the mercy of others will only shut down the spark of our motivation, making us feel miserable at what we do.
Regardless of our genetics, culture, relationships and education, we all have the power to decide at present in favor or against ourselves. In order to achieve the former, it’s important to find what truly makes us happy.

Identifying our professional areas of interest and strengths is a good way to start. Cnsulting mentors and supervisors for guidance is another great way to support our goals. Just remember to decide to do something that you feel passionate about, and not something that you should do because others believe it’s a better fit for you.


The information presented in this article has no empirical evidence and relies solely on the subjective experience of a recent graduate in clinical psychology. The author hopes to create an awareness about the most outstanding feature  of becoming a mental health professional: altruism.

He also hopes that higher education institutions place more emphasis on cooperative work, which he believes is a fundamental skill to have now more than ever when agencies seem to be transcending titles and distinctions in favor of professionals who are able to work in a team environment.


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Narcissistic-Like Traits Within Mental Health Professionals

Eric Betances-Olivieri Psy.D.

Eric M. Betances-Olivieri, Psy. D. is a post-doctoral fellow at Lynn Community Health Center in Massachusetts.


APA Reference
Betances-Olivieri Psy.D., E. (2015). Narcissistic-Like Traits Within Mental Health Professionals. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 16, 2020, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 30 Jul 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jul 2015
Published on All rights reserved.