Index: Sandra Says by Sandra L. Brown, M.A.



Intense Attachments – Why is this dangerous guy so hard to leave?
April 25th, 2017

Women in these relationships and their family members who watch her relationship dynamics all wonder about **why** this dangerous guy is so hard to leave. While all the people around her have the easy and rational answers of how and why she should leave, the disengagement and detachment is harder with pathological persons than anyone else. No one knows this


Professionals in the Helping Industries and Their Personal Pathological Relationships
April 18th, 2017

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


The Successful Pathological’s Evil Twin: The Parasite
April 11th, 2017

Last week, we looked at The Successful Pathological and how he flies in under the radar while women are looking at his success and missing the red flags concerning his character or behaviors. Women can get sidetracked by his degree or noble career, or blinded by his business bling. The Italian-made shoes aren’t the only loafer—LOL! Another way pathology


The Successful Pathological
April 4th, 2017

Pathological education teaches that pathological partners come in all levels of social and economic success. Survivors say, “He’s a doctor,” to which I respond, “SO?” So what. Doctors, attorneys, clergy, law enforcement—it’s not the job that’s pathological, it’s the character and personality disorders underneath. Pathologicals flock to all types of careers.


Trait Examination or Character Assassination?
March 28th, 2017

By Sandra L. Brown, MA Part of the problem we face in trying to get to the nitty-gritty of pathological love relationships is that how we do it or what we call it is judged so severely that it impairs sharing the valuable outcomes that are learned. There are groups of professionals, women’s organizations, and service agencies that tiptoe around what we call


When Others Don’t Like The ‘P’ Word
March 21st, 2017

By Sandra L. Brown, MA A few years ago, I asked to be on a national TV show to discuss the issue of psychopathy in relationships based on my book Women Who Love Psychopaths. They had looked at the website, read information about the book, discussed what the rest of the show was going to be about, and booked me for the show. They didn’t invite me based on my


Why You Only Remember the Good Stuff of a Bad Relationship – Part 2
March 14th, 2017

By Sandra L. Brown, MA Last time I began to discuss the reasons why women have a difficult time remembering the bad aspects of the relationship. Women describe the sensation of only remembering the good times, the good feelings, and being ‘fuzzy’ or sort of forgetting all the bad things he has done when they think of him. This process seems to be triggered by


Why You Only Remember the Good Stuff of a Bad Relationship – Part 1
March 7th, 2017

By Sandra L. Brown, MA Over and over again, women are puzzled by their own process of trying to recover from a pathological relationship. What is puzzling is that despite the treatment she received from him, despite the absolute mind-screwing he did to her emotions, not only is the attraction still VERY INTENSE, but the POSITIVE memories still remain


When Am I Ready to Help Others?
February 28th, 2017

By Sandra L. Brown, MA At the heart of any grassroots effort or organization is the concept of the wounded healer. There wouldn’t be a women’s movement without those who have been victims of something or other helping newer victims. It’s not only the heart of grassroots organizations like ours, but of the victims-rights movement and many other strong and


What We Believe About Pathology and Relational Health
February 21st, 2017

By Sandra L. Brown, MA “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 with the Unrecognized Face of Pathology  We live in an age where “Positive Psychology” has ingrained a mantra into society’s psyche—which


Addictive Relationships
February 14th, 2017

By Sandra L. Brown, MA Let’s face it. If we were really good at choosing healthy relationships, we wouldn’t be here reading information about dangerous men. We would be happily somewhere else with a healthy guy! So let’s at least begin with the universal assumption that we haven’t done our best job at selecting potential relationships with men who actually


Real Love, Not Just Real Attraction
February 7th, 2017

By Sandra L. Brown, MA So many people confuse the feeling of attraction with the emotion of love.  For some who are in chronically dangerous and pathological relationships, it’s obvious they have these two elements mixed up.  Understandably, not being able to untangle these can keep people on the same path of unsafe relationship selection because they keep


Relationships Found On the Internet
January 31st, 2017

By Sandra L. Brown, MA With the need to date fast and find quick relationships, on-line dating and the internet have taken on the role of ‘hook-up’ locations. Unfortunately, it is also a potential stalking ground for relationship seeking gone awry. There are some inherent problems with on-line and/or internet relationship seeking: It is difficult to


What Do You Tell Them
January 24th, 2017

By Jennifer Young, LMHC, Director of Survivor Services “Staring at the blank page before you, open up the dirty window, Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find.”  ~ Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield “I was in a relationship with a psychopath.”  What an opener, right?  Starting with the harsh truth isn’t always the best way to begin a


Just Because You Believe It DOESN’T Make It True
January 10th, 2017

By Sandra L. Brown, MA In the past we have talked about how your defense mechanisms affect your emotional suffering. We’ve looked at denial and fantasy. Today we are going to look at how your own distortions in thinking can also cause emotional suffering. I am frequently reminded that this statement: “Just because you believe it, that doesn’t make it true”


How Long is Recovery Going to Take?
January 3rd, 2017

By Sandra L. Brown, MA   Raise your hand if you believe that, if you were run over by a train, you could reasonably expect to heal in 6 months, a year, even two years. If you suffered a traumatic brain injury from being run over by a train, would a neurologist say to you, "You'll be good as new - like nothing ever happened - in a year"? Highly


Testing the Edge
December 27th, 2016

By Sandra L. Brown, MA Women who end up in dangerous and pathological relationships often end up there because they like (or find interesting) “living on the edge.” They don’t like their boring lives, and that extends to liking men who are edgy as well. No boring normal geek men—Nope! The more the edge/bad boy/outlaw/rebel (or the more you perceive they


Triggers and Knee Jerk Reactions During the Holidays
December 20th, 2016

By Sandra L. Brown, MA The holidays are stressful under the best of situations. Add to it a dangerous and pathological relationships and you can have a prescription for **guaranteed** unhappiness. The pathological relationship never lies dormant during the holidays. It's an opportunity to reconnect with you--of course "just to wish you a Merry Christmas."


The Damage They Do
December 13th, 2016

By Sandra L. Brown, MA For the unlucky women, months turn into years as they ride the roller coaster going nowhere. From heart stopping curves to death wish drops, they hate the ride but don’t know how to get off. Interestingly, no matter how long women are in the relationship, the aftermath symptoms are the same. This means any exposure to pathology is


What’s the Problem with Problem Partners?
December 6th, 2016

By Sandra L. Brown, MA Problem partners create problems which manifest as problem relationships. These relationships are often referred to as 'bad relationships, 'drama,' or 'dysfunctional' when, in fact, often the dynamic at play is a result of what I have coined 'Pathological Love Relationships.' These relationships are related to the permanent


Psycho-Ecology
November 29th, 2016

By Sandra L. Brown, MA   Change is redemptive. It’s transformational and it’s healing. No wonder none of those things happen to pathologicals—they don’t change, so they don’t redeem, or transform or heal. But for those negatively affected by a pathological, change is your only hope. Without the transformation of change you are hopelessly stuck on what


