The Recovery Expert
with Sharie Stines, Psy.D.


When You’re Triggered and Regress Emotionally

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt much younger than your actual biological age, and not in a good way?

Perhaps when you encounter certain people, such as your parents, you start feeling and acting like you did as a child; this is an example of emotional regression.

Usually, when we are in close, interpersonal relationships with certain people, we find ourselves most vulnerable to regressing emotionally. The purpose of this article is to...


How to treat Borderline Personality Disorder: A Schema Therapy Approach (Part 1)

(Note: The terms modes, personas, parts-of-self, and sub-selves, are all used interchangeably in this article.)

Research has been conducted on the effectiveness of schema therapy for the treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD); results indicate that this form of treatment is a very effective intervention for people struggling with the disorder.  (Giesen-Bloo, et al, 2006).

A schema is a deep seated, felt and internalized belief about the self in relation to others.  You know you are experiencing...


How to treat Borderline Personality Disorder: A Schema Therapy Approach (Part 2)

Please see previous article for introduction:  How to treat Borderline Personality Disorder: A Schema Therapy Approach (Part 1).
Common Modes, Personas, Sub-Selves of the Borderline Personality
According to the Schema Therapy Model, the person struggling with BPD has five common sub-selves or modes (Young, Klosko, Weishaar, 2003):

Abandoned child- this sub-self is the suffering inner child. It is the part that feels...


How to treat Borderline Personality Disorder: A Schema Therapy Approach (Part 3)

Please see previous two sections here:  Part 1 and Part 2. One of the best approaches to treating people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) is to use schema therapy or an approach involving the treatment of the client’s underlying schemas and maladaptive modes and parts of self.

Mental health professionals often view clients with BPD as manipulative, selfish people.  This negative view is destructive to treatment.  As soon as a therapist views any client negatively,...


How to treat Borderline Personality Disorder: A Schema Therapy Approach (Part 4)

Please see previous three sections here:  Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3.

Steps to take

Here are the steps to take, practically, to assist with healing the client who is struggling with borderline personality disorder (BPD):

Identify the client’s parts of self.
Explain to the client that the parts of self were created by the client as protectors in childhood. Help the client to be non-judgmental of these parts, but to honor...


Coping With Divorce: When the Kids are With the Other Parent During the Holidays

This time of year can be particularly difficult for people who have experienced the loss of a marriage and must now face the emptiness of celebrating the holidays without their family.

In the case of divorce, everything changes. This time of year brings up memories of holidays past and of our dashed hopes and dreams. Many people idealize holidays and treat them like the entire value of their relationships rest on these days alone.

What can you...


Transactional Analysis: Tool for Developing a Healthy Life

Transactional Analysis (TA) was created by Eric Berne in the 1960s as a form of cognitive behavior therapy.  Here are some of the basic ideas regarding this type of therapy, which are ingenious. Transactional Analysis is a brief therapy, which is reality based and involves personal responsibility and action.

Following are some important definitions needed in order to understand how TA works:

Ego States:  In TA, every person has three sub-parts or "ego states;" these are:  The...


Characteristics Commonly Found in “Alienated” Parents (or other Alienated Relationships)

If you’ve ever experienced the rejection of a child or other important relationship, then I’m sure you’ll find the observations presented in this article compelling.

Being on the receiving end of a rejection can be devastating.  Whether it’s a boss, a parent, or a relative, the pain can be very difficult to contend with. If it’s your child, you tend to feel particularly vulnerable.

Most parents, when rejected by a child, tend to think of everything they...


The Strong Victim: Why Victims of Abuse Stay

There are many myths about victims of abuse, such as, they tend to be passive, easily manipulated, pushovers, doormats, etc. Never do you hear people describe victims of abuse, particularly, domestic violence victims, as strong or courageous, or anything positive.

I would like to set the record straight. Many, if not most, victims of domestic violence and/or emotional abuse tend to be strong, intelligent, likable, well-educated and well-put-together women, with great personalities.  Many of these women...


The Clinician’s Guide to Helping Client’s Heal from Trauma Bonds: Breaking Free from Toxic Relationships

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

What is a trauma bond?  This is a bond created by the good/bad reinforcement of a toxic relationship. Trauma bonds occur when a relationship is solidified and defined by trauma, such as toxicity, addiction, abuse, and abandonment.

Trauma bonds are addictive. They offer up salient brain chemicals that are hard to overcome. When people get involved in intimate relationships which are toxic they become hooked on the...