Protective Mothers' Alliance International

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Posts Tagged ‘narcissism

The Narcissists Secret Weapon-Know Your Enemy/ Lisa A. Romano Breakthrough Life Coach

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Narcissists use particular communications styles to keep people stuck. Narcissists are usually very charming and attentive when you first meet them, but when they feel they have gained your trust, that is when they remove their sheep’s clothing, and you begin to feel like you’ve been duped.

In this video you will learn how to arm yourself against your narcissistic husband, narcissistic wife, narcissistic mother and or narcissistic friend. It is important to note that narcissism exists on a spectrum. Some narcissists are more benign of malignant than others. It is important that we all learn to discern one from the other.

In this video you will learn practical tools to use when dealing with a benign narcissist, and you will also gain insight to how our society has helped create the illusions that support our false premises about self, that keep us stuck in unhealthy relationships.

Signs and Traits of Narcissists, Crazymakers, Emotional Manipulators, Unsafe People/ Think Like A Black Belt

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Do you know the tell-tale traits of narcissists, crazy makers, emotional manipulators, controlling predators, and other unsafe people?

Well now you can! Here is my ULTIMATE, BEST, MOST COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF TRAITS OF NARCISSISTS (and other unsafe people like them):

Narcissists easily shift blame

✦ A sense of superiority places them above others
✦ Must be the center of attention, constantly seeking approval, acknowledgment, kudos, accolades, praise
✦ Act like they are the lead character in all things in life
✦ Dominate conversations because they believe they have the only worthwhile things to say
✦ Want others to give into their demands, request for favors, and put their needs first
✦ Have inflated egos, inflated sense of entitlement, inflated sense of importance, inflated need to be center stage
✦ Envious of other people’s accomplishments and will steal, lie, or sabotage others to get attention back to them
✦ Envious of other people’s possessions, they will put such ownership down or minimize it to make themselves look more noble
✦ Search for constant approval and praise to reinforce their false grandiose sense of self, they’re “on- stage,” dominating the conversation, often exaggerating their importance
✦ (Since the self is so fragile — an ever crumbling construction of their ego) — use power, money, status, looks, supposed past glories (or supposed future glories) to boost their image
✦ See criticism as baseless attacks or betrayal and countered with cold-shoulder anger or rage or chilly stares or verbal attack.
✦ Can never accept blame. Others are always to blame.
✦ Feel being center of attention is good, right, and proper
✦ Have a grandiose sense of self-importance
✦ Think they are special, God-touched, or privileged
✦ Think they can only be understood by other special or high-status people
✦ Have unreasonable expectation of favorable treatment
✦ Believe they are beyond the rules. Laws do not apply to them and remorse is only felt when someone catches and confronts them.

“However they are upset over any inconveniences they suffer as a result of being busted. They believe they have the right to do what ever it takes to get short term gratification without suffering any consequences.” ~Lynne Namka

TYPICAL WAYS OPERATING OR REACTIONS (blaming, drama storms, etc.)

✦ High maintenance because they need your attention, praise, and deference
✦ Fake sweetness, honor, and good intentions, but deprive them of something they want and look out as they reveal their true selves.
✦ Express grand, exciting plans, but rarely can make them happen
✦ Blame others rather than take personal responsibility
✦ Lack of empathy colors everything they do.
✦ May say, “How are you?” when you meet, but they are not interested
✦ Their blame-shifting creates defensiveness. Then they belittle the defensiveness: “Why are you so angry?”
✦ Since they shift blame so well & seamlessly, your guilt/insecurity issues stay raw and over-sensitive.
✦ Lend you a hand up, then subtlety cut off at the knees to keep you indebted & coming back.

Need some Narcissist Kryptonite?
The Narcissist — A User’s Guide

✦ If you point out an error they made, they go into defensive mode counter any such notion with anger, venting, rage, cold-shoulder, or withdraw
✦ Give you a metaphorical rug & then keep pulling it out from under you
✦ They are: blowhards, braggarts, blusterers, brow-beaters, bullies, big-headed, and ultimately bogus.
✦ Help you gain certain skills/info/connections, but then forever make you feel beholden to them.
✦ Extremely skilled at making anyone under their influence crave their approval.
✦ Make you feel special & then emotional distance themselves in ways that keep you unsure of yourself.
✦ Use a judgmental “you’re OK”/”you’re not OK” yo-yoing to keep you off-balance & “blameworthy.”
✦ Groom people via manipulation (charm/rage combo) to sell their reality/rationalizations to others.
✦ Virtually all of their ideas or ways of behaving in a given situation are taken from others, people they know and perhaps think of as an authority.
✦ Their sense of self-importance and lack of empathy means that they will often interrupt the conversations of others.
✦ Expect others to do mundane things, since they feel too important to do them
✦ Constantly use of “I”, “me,” and “my” when they talk.
✦ Very rarely talk about their inner life, memories and dreams, for example.
✦ Lie, using subterfuge and deception as tools
✦ Are stuck in one level of maturity where growth is not an option
✦ Only have eyes for “me, myself, and I” instead of “we”
✦ Don’t understand empathy, except to fake it as a tool
✦ Play “Give to get” by being nice or helpful only to expect reciprocation
✦ Put on the air of “having it all together” and will not readily admit failure or weakness
✦ Jump to defensive mode readily and frequently
✦ May apologize, but it doesn’t mean a real change in behavior
✦ Run from their own problems rather than tackling them
✦ Demand your trust rather than being transparent and earning it
✦ See you as extensions of themselves and resist your freedom
✦ Create stories, euphemisms, sayings, definitions, rules they hold up as Truth. Their world is false.
✦ Must talk about themselves & be in control. They want you to just be an ego-stroking entity for them.
✦ Find personality weaknesses & exploit them as easily as you & I ride a bicycle.
✦ Will rarely listen to or respect your “No”
✦ Take advantage of others to reach his or her own goals
✦ Appear tough-minded or unemotional
✦ React to criticism with anger, blame-shifting, shaming or humiliating others
✦ Fail to recognize people’s emotions and feelings
✦ Exaggerate achievements, personal history or talents
✦ Are unpredictable in mood and behavior
✦ Become aggressive, hostile, verbally vicious, or withdraws when threatened
✦ Can vocalize regret for a short time when found out, but soon rationalizes it away
✦ Appearance is important, so primping or fastidiousness is common
✦ Withdraw or a cold shoulder is used as a tool to make you do what they want
✦ Rationalize everything to make sure they always come out on top
✦ Will steal an idea, quote, lesson plan, piece of wisdom — call it their own
✦ Groom underlings and create organizational or business environments to suit their need for ego stroking

“Crazymakers thrive on drama, and melodrama requires a sense of impending doom. Everything is an emergency, a deadline, a matter of life and death, or something they will get to eventually. Read ‘never’ … Nearly any situation can be cast as melodrama to support a crazymaker’s plot lines …

“A crazymaker is someone who makes you crazy by constantly stirring up storms.
“‘Normal’ doesn’t serve their need for power.
“Everything is always their problem, but nothing is their fault.”
SOURCE: “The Artist’s Way at Work – Riding the Dragon. Twelve Weeks to Creative Freedom” by Mark Bryan, with Julia Cameron and Catherine Allen


✦ Create Employment Hemorrhage — narcissists drive people away with inconsistent, raging, and arrogant actions.
✦ Tend to be a lot of talk — fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
✦ Can suck up to bosses while talking down to those they think inferior
✦ Expect others to go along with them because their plans are better or special
✦ Expect constant praise and attention
✦ When work or plans fail, will blame others and make it sound plausible
✦ Will take advantage of co-workers
✦ Will be jealous of others’ success but wear a face of confidence
✦ Play the “If you don’t like it I’m taking my ball and going home” game
✦ Exaggerate abilities and uses blame-shifting to cover deficits
✦ Can’t understand “There is no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM’.”
✦ Often argumentative, but arguments are convoluted, emotional, irrational

The following tips on narcissistic behavior come from The Winning Teams website:
✦ They feel that the rules at work don’t apply to them.
✦ They will always cheat whenever they think they can get away with it.
✦ If you share workload with them, expect to do the lion’s share yourself.
✦ They love to delegate work or projects and then interfere by micro-managing things
✦ If things go well, they take the credit; if the work turns out badly, they blame the person they delegated it to.
✦ There tend to be higher levels of stress with people who work with or interact with a narcissist, which in turn increases absenteeism and staff turnover.
✦ They get impatient and restless when the topic of discussion is about someone else, and not about them.