Keep the Turkey on the Table
November 22nd, 2016

By Susan Murphy-Milano It is the holidays and you were sure that your relationship would last until the end of time, but it did not sustain. However, those emotions still tied to the person remain, and you are teetering after that warm and fuzzy holiday text message or phone call you just received. You have all but wiped away the memory of the last time you


What Are Some Red Flags in Relationships
November 15th, 2016

By Sandra L. Brown I was often asked what my red flags are when I was counseling a couple and I sensed he might be dangerous. There certainly ARE specific things that I have trained my ear to listen for because they are often indicators of more serious problems often attached to dangerous behavior. These include: Pacing of the relationship. If its 24/7


Rocking the Relationship Boat
November 1st, 2016

By Susan Murphy-Milano With a month left to go before she graduated from the police academy in Florida, Kelly Rothwell, 35, was moving forward to a new chapter in her life. Her plans included ending a volatile relationship with her dangerous boyfriend of over 3 years. The boyfriend controlled and monitored her cell phone and computer activity. When she was out


Caution: Relationship Lane Changes, Part 2
October 25th, 2016

By Susan Murphy-Milano Last week we began the story of Susan Powell, a married stockbroker and devoted mother to two young sons. Over time, Susan’s husband Josh became more and more controlling. Their marriage deteriorated. At this point in a relationship, many abusers begin to formulate a plan born of anger and desperation. This plan remains in the


Remembering Our Roots: Joyce Brown’s Influence on the Pathological Love Relationship Recovery Process
October 11th, 2016

October 16 marks the anniversary of the death of an extraordinary visionary. Many of The Institute’s highly acclaimed purposes, products, and processes came from what Joyce lived through, talked about, and modeled for others. Joyce, like other leaders, did not set out to do anything extraordinary. She simply set out to heal after two back-to-back pathological


Recovery: A Holy Place to Dwell
September 27th, 2016

This is about spirituality and recovery—they are, after all, connected by an umbilical cord of hope. In Christianity, which is my practice path of hope, God, the only known unbroken thing which makes Him Holy, chooses to dwell in broken things. Someone undefiled with darkness, pathology, lethargy, hopelessness, depression, bone weariness, confusion, intrusive


Recovery Tips, Part 2
September 20th, 2016

Anxiety Triage - The 30-Second Check-In Anxiety Triage begins with a 30-second check-in followed by one or more techniques that are easily done on the spot. When you find yourself in the throes of an anxiety or panic attack, observe your physical sensations. What’s going on in your body? To the best of your ability, make grounded statements about your


Recovery Tips, Part 1
September 13th, 2016

Each person needs to find their blend of techniques that creates their own well stocked tool kit. And each person’s tool kit is likely to be different than someone else’s because while each person may have anxiety (for instance), not each person will respond to anxiety techniques the same way. Don't judge someone else's use of what works for them or become


Living the Gentle Life—Part 7: Healing Sexually
September 6th, 2016

Over the past month or so, we have been talking about healing from pathological love relationships and what is involved in this process.  It requires facing the damage that has been done and recognizing any stress disorders or PTSD that you might now have from the relationship. It then requires changing your life in order to heal – changing your physical


Living the Gentle Life—Part 6: Healing Your Own Worldview
August 30th, 2016

Over the past month or more, I have been talking about healing from a dangerous and/or pathological love relationship. The chronic stress disorder and often Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that occurs from the damage done in the relationship requires a serious change in lifestyle in order to heal. We have been talking about those changes – what needs to


Living the Gentle Life—Part 5: Soul Tearing, the Spiritual and Worldview Effects
August 23rd, 2016

The last few weeks we have been talking about the necessity of living a gentle life if you are recovering from a pathological love relationship. The damage it does to a person is profound and many are often diagnosed with a chronic stress disorder or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These disorders respond best to a “gentle life” that allows the body, mind,


Living the Gentle Life—Part 4: “Ah, Just Get a Life”
August 16th, 2016

“Ah, just get a life!” Have people ever told you that? Sometimes from the chronic stress and upheaval the pathological love relationship caused, people can get very one-dimensional and hyper-focused on him, their relationship, or the problems surrounding the relationship. They stop doing the kinds of things in their lives that could help them be LESS obsessed,


Living the Gentle Life—Part 3: The Emotional Effects
August 9th, 2016

Last week I began talking about recovering from a pathological love relationship. The toll it takes on people often leaves them with symptoms of chronic stress. For extremely bad relationships, often the result is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—a diagnosed anxiety disorder. The long-term stress from the pathological love relationship (with narcissists,


Living the Gentle Life—Part 2: The Physical Effects
August 2nd, 2016

Last week I began talking about the normal aftermath of pathological love relationships—Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that is often reactivated by ‘triggers’. These can include people, places, things, or sensory feelings that reconnect you with the trauma of the relationship. In the last newsletter, I talked briefly about the


Living the Gentle Life—Part 1: Be Gentle with Yourself
July 26th, 2016

  “Be gentle with yourself. The rest of your life deserves it.”  (Sandra L. Brown, MA) As we’ve discussed before, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a trauma-related anxiety disorder, and is often seen as an aftermath constellation of symptoms from pathological love relationships. Exposure to other people’s pathology (and the corresponding


Living the Gentle Life: The Cracked Vessel
July 19th, 2016

  Over the years, I have talked about the frequent aftermath of pathological love relationships which is often Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Many women emerge from these relationships either diagnosed, or not yet diagnosed, with PTSD—an anxiety disorder so extreme that the core concept of self is often fragmented. To demonstrate PTSD, I use


Should I React This Way?
July 12th, 2016

Partners of pathologicals face chronic confusion about their reactions to his pathology. The woman feels the incongruency in her partner’s Jekyll-and-Hyde personality, reacts to it, and then gets labeled by him as being hysterical. The fact is, pathologicals project their traits and behaviors on everyone else and say it’s the woman instead of him. That IS part


How Pathological Is TOO Pathological?
July 5th, 2016

“How sick is TOO sick?” One of the characteristics of women who have been in Pathological Love Relationships is that they are very forgiving and tolerant of less-than-stellar mental-health qualities in their intimate relationships. That’s because, according to our research and to name but a few, the women have very elevated traits of compassion, empathy,


Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
June 28th, 2016

Happy 4th of July! With all that flag waving and potato salad, I can’t help but think about ‘Independence Day’—the day that women cut the cords of dependency and exit dangerous and Pathological Love Relationships. We frequently talk about Living the Gentle Life and why that’s important for people recovering from pathological attachments to dangerous


Genetic and Neuro-Physiological Basis for Hyper-Empathy
June 21st, 2016

I heard a universal “sigh of relief” go out around the world as women read the title of this article. Don’t you feel better knowing there really IS some science backing the whole issue of having way too much empathy? When we began writing about women who love psychopaths, anti-socials, sociopaths and narcissists, we already assumed that maybe you did have too


Need Better Brain Control? 20 Minutes a Day of This Can Help
June 14th, 2016

Who isn't driven crazy by the brain aftermath of a pathological love relationship? Often referred to as 'scrambled egg brain', the inability to focus, think one congruent thought, ping ponging monkey mind, cognitive fog, trance, mind control-like symptoms - are all the norm after the powerful pathology 'mind meld.' Do you know the number one and number two


