The Recovery Expert
with Sharie Stines, Psy.D.


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...


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...