Need some Narcissist Kryptonite?
The Narcissist — A User’s Guide


✦ Value religiosity’s rules or business protocol over spiritual growth.
✦ Take pride in their own righteousness and rightness.
✦ Attempt to belittle any version of reality that conflicts with theirs.
✦ Can’t believe they make mistakes.
✦ Have an inability to feel or process or truly understand shame.


✦ Create scenarios to discover your weakness or fears to manipulate later.
✦ Don’t use language as communication. It’s for hiding, deflecting, avoiding, masking, & manipulating.
✦ Their charm is false. Contradict them a few times & you’ll feel their out-of-proportion narcissistic rage.
✦ Their conversations & interactions aren’t meant to enlighten, but to confuse, control, & create drama.
✦ Are black holes, working to get time, money, or talent from you.
✦ Expect you to lend a listening ear and give votes of approval.
✦ Use emotional withdraw to create guilt and compliance.
✦ Will use the parental or child role to get what they want.
✦ Will betray secrets to feel more powerful.
✦ Can use flattery or sickly-sweet protests of innocence like a stealth weapon.
✦ Use verbal skills to block or deflect being confronted.
✦ Impact our lives negatively despite appearing to have some positive effect.


✦ Their subconscious creates a false ego from which to relate to the world. They are their own avatar!
✦ Subconsciously real relationships don’t exist for them. We’re all just players on the narcissists stage.
✦ Their sole subconscious pursuit is to be seen as God’s gift to the world in a certain area or skill set.
✦ Early emotional trauma freezes their worldview at that age, making them immature, impatient, inconsiderate.

Thank you for visiting and learning about self defense.
If you think others can benefit, please pass it on!

Lori Hoeck

Manipulation Marionette

The Psychopath Next Door Full Documentary / National Geographic

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Apathetic People are the Narcissist’s Best Friends/ The Faces Of Narcissism

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Originally posted on- The Faces Of Narcissism ( link below)

I’ve said many times that I think we should shun repeat abusers–especially narcissists. Even if someone doesn’t hurt me, if I know they hurt others, I don’t want to encourage them. I want to avoid them! Furthermore, when onlookers stay silent about abuse, the narcissist believes that means they condone or even support his or her behavior. People who remain apathetic–who just don’t care about what the abuser does to hurt others–are the narcissist’s best friends. They enable the narc and encourage the abuse to continue simply by doing nothing.

I once stated my theory publicly to some mutual acquaintances I shared with the narcopath. I said that abuse continues because society lets it. People willingly let narcissists go about preying on others because they don’t want to speak out or get involved. When I said that, one of narcopath’s enablers huffily said that it was childish to shun people based on what relationship they had with another person. She said that she didn’t care what narcopath had done to others, and that mature adults only judge people by what that person does with them. Well, superficially narcopath has put on a charming face with that person, so she thinks he’s just fine. But with me, and many others, he is violent and exploitative. That reality doesn’t change just because he puts on an act sometimes. If narcissistic abusers were shunned for their behavior, they might actually have some reason to change it since they depend on others for supply!

In normal situations with normal people, it is reasonable to judge a person by their interaction with you. Maybe Suzy doesn’t get along with Paula because of a difference in personalities, but that doesn’t mean Suzy is a bad person. If you and Suzy get along well, that’s great! But with narcissists and sociopaths, they are dangerous, predatory people through and through. You can’t say that they just have differences with others because they are so cruel and manipulative, they are willing to exploit anyone and everyone. Would we befriend a kidnapper simply because they didn’t hurt us? No way! If a predator does that kind of damage to someone, we are horrified and we avoid them. But when a narcissist tears someone apart emotionally, they get away with it.

Predators are often very interesting and charming. My ex narcopath is below average for looks, but has no problem grooming and hooking hundreds of women with his false personality. There are many people who think he’s fun to be around. There are many other people who are picking up the pieces of their lives after he’s been through like a sledgehammer. Does the fact that he can be fun with some people mean that those people should ignore what he does to his victims? Would you be friends or stay friendly with someone who is a lot of fun for you, but hurts those close to them? Morally, I couldn’t do that, but apathetic people in society do it every day. They choose not to get involved, or they choose to ignore abuse that doesn’t affect them, but in reality, they are giving the abuser the green light to hurt more people. When it comes to abuse, silence is approval.


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Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

October 23, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Flying Monkeys/ Tela- Sociopathlife

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This article was original posted on ( link below)

You have been searching the internet trying to figure out what the hell kind of person you have or are involved with. After reading for countless hours, you have determined that the person is a Narcissistic Sociopath. They have met the criteria LIST. You are a mental and emotional DISASTER. You wonder why you did not see the RED FLAGS. And how easily they are/were a PATHOLOGICAL LIAR!!!!

So while reading about the piece of shit person that has ruined your life, you come across words such as: GASLIGHTING, EVIL, FEMALE SOCIOPATH, NO CONTACT etc. This article is going to be about the words Flying Monkey’s.

A Flying Monkey in a Sociopaths life is a person or persons who do their dirty work. Once the Sociopath has totally discredited you to any and everyone who would listen, as well as the Flying Monkey(s), that person/person(s) then reports back to the Sociopath what you are doing in your life. Sometimes by direct contact, other times indirect contact. For instance, the Sociopath can have a best friend (we all know they have no friends), who could be a mutual friend of yours. That person~ now a Flying Monkey will let the Sociopath know they have seen you or spoken to you, and given a full report on what is happening in your life. Fucked up? YES!! They may even act as thought they believe everything you are saying about the Sociopath. Do not be fooled. They have been brainwashed and under the SOCIOPATH POSION. A parent will also use the children as Flying Monkey’s and turn them against you.

Why do Sociopaths have Flying Monkey’s? Because they know once they DISCARDED you, and totally SMEARED your name/character, they still have to have that control over you, even if they have moved onto a new person!!!! So this is where the Flying Monkey’s are essential to the Sociopath, to let them know EVERYTHING that is going on with you. If the Sociopath knows you are an emotional wreck, that feeds them!!! If the Sociopath knows they have mentally & emotionally abused you so much that you cannot move forward~ HUGE win for the Sociopath. If you allow the Sociopath to contact you over and over, break up, make up, break up, make up etc. score another HUGE win for the Sociopath, and……..success for the Flying Monkey’s in their life. Even the children. If they come back and say ‘mommy or daddy (_________)’, win for the Sociopath.

flying monkey

Why does the Sociopath even care what you are doing once they have moved on? MOST DO NOT!!! The one’s that do, are because YOU are still feeding them, YOU are still allowing them to suck any happiness out. YOU are the one who cannot let go.