Dissociation Isn’t a Life Skill
June 7th, 2016

“Dissociation isn’t a life skill.” ~ Sandra L. Brown, M.A. Dissociation is described as: The splitting off of a group of mental processes from the main body of consciousness, as in amnesia. The act of separating or state of being separated. The separation into two or more fragments. Let’s talk about dissociation a minute... it’s technically a


Verbal Bulimia and the Art of Over-Disclosure
May 31st, 2016

by Sandra L. Brown, MA I wrote about ‘verbal bulimia’ in my Dangerous Man book, discussed it again in Women Who Love Psychopaths, and frequently remind everyone of it in the newsletters, and yet I still see this embarrassing behavior among women that not only sounds inappropriate to anyone else listening, but also puts them at tremendous risk among


Chronic Personality Problems in Problem Relationships
May 24th, 2016

by Sandra L. Brown, MA A large portion of emotional and physical abusers (although not all) have some similar identifying disorders, traits, or diagnosis. They are not all created equal. That means each one of them brings a unique combination of traits, challenges, and problems to the equation of the relationship and even therapy. Therefore, not all abusers


The Anniversary of My Plunge Into Pathology
May 10th, 2016

by Sandra L. Brown, MA The month of May marks my fairly “official” date (at least in my mind) in which I was thrust into the field of pathology—totally without consent, without warning, and without return to the normal life I knew before May 13, 1983.  That was the day my father bled out in a grungy gutter in Cincinnati just outside his jazz club after a


Why It’s Not Just About ‘No Contact’ — It’s Much More — It’s ‘Disengagement’
May 3rd, 2016

by Sandra L. Brown, MA It doesn’t take longer than five minutes into a break-up to know that having contact is not helping your recovery. I see lots of facebook pages and websites touting the benefits of ‘No Contact’ but the issue for recovery is far beyond merely ‘No Contact.’ The merits of ‘No Contact’ are obvious. It’s hard to retract yourself, rewire


Your Medical Conditions—Are the Root of Your Relationships?
April 26th, 2016

Many women don’t know that ongoing stress (whether it is recognized or not) leads to very predictable medical conditions. Our mental state is our physical state, so women with the worst health issues are often women with the worst emotional stressors. Women who were in addicted, mentally ill, abusive, or pathological families often have the most severe and


Not All Abusers Are Created Equal
April 19th, 2016

Just as not all victims are the same, not all perpetrators of harm are the same either. There is a temptation to ‘lump’ them all together making ‘who’ they are is what makes them abuse others the same as other abusers and what they ‘do’ as abusers the same as other abusers. Perhaps this is where Domestic Violence theory and pathology theory walk different


The Unexamined Victim: Women Who Love Psychopaths
April 12th, 2016

"We can't prevent what we don't identify, we can't treat what we don't diagnose. And we can't teach how to spot them unless we understand pathology ourselves." Millions of dollars have been spent researching and writing about psychopaths while almost nothing has been spent, either in terms of time or money, on the profoundly disturbing byproduct of psychopathy


When a Divorce is Unexpected
April 5th, 2016

By Susan Murphy-Milano  You are now in a position where all your decisions will most assuredly impact your future. You must think logically and strategically while going through this period. If you feel you don’t know which way to turn and need advice, you may want to consult a relationship strategist or divorce planning expert before you take the first steps


Isolation
March 22nd, 2016

Not long ago I had a conversation with another pathology blogger who was adamant that isolating herself is what she needed. I recognize it's what she wants. I want it too. I struggle with wanting to isolate especially when I'm triggered. But really recovering from ALL of the PTSD symptoms means we have to challenge ourselves and deal with the parts that we are


Grief and Its Impact on Relationship Selection
March 15th, 2016

If you are still actively grieving the loss of a previous relationship, that grief can have devastating effects on the type of person you choose for a new relationship. Many people do not realize they are grieving when a relationship ends, which actually places them at risk of choosing dangerously while being impaired by their grief. Some people assume that


Emotional (Phantom Limb) Pain
March 8th, 2016

In a session someone says, “I really miss what we had.  I could get over this if it hadn’t been the most wonderful relationship of my life.  I just feel like something has been cut out of me—like I’m missing a big part of myself now.” Illusion is the mark of pathology.  It’s why our logo is a mask, because it best represents the mirage of normalcy that


Don’t Fake the Funk
February 23rd, 2016

“Don’t fake the funk.” ~Sandra L. Brown, M.A. “Put a smile on your face no matter what.” “Turn your frown upside down.” “If you keep your face like that, it’ll freeze. Whoever came up with these statements was never in a relationship with a dangerous man. The predominant thing women want to know in their phone counseling sessions is: “Is what I lived


Mutual Pathology: Gasoline and Fire
February 16th, 2016

Pathology is a mental health issue, not a gender issue. Women have just as much pathology in some areas of personality disorders as men do in other areas of personality disorders. Some of the 10 personality disorders present more frequently in men, while some of the disorders present more in women. As you have heard me say over the years, pathology is


LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! Will I Ever Find MINE?
February 9th, 2016

February brings Valentine’s Day—a trigger month for many women who want to just ‘slip back into the fantasy’ of everything we associate as a culture with Valentine’s Day. It’s one of those trigger months, like November and December (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve), where women want to ‘look the other way’ in order to have a nice day or time with him.


Bearing Witness to Suffering and Recovery
January 19th, 2016

I have spent over 25 years huddled up bearing witness to other’s incredible pain caused by pathology. Honestly, I don’t know (and don’t need to know) how many thousands of hours and hundreds of stories I have heard of mind-destroying evil. I have been called ‘a counselor, a writer, a researcher, a pioneer in pathology’ but really all I am is someone who has


Pacing and Planning Your Own Recovery
January 12th, 2016

We have been focused on discussing your recovery in great detail. Because the power of pathology saws people off at the knees, you need to have a plan for your own recovery in order to heal. We consider this so important that a portion of all of our coaching whether it be in-person, or during retreats, is focused on how to pace and plan your own recovery.Women


The Illusion of Managing (Or Controlling) a Pathological Person
January 5th, 2016

Part of how people convince themselves to stay in a pathological love relationship is that they think they are making “progress” by managing the pathological’s behavior. Once there is a glimmer of doubt about the pathological’s behavior, the partner begins to do one of two things: they either change their belief system or they change their own behavior. Most of


Happiness vs. Joy, Part 2
December 22nd, 2015

In my last article, I talked about the issue of happiness, and how happiness is hinged on external conditions such as relationships, things, careers - stuff. … Our happiness is largely conditional based on “if things go the way we think they should go” or “if people act the way we think they should act.” This leaves a lot of our own happiness tied to someone


Joy vs. Happiness, Part 1
December 15th, 2015

You were out looking for a little happiness when you stumbled upon Dr. Jekyll, as he was appearing wonderful and considerate. Strangely, before you knew it, evil Mr. Hyde was instead dismantling anything that resembled happiness, and leaving destruction and despair in its wake. Despair is a long way from the happiness you were initially seeking. How did you


