Psych Central Professional


Characteristics Commonly Found in “Alienated” Parents (or other Alienated Relationships)

If you’ve ever experienced the rejection of a child or other important relationship, then I’m sure you’ll find the observations presented in this article compelling.

Being on the receiving end of a rejection can be devastating.  Whether it’s a boss, a parent, or a relative, the pain can be very difficult to contend with. If it’s your child, you tend to feel particularly vulnerable.

Most parents, when rejected by a child, tend to think of everything they...


The Strong Victim: Why Victims of Abuse Stay

There are many myths about victims of abuse, such as, they tend to be passive, easily manipulated, pushovers, doormats, etc. Never do you hear people describe victims of abuse, particularly, domestic violence victims, as strong or courageous, or anything positive.

I would like to set the record straight. Many, if not most, victims of domestic violence and/or emotional abuse tend to be strong, intelligent, likable, well-educated and well-put-together women, with great personalities.  Many of these women...


The Clinician’s Guide to Helping Client’s Heal from Trauma Bonds: Breaking Free from Toxic Relationships

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

What is a trauma bond?  This is a bond created by the good/bad reinforcement of a toxic relationship. Trauma bonds occur when a relationship is solidified and defined by trauma, such as toxicity, addiction, abuse, and abandonment.

Trauma bonds are addictive. They offer up salient brain chemicals that are hard to overcome. When people get involved in intimate relationships which are toxic they become hooked on the...


Control by Deprivation

This is a coercive strategy used to control another person by withdrawing affection and warmth from the relationship; or as a weapon of punishment.

Have you ever been with a person who uses deprivation as a means to control you? If you aren't sure what deprivation looks like, here is a list of examples:

Withdraws affection
Pulls away
Acts indifferent and detached
Does not respond to your social media, phone calls, or texts
Does not respond...


How Victims are groomed by Abusive Predators

People who recover from abusive relationships of any type, including cult situations, domestic violence, sex trafficking, and even “run of the mill” types of abusive relationships often ask themselves the question, “How did I let this happen to me?”

There are a few common reasons people stay in abusive relationships, but the primary reason they get caught up in one in the first place is one reason:  Grooming.

What is grooming?

Grooming is a manipulative process used by...


Coping With the Rejection Of a Child

One of the hardest things to experience is the betrayal wound that occurs when your own child grows up to hate you.  I have seen this numerous times in my life, to the point that I am compelled to write about it.

Parents who have been rejected by one or more of their children experience a type of pain that is not matched by any other – even the betrayal of a spouse or parent.

If you...


Narcissism Explained: Jungian Theory

Warning:  This is not light reading!


Here’s an interesting approach to defining and describing narcissism using Jungian theory as a basis. This theory involves a spiritual component to personality disorders, a concept that is vastly underrepresented in Western society.

Carl Jung, a 20th century Swiss psychologist, had this to say about the idea of a spiritual aspect to psychopathology:

“Possession, though old-fashioned, has by no means become obsolete; only the name has changed....


Let Go of That Toxic Relationship and Move On!

If you are in a toxic relationship and find yourself longing to be free from the negativity it causes in your life,  yet you stand at the precipice, waiting, too afraid to take the leap off the metaphorical cliff, then read on, there is hope.

Letting Go:

While letting go of anything can be very difficult, letting go of a toxic relationship can be extremely so; it is akin to letting go of a drug....


Healing from Divorce

Divorce is one of the most difficult experiences a person can have. No one ever enters a divorce with joy and glee. Prior to the decision to divorce someone there has been a lot of hurt. The course of events looks something like this:

Falling in Love - Dream of a happy future - Marriage - Sharing dreams together - Betrayal - Hurt/ Anger / Sadness - Hanging on - Decision to...


When you’re the so-called “codependent” in a narcissistic relationship

Some people absolutely hate being referred to as a “codependent” because they are in an abusive relationship or some other type of relationship with an addict or narcissist.  You may be one of those people who believe that being labeled a “codependent” can be re-victimizing in some respects because it involves victim blaming. In essence, it feels to the person being labeled as if they “brought it on themselves.” It somehow makes a victim of...