It is extremely imperative that you are aware of the Flying Monkey’s in the Sociopaths life. Be it family members, friends, co-workers, mutual friends etc. Be mindful of how you present yourself and what comes out of your mouth when dealing with the Flying Monkey’s, as it is certain everything is being reported back to the Sociopath. Which is therefore used as more ammunition against you. Be it emotional blackmail, parental alienation, financial hostage and so on.

getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. you have to let go at some point to move forward c.s. lewis



Silent abuse – The mind game by Teresa Cooper / No 2 abuse

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This article was originally posted on No 2 Abuse ( link below)

We have all suffered many forms of abuse but the least talked about is “The mind game” otherwise known as the silent treatment; ie deliberately ignored to cause harm to another persons mental well being, sent to Coventry, deliberate sabotage to a persons life or/and credibility and is one of the most harmful methods of abuse used by abusers who feel that

“If they do not use their hands to physically abuse then it isn’t abuse.”


It is abuse to ignore someones needs emotionally and make them feel worthless, depressed and will cause long term damage so much so that in many cases it can lead to the victims physical health being harmed.

To deliberately cause harm to someone by use of the silent treatment, deny a person any emotional care, deny them any praise, starve them of love, affection, compliments, positive feed back, to regularly reject, degrade and deny a person any emotional responsiveness and to ignore a persons needs is mental abuse or also known as psychological abuse. It is repetitive abuse that’s aimed at controlling, diminishing another persons well being in order to hurt, punish, harm or control them.

The silent abuser is able to switch himself off emotionally to the pain and suffering he is causing his victim and will deny he is the problem and he may tell himself or others that he is the victim.

You stop being a victim when you become the abuser

The abuser is capable of closing down all reasonable sense of emotions and turn into a cold heart very fast as he withdraws into his own world without any care for his victims distress . The abuser will behave in society charming, calm, happy, he will be seen by others as a pillar of society, gentle natured, helpful, kind, caring and fool the outside world into thinking he is abused and his partner is the abuser. This is classic of a mental abuser. They will have their partner labelled a mental case whilst he plays the victim and saint and makes her the subject of of every ones rejection by labelling her with an unbalanced mind.

The true victim will be further rejected not only by her abuser but also by his friends, work colleagues, family and others he is likely to meet. The abuser needs to feel in control and he will seek constant approval from those around him and convince them that he’s the true victim. They will offer him advice and he will feed off their pity which will make him feel even more in control as he plays the victim.

The true victims may withdraw from all social activities, work, stop seeing family, they stop being fun, will see everything in a negative light, stop eating which is the start of dangerous health issues, cry alone, send text terror messages as a means to fight back which only gives the abuser more ammunition to abuse her with as he will use that as a further excuse to ignore and make her look bad in front of others. The abuser will happily share the text messages because he wants everyone to see him as the victim. The true victim will stop functioning on all levels as the mind games take over her life. She will find it hard to think of anything else but what is happening to her. The victim will fight with her own mind and struggle to work out if she is being abused or is she truly the problem. The victim may start behaving irrationally from the stress caused by the mental abuse.

Mental abuse is not normally seen by anyone on the outside looking in because they see the abuser as a strong, calm, caring and sincere person and will not be able to see the true character behind the person in front of them that they think they know so well.

Do you really know the person standing next to you?

Out of all the abuse I suffered (I am female), the one part of the abuse I have always struggled with is “being ignored” and made to feel I was in some way, the problem. When I begged for the abuser to stop he didn’t listen and when I sought help, no one listened. The more I was ignored the more it built up an extreme and unlikely intolerance for being “ignored” which has stayed with me as an adult. I left care with that intolerance to the ugly side of human nature that often sees many people misuse the silent treatment to harm others. Some justify this behaviour and kid themselves that it’s in some way an honourable stance to take. Ignoring someone briefly when done to express dissatisfaction is very different to the silent treatment. To ignore someone as a regular means to punish, hurt or upset someone as payback or for whatever reason, is in my opinion and the opinions of experts to be considered, one of the worst forms of mental abuse that exists in human nature.

It causes irreparable damage to a person’s mind and will see the victims behaviour change slowly but noticeably when its out of control, especially by others who are close and on the outside looking in. There are times the abuse continues and the victims show now outward signs to those who are close while the mental abuser witnesses the dramatic and extreme behaviour change in a direct response to his/her mental abuse in the “silent treatment”.

The silent treatment is a form of punishment and control and the person using it to harm another, feels a lack of care, responsibility or remorse and can not or will not communicate as she/he watches the victim slowly deteriorate.

Someone who was once a lively, happy and fun person to be around turns into a whole new personality and becomes withdrawn, reclusive or maybe verbally aggressive to the abuser in a vain bid to stop the abuse of the mind.

The person dishing out the “silent treatment is FULLY aware of the damage they are doing and they are FULLY aware that all they need to do to stop the abuse is to simply talk to the victim. The abuser will not talk to the victim when in control mode and when he does he will constantly lead the victim into a false sense of security at leisure, only to ignore again.

The abuser will provoke any situation with silence which inevitably triggers off the victim who can never work out what has happened to warrant more silent treatment. Each time the victim finds himself/herself fighting desperately with the abuser in a vain bid to stop her/him giving the silent treatment all over again. Its a catch 22 for most when dealing with a narcissistic personality.

The victims behaviour can change so dramatically he/she is hardly recognized as being the same person. Every time the silent treatment begins the victim is pulled further and further down and the abuser sits back and carries on with daily chores, blatantly ignoring the victim whom is obviously so distressed that no normal thinking individual person could or would sit back and watch such a shocking display of suffering.

The victim may withdraw completely, stop talking i.e. friends, stop socializing, stop eating, start drinking, stop working, start text terrorism against the abuser as a defence mechanism of protection but it never works, suicidal thoughts, self-harm and that’s just a few of the side effects of a victim suffering from mental abuse.

The “silent treatment” otherwise named as “deliberate intent to ignore” or “ATCH” which means ‘absent to cause harm’ which is where an abuser completely cuts the victim off and the abuser will not budge. They often acknowledge in their own minds that the victim is suffering but do nothing about it, walk away and simply ignore it.

The latter is a very dangerous form of mental abuse.

I have often heard stories of men ignoring their partner, even after causing such distress that she has taken to self-harm or attempts to take her own life. The mental abuse has weakened her once strong mind into a nerve wrecking display of self doubt and depression.

The abuser will hear her calls of desperation and he will empty himself of all emotions and walk away. He will show no emotions as she tries to take her own life. He will convince himself that she deserves it for hurting his feelings by trying to fight back.

Its not often friends get to witness the mental abuse of the systematic silent treatment or mind games from a partner because it is silent.

In some cases friends will witness erratic behaviour of the victim but cant quite understand what’s going on because the victim will blame everything but her abusive partner.

It is rare anyone on the outside of the relationship sees the suffering of the victim as the abuse often like most forms of abuse stays “within the immediate relationship”.

The male abusers friends will only see their charming friend who they all love because he will do anything for them but seldom do his friends or family witness what he is doing to his partner. They will only see the abusers partners displays of distress especially when triggered in a public place or social gathering.

The “silent treatment, ignoring or ATCH” abuser is fully aware of their actions and fully aware they are causing a significant amount of harm to the victim in most cases but there are those who do believe they are the victim.

The victim may at times have the odd outburst in front of others or in a public place. The abuser will then inform his family of every little thing his victim/partner does as he seeks refuge in their company and portrays himself as the victim in need of support, because he has a totally “maniac” partner whose lost the plot.

He is then seen as the wonderful soul who is good enough to tolerate such a manic person in a relationship.