How to Not Go Back During the Holidays
December 8th, 2015

People relapse and go back into relationships more from Thanksgiving through Valentine’s Day than any other time of the year. Why? So many great holidays for faking it! Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, V-Day... then PHOOEY! You’re out! Why not be out now and stay out and save face? You’re not fooling anyone ... not yourself, them, or your family and


Awareness is Not Enough
December 1st, 2015

The new mantra---awareness is not enough. Our goal has been Public Pathology Education but it does not END there. It's like Step 1 of the 12 Steps which is a statement of awareness "I am powerless (thus aware) over the effects of someone else's pathology. I have been powerless (thus aware) over my patterns of selection due to my Super Traits." These are the


Learn How to Starve the Vampire
November 17th, 2015

Pathological people are energy and emotional vampires. They live off of your emotional content. Part of their personality deficit is the lack of a stable and consistent inner core of a self-concept, so they need constant attention, distraction, and identity management from which they draw their identity. Most of their identity is acquired from their


The Predictability of Pathology
November 10th, 2015

“You are describing my relationship EXACTLY!”  “He has said those exact words to me.”  “How do you know what my relationship is like—how can you know this?” I accurately describe people’s relationships because, to a certain extent, parts of pathology and their behavior is predictable. Pathology is related to certain personality and psychological


Fantasy and Its Effect on Your Reality
November 3rd, 2015

In a previous article, “Denial and Its Power,” we talked about the power of denial, which is a defense mechanism. Here, we look at one of the most commonly used defense mechanisms that are employed by women who actually enhance their own emotional suffering. You’ve suffered enough from the Pathological Love Relationship, and the last thing you need is for your


Recovery Without Justice
October 20th, 2015

At the heart of the victims’ rights movement I was involved in, during the 1980s after my father’s murder, was the concept of judicial justice that would lead to psychological justice. It’s a great concept and, in a perfect world, it would work in all situations. If the pathological person wronged you (physically hurt you, conned you out of money, screwed up


Remembering Our Roots: Joyce’s Brown’s Influence on the Pathological Love Relationship Recovery Process
October 13th, 2015

October 16 marks the anniversary of the death of an extraordinary visionary. Many of The Institute’s highly acclaimed purposes, products, and processes came from what Joyce lived through, talked about, and modeled for others. Joyce, like other leaders, did not set out to do anything extraordinary. She simply set out to heal after two back-to-back pathological


Telling Yourself the Truth—You Don’t Have to Tell Me—But at Least Tell it to Yourself…
October 6th, 2015

“People, like all forms of life, only change when something so disturbs them that they are forced to let go of their present beliefs. Nothing changes until we interpret things differently. Change occurs only when we let go of our certainty.” ~Dee Hock   Rigorous honesty is the first rule of recovery. Nothing happens until the truth is laid on the


Deciding to Not Stay Where You Are
September 29th, 2015

~ “The first step towards getting somewhere is to DECIDE that you are not going to stay where you are.” ~ (Anny Jacoby)   I just loved this quote when I read it. It reminds me of what we have been talking about now for quite some time and especially the “Living the Gentle Life” series of articles.   I get emails that say, “I can’t leave him


Helping Women Find Effective Strategies for Court
August 18th, 2015

By Sandra L. Brown, MA Leaving a pathological is never easy—they aren’t wired to allow for easy separation and disengagement.  What they value most is drama, trauma, and the perpetuation of misery at any cost.  High on their entertainment list is any legal activity—especially divorces, separations, and custody battles. Pathologicals get bored easily and have a


Fantasy Re­runs or ‘Obsession Interruptus’
August 11th, 2015

Everyone knows what ‘coitus interruptus’ is–but what you really need to know is what ‘emotional obsession interruptus’ is! In the past, I have talked about the inherent traps, pitfalls, and perils of how people get roped back in to the pathological relationships during ‘weak moments’ of family or relationship fantasizing about normal relationships. There are


Stress and Adrenal Fatigue
August 4th, 2015

In many other newsletters, I have written extensively about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and recovery. Much of learning to heal from, or live with, PTSD has to do with learning to live a gentle life that is less stressful. You can read about PTSD and the “Living the Gentle Life” series of articles in past newsletters and on our website. However, PTSD


Am I Under His Spell? Part 3
July 21st, 2015

In our last two articles, I have been talking about trance states, dissociation, hypnotic suggestion, mind control... all ways the pathological controls your mind, thoughts, feelings and, ultimately, your behavior. This is not hocus-pocus stuff. Trance states, dissociation and hypnosis are all normal ways our bodies and minds respond to certain conditions. The


Am I Under His Spell? Part 2
July 14th, 2015

In last week’s article, we started talking about the very REAL issue of trance in a relationship with pathologicals. Women have described this as feeling “under his spell,” “spellbound,” “mesmerized,” “hypnotized,” “spaced out,” “not in control of my own thoughts...” All of these are ways of saying that various levels of covert and subtle mind control have been


Am I Under His Spell? Part 1
July 7th, 2015

Time and again women allude to the mystical aspects of the pathological with whom they are involved. They describe them as “being under his spell,” “entranced with him” or “hypnotized by him,” even “spellbound” or “mind-controlled”. Women aren’t exactly able to define what they are experiencing or even to accurately describe what they think is occurring, but


Characterlogical Disorders: He is What He Does
June 16th, 2015

Personality disorders are those permanent disorders that mar a soul. They impair a person’s ability to grow, to sustain enduring positive change, and to develop insight about how their behavior affects others. This is the path of pathology—when disorders so affect a personality that it leaves a person impaired and it disengages their character


Determination in the Life of the Survivor
June 9th, 2015

I’ve seen the look many times—hundreds of times over the past 25+ years, working with (mostly) women who are surviving a Pathological Love Relationship. There is a ‘look.’ Initially it’s a timid look—before she grasps that she really CAN survive and thrive. The look then begins to change, morphing into real belief and real power. Ironically, I scaw the look


The Power of Relapsing
May 19th, 2015

Never before in my 25 plus-year career have I seen more relapsing back into Pathological Love Relationships than I have lately. “What’s wrong with me? Why do I do this?” they ask. My answer is—I don’t know... why DO you do it? “I didn’t know what I was doing...” Yes you did. Contact is a choice. “I just thought he changed this time.” No, you didn’t—you


Grieving the Pathological Loss, Part 2: The Personal Side
May 12th, 2015

In last week’s article, we began talking about the grief process as it pertains to ending the relationship with your dangerous (and often, pathological) person. Even though the relationship was damaging, and maybe you even initiated the breakup, you cannot sidestep the necessary grieving. Women are shocked to find themselves grieving at all, given how abusive,


Grieving the Pathological Loss, Part 1
May 5th, 2015

Over and over, women are shocked to find out how badly they feel about leaving a dangerous/pathological man. As horrendous as the relationships has been, as hurt as they have become at his hands, and with the emotional/physical/financial/sexual/spiritual cost it takes to heal… “Why in the world am I so sad and in so much grief?” One of the things we have


