The Recovery Expert
with Sharie Stines, Psy.D.


Addressing Client Resistance

What is client resistance? 

According to Watson (2006,) client resistance can be defined as:  “a process of avoiding or diminishing the self-disclosing communication requested by the interviewer because of its capacity to make the interviewee uncomfortable or anxious.”  It is believed that resistance is a “self-protective and adaptive process that functioned to preserve core attitudes about the self, others, and life” (Watson, 2006).

Behaviors commonly displayed would be labeled as defiant, avoidant, reactionary, unmotivated, and oppositional....


What is Narcissistic Supply?

(Note: I am using pronouns he, his, him, for simplicity. Narcissism applies to both genders.)

Secure attachment in infancy creates a solid foundation for a person’s entire life.  It creates a feeling of “confidence and trust in the goodness of me, you, us” (Divecha, 2017). This secure attachment is created by the comingling of reflection, attunement, empathy, and love between mother (or other primary caregiver) and infant. It is created when the mother is present, consistent,...


Games Narcissists Play

One thing that is important to realize is that narcissists play games that others cannot understand. This is because the rules change as they go.  In order to help you better navigate your way through any of these games, some basic concepts may be helpful.

Once you think you’ve figured out how to play one of these games, you realize you were wrong. You cannot win any game you play with a narcissist because the cards...


Types of Abusers: The “Victim”

Victim-hood as Covert Abuse
When you are the target of covert abuse, your abuser may present as a victim. This can be particularly confusing to you, the real victim, as you spend countless energy trying to prove to the perpetrator  your undying love in order to save the relationship.

An abuser who uses the victim mentality to manipulate his/her partner is a master manipulator.

This article is written to the true victims of this type of abuse.

Note:  For...


Parental Alienation: What NOT to do if you are the Targeted Parent of a Narcissist

If your ex is trying to alienate your children from you and are succeeding then here are some tips for things NOT to do in order to regain the love and admiration you need from your children:

Beg your child to cooperate with you.
Put yourself on an equal position to your child.
Demonstrate weakness.
Act without compassion.
Exude a lack of confidence.
Spend little time with your children.
Ignore your intuition.
Make every situation...


Controlling Communication: A Tactic Abusers Use

One of the primary weapons an abuser uses involves communication.  It's rather ironic, really; especially if you go to couples or family counseling trying to work on the problems in the relationship because oftentimes counselors will actually address the issue as if it is a communication  problem.  It is not.  What I am saying is that controlling communication is a weapon abusers use to affect their partners - mainly to control them.

Going to counseling and...


When the Narcissist (or other Such Emotional Abuser) in Your Life Ruins the Holidays

Narcissists and other Cluster B personality disordered individuals seem to thrive on ruining holidays.  If you are reading this blog, I'm sure you've been victim to this phenomenon. If you stop and think about it, you can look back over the various holidays and personal birthdays and recall yourself trying to appease the narcissistic person in your life.  You were most likely trying to make sense of the drama.  But, truth be told, you may...


How To Survive the Holidays When Your Mother is a Narcissist

It is hard to be the child of a narcissist; it becomes particularly challenging on a holiday. This is because holidays are a "high fantasy" time for the narcissist. In order for you to protect yourself, it is important to live in reality. This is different than fairness. Holidays with a narcissistic mother are not going to be about fairness. They will be about her.

Here are some useful tips for managing the holidays when your...


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...