David Bernstein thinks it is. Here he talks about using schema therapy/reparenting techniques to tap into a psychopath’s vulnerable/childlike side. He has worked with forensic patients with psychopathy and ASPD for many years and insists they do have such a side.
We’re not even talking about narcissists here, but psychopaths, who are not supposed to have any soft emotions and make narcissists look like a walk in the park in comparison. But Bernstein thinks that if a psychopath’s vulnerable side can be tapped into (which occasionally appears randomly and he gives three examples he’s seen among his forensic patients) then perhaps empathy and remorse can be taught.
I’m really skeptical, but it’s interesting and would be great if it could work–especially as crime deterrent and a way to rehabilitate hardened criminals. From what I’ve heard, only a very, very few therapists (concentrated in the New York City area) are even trained in this. Even if it does work, it probably wouldn’t work on psychopaths born without the parts of the amygdala that control empathy and conscience, just on sociopaths with normal “white matter” who became antisocial due to a bad childhood.
The only “easy” thing about the patients Dr. Bernstein treats are that they’re not difficult to get into therapy, since these are forensic patients who are already in prison. They can’t quit when things get uncomfortable. Such is not the case with most NPDs, who usually aren’t in prison and don’t often seek out therapy for themselves.