Recovering Without Validation
April 28th, 2015

Many of you have indeed had the experience of facing getting over the aftermath of a Pathological Love Relationship with very little legal justice. It doesn’t mean that you don’t pursue your own rights. You should always stand up for what you believe in. It’s just that if the universe tilts in his favor yet again, or the courts continue to not support you, you


PTSD as Trauma Disorder—Not Psychiatric Illness
April 21st, 2015

This week we talk about how women can level the playing field in court with a pathological. This could be related to a divorce, separation, restraining order, or child custody. If you have PTSD, the courts are mandated to offer you special accommodations while in court to protect you, and to help your level of functioning due to the PTSD. In order to do that,


When Your Symptoms Look Like Something Else
April 14th, 2015

Women tell me their therapists have diagnosed them with a variety of diagnoses, which has made them not only confused, but often ANGRY! They have been diagnosed, for instance, with disorders like bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, paranoia, and other not-so-fun labels. Most therapists are undertrained in recognizing and treating the aftermath


External Locus of Belief
April 7th, 2015

Is it True, is it REALLY True? In psychology, we refer to the belief about where control over events in our lives resides as internal and external locus of control. This means we see our behaviors either generated by personal efforts or by destiny. We believe that we make things happen, or we believe others do it for us whether we like it or not. But also


Who Does That? Part 2
March 31st, 2015

(Last week we began discussing the WHO of certain behaviors and crimes often perpetrated by Cluster Bs, and how the various systems who come in contact with Cluster Bs have differing names, thus views, of their destructive patterns. How convenient for pathologicals that each system is only focused on its identified behavior, which helps pathologicals continue to


Who Does That? Part 1
March 24th, 2015

Part of our goal at The Institute is not only to help survivors heal from the aftermath of a PLR (Pathological Love Relationship), but also to help prevent future relationships with pathologicals. In prevention, The Institute helps survivors to spot overt, glaring pathology. The overt pathology is easy to identify:   Few would argue that mothers who


Let Go or Be Dragged
March 3rd, 2015

“Let Go or Be Dragged”—I don’t know who wrote that slogan, but I loved it so much I bought it on a magnet. My first thought was, “Oh, I LOVE that saying for the women!”  But in a flash, I realized it’s a slogan for everyone. A friend of mine in recovery said she loved it for her AA recovery slogan.  Another person told me she loved it as a spiritual theme—to hold


Is This the New Normal?
February 24th, 2015

The ‘new’ normal (whatever that is) is code jargon for ‘something in your life that changed and for which you just have to suck it up and get used to’. This cliché kind of phrase has crept into the world of pathology too, and even the recovery movement. So let’s answer some of those questions about ‘the NEW normal.’ “Is ‘How Crappy I Feel’ my new


About Face: Changing the Direction From Which You Seek Happiness
February 17th, 2015

“Internal reflecting” guides us to dig in, evaluate, and give thanks. We need to take the time to ponder ideas, gather insights that might have eluded us during the busyness of our lives and slow down to look inward and receive the Light. I hope this week’s newsletter is a little piece of Light that you are open to receive. Awhile back I got a book written by


HEALTHY LOVE – WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THAT?
February 10th, 2015

Since Valentine’s Day is upon us, I thought it would be a great discussion about what happens in Pathological Love Relationships— that attraction is on over­drive while love (from a pathological) is lingo­bling. But what about real love - healthy love? People ask all the time ‘When are you going to write How to Spot a Healthy Partner because with as many bad


Five Ways to Find Safe Love
February 3rd, 2015

The month of 'lluuuvvvv'—Valentine’s Day--the time where everyone thinks about their relationships. But at this time of year, we are thinking of it mostly in romantic terms. In our surveys, we have found that women spend far more time on learning how to 'attract' or 'keep' a relationship, then looking at the health of it, or leaving it. If you look at most of


Default Settings in Patterns of Partner Selection
January 27th, 2015

If you use a computer you are probably aware of the ‘default settings’ that come on your computer or in various software programs on your machine. A default setting is “The controls of a computer hardware, software, device, equipment or machine which was preset by its manufacturer.” Items on your computer that are preset are often the country you are in, the


The Fast Track in Dating
January 20th, 2015

We live in an instant society: instant messaging, twitter, drive through food, microwaves, text messaging, ipods/ipads and smart phones--just about anything we want NOW we can have in an instant. No wonder we have confused the speed of technology with relational speed. After all, isn't this the decade of speed dating and fast relationships? The problem is that


Are You Really as Far Along as You Think You Are?
January 13th, 2015

Recovery and finding your path to emotional wellness from pathological love relationships isn’t a quick and easy ‘done deal’. When women get mild relief from the unrelenting symptoms of the aftermath with a pathological, it can be very palatable to them.  The relief from the intrusive thoughts, obsessions, PTSD, poor sleep, hyper-vigilance, or any other


Feathers for my Future – Simply Focusing on Gratitude
January 6th, 2015

On New Year’s Eve, I had a silent burning bowl ceremony. I burned everything that hurt me--just burnt that crap into ashes. Every cyberstalker, every hateful word, every hurtful person, everything that kept me looking over my shoulder, every lack. I thought, "What would Joyce say?" She'd say, 'Screw fear.' So I got a beautiful crystal bowl to say good bye


“Stop Dragging My Heart Around”
December 30th, 2014

“Stop Dragging My Heart Around” (Song by Tom Petty) Women spend years and thousands of dollars trying to heal from dangerous men. If they are lucky, they only encounter one in their lifetimes. If they aren’t, there are many more. That’s because women haven’t really verbalized what they think constitutes a dangerous man. When I interviewed women, most of them


All Memory is Not Created Equal—Positive Memory Seepage
December 23rd, 2014

Intrusive thoughts are associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as other emotional trauma disorders. Many survivors say that the most painful memories are not the intrusive thoughts of all the bad stuff, or even the violence—what is most painful is the intrusive thoughts of good memories. Intrusive thoughts are not just bad thoughts or


How to Not Go Back During the Holidays
December 9th, 2014

People relapse and go back into relationships more from Thanksgiving through Valentine’s Day than any other time of the year. Why? So many great holidays for faking it! Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, V-Day... then PHOOEY! You’re out! Why not be out now and stay out and save face? You’re not fooling anyone ... not yourself, them, or your family and


Nothing Bothers Him—I Wish I Were MORE Like Him!
November 22nd, 2014

At the heart of pathology is a lack of remorse, empathy, and conscience. It sounds horrible on paper (and it is!) but it looks different in action. Sometimes women wish they were more like THAT—less empathic—as a way of getting less hurt. They don’t really mean that (unless they too have a pathology bent). They are exhausted by their own mental activity of


Grieving the Pathological Loss, Part 2: The Personal Side
October 28th, 2014

In the last article, we began talking about the grief process as it pertains to ending the relationship with your dangerous (and often, pathological) person. Even though the relationship was damaging, and maybe you even initiated the breakup, you cannot sidestep the necessary grieving. Women are then shocked to find themselves grieving at all, given how abusive,