This form of mental abuse is used more often by the man than a woman but men do suffer this same form of abuse and they too remain silent because they do not want to be seen as imasculine.

Eventually once the victim has been totally broken down by the mental abuser, she will give up fighting back, beg for forgiveness and beg the abusive partner to forgive her.

She may well go to the extremes to try and make it up to her man because she has been slowly drawn in and is now under his mind control.

The man will continue to use this method of mind control and ignore, use the silent treatment or ATCH tactics until his partner has been totally exhausted, feels totally helpless and it opens her up to being controlled just so he can get what he wants.

Sadly this form of abuse has seen the deaths of women who self-harmed or taken their lives when their cries for help are ignored by the abuser. It can be a consequence of the action.

Self-harm – deliberate cutting or mutilation of one’s own body including ripping hair out, stop eating, stop going out, withdraw from society, cut off hair, stay in bed, over eat or attempt suicide.

The reason I am touching on this subject is because I have seen a number of women email me on facebook who are going through this right now with their Turkish partners or they have just left such an abusive relationship and sit in silence blaming themselves.

I also want to touch on this subject because I am a survivor of child abuse and I myself have gone through the mental abuse process and contrary to what people believe, it is not easy to leave such a controlling relationship.

Men who have been abused as children physically, sexually or mentally and/or suffered abuse by a parent due to the damaging effects of poverty are well known for using the “silent treatment, ignoring and ATCH” methods to punish and control their partners.

These men will convince themselves they are not abusing because they haven’t physically hit the woman and he will convince her he’s very good to her by not saying anything.

He will almost always convince himself he’s the victim and show no remorse at all for the suffering he is causing by punishing and controlling someone he claims to love.

These men are often found unwilling to contribute to the relationship they are in and show little or no care or respect for their partner .

He expects her to hold the entire relationship together all by herself whilst he laps up the comfort of control and does nothing to contribute or support the relationship. He will not show emotions when challenged or he may eventually turn to violence when confronted.

Ignoring a partner may also be a sign of infidelity or a man who is not in control of his own emotions and shuts down.

Regardless of the circumstances, mental abuse and the negative power of the “silent treatment, being deliberately ignored or the ATCH” abuse is never the less very damaging for those on the receiving end and needs to be address by either the abuser entering therapy or for the victim to leave the situation.

If the man recognizes he’s an abuser he can seek help from a professional.

The victim must seek professional help to get out of such an abusive relationship before she is so worn down it will diminish her life slowly but surely.

When does the silent abuse turn into physical abuse?


Sheriff Thomas Hodgson Shares Insight Into Aaron Hernandez/ CNN Video

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A.H’s arrogance during the trial was obvious to all. In the opinion of most, he is a narcissist who keeps his swagger by being a Master manipulator and by compartmentalizing.

He knows how to use his charm to get whatever he wants, and will never take responsibility for what he’s done. He creates his own reality (calls Jail a training camp)- Texbook.

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, who oversaw the jail where Aaron Hernandez was housed during his trial, shares insights into his time behind bars.



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As PMA International has posted before, we prefer the term DV by Proxy to explain the manipulations an abuser parent uses to teach the child to reject the protective parent. We prefer this term because;

1. In our opinion ,it more accurately depicts the actions taken by the abuser parent towards the child
2. There has been a lot of misinformation about parental alienation circulating the internet and beyond.

3.The term parental alienation and /or parental alienation syndrome has been use as a legal defense for abusive dads in family court.

Most often this term has been used by the attorneys of dads who sexual abuse their children. This legal defense is used – most often- by attorneys in family court , for the purpose of deflecting blame from the criminal actions of their client onto the protective mother.

4. The result of the above has frequently been, abusers winning custody due to this misuse of the term.

Because the term is so emotionally charged for protective mothers, and for all the reasons above, we feel DV by Proxy is a better choice. Please keep in mind others still use the term Parental Alienation. Since PMA International did not author this piece, the term parental alienation or alienation may be used.

This article was originally posted on ( link below)

The solution to “parental alienation” requires a paradigm shift away from the failed Gardnerian paradigm of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), over to an attachment-based model of “parental alienation” that describes the nature of the pathology from entirely within standard and established psychological constructs and principles.

Until we are able to achieve this paradigm shift, however, we are stuck working with the systems that we have, and these systems are broken. The mental health response is inept and too often colludes with the pathology, and the response of the legal system is glacial at best, prohibitively expensive, and entirely inadequate. So how are we to cope with these failed systems when we need the support of the mental health and legal systems to achieve a solution to “parental alienation?”

Until we are able to achieve a paradigm shift that will allow us to solve all cases of attachment-based “parental alienation” quickly and effectively as they arise, we must find ways of resolving the ignorance and incompetence in mental health and the inadequacy of the legal response.

The Single-Subject Design remedy that I wrote about in my recent blog post and on my website (Single Subject Design Remedy) may (or may not) offer a remedy acceptable to the Court.

My professional recommendation, however, is that the appropriate treatment response to the presence of the three diagnostic indicators of attachment-based “parental alienation” in the child’s symptom display (see Diagnostic Indicators post) would be an immediate 9-month protective separation of the child from the pathogenic psychopathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent; followed by an initial intervention with the intensive “High Road” protocol of Pruter to quickly restore the child’s normal-range authenticity; followed by ongoing recovery stabilization therapy with a capable and competent therapist.

In developing and offering the Single-Subject Design remedy I am trying to find a compromise solution that may be acceptable to the Court and functional in the current context of dysfunctional systems. If you are familiar with the rationale of the SBS Intervention available on my website, you may also recognize the strategic family systems component of the Single-Subject Design remedy that seeks to alter the power dynamics conferred by the child’s symptoms.

The SBS Intervention and the Signal-Subject Design remedy are efforts to address the inadequate response of the legal system which is reluctant to take the necessary treatment related step of ordering the child’s protective separation from the pathogenic parenting of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent during the active phase of the child’s treatment and recovery stabilization.

In my view, we desperately need to end the unproductive and unnecessary debate in mental health surrounding whether or not “parental alienation” exists. The pathology of narcissistic and borderline personalities definitely exists, as does the attachment system, attachment trauma, and the trans-generational transmission of attachment trauma. All of these things definitely exist. And all of these things comprise the core foundation for an attachment-based model of “parental alienation.”

Instead of being frozen in endless unproductive and unnecessary debate, we should be moving forward in actively conducting systematic research on different models for resolving the pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation.” The SBS Intervention and the Single-Subject Design remedy are two offers for compromise solutions that may be acceptable to the Court and that could serve as beginning options for additional treatment research (once we end the unproductive and unnecessary debate in mental health as to whether “parental alienation” exists).

Broken Mental Health Response
But until we can achieve the needed paradigm shift, we must work within the broken systems that we have. In this blog post I will be turning my attention to the broken mental health response. We need to address the ignorance and incompetence which is prevalent in the mental health response to attachment-based “parental alienation.” In this blog post I describe a possible “psychologist consultant” model for the role of an expert professional in assisting the targeted parent in obtaining an appropriate mental response to the pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation.”

The concept of a psychologist consultant model is not new. Michael Bone and Richard Sauber (2013) have proposed a similar professional consultation role for an expert mental health professional. But in this blog I will be extending the specificity of describing the role of the “psychologist consultant” in helping the targeted parent obtain an appropriate and competent mental health response to the pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation.”

