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The Recovery Expert
with Sharie Stines, Psy.D.

Abuse

Are you the Designated Scapegoat?

When two people get married I don't think either one of them plans on becoming their partner's scapegoat. Most people assume that there will be both good times and bad times, and they will persevere through any problems together.  This is reasonable; after all, no one is perfect and life can have challenges at times.

However, all bets are off if you marry an abuser, master manipulator, or narcissist. When this happens you discover that rather than being a...

Abuse

Comparing Narcissism to Antisocial Personality Disorder

Do you ever wonder which personality disorder you are dealing with?  I find the following descriptions very useful in determining if you are coping with an antisocial personality or a person with narcissistic traits.  The following information is based on proposed diagnostic criteria according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition.
Before comparing antisocial and narcissist personality disorders, I would like to mention the general criteria for personality...

Abuse

Take Back Your Life: Healing From Narcissistic Abuse

Healing from narcissistic abuse does not involve:

Self-improvement
Fixing your narcissist
Working on the relationship with the other person

Instead, the recovery process involves repairing your reality, which has been skewed and damaged by your experience with a disordered person.  Narcissists are masters at projecting all of their negative feelings and beliefs onto others.  They use both direct and undercover accusations and implications to cause others to believe that they are to blame for any problems...

Abuse

Disgust, Disdain, and Contempt: The Narcissist’s Favorite Emotions (Oh, and then there’s Envy)

One of the byproducts of being around a narcissist for any significant portion of time is that you end up feeling a deep sense of self-loathing.  This can be true in any category of relationship, such as intimate partner, parent-child, boss-employee, sibling, co-worker, or any other type of relationship involving an ongoing interaction with a narcissist.

If you are the child of a narcissist, you believe your parent(s) love you because they take care of you, right?  They clean the...

Abuse

When Your Mother is a Narcissist

Be the subject of your own life, not the object of someone else's.
Only children of narcissists know the insidiousness of growing up with the crazy emotional mind games and conditioning they were raised with.  Children of narcissists do not realize that they are being abused and conditioned in dysfunctional ways, until years into their adulthood and often years after entering therapy.  Because a child's vantage point is so limited, he has no idea that...

Abuse

Crazy Mind Games

Do you have someone in your life who plays crazy mind games?  Are you at the point where you realize something is wrong, you know something bad is happening, you know it's a pattern, but then, you really can't pinpoint the problem and you certainly don't know what to do about it? Chances are, the person playing with your mind is someone close to you, a boyfriend or girlfriend, spouse, parent, child, sibling, or maybe even a boss or...

Abuse

Recognizing and Changing an Abusive Relationship

There are three essential elements to an abusive relationship:

Consistent occurrences of power and control by perpetrator
Chronic feelings and displays of disrespect
Unhealthy attachment mistaken for love

Abusers are highly deceptive and others, including the victim, have no idea that he is being abusive at all.  He deceptively hides the fact that the above three factors are occurring in the relationship.  He purposefully undermines his victim’s individuality and confidence by dominating conversations and suppressing her...

Abuse

How to Integrate Traumatic Memories

The following information is provided to help therapists and counselors assist their clients in processing through the exercise of integrating uncomforted memories.  The content of this article is based on the work and research of Dr. Bonnie Badenoch, the compassionate therapist.  For more information on her great work, I would highly recommend her awesome book, The Brain-Savvy Therapist Workbook.

What goes unseen and uncomforted remains isolated in our brains; , these memories are in an unintegrated...

counseling

The Power of Journaling

Sometimes it is hard to know where to begin the journey of recovery from traumatic and other difficult experiences, such as abuse, rejection, death, betrayal, abandonment, disaster, loss, or some other type of disturbance that occurs in our lives.  There is, however, one tool that is always available, and for the most part, can be used at any time.  This tool is the journal.

Why is journaling so powerful?  There are many reasons that journaling can...

Abuse

Victims of Emotional Abuse

There is no “one size fits all” description for emotional abuse; but, there are some generalizations to be made.  Emotional abuse is any type of intentional behavior that hurts its target emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and psychologically (if you can find the distinctions).  Emotional abuse, on its own, is particularly damaging because it is insidious and tends to be covert.  By covert, I mean, it “flies under the radar.”  Most victims and others do not see...