The Recovery Expert
with Sharie Stines, Psy.D.


You Matter Too: Coping with Narcissistic Co-Parenting

When living in a family with a narcissist spouse or partner, the entire system believes that the only person who matters is the narc. Your children (and you) have been conditioned, through both blatant messages and implication, to believe that your feelings (and you) are irrelevant.

Since this is the message your children have most likely internalized, it is important for you to un-teach that message to them. First, you must unlearn it yourself.

Realize the narcissist has taught...


Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder

To be diagnosed with BPD*, a person must experience at least five of the following symptoms (APA 2014):

Fear of abandonment
Unstable or changing relationships
Unstable self-image; struggles with identity or sense of self
Impulsive or self-damaging behaviors (, excessive spending, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating).
Suicidal behavior or self-injury
Varied or random mood swings
Constant feelings of worthlessness or sadness
Problems with anger, including frequent loss of temper or physical fights


Recognizing Narcissistic Abuse

When you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, you tend to not realize that you are experiencing “real” abuse, such as victims of physical and sexual abuse.  In addition to this, so many people do not understand what narcissism is and are completely oblivious to what narcissist abuse is.

It usually takes years to figure out and usually your self-esteem is in the gutter when you realize THAT is the problem.

Know this, narcissists tailor make their...


How to Stay with a Narcissist

Having a sustainable relationship with a narcissist can be challenging. Here is a list of tips to help you stay in a relationship with someone who is narcissistic.  Realize that some of these tips contradict each other; this is because remaining in a long term relationship with a narcissist is a contradictory endeavor.

It is recommended that you understand that the relationship rules for narcissists are different than those for others. The following suggestions will help...


Creative Counseling

One attribute of a good counselor or good leader is the ability to be creative.  This article is an overview of Samuel Gladding’s ideas for implementing creativity into one’s counseling practice.

The acronym SCAMPER was created by Bob Eberle as a creativity technique to help teach children how to develop their thinking skills.  Over time, it was obvious that these concepts could be incorporated in a variety of applications.

Here are some suggestions for bringing the concepts...


When a Narcissist Makes an Apology

An apology to a narcissist is not the same as it is for the non-personality-disordered person. An apology to the average person means:

I’m sorry.
Let’s make up.

An apology to a narcissist means:

Look how good I am.
Now you owe me forgiveness.
We won’t talk about this again.
Our relationship is still on my terms, but I appear to care about your feelings.

Do not be fooled by a narcissist’s apology. Realize that the relationship...


How to help your children when their other parent is a narcissist

It is so sad to watch your children being emotionally manipulated by their narcissistic parent. It is a complicated situation and difficult to know how to respond.  How can you help your children when they are being co-raised by you and this type of parent?  Here are some suggestions on how to navigate this difficult situation:

Honesty – Give your children the gift of honesty. Talk frankly with your children about the reality of...


My Toxic Relationship Recovery Resolutions

Are you are in a toxic relationship and find yourself repeating the same old negative patterns over and over again? Do you find yourself feeling like you’re walking on eggshells when your toxic person is in your space? Or when thinking about this particular person do you find yourself feeling knots in your stomach. or tension in your neck?

If you can look at your toxic person as the drug you are addicted to, then the...


When an Abuser goes to Therapy (Including the Narcissist, Psychopath, Master Manipulator)

In order to effectively treat a person with an abusive personality, it is important to understand that almost everything you learned in school does not apply. A valuable basic premise to hold on to is that "people do that which they want to do because they get a reward for doing it."

Think about an abuser. What could he possibly want from hurting another person?  There are many answers to that question, these include: power, control,...


How to be Strong

When you feel like life is crumbling around you and your resources are shrinking, do you find yourself wishing to be strong, but don't believe you have the capability to be so? Are you in an abusive relationship, knowing that it's unhealthy, but you can't bring yourself to break the cycle, leave, or even stand up for yourself?

Rest assured, there is hope. You can become strong. Here's how:

Take baby steps.  Make a commitment to yourself...