Grieving the Pathological Loss, Part 1
October 21st, 2014

Over and over, women are shocked to find out how badly they feel about leaving a dangerous/pathological man. As horrendous as the relationships has been, as hurt as they have become at his hands, and the emotional/physical/financial/sexual/spiritual cost it takes to heal…they still say “Why in the world am I so sad and in so much grief?” One of the things we


Remembering Our Roots: Joyce Brown’s Influence on the Pathological Love Relationship Recovery Process
October 14th, 2014

This weekend marked the anniversary of the death of an extraordinary visionary. Many of The Institute’s highly acclaimed purposes, products, and processes came from what Joyce lived through, talked about, and modeled for others. Joyce, like other leaders, did not set out to do anything extraordinary. She simply set out to heal after two back-to-back


Denial and Its Power
October 7th, 2014

Acknowledging Domestic Violence/Pathology Awareness Month With the POWER of Information!  Every once in a while you need to be reminded that not everyone thinks you know diddly-squat. Sometimes it’s the people closest to you who think you really don’t have a clue. It’s not that it’s new to me. It reminds me that not everyone believes me when I tell them I think


Circling ‘The Promised Land’
September 30th, 2014

I don’t know if YOU see your life as real as I sometimes see it. Do you see what I see when I read your letters, hear your stories, and imagine your relationships and pain? Many women want ‘The Promised Land.’ To them that could be healing or maybe that’s being with him…but so many are always looking for happiness and thinking ‘The Promised Land’ is just


Living the Gentle Life—Part 7: Healing Sexually
September 23rd, 2014

Over the past month or so, we have been talking about healing from pathological love relationships and what is involved in this process.  It requires facing the damage that has been done and recognizing any stress disorders or PTSD that you might now have from the relationship. It then requires changing your life in order to heal – changing your physical


Living the Gentle Life—Part 6: Healing Your Own Worldview
September 16th, 2014

Over the past month or more, I have been talking about healing from a dangerous and/or pathological love relationship. The chronic stress disorder and often Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that occurs from the damage done in the relationship requires a serious change in lifestyle in order to heal. We have been talking about those changes – what needs to


Living the Gentle Life – Part 5: Soul Tearing, the Spiritual and Worldview Effects
September 9th, 2014

The last few weeks we have been talking about the necessity of living a gentle life if you are recovering from a pathological love relationship. The damage it does to a person is profound and many are often diagnosed with a chronic stress disorder or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These disorders respond best to a “gentle life” that allows the body, mind,


Living the Gentle Life—Part 4: “Ah, Just Get a Life’
September 2nd, 2014

“Ah, just get a life!” Have people ever told you that? Sometimes from the chronic stress and upheaval the pathological love relationship caused, people can get very one-dimensional and hyper-focused on him, their relationship, or the problems surrounding the relationship. They stop doing the kinds of things in their lives that could help them be LESS obsessed,


Living the Gentle Life—Part 3: The Emotional Effects
August 26th, 2014

In last weeks article, I talked about recovering from a pathological love relationship. The toll it takes on people often leaves them with symptoms of chronic stress. For extremely bad relationships, often the result is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—a diagnosed anxiety disorder. The long-term stress from the pathological love relationship (with


Living the Gentle Life—Part 2: The Physical Effects
August 19th, 2014

In the previous newsletter, I began talking about the normal aftermath of pathological love relationships—Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that is often reactivated by ‘triggers’. These can include people, places, things, or sensory feelings that reconnect you with the trauma of the relationship. In the last newsletter, I talked


Living the Gentle Life—Part 1: Be Gentle with Yourself
August 12th, 2014

“Be gentle with yourself. The rest of your life deserves it.” (Sandra L. Brown, MA) As discussed in previous newsletters, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a trauma-related anxiety disorder, and is often seen as an aftermath constellation of symptoms from pathological love relationships. Exposure to other people’s pathology (and the corresponding


Living the Gentle Life: The Cracked Vessel
August 5th, 2014

Over the years, I have talked about the frequent aftermath of pathological love relationships which is often Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Many women emerge from these relationships either diagnosed, or not yet diagnosed, with PTSD—an anxiety disorder so extreme that the core concept of self is often fragmented. To demonstrate PTSD, I use the analogy


The Other Woman—Now He’s HAPPY With HER!
July 29th, 2014

Nothing cranks a woman up more than going through the drama-filled ending of a dysfunctional, pathological, abusive, addicted and/or sick relationship, ONLY to find that he has rapidly moved on and now seems ‘so happy.’ A women will tend to conclude it must have been her, and if he can be happy with someone else and not her, well then... it was some shortcoming


The Gift of Fear, Part 2: Is It Fear or Is It Anxiety?
July 22nd, 2014

Last week we began talking about the difference between fear and anxiety. Real fear draws on your animalistic instincts and causes a sincere fight-or-flight reaction. Anxiety causes you to worry about the situation, but you aren’t likely to bolt. Anxiety can develop as a counterfeit trait to the true fear you never reacted to. Gavin de Becker is a Danger


The Gift of Fear/The Curse of Anxiety, Part 1: Is It Fear or Is It Anxiety?
July 15th, 2014

Women who have been in pathological relationships come away from them with problems associated with fear, worry, and anxiety. This is often related to Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or what we call ‘High Harm Avoidance’—being on high alert, looking for ways they might get harmed now or in the future. PTSD, by its own nature as a disorder, is an


Am I Pathological, TOO?
July 8th, 2014

People who were raised by pathological parents, or with siblings who are pathological, are more likely to repeatedly date pathological people. Some of the patterns of partner selection have to do with learned conditioning—learning to normalize abnormal behavior until that is the norm. Some pathology can also be genetically transmitted, so people are often


Are Feelings Facts?
July 1st, 2014

Women don’t know whether to trust what they feel or not. Are you confused over whether feelings are factual or if they are fictional? You’re not alone. Women struggle where to draw the line between believing what they think and questioning it. On one hand, feelings can be red flags in the beginning or in the midst of the relationship. Red flags can be


Hate and Your Potential for Relapse, Part 2 – Moving Toward Detachment
June 10th, 2014

Last week we discussed ‘hate’ as an impassioned feeling that has a high connection to relapse. We are likely to act on anything we feel that embroiled about. Relapse prevention has to be more detailed than using mere feelings such as ‘hatred’ as a tool for distancing yourself from the pathological. This usually doesn’t work because hate is passionate and


Hate and Your Potential for Relapse, Part 1 – Hate is a Passionate Feeling
June 3rd, 2014

When a woman tells me, “That’s IT! I will never, ever, ever talk to him again. I HATE HIM!” I begin looking at my watch to see how long it takes for her to talk to him again. Why do I think her relapse, thus contact, is imminent? Because ‘HATE’ is passion. Anything that feels that impassioned or has that much energy is usually acted on. If anger is the energy for


Why You Only Remember the Good Stuff of a Bad Relationship – Part 2
May 27th, 2014

Last time I began to discuss the reasons why women have a difficult time remembering the bad aspects of the relationship. Women describe the sensation of only remembering the good times, the good feelings, and being ‘fuzzy’ or sort of forgetting all the bad things he has done when they think of him. This process seems to be triggered by an emotional feeling (such