This increased specificity in describing the role of the psychologist as a consultant to the targeted parent is made possible by the shift from the Gardnerian PAS model employed by Drs. Bone and Sauber to an attachment-based model of “parental alienation” that’s based entirely within standard and established psychological constructs and principles. One of the primary advantages offered by a paradigm shift is that an attachment-based model establishes clearly defined boundaries of professional competence within standard and established constructs of professional psychology.

Once we establish domains and boundaries of professional knowledge and competence necessary to diagnose and treat this special population of children and families, we can then begin to hold ALL mental health professionals accountable to a defined standard of practice in diagnosis and treatment.

The attachment-based model for the construct of “parental alienation” defines the pathology being evidenced in the family, and in the child’s symptom display, within the established professional constructs of parental narcissistic and borderline personality pathology, the role-reversal relationship, the triangulation of the child into the spousal conflict through the formation of a cross-generational coalition with the allied and supposedly favored narcissistic/(borderline) parent against the targeted parent, and the severe distortion to the child’s expression of attachment bonding motivations toward a normal-range and affectionally available parent.

The nature of the pathology requires that diagnosing and treating mental health professionals possess an advanced level of professional expertise in the following domains of professional knowledge:

1. The Attachment System
The child’s rejection of a normal-range and affectionally available parent represents a severely pathological distortion to the formation and expression of the child’s attachment system.

As a consequence of the attachment system foundations to the child’s expressed pathology, mental health professionals who are diagnosing and treating the severely pathological distortions to the child’s attachment system must possess an advanced level of professional knowledge and expertise regarding the developmental formation and expression of the attachment system during childhood, including the trans-generational transmission of attachment trauma, in order to competently diagnose and treat this type of child and family pathology.

An advanced professional understanding for the reenactment of attachment trauma patterns contained within the “internal working models” of the attachment system is crucial to professional expertise and competence in working with this special population of children and families.

2. Personality Disorder Pathology
The pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation” represents the expression of pathogenic parenting practices by a narcissistic and/or borderline personality parent who is inducing severe psychopathology in the child. The term “pathogenic parenting” is a construct in clinical psychology and child development referring to the creation of severe psychopathology in the child as a result of highly distorted and aberrant parenting practices (patho=pathology; genic=genesis, creation).

The narcissistic/(borderline) parent is engaging the child in a pathogenic role-reversal relationship in which the parent is using the child as a “regulatory object” to regulate the emotional and psychological state of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent. While a role-reversal relationship will superficially appear to be a hyper-bonded parent-child relationship, it is actually an expression of extreme psychopathology which is highly destructive for the child’s healthy development.

Because narcissistic and borderline personality psychopathology plays such a central role in the formation and expression of the child’s symptoms, mental health professionals involved in diagnosing and treating this type of child and family pathology must possess an advanced level of professional knowledge and expertise in narcissistic and borderline personality processes. This includes an advanced professional expertise in recognizing the presentation of narcissistic and borderline psychopathology in clinical interviews, and in recognizing the expression of narcissistic and borderline psychopathology through a role-reversal relationship with the child, in which the child is used as an external “regulatory object” for the parent’s own pathology.

3. Delusional Processes
The narcissistic/(borderline) personality structure is extremely fragile and will readily collapse into distorted, and often delusional, perceptions of others.

Since the fragile narcissistic/(borderline) personality structure is prone to collapse into delusional thinking, mental health professionals working with this type of psychopathology within the family must possess a professional expertise in recognizing the characteristic delusional processes surrounding the collapse of the narcissistic and borderline personality structure. This professional expertise also includes the means by which parental delusional beliefs can be transferred to the child through the child’s role-reversal relationship with the parent.

In a role-reversal relationship, the child is used by the narcissistic/(borderline) parent as a “regulatory object” for the parent’s emotional and psychological state. This requires that the child surrenders self-authenticity in order to adopt the regulating role for the parent as a continual narcissistic reflection for the parent’s emotional and psychological needs. The child’s role as a “regulatory object” for the narcissistic/(borderline) parent is to prevent the collapse of the parent into chaotic displays of emotional and psychological disorganization by stabilizing the fragile self-structure of the parent.

Through the child’s role as the “regulatory object” for the narcissistic/(borderline) parent, the child acquires the delusional perceptions of the narcissistic/(borderline). The child’s role as the “regulatory object” for the parent’s psychopathology requires that the child surrenders self-authenticity to the parent in order to become a regulating narcissistic reflection for the emotional and psychological needs of the parent.

Defining the processes of attachment-based “parental alienation” from entirely within standard and established psychological principles and constructs establishes a set of clearly defined professional domains of knowledge required for professional competence in the diagnosis and treatment of this special population of children and families.

Evaluation of the Child
The evaluation of the child’s pathology occurs in two professional contexts:

1. Treatment: When the child enters either individual or family therapy, the treating mental health professional must evaluate the nature, extent, and the cause of the child’s symptom display in order to develop a treatment plan.

This initial treatment evaluation can be either skillful or inadequate based on the professional expertise and competence of the treating therapist.

If the treating therapist lacks professional expertise in the necessary domains of professional knowledge needed to competently diagnose and treat the pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation,” then the evaluation of the child will be inadequate, incomplete, and faulty.

Physicians who do not understand cancer should not be diagnosing and treating cancer.

Mental health professionals who do not understand the attachment system and personality disorder pathology should not be treating distortions to the attachment system of the child that are caused by the personality disorder pathology of a parent.

Most therapists treating attachment-based “parental alienation” lack the professional knowledge and expertise necessary to appropriately diagnose and treat the pathology involved. As a result, most therapy provided for the pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation” is inadequate, misguided, and entirely ineffective.

2. Custody Evaluation: The Court sometimes seeks the input of professional psychology regarding matters of family conflict and child custody. The input of professional psychology is typically structured into a child custody evaluation regarding family processes and parental capacity.

The quality and conclusions of the child custody evaluation can be either sound or faulty based on the professional expertise and competence of the mental health professional conducting the evaluation.

Typical child custody evaluations involving attachment-based “parental alienation” do a fairly thorough job of gathering and reporting on the clinical data, but the clinical interpretations and conclusions based on the clinical data are frequently faulty and incorrect, and the recommendations offered by the child custody evaluation are often inadequate and fundamentally wrong from a treatment perspective.

The reason that so many child custody evaluations get it wrong regarding the pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation” is that the mental health professionals conducting these evaluations often lack the advanced level of professional expertise regarding the attachment system and personality disorder processes that is needed to recognize and understand the nature of the pathology being expressed in attachment-based “parental alienation.”

The absence of professional expertise in mental health professionals conducting child custody evaluations is in three primary areas:

Role-Reversal Relationship. Many child custody evaluators lack the advanced level of professional expertise needed to recognize and understand the severe pathology of the role-reversal relationship, in which the child is used as an external “regulatory object” to regulate the emotional and psychological state of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent.

Narcissistic & Borderline Pathology: Many child custody evaluators avoid assessing for diagnostic labels in the belief that diagnosis is beyond their role as a custody evaluator. They often see their role as assessing “parental capacity,” not parental pathology. However, diagnostic labels provide an extremely useful function in organizing and interpreting the meaning of clinical data. Diagnostic categories can bring together disparate clinical information into organized constellations of integrated meaning, which then contain important implications for the treatment and resolution of the pathology.

While some diagnostic categories may not affect parenting capacity, prominent indicators of parental narcissistic and borderline personality traits have extremely important implications regarding the potential for creating child psychopathology. As a consequence of the central and primary role of parental narcissistic and borderline personality processes in the subsequent creation of child psychopathology, a focused evaluation for the presence of parental narcissistic and borderline personality traits should be one of the central and primary functions of a child custody evaluation.

