“Some of the most disturbing realities are not that pathology exists but that so little public pathology education for the general public exists.”
Sandra L. Brown, M.A., The Institute
The Problem of the Unrecognized Face of Pathology
We live in an age where ‘Positive Psychology’ has ingrained a mantra into society’s psyche–which is:
If you think it
(i.e., the narcissist/psychopath needs to change his behavior)
Then you can make it happen
(i.e., your relationship will be successful when he changes)
That may be true when you begin with a person who has normal psychology. But it’s a long way from being true for those who have pathology.
For many years people have thought that if they focused hard enough, loved long enough, tolerated more, and carried a positive attitude that their partner would somehow become unaffected by the personality disorder, form of pathology, or even psychopathy they bore. They believed that because they were often told that by professionals under guises of different therapy approaches and theories.
For years people who had gone through traditional forms of couples counseling came to us bearing the scars from not only the pathology in their partner they had been abused by, but by the wrong application of couples counseling theory when there was the pathology of no conscience, a lack of remorse, impaired insight or low impulse control in a partner. What often occurred was “Mirroring, Love Languages, Communication Building, Intimacy Enhancement, Spiritual Reflecting” techniques were all laid out on a silver platter as more manipulative techniques for a partner who had no insight and lacked empathy for what his partner had experienced. Equally prevalent were ideologies that ‘the pathological came into my life to heal me’ or ‘this is a spiritual manifestation for me to grow by’ or ‘he is in my life to cure my early childhood.’
Equally damaging lack of public information often occurs through women’s organizations that lump problem behavior in one category (abuser) and leave the impairment of pathology out of the equation. People are then forced to conform to theories that do not fit their dynamics in order to get help and miss the crucial ability to understand which disorders hold hope for change, and which do not.
There is an emotional, physical and relational danger in applying pop psychology principles to something as aberrant as pathology. Trying to ‘attract’ positivity to the relationship so the pathology is transformed leaves people ignoring the traits of pathology that can seriously harm them. It is no wonder we are not further ahead in being able to spot abnormal psychology in others, and that we choose to avoid it.
The truth is, nothing impacts non-pathological people as much as being in a relationship with someone who is pathological. Add to that the lack of understanding how pathology manifests in relationships, and the often manipulative behavior of those with pathology, and you have partners, families, and children who are devastated almost as much by the lack of information as by the destruction that often happens at the hands of the pathological. Without the education of ‘what‘ the disorder is, ‘how‘ it came to be, ‘whom‘ it effects, and ‘why‘ it harms others, partners, family and children live in the shadows of unspoken confusion and pain. This also bleeds over to family court, mediators, social workers and judges who also do not recognize pathology, leaving cases in limbo and in danger, and merely labeled as ‘contentious’ or ‘high conflict.’
Many who have found The Institute’s programs and products have said, “This is the first time anyone has ever explained this to me in a way I could understand.” I have seen when people finally found information that described their partner’s pathology, awareness often gave way to crying and then anger…that the information they sought was out there all along but not easy to find, or sometimes not easy to understand in layman’s terms. Equally as frustrating is such poor and inaccurate training generated out of generic approaches to pathology in graduate school which leaves professionals with the inability to spot pathology in others, and a total loss about how to treat the survivors. Consequently, the mental health field has done little to train the public about what pathology is, the limitations of wellness it implies, and what it looks and acts like in relationships because they themselves do not know.
The efforts of The Institute are to bridge the gap in public pathology education to both survivors and treatment providers. One of our bridges in public pathology education is achieved by providing the best and most up to date recovery options and approaches for survivors. With the only known national program designed exclusively for the interactive recovery of survivors of partners with Cluster B Disorders (Borderline, Narcissistic, Anti-social, Psychopathic) our award winning approaches have been disseminated world-wide.
Our other bridge in public pathology education is to provide the most up to date and effective advanced prevention, intervention and active treatment approaches for victim service providers in the fields of mental health, criminal justice, nursing, pastoral, addictions, and law enforcement. Our products for service providers as well as our face-to-face trainings, have equipped professionals in many fields from many countries with the tools they need to help heal the aftermath of pathological love relationships.
An M.D. said to me recently, “I consider pathology and it’s untaught concepts to be the number one health crisis in this country.”
We couldn’t agree more. We hope that the work of the many professionals who are involved with The Institute will be the part of the solution to the often unrecognized face of pathology and its victims.
Gender Disclaimer: The issues The Institute writes about are mental health issues. They are not gender issues. Both females and males have the types of Cluster B disorders we often refer to in our articles. Our readership is approximately 90% female therefore we write for those most likely to seek out our materials. We highly support male victims and encourage others who want to provide support to male victims to encompass the issues we discuss only from a female perpetrator/male-victim standpoint. Cluster B Education is a mental health issue applicable to both genders.