Why You Only Remember the Good Stuff of a Bad Relationship – Part 1
May 20th, 2014

Over and over again, women are puzzled by their own process of trying to recover from a pathological relationship. What is puzzling is that despite the treatment she received from him, despite the absolute mind-screwing he did to her emotions, not only is the attraction still VERY INTENSE, but the POSITIVE memories still remain strong. Women say the same


The Anniversary of My Plunge Into Pathology
May 13th, 2014

The month of May marks my fairly “official” date (at least in my mind) in which I was thrust into the field of pathology—totally without consent, without warning, and without return to the normal life I knew before May 13, 1983.  That was the day my father bled out in a grungy gutter in Cincinnati just outside his jazz club after a psychopath plunged a knife into


When Friends Don’t ‘Get It’ About Him
May 6th, 2014

Remember the line 'You're known by the company you keep'? Well, I don't think that ONLY includes the pathological and dangerous man... it also includes your 'friends' and 'family' members who may be emotional accomplices of his. Someone wrote me awhile back and said, "Please write about this -- when your own friends don't get how sick he is and think you


Soul Slayer– Psychological ‘Evil’, Spiritual ‘Evil’, or Both?
April 22nd, 2014

The one adjective I hear repeatedly connected to pathology is the word ‘evil.’ Spiritual, unspiritual, heathens, pagans, Christians, Jews, Buddists – it doesn’t matter. The word ‘evil’ is the chosen adjective-of-choice to describe pathology. But what IS evil? Is it more psychological than it is spiritual? Or is it a spiritual issue that has been picked up and


Reality and Suffering
April 15th, 2014

Much of your intrusive thoughts, your obsession with him/relationship, your cognitive conflict known as dissonance, and many other symptoms as well are stemming from one major issue: The inability to accept what he is, how he is, and what this means about your relationship. This level of resistance isn’t always conscious. Some of it may seep out and drift


The Pathological, Part 2: The Child-Prodigy Savant—All Grown Up
April 8th, 2014

Last week I wrote about this natural ability that pathologicals have when it comes to reading human behavior and about how the child’s emotional developmental deficits actually spur him toward compensation in these areas by trying to hide his lack of a full emotional spectrum, lack of insight, and lack of ability to sustain emotional and behavioral changes. He


The Pathological, Part 1: A Child Prodigy-Savant of Human Behavior
April 1st, 2014

People often want to know why people with personality disorders (pathology) often have the worst and most inappropriate behavior, indicating they are clueless about others’ feelings, AND YET they are often enabled with the uncanny ability to so know human behavior they con even the most knowledgeable of people. This ‘savant-like’ experience with human behavior


Adult Children of Abusive Parents—When Parents are Pathological
March 25th, 2014

Why women end up in pathological love relationships is a widely debated topic. After more than 25 years in the field, my view is that the reasons are often a mixture of several issues. We find most of the simplistic ideas about ‘why’ are not based on the dynamics of the women’s lives or relationships. This is a complex issue and we have been looking at various


It’s All About Him! Are You Dating a Narcissist?
March 18th, 2014

Many women are now familiar with the word ‘narcissism,’ but not always totally aware of the specifics of the disorder. The word ‘narcissism’ is tossed around a lot as a catch-all phrase for people who are conceited or aloof. But narcissism is more than a case of conceit. It is a pathological and incurable disorder. Narcissism is a brutal way for women to learn


Addictive Relationships
March 11th, 2014

Let’s face it. If we were really good at choosing healthy relationships, we wouldn’t be here reading information about dangerous men. We would be happily somewhere else with a healthy guy! So let’s at least begin with the universal assumption that we haven’t done our best job at selecting potential relationships with men who actually HAVE potential! There are


He Seems Happy Now, Will I EVER Be Happy Too?
February 25th, 2014

There are a lot of distortions that go on about the pathological man’s ability to ‘be happy.’ One of the issues of permanent personality disorders and pathology is that, at the core of them, is unhappiness. That is why they have so many angry outbursts, attitude problems, and failed relationships. Some of them fake the external appearance of ‘happy-go-lucky’


Real Love, Not Just Real Attraction
February 4th, 2014

So many people confuse the feeling of attraction with the emotion of love.  For some who are in chronically dangerous and pathological relationships, it’s obvious they have these two elements mixed up.  Understandably, not being able to untangle these can keep people on the same path of unsafe relationship selection because they keep choosing the same way and


Ongoing Battles with Pathologicals – Part 2, Why Won’t This Ever End?
January 28th, 2014

Last week we began talking about the ongoing battles with pathologicals—whether it is a break up, move out, divorce, property settlement, mediation, child custody, or the ever-revolving door of litigious events with law enforcement or the legal system. By nature of the pathology, they are MORE likely to allege falsified abuse, stalk the other parent, sue,


Ongoing Battles with Pathologicals – Part 1, When Will This Ever End?
January 21st, 2014

Many of the Institute’s clients want to know ‘when will this ever end?’ — ‘this’ being the aggravation from a pathological in the form of: •    Constantly harassing you •    Stalking •    Stirring the pot •    Making up allegations against you •    Not paying what they are suppose to •    Going back to court for the 1,000th time •    Turning others against


Happiness vs. Joy, Part 2: Dangerous Liaisons
December 24th, 2013

Last week I began talking about the issue of happiness, and how happiness is hinged on external conditions such as relationships, things, careers, stuff. … Our happiness is largely conditional based on “if things go the way we think they should go” or “if people act the way we think they should act.” This leaves a lot of our own happiness tied to someone


Joy -VS- Happiness, Part 1
December 17th, 2013

You were out looking for a little happiness when you stumbled upon Dr. Jekyll, as he was appearing wonderful and considerate. Strangely, before you knew it, evil Mr. Hyde was instead dismantling anything that resembled happiness, and leaving destruction and despair in its wake. Despair is a long way from the happiness you were initially seeking. How did you


How to Avoid Going Back During the Holidays
December 10th, 2013

From Thanksgiving through Valentine’s Day people relapse and go back into relationships more than any other time of the year. Why? So many great holidays for faking it! Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day... then PHOOEY! You’re out! Why not be out now, stay out and save face? You’re not fooling anyone ... not yourself, them, or your family and


Testing the Edge
November 19th, 2013

Women who end up in dangerous and pathological relationships often end up there because they like (or find interesting) “living on the edge.” They don’t like their boring lives, and that extends to liking men who are edgy as well. No boring normal geek men—Nope! The more the edge/bad boy/outlaw/rebel (or the more you perceive they need some support to keep an


Intense Attachments- Why is this dangerous guy so hard to leave?
November 12th, 2013

Women in these relationships and their family members who watch her relationship dynamics all wonder about **why** this dangerous guy is so hard to leave. While all the people around her have the easy and rational answers of how and why she should leave, the disengagement and detachment is harder with pathological persons than anyone else. No one knows this