So centrally important is the role of parental narcissistic and borderline personality pathology to the creation of subsequent child psychopathology, that an entire section of EVERY child custody report should be dedicated to specifically addressing an analysis of the clinical data surrounding the potential for parental narcissistic and borderline personality pathology.

The Attachment System: The evaluation of a primary disruption to the child’s attachment bonding motivations toward a parent requires that the evaluator possess an advanced level of professional expertise and understanding for the role and functioning of the child’s attachment system, which includes the trans-generational transmission of attachment trauma through the reenactment of parental attachment patterns (especially attachment trauma patterns) from the childhood of the parent into the current family relationships.

This includes processes of parental projective identification with the child and the role-reversal use of the child as a “regulatory object” for the parent.

Projective identification involves the parent’s loss of psychological boundaries with the child. In projective identification, the child becomes a psychological extension of the parent, and the parent will subtly induce emotions in the child that actually belong to the parent. For example, an over-anxious parent may induce the child into becoming overly anxious in order to allow the parent to then nurture the child’s anxiety. In nurturing the child’s (subtly induced) anxiety, the parent is actually nurturing his or her own anxiety that is being “held” or contained by the child.

In projective identification, the parent is projecting the parent’s own experience into the child, and in responding to the child’s symptoms the parent is identifying with the child; i.e., projective identification.

Role-reversal relationships are characteristic of a particular pattern of attachment called “disorganized attachment,” and role-reversal relationship are transmitted across generations. Children who experienced a role-reversal relationship with their parents will subsequently grow up to use their own children in role-reversal relationships when they become parents.

Currently, most therapists and child custody evaluators lack the specialized professional knowledge and expertise necessary to adequately and accurately evaluate the pathology surrounding attachment-based “parental alienation.” As a result, the response of mental health professionals to the pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation” is often flawed.

Professional ignorance leads to professional incompetence. The psychopathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) personality is highly manipulative and exploitative. Naive mental heath professionals can easily be drawn in by the highly manipulative and exploitative pathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent. The subtly manipulative and exploitative pathology characteristic of narcissistic and borderline personality dynamics seduces naive and ignorant mental health professionals into becoming allies of the psychopathology.

From professional ignorance and practice beyond the boundaries of their professional competence, many mental health professionals begin to collude with the psychopathology, to the extreme detriment of the child’s healthy emotional and psychological development.

So what do we do…

The solution is to mandate that ONLY those professionals who have the advanced level of professional knowledge and expertise necessary for professionally competent practice with this special population of children and families be allowed to diagnose and treat this special population of children and families.

Professionals who lack the advanced knowledge and expertise in the attachment system, personality pathology (including delusional processes of narcissistic and borderline personality pathology), and the nature of role-reversal relationships, would be prevented by established standards of professional practice from practicing beyond the boundaries of their professional competence.

Actually, this is currently the case. Professionals who lack the specialized professional knowledge and expertise to competently diagnose and treat the pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation” already ARE prevented by professional practice standards from diagnosing and treating the attachment system and personality disorder processes associated with attachment-based “parental alienation.” They just don’t know it yet because the field of professional mental health is still using the old Gardnerian PAS model to define the construct of “parental alienation.”

However, until we are able to achieve a paradigm shift, what do we do in the meantime… before we achieve the solution?

The Consultant Model
Because of my expertise in attachment-based “parental alienation” I am increasingly being asked by targeted parents to provide consultation regarding what they can do. Until we achieve a paradigm shift, there is very little we can do in any specific situation to solve the situation.

We cannot ask the child to expose his or her authenticity until and unless we can first protect the child from the pathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent. The pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation” is not a child custody issue, it is a child protection issue.

As a result of my consultations with targeted parents I am sometimes asked to serve as an expert witness to the Court regarding the “pathogenic parenting” evidenced in their particular case. In this capacity I usually work for the attorney in reviewing documents, particularly reports from therapists and child custody evaluations. Based on the information provided to me by the attorney, I will write a report and provide testimony regarding my professional opinions regarding the material I reviewed.

Sometimes the Court appears to be influenced by my report and testimony, other times not.

This model of professional consultation is directed toward the legal system. In order to effectively treat and resolve the child’s symptoms we must first obtain the child’s protective separation from the pathogenic parenting of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent. Obtaining the child’s protective separation from the pathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent requires the cooperation of the Court.

More recently, however, I have also been exploring an alternative consultant model that is focused on the currently dysfunctional mental health response to the pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation.” In this “psychologist consultant” model (as opposed to the expert witness model), I serve as a consultant for the targeted parent in trying to achieve an appropriate and professionally competent response from the therapist who is involved in treating the family’s pathology, either individually with the child or in “reunification therapy” (there’s no such thing) with the parent and the child.

An analogy to my role would be to purchasing a home where both the home seller AND the home buyer are represented by their own real estate agents. I’m like the psychology “agent” for the targeted parent in negotiating psychotherapy with the treating therapist.

Targeted parents don’t understand psychopathology, or psychological theories and terminology, or the variety of approaches to psychotherapy that are available. I do. I’m a clinical psychologist; psychopathology and psychotherapy are the areas of my professional expertise.

My role as a psychologist consultant to the targeted parent is to interface with the treatment provider to provide information about “areas of clinical concern” that the targeted parent and I are asking the therapist to consider and further evaluate for us.

This consultation role, however, can become sensitive. Many therapists may be put off by the implication that they don’t know what they’re doing. These therapists may become even more closed and unwilling to listen. Other therapists may feel intimidated by having their work monitored. These therapists may withdraw from the case.

There is also a phenomenon called “resistance.” When we push one way the other person pushes back in the opposite direction. If we say “parental alienation” then we will automatically produce a counter-response of “no its not.” That’s just the nature of resistance.

There’s an interesting explanation of this “backfire effect” on Youtube

An additional video of interest is on negotiation and anchoring.

In negotiation, we anchor our frame of reference to the first information we receive. In attachment based “parental alienation” the first information therapists often receive is from the child, so the therapist’s later interpretation of information is anchored to the child’s characterization of the targeted parent as “abusive.”

What I’m currently exploring as a psychologist consultant for the targeted parent is whether we can anchor the treating therapist to an attachment-based definition of the family processes before the therapist becomes anchored to the trauma reenactment narrative of “abusive parent”/”victimized child”/”protective parent” that is being presented to the therapist by the child and narcissistic/(borderline) parent.

But we need to accomplish this without producing the “backfire effect” explained in the first Youtube video. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t. I’ll keep you posted.

If nothing else, it will place the therapist on notice that the actions of the therapist are being monitored by a clinical psychologist. It’s possible that when the therapist learns that I’m monitoring them they may seek out information from my blog and website to lower their anxiety caused by the unknown of me. This would be a good thing. As they become more educated, they become more competent.

The Treatment Plan
Key to achieving competent treatment in the current no-solution environment is to obtain a written treatment plan from the therapist. Most therapists do not develop a treatment plan, written or otherwise. But they should. One of the courses I teach at the graduate level is how to develop a treatment plan. When I was the Clinical Director for a children’s assessment and treatment center working with foster care children, I always asked the therapists working for me to develop a treatment plan following their initial assessment.

The treatment plan should define:

The Case Conceptualization: What does the therapist view as being the cause of the issues?
The Treatment Plan: How does the therapist intend to solve the problems identified as the cause of the issues in the case conceptualization?
Prognosis & Timeline: How optimistic is the therapist that the issues can be resolved, and how long will it take? Expectation benchmarks for symptom change should be identified at 3-months, 6-months, and 9-months intervals (if therapy is expected to take that long).
As a side-note; therapy for parent-child conflict should achieve a significant resolution of the issues within 6-9 months (without complications from things like autism-spectrum issues that make the problems more treatment resistant and intractable).

