The Recovery Expert
with Sharie Stines, Psy.D.


The Trauma of Workplace Bullying

Have you ever found yourself in the position of being the target (scapegoat) of a workplace bully? Have you been gossiped about, ostracized, or scrutinized by your coworkers or boss and found to be lacking?

How can you tell if you are being scapegoated at work?  Here are some questions to answer:

Do you find yourself being ignored, overlooked, and isolated?  Do you feel that everyone knows a secret but you?
Are you unsure of the “rules” but...


Protecting Yourself from Manipulation

Manipulators are everywhere – in homes, schools, churches, the work place. You name it; manipulators can be found wherever people are.

What are some of the tactics manipulators use?  Some are blatant; others are less obvious:

Bullying. This is the strong-arm approach, and not so subtle. The underlying message is, “If you don’t do what I want, you’ll wish you had.”
Sense of Obligation. This tactic involves “shoulds:” You should do this in order to be a...


How do I forgive my abuser?

Have you been badly hurt by someone important to the point where there really is no conceivable way you will ever be able to forgive that person?   Has the crime against you been so heinous that it seems foolish to even consider forgiveness?  Do you feel conflicted, wondering if you have to forgive in order to heal yourself? Or do you wonder if forgiveness is just a way of letting him/her “get away with it?”



Why Do I Always feel Confused and Responsible in My Relationship? (The Borderline Male)

I can’t quite put my finger on it. Is he a narcissist?  He’s not really verbally abusive. He never yells at me, or anyone for that matter.

Perhaps I’m imagining things. He would give me the shirt off my back if I ever needed it. He is always so warm and friendly. He looks at me. He shows me care.  Why do I always feel so confused and responsible in this relationship?

Maybe he’s passive-aggressive. Maybe he’s...


Tips from the Arena: Addressing Underlying Causes of Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are debilitating at worst and frustrating at best. Oftentimes, life will seem completely “normal” and all of a sudden, panic strikes – your heart starts racing, you feel like you’re going to faint or you can’t breathe; you feel a sense of impending doom; you are not “in reality,” or feel that you have lost control of yourself.

Sometimes panic strikes as you anticipate a scary or nerve-wracking experience, such as an approaching test,...


The Loyalty Bind of the Narcissist’s Child

The loyalty bind with a narcissist is different than other loyalty binds, in that it requires the individual involved with the narc to choose between the narcissist and herself.  And of course, when you’re the child of the narcissist it is no contest. The child will choose her parent’s desires every time.

One woman explained to her therapist when he asked her to visualize her abusive mother as a lion and put her in a cage....


Watching Our Children Cope with Narcissist Abuse

One of the most difficult pains to endure as a parent is to watch our children’s other parent totally abuse, ignore, criticize, abandon, reject or otherwise disappoint our children. We know that our children are innocent in who their parents are. And as we, the adults, learn about emotional abuse and narcissism, we still struggle, even though we possess analytical abilities and some harsh life experience.  Our children are even more poorly equipped than we...


Father-Daughter Emotional Incest


Veronica loved her father.  Her parents divorced when she was nine years old and she was devastated. Her father moved out and Veronica lived with her mother and older brother.  She was not emotionally prepared for her parents’ divorce and she did not understand why it had to happen at all.

Veronica was very sad and cried a lot.  She thought her mother was mean and unreasonable and could not understand why her mother was abandoning...


Writing Prompts for Recovery from an Abusive/Toxic Relationship

Journaling is a powerful tool for healing from childhood trauma and toxic relationships.  Once you make the decision to begin the healing process from a toxic or abusive relationship, you need to do many things to heal and it’s often not obvious what to do.

One thing that is very therapeutic is the journal.  Following are a list of exercises you can do every day to help yourself reflect, feel, and heal from an abusive past...