The Recovery Expert
with Sharie Stines, Psy.D.


Stop the Madness: Breaking Free from Toxic Relationships

Do you find yourself wanting to fix, change, control, rescue, placate, or scream at someone close to you in your life?  Is your relationship with this person driving you crazy? Does it feel so true the adage, "you can't live with him and you can't live without him?"  Then you might be stuck in a toxic relationship.

Is it hopeless?  Never.  You can find hope and healing and the ability to stop living life on...


Healing from Sexual Assault

“Resilience, rather than pathology should become the standard expectation in the aftermath of trauma.” –Aaron Levin

Are you a victim, parent, or in a counseling capacity, wondering how to help yourself or your loved one cope with the trauma and horror of sexual assault?  Whether the crime was child molestation, rape, sodomy or some other sordid type of sexual perversion inflicted upon you or your loved one, the aftereffects can be devastating.  Victims of sexual assault...


Coping with Covert Abuse

Covert abuse is hard to identify because it isn’t as obvious as other types of abuse. It flies “under the radar” and is hard to detect. If your abuse happened in childhood it is even more insidious because your points of reference are limited.

Before proceeding, let’s define what covert abuse is.  Covert abuse includes any type of underhanded and deceitful behavior on the part of the abuser used to manipulate others in order to gain power...


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...


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...


Take Back Your Life: Healing From Narcissistic Abuse

Healing from narcissistic abuse does not involve:

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...


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...


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...


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...


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...