The Recovery Expert
with Sharie Stines, Psy.D.


Control by Deprivation

This is a coercive strategy used to control another person by withdrawing affection and warmth from the relationship; or as a weapon of punishment.

Have you ever been with a person who uses deprivation as a means to control you? If you aren't sure what deprivation looks like, here is a list of examples:

Withdraws affection
Pulls away
Acts indifferent and detached
Does not respond to your social media, phone calls, or texts
Does not respond...


How Victims are groomed by Abusive Predators

People who recover from abusive relationships of any type, including cult situations, domestic violence, sex trafficking, and even “run of the mill” types of abusive relationships often ask themselves the question, “How did I let this happen to me?”

There are a few common reasons people stay in abusive relationships, but the primary reason they get caught up in one in the first place is one reason:  Grooming.

What is grooming?

Grooming is a manipulative process used by...


Coping With the Rejection Of a Child

One of the hardest things to experience is the betrayal wound that occurs when your own child grows up to hate you.  I have seen this numerous times in my life, to the point that I am compelled to write about it.

Parents who have been rejected by one or more of their children experience a type of pain that is not matched by any other – even the betrayal of a spouse or parent.

If you...


Narcissism Explained: Jungian Theory

Warning:  This is not light reading!


Here’s an interesting approach to defining and describing narcissism using Jungian theory as a basis. This theory involves a spiritual component to personality disorders, a concept that is vastly underrepresented in Western society.

Carl Jung, a 20th century Swiss psychologist, had this to say about the idea of a spiritual aspect to psychopathology:

“Possession, though old-fashioned, has by no means become obsolete; only the name has changed....


Let Go of That Toxic Relationship and Move On!

If you are in a toxic relationship and find yourself longing to be free from the negativity it causes in your life,  yet you stand at the precipice, waiting, too afraid to take the leap off the metaphorical cliff, then read on, there is hope.

Letting Go:

While letting go of anything can be very difficult, letting go of a toxic relationship can be extremely so; it is akin to letting go of a drug....


Healing from Divorce

Divorce is one of the most difficult experiences a person can have. No one ever enters a divorce with joy and glee. Prior to the decision to divorce someone there has been a lot of hurt. The course of events looks something like this:

Falling in Love - Dream of a happy future - Marriage - Sharing dreams together - Betrayal - Hurt/ Anger / Sadness - Hanging on - Decision to...


When you’re the so-called “codependent” in a narcissistic relationship

Some people absolutely hate being referred to as a “codependent” because they are in an abusive relationship or some other type of relationship with an addict or narcissist.  You may be one of those people who believe that being labeled a “codependent” can be re-victimizing in some respects because it involves victim blaming. In essence, it feels to the person being labeled as if they “brought it on themselves.” It somehow makes a victim of...


How to Recognize a Controller and Take Back Your Life

Controlling people can be very taxing to be around after a while. This is because you spend so much of your energy, when with this person, trying to exert your own sense of agency or autonomy, and trying to ward off oppression. This can be very draining.  You may find yourself falling in to the role of a helpless child, needing guidance and advice all the time in order to make decisions.

Here are some common...


Statements That May be Helpful for “Normal” Couples, But are Destructive in Abusive/Narcissistic Relationships

It’s important to give him/her the benefit of the doubt

Abusers love it when you give them the benefit of the doubt. In fact, they bank on it. The more you overlook their mean behaviors, the better positioned they are to manipulate you and exploit your good nature in the future.

It takes two to tango

This message suggests that the reason you’re having problems is because both of you are equally responsible. Loved ones and bystanders buy...


Victim Blaming

It is so hard to deal with abusers and other types of manipulators because they are masters at blame-shifting. Somehow, in any argument, they are adamantly more capable of convincing victims that they are at fault, than victims are at realizing they are the victims of the entire debacle!

Victim blaming is a manipulative tactic used by abusers to convince themselves and their victims that the problems lie with the other person, not with them.  The...