A year for severe problems might be necessary. But if therapy is taking longer than a year then the case conceptualization needs to be closely examined and serious consideration needs to be given to possibly redefining the case conceptualization and treatment plan.

Naturally, the prognosis and timeline are subject to revision as things proceed, but the treatment plan sets forth a set of expectations and guidelines to which everyone can agree. If things change and the treatment plan needs to be adjusted, then the new factors and the needed alterations to the treatment plan can be discussed.

This is actually an important part of the process for “Informed Consent” to treatment. How can clients give informed consent to treatment if they don’t know what treatment entails?

When someone has a medical disease, the physician describes for the patient what the disease is and what the various treatment implications are.

The physician would also provide a clear description of what treatment would entail. For example, would the cancer require six cycles of chemotherapy over two years? Or surgery? Or radiation? If there are alternative forms of treatment, these would also be explained to the patient, along with the physician’s estimates for prognosis and recovery.

This is called the “Informed Consent” process, and is a requirement of professional practice. According to Standard 10.01 of the Ethics Code for the American Psychological Association:

Informed Consent to Therapy
“(a) When obtaining informed consent to therapy as required in Standard 3.10, Informed Consent, psychologists inform clients/patients as early as is feasible in the therapeutic relationship about the nature and anticipated course of therapy”

The general informal guidelines within professional standards of practice are that people have a right to all the relevant information that they need in order to make an informed decision regarding their participation in therapy.

Medical physicians describe the disease and its treatment to their patients as part of the informed consent process, why shouldn’t psychotherapists do the same? Actually, they should. But most don’t.

Why don’t they? The primary reason is that many therapists have no idea what they’re doing. How can they explain to you what they’re going to be doing if they don’t know what they’re doing themselves?

This is where the advice in the first Youtube video on avoiding resistance can be helpful. Draw out the therapist to increasingly explain what his or her therapy is going to entail. Cultivate the appearance of oh-so-pleasant ignorance. Don’t assert what truth is, that will just provoke resistance. Instead ask the therapist what their truth is… and keep asking from your oh-so-pleasant ignorance until things make sense to you.

Ask the therapist for the treatment plan.

What does the therapist see as being the cause of the problem?
What’s going to happen in therapy to fix the problem? How is taking in therapy sessions going to fix the problem? Find out specifically what the linkage is between what is going to happen in therapy and fixing the problem.
Do you, as the parent, need to do something specific to fix the problem? And if you do this, whatever the therapist says you need to do to fix the problem, then the problem will be fixed?
What will the treatment entail? What’s going to happen in the treatment sessions? So if treatment sessions do this, whatever the therapist says will happen, then the problem will fixed?
How long will it take before the child’s symptoms go away?
We’re not asking for certainty. Of course things will depend on circumstances. But what circumstances? And what is the general expectation?

The incompetent therapist may start to give you voodoo gobblygook about the “need to develop a therapeutic relationship,” and because they’re the professional and you’re not you may accept this gobblygook as if it somehow makes sense.

However, the clinical psychologist who is working as a psychologist consultant for the targeted parent would seek a more complete and coherent description.

Why is a therapeutic relationship important to addressing the cause of the child’s symptoms? How is that exactly going to work, in terms of a “therapeutic relationship” somehow fixing the problem? So the child is going to come to trust the therapist more… and then what? Explain it to me.

Is the therapist talking about a Kohutian therapeutic relationship of mirroring, idealizing, and twinship self-object functions? Or perhaps the therapist is talking about a Rogerian therapeutic relationship of self-actualization of the child’s authenticity? Or perhaps the therapist is talking about a psychoanalytic therapeutic relationship called the transference relationship? What does the therapist mean by building the “therapeutic relationship” and how specifically is this going to fix the problem?

Of note is that the therapeutic relationship is also sometimes called the “therapeutic alliance.” If the child is in a cross-generational coalition with the narcissistic/(borderline) parent against the targeted parent, then in proposing to build a “therapeutic alliance” (i.e., the “therapeutic relationship”) with the child, the therapist is essentially proposing to join the alliance of the child and narcissistic/borderline parent against you.

That doesn’t sound like a good treatment plan.

Or perhaps the therapist doesn’t ’t have a clue as to what they’re doing and they’re simply throwing up a smokescreen of gobblygook “therapy-speak” to hide that they have no idea what they’re doing.

The Danger
The danger, however, is that my working as a psychologist consultant for the targeted parent may simply annoy the therapist into further entrenching into his or her ignorance (the “backfire effect”), or the therapist may become so annoyed with me that they’ll simply quit as the therapist (possibly when they are asked to provide a written treatment plan).

I’m not quite sure yet whether either of those responses are actually bad things though. If the therapist is going to entrench further into his or her ignorance, it’s likely best to know that early rather than after six months or a year of ineffective and pointless therapy. And if the therapist quits when asked to provide a written treatment plan, that too is probably something good to know and deal with early. If the therapist doesn’t want to be held accountable to a treatment plan then it is highly likely the therapist has no clue as to what they’re doing – and that’s why the don’t want to develop a treatment plan.

Your physician will tell you what the disease is and what the treatment entails because your physician knows what they’re doing. Your therapist should do the same… if they know what they’re doing.

If the therapist cannot explain what the treatment plan is in a way that is understandable and makes sense to you, it’s most likely because the therapist has no idea what they’re doing.

When the Therapist Finally “Gets It”
Still, even if the therapist understands the pathology the question still remains, so what do we do about it?

As long as the child remains under the severely distorting pathogenic influence of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent there is little we can do in terms of treatment.

If we try to treat the child while the child is still under the continuing pathogenic influence of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent, then we will simply rip the child apart psychologically from the conflict created between the goal of effective therapy to restore the child’s healthy authenticity and the continuing obsessive and relentless efforts of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent to keep the child pathological.

Turning the child into a psychological battleground because of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent’s relentless efforts to maintain the child’s psychopathology while therapy seeks to restore the child’s healthy functioning will psychologically destroy the child.

The narcissistic/(borderline) parent is essentially playing “chicken” with us. The pathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent is completely willing to destroy the child. Are we? I’m not. So then the narcissistic/(borderline) parent wins and can continue to create the child’s psychopathology.

The narcissistic/(borderline) parent will do everything in his or her power to maintain the child’s pathology. For the narcissistic/(borderline) parent it is a psychological imperative that the child reject the other parent. The narcissistic/(borderline) parent actually believes that the parenting practices of the targeted parent are “abusive” and place the child in danger. The narcissistic/(borderline) parent is delusional (i.e., an intransigently held, fixed and false belief that is non-responsive to contrary evidence) and will stop at nothing to keep the child pathological.

On a scale of 1-10, the psychopathology of attachment-based “parental alienation” is 15. It’s off the charts. Attachment-based “parental alienation” is not a child custody issue, it is a child protection issue. We must first protect the child. Only then can we treat the pathology.

So even if I am able to alert the therapist to the nature and severity of the pathology, so what. There’s still nothing we can do.

Except perhaps we can avoid six months, a year, or even two years of unproductive and pointless therapy. And perhaps the therapist will write a treatment letter to the judge saying that for the child’s protection the therapist is declining to do therapy until the child is protectively separated from the pathogenic parenting of the allied and supposedly favored narcissistic/(borderline) parent during the active phase of the child’s treatment and recovery stabilization.

