Professionals in the Helping Industries and Their Personal Pathological Relationships

Are you a doctor, nurse, therapist, social worker, female clergy, paramedic, teacher, psychiatrist, certified nursing assistant, day-care worker, guidance counselor, speech therapist, missionary, physical therapist, psychology grad student, art therapist, writer, artist, musician, or work with at-risk kids?

Welcome to the group of people MOST LIKELY to end up in a Pathological Love Relationship.

Can your career be a risk factor for finding/staying with a narcissist or psychopath? Unfortunately, YES!

Look at that list again… all the ‘hearts of gold’ kind of people—the salt-of-the-earth women—the ‘Mother Teresas’ of the world—AT RISK for attracting and staying with dangerous, dark, and pathological men. Seems unfair doesn’t it? Normally, narcissists and psychopaths don’t migrate to their own kind. On rare occasions they do, and you end up with a sensationalized case of a new Bonnie and Clyde. But in most cases, they migrate to you!

Understanding this represents one of the largest breakthroughs in our understanding of dangerous intimate-relationship dynamics. For so long we understood him but we didn’t really understand her. She was wrongly labeled codependent, but codependency treatment didn’t help her. She was wrongly labeled a relationship- or sex-addict, and addiction treatment didn’t help her. She was wrongly labeled ‘mutually pathological,’ and yet she was never diagnosed with a personality disorder. Nothing fit and nothing explained her until we found the missing key… her ‘off-the-Richter-Scale traits’ that put it all into perspective. Once we understand her, we can help her.

What we do understand, is that by nature of your own tender and helpful personality traits, you migrated to a career in which you could use your abundant traits of empathy, helpfulness, compassion, resourcefulness, cooperation, and tolerance. Where best do these great humanitarian traits get used? In helping professions like social work, ministry, nursing, other medical professions, psychology, teaching, child care… where you find people with big hearts trying to give out of their own abundance. By virtue that you even ended up in one of these professions means you are probably more at-risk for these types of relationships than others.

In almost ALL circumstances, women from these relationships are either IN these types of professions or are trying to get into them… (they are in school or trying to move out of their job into a more ‘giving’ field).

Many of the women who are in these types of professions ended up with the narcissist or psychopath during the course of their actual jobs. Nurses hooked up with patients, doctors married someone they met in the field, psychologists dated mentally ill men, missionaries dated someone from one of the street missions where they worked. Every once in a while we get stories from very left-brained women like CPAs but, even then, they’re not typically left-brained. They still have a lot of the abundant humanitarian traits.

This has a lot of implications for possible prevention work. Knowing that women in these professions are more likely to have the high-risk personality traits means education can begin within these professions.

Women need to know that sometimes even their career selection is indicative of what their relationship selection might be as well. So while women may be out of the Pathological Love Relationship, it doesn’t reduce their overall risk because temperament traits are innate.

While you are out of any intimate relationship is a great time to learn more about your abundant traits and how to safeguard yourself the next time around.

(**If we can support you in your recovery process, please let us know. The Institute is the largest provider of recovery-based services for survivors of pathological love relationships. Information about Pathological Love Relationships is in our award-winning book, Women Who Love Psychopaths, and is also available in our retreats, 1:1s, or phone sessions. See the website for more information.)