The Recovery Expert
with Sharie Stines, Psy.D.


Divorcing a Narcissist

The first phase of divorcing a narcissist involves developing an exit strategy. This is an anxiety-provoking prospect. Many people feel as if the task is too daunting to undertake. Many wonder, “Where do I go?” “How do I start?” How can I survive financially?”

There are many unknowns at this phase of the process. There are many factors to consider prior to actually leaving the relationship. It is recommended that you take your time to consider...


The Myth of “I’m Triggered and it’s Your Fault”

What, exactly, are triggers?  Triggers are those moments and circumstances in our lives that cause us to experience an emotional response that is not in line with the event that caused it.  Another term for experiencing a trigger is feeling that response of, "You pushed my button!"

A trigger event causes an emotional flashback, where we feel very strong emotions, often uncontrollable.  Most of us assume that the trigger was caused by the perpetrator – the...


When Your Friend is in an Abusive Relationship

(Note: For the purpose of this article, I am going to use female pronouns for the victims of abuse. This is done for simplicity sake. Please do not take this to mean that victims of abuse are not or cannot be male.)

How do you help a friend who is in an abusive relationship?  Should you bring up the fact that you believe she’s being abused, or should you let her tell you on her own?...


What’s the Difference between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder?

Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is a serious personality disorder that is often confused with the more commonly known Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  These two disorders sound similar in name, and are often confused with each other, yet they are really two very different and very distinct disorders.

The main distinction between the two disorders is that OCD sufferers perform ritualistic behaviors, and those persons with OCPD tend to be perfectionistic in many areas, causing their...


Healing from Parental Neglect

If you grew up with an “oblivious” parent – one who didn’t seem to realize he/she was supposed to raise you – then you most likely have some emotional hurts as a result.  A lack of parental attunement, attachment, and care, can cause a covert-type of damage, one that people often don’t realize. Neglect is less obvious than abuse, but the damage is deep and pervasive.

If this describes your childhood, what can you do now...


What to expect after leaving your narcissist and going “no contact”

Once you finish going through the detox phase, which includes massive cravings for your narcissist, feelings of despair and emptiness (caused by a depletion of the hormone, oxytocin,) and the withdrawal phase at the beginning of going no contact, you will come to experience some positive changes in your reality.

Leaving a narcissist is similar to breaking a heroin addiction. It is painful and difficult, but in the end, you get your life back. In order...


War Guide for Preventing and Coping with Narcissistic Parental Alienation

When you are co-parenting with a narcissist, rather than cooperation, collaboration, communication, and compromise, you come to realize you are in an altered reality. Usually the victims of narcissistic abuse continue to delude themselves into believing somehow they’re going to figure out the “trick” or just the right words to say to their children’s other parent, that is going to somehow get him/her to see the light.

It never happens.

Instead, you are in constant turmoil and...


Healing from Rejection

Have you ever been rejected by someone important in your life? Perhaps you’ve been betrayed by a loved one, discarded by a narcissist, cheated on by a spouse, fired from a job, or left by someone you cared about with no explanation given.

Experiencing the sting of rejection is very difficult to come back from, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bounce back from it. In fact, I contend that you can be even more confident...


Holidays are so much better without the silent treatment

After spending years and years with a relative, spouse, or otherwise “loved one,” walking on eggshells, or feeling the sting of being ignored, it becomes very emancipating indeed to have silent-treatment free holidays! There is nothing quite so liberating as getting away from people who don’t value you enough to talk to you.

Some toxic relatives are so obvious with their public shunning that they will go up to someone standing right next to you and...


Emotional Abuse and Threats of Abandonment

I don’t hear much about this type of abuse. Threats of abandonment are a form of emotional manipulation that uses a person’s fear as a weapon.

I know a woman who shared the following story with me. She was trying to explain the problems she experienced in her marriage with her husband at the time.  I will use her words to tell you her experience:

“One night my husband and I were arguing about something, I’m not...