Maybe that would help obtain the necessary period of protective separation… or maybe not. I don’t know, I just don’t know.

Maybe having a psychologist consultant will just result in treating therapists withdrawing from the case. If no therapy is taking place then nothing changes. But nothing changes with ineffective therapy either, so what’s the difference?

The solution is a shift in paradigms. All of these interim half-measures are not likely to produce a solution.

Still, we do what we can until we achieve a paradigm shift in which ALL therapists who work with this special population of children and families are exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable. At that point; no therapist – anywhere – will treat the child unless the child is first protectively separated from the pathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent. When mental health speaks with a single voice, the Court will be able to act with the decisive clarity needed to solve “parental alienation.”

It’s Not Me
I’m just one person. I cannot solve everything. I’m in California. I’m busy with my client caseload. I’m expensive.

I am not sharing this information to seek business. For a variety of reasons I am limiting my professional treatment-related consultation to families in the Los Angeles area. I’m sharing this model simply to frame what a psychologist treatment-related consultation model might look like.

I’m 60 years old. I’m coming to the end of my professional career. I’ll be wrapping things up soon. It will be up to the next generation of psychologists and therapists to put into place the procedures needed to solve attachment-based “parental alienation.” I’m providing this possible consultant model to them.

Targeted parents need you, as competent mental health therapists, to educate our professional brethren in mental health, therapist-to-therapist… and we need to hold our brethren therapists accountable. Their ignorance should not be allowed to destroy the lives and development of children. That’s not allowed.

Until we achieve a paradigm shift away from a Gardnerian PAS model over to an attachment-based model for “parental alienation” that will solve “parental alienation” for all targeted parents and all children everywhere, we must find a way to make do with the broken mental health and legal systems as they exist.

From where I sit, the current state of the broken mental health and legal systems won’t allow a solution. But I’m trying to find something anyway.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857


Bone, M.J. and Sauber, R. (2013). The essential role of the mental health consultant in parental alienation cases. In A.J.L. Baker & S.R. Sauber (Eds.) Working with Alienated Children and Families: A Clinical Guidebook (71-89). New York: Routledge


When the Narcissist Becomes Dangerous/Psych Central

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Recently at a dinner party, talk turned to the current news story about Bill Cosby. As the only psychologist at the table, everyone looked at me as one person asked with intense curiosity, “How could anyone victimize women all those years, and still live with himself? How could you sleep at night?”

Since I don’t know Bill Cosby, I can’t speak for him; nor do I know if he is guilty of the accusations against him or not. But generally, in an actual situation like this, there is an answer to the question. The answer is one word: narcissism.

In many ways, it seems like it would be fun to be narcissistic. Wouldn’t it be great to go through life feeling superior to other people, and with unwavering self-confidence? Yes!

But as we all know, there is a dark side to narcissism. That unwavering self-confidence is as brittle as an eggshell. Narcissists don’t move back and forth on a continuum of self-esteem as the rest of us do. Instead, they run on full-tilt until something taps that protective shell of self-importance hard enough. Then, they fall into a million pieces. Under that fragile, brittle cover lies a hidden pool of insecurity and pain. Deep down, the narcissist’s deepest and most powerful fear is that he is a nothing.

With his brash, self-centered ways, the narcissist can hurt the people around him emotionally, and often. His deepest fear is of being exposed as “a nothing.” So he will protect his own fragile shell above all else, even if it sometimes emotionally harms the people he loves the most.

Why is the narcissist in such fear of being a nothing? Because she was raised by parents who responded to her on a superficial level, lauding or even worshiping certain aspects of her which they valued, while completely ignoring or actively invalidating her true self, including her emotions. So most narcissists grew up essentially over-valued on one level, and ignored and invalidated on another (Childhood Emotional Neglect – CEN). CEN on its own does not cause narcissism, but combined with other essential ingredients, it plays a part.

Some narcissists need to do more than just protect their shell. Their need to be special is so great that they also need to feed it with accolades, acknowledgment, or their own personal version of specialness.

This is when narcissism becomes dangerous.

There are four characteristics of the narcissist which can work together to make him a danger. They are:

The need to protect his inflated sense of self can make him desperate.
The need to feed his sense of specialness can drive him to violate others’ boundaries.
Lack of empathy for others can make him incapable of seeing when he hurts others.
His belief that he is special can make it easy for him to rationalize his actions.

Most narcissists do not pose any real danger to the people around them (except perhaps emotionally). The risk comes from #2. What’s his Special Ingredient? What does the narcissist need to feed his specialness?

Does he need to have a “special relationship” with young boys, like Jerry Sandusky (severe boundary violations)? Does he need to be seen as a mentor to Olympic wrestlers like John DuPont, as portrayed in The Foxcatcher (exploitation)?

What does the narcissist need to feed his specialness, to what lengths will he go to get it, and is his specialness extreme enough to enable him to rationalize his behavior? Those are the factors which determine a narcissistic person’s potential dangerousness.

Jerry Sandusky said that he felt his special relationship with boys was helpful to the boys. John DuPont appeared to rationalize that his money and privilege would make his minions better wrestlers.

If you have a narcissist in your life: a parent, sibling, friend, spouse, or ex, it is possible to manage the relationship in a healthy way. Your best approach is to walk a figurative tightrope. Have empathy for the pool of pain that lies beneath the surface of your narcissist’s blustery shell. Understand that he or she is protecting herself from the hurt that she experienced in childhood. But at the same time, it is vital to protect yourself as well. Keep your boundaries intact.

Do not let your compassion make you vulnerable.

To learn more about the effects of emotional invalidation in childhood, see;or the book Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect.

Mirror, mirror…Who’s more narcissistic?/ Dr Drew HLN

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Which is the more narcissistic of the sexes?


Men! That’s according to a study published in the journal Psychological Bulletin, which drew from a pile of data collected from 475,000 participants over three decades.

Researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Management looked at how each gender measured up in three aspects of narcissism: leadership/authority, grandiose/exhibitionism and entitlement.

Men outscored women by the widest gap on their likelihood to exploit other people. In terms of leadership/authority…you guessed it: “Compared with women, men exhibit more assertiveness and desire for power,” says Emily Grijalva, Ph.D., the study’s lead author. But when it came to exhibitionism, both genders were equally guilty of vanity and self-absorption.

Narcissistic personality disorder is not the same thing as healthy self-esteem. According to Psychology Today, self-esteem represents “an attitude built on accomplishments we’ve mastered … and care we’ve shown toward others.” Narcissism, on the other hand, comes from fear and inadequacy. It “encourages envy and hostile rivalries [and]…favors dominance.”

Keith Campbell, a professor of psychology at the University of Georgia and the author of “The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement” told CBS News he believes narcissism is genetic and cultural. “Telling your child he’s special has risks,” said Campbell.

So, how does narcissism manifest itself? reports on the Buffalo study, which cites a variety of behaviors, including the “inability to maintain healthy long-term relationships, aggression in response to perceived threats … academic dishonesty, white-collar crime,” etc.

Does that make Segun Oduolowu, a social commentator who appears on HLN’s “Dr. Drew on Call” a narcissist? Last year, during a segment about the personality of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Oduolowu quipped “I’m a card-carrying narcissist myself…I’m on TV. But I don’t take my shirt off as much as this guy, and he runs a country.” Today, Segun clarified that he was joking: “As a television personality, one must think highly of himself. However, true narcissism is destructive. There’s a fine line between self-confidence and conceit.”

Dr. Drew On Call airs Monday through Thursday on HLN at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Facebook and Twitter @DrDrewHLN.

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Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

March 11, 2015 at 3:56 am

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