The Recovery Expert
with Sharie Stines, Psy.D.


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...


Holding Your Own With a Narcissist (or other Personality Disordered Person)

It may have come to your attention by now that the narcissist or other type of manipulator in your life defines the terms.  This is because he/she has two essential motives – to get his/her way, and to look good doing it.  Ordinary people do not bode well with these narcissistic types because they tend to play by a different set of rules – fair ones; ones that involve cooperation, collaboration, equality.

So, now that you...


Overcoming Perfectionism

Perfectionism affects many people in our society, for many reasons. Some have been raised to believe that the way to win approval from others is to “succeed” by doing everything perfectly; this is a “performance based” view of relationships. Others have placed perfection upon themselves in order to avoid feelings such as inadequacy, shame, and fear.

Perfectionism leads to two common problems: anxiety and procrastination. 

If you believe that you have to do everything perfectly then...


How to be thin

Thinness, just as fatness, is a lifestyle. In order to develop a thin lifestyle, it helps to develop thin habits.  This involves doing what thin people do and thinking like thin people think. If this is something you haven’t done before than it might be challenging, but not impossible. Old habits can be broken and new habits can be formed.

One reason so many people find it difficult to live thin is because of how they...


Advice for Coping with Guilt Trips

Do you have someone in your life who frequently manages to cause you to feel guilty? When with this person, is he/she constantly implying that you are uncaring, thoughtless, and selfish?  Be aware that there are some people who are master manipulators and can take the biggest empath and cause him/her to feel like the greatest villain on earth.

If you have a relative, spouse, boss, or friend that seems to be continually “hurt” by your...


Love and the Narcissist

One thing you must realize when you love a narcissist is that your experience is one-sided, as he is incapable of either giving or receiving love.  This concept may be hard to grasp at first, but if you have ever been in a relationship with a narcissist than this theory definitely explains a lot.

If love is not being exchanged in the relationship, then what is?  Anyone who’s ever researched the topic of narcissism has most likely...


Abuse Recovery: Defining the Terms of Engagement

When involved with an abuser it it very common to get caught up in his or her "game" where you end up constantly responding and reacting to the madness, and you find yourself doing it automatically, without even thinking. Before you know it, you realize you are on the end of someone else's psychological yo-yo, going up and down with his or her moods.

You discover that you have been trained to constantly scan the emotional horizon of your loved one,...


Help! I’m a Stepmother!

Are you a stepmother? Or, perhaps you identify better with the term, "step monster."  Well, if you are, don't dismay, there is hope!  You can have a successful and fulfilling life, even in this difficult and unappreciated role.

There are no expectations quite so unfulfilled as those of the stepmother. When a woman falls in love with a man with children, she begins her journey hopeful, loving her relationship with the children, finding them enjoyable and adorable. ...