Triggers and Knee-Jerk Reactions During the Holidays
October 29th, 2013

The holidays are stressful under the best of situations. Add to it a dangerous and pathological relationship and you can have a prescription for guaranteed unhappiness. The pathological relationship never lies dormant during the holidays. It’s an opportunity to recontact you—of course, “just to wish you a Merry Christmas.” If you haven’t already, do read The


The Predictability of Pathology
October 22nd, 2013

Women say "You are describing my relationship EXACTLY" or "He has said those exact words to me" or "How do you know what my relationship is like--how can you know this?" Contrary to some beliefs, I'm NOT psychic! I accurately describe people's relationships because to a certain extent, parts of pathology and their behavior are predictable. Pathology is


External Locus of Belief
October 15th, 2013

Is it True, is it REALLY True?         In psychology, we refer to the belief about where control over events in our lives resides as internal and external locus of control. This means we see our behaviors either generated by personal efforts or by destiny. We believe that we make things happen or we believe others do it for us whether we like it or not. But


Remembering Our Roots
October 8th, 2013

Joyce’s Brown’s Influence on The Pathological Love Relationship Recovery Process This weekend marked the 6th death anniversary of an extraordinary visionary. Many of The Institute’s highly acclaimed purposes, products, and processes came from what Joyce lived through, talked about, and role modeled for others. Joyce, like other leaders, did not set out to


Recovery Without Justice
October 1st, 2013

At the heart of the victims rights movement I was involved in during the 1980s after my father’s murder, was the concept of judicial justice that would lead to psychological justice.  It’s a great concept, and in a perfect world it would work in all situations.  If the pathological person wronged you (physically hurt you, conned you out of money, screwed up


Deciding to Not Stay Where You Are
September 24th, 2013

~ “The first step towards getting somewhere is to DECIDE that you are not going to stay where you are.” ~ (Anny Jacoby) I just love when I read this quote.  It reminds me of what we have been talking about now for months—since I began the “Living the Gentle Life” series, which has been about the recovery from PTSD and pathological love relationships. I get


Living the Gentle Life Part 6:Healing Your Own World View
September 17th, 2013

Healing Your Own World View “Be gentle with yourself. The rest of your life deserves it.” (Sandra L. Brown, MA) Over the past month or more I have been talking about healing from a dangerous and/or pathological relationship. The chronic stress disorder and often Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that occurs from the damage done in the relationship


Living the Gentle Life Part V-Soul Tearing;The Spiritual & World View Effects
September 10th, 2013

The last few weeks I have been talking about the necessity of living a gentle life if you are recovering from a dangerous and/or pathological relationship. The damage it does to a person is profound and many are often diagnosed with a chronic stress disorder OR Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because of it. These disorders respond best to a ‘gentle life’


Living the Gentle Life Part IV-‘Ah….just get a life!’
September 3rd, 2013

People ever tell you that? Sometimes from the chronic stress and upheaval the pathological relationship causes, people can get very one-dimensional and hyper-focused on him/the relationship/or the problems. They stop doing the kinds of things in their life that could help them be LESS obsessed, depressed, or anxious. That’s because women really tend to ‘lose


Living the Gentle Life,Part 3-The Emotional Effects
August 27th, 2013

The Emotional Effects In the previous newsletter, I have been talking about recovering from a pathological love relationship.  (You can read the previous newsletters on our website under Sandra Says.) The toll it takes on people often leaves them with symptoms of chronic stress.  For extremely bad relationships, often the result is Post Traumatic Stress


Living the Gentle Life Part 2-The Physical Effects
August 20th, 2013

In the previous newsletter I had begun talking about the normal after-math of pathological love relationships—Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (Previous newsletter is on the magazine under Sandra’s Current Articles.) PTSD is an anxiety disorder that is often re-activated by daily ‘triggers.’ These can include people, places, things, or sensory feelings that


Living the Gentle Life Part 1
August 13th, 2013

"Be gentle with yourself.  The rest of your life deserves it." (Sandra L. Brown, MAPost Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a trauma-related anxiety disorder. PTSD is often seen as an aftermath symptom of Pathological Love Relationships. Exposure to other people’s pathology can and often does, give other people stress disorders, including PTSD. Our systems are


The Cracked Vessel
August 6th, 2013

Over the years, I have talked about the frequent ‘aftermath’ of pathological love relationships, which is often Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Many women emerge from these relationships either diagnosed, or not yet diagnosed, with PTSD—an anxiety disorder so extreme that the core concept of self is often fragmented. To demonstrate PTSD, I use the


About Face:Changing the Direction from Which You Seek Happiness
July 23rd, 2013

There are times when “internal reflecting” becomes necessary and we are guided to dig in, evaluate, and give thanks. It is a time to ponder ideas and gather insights that might have eluded us during the busyness of everyday life, and slow down to look inward and receive the Light we may not receive at other times during the year. I hope this week’s newsletter is


The Successful Pathological’s Evil Twin: The Parasite
July 2nd, 2013

In last week’s newsletter we looked at the Successful Pathological and how he flies in under the radar, while women are looking at his success and missing the red flags concerning his character or behaviors. Women can get sidetracked by his degree or noble career, or blinded by his business bling. The Italian-made shoes aren’t the only loafer—LOL! Another way


The Successful Pathological
June 25th, 2013

The Successful Pathological Pathology Education teaches that pathological partners come in all levels of social and economic success. Survivors say, "He's a doctor" to which I respond "SO?" So what. Doctors, attorneys, clergy, law enforcement---it's not the job that's pathological--- it's the character and personality disorders


Just Because You Believe It, DOESN’T Make It True
June 4th, 2013

I am reminded frequently that this statement is so true when it comes to denial in pathological love relationships. There’s something about a narcissist and psychopath that can make you forget all about their pathology and return to your previous ‘fog’ of beliefs.  F.O.G.–Fear, Obligation and Guilt. Entrenched in the partner is the dire desire to have a normal


Learn How to Starve The Vampire
May 28th, 2013

STARVE THE VAMPIRE–WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT….Pathological persons are energy and emotional vampires. They live off of your emotional content. Part of their personality deficit is the lack of a stable and consistent inner core of a self concept so they need constant attention, distraction, and identity management from which they draw their identity.   Lots of their


My Anniversary of the Plunge into Pathology
May 7th, 2013

The month of May marks my fairly 'official' date (at least in my mind) in which I was thrust into the field of pathology - totally without consent, without warning, and without return to the normal life I knew before May 13, 1983.  Thirty years ago, my father bled out in a grungy gutter in Cincinnati after a psychopath plunged a knife into his aorta outside of


Verbal Bulimia and the Art of Over-Disclosure
April 16th, 2013

I wrote about Verbal Bulimia in my Dangerous Man book, discussed in Women Who Love Psychopaths, and frequently remind everyone in the newsletters and yet I still see this embarrassing behavior among women that not only sounds inappropriate to anyone else listening but also puts her at tremendous risk amongst pathologicals. Years ago when I had a few


Genetic and Neuro-Physiological Basis for Hyper-Empathy
March 26th, 2013

I heard a universal 'sigh of relief' go out around the world as women read the title of this article.  Don't you feel better knowing there really IS some science backing the whole issue of having way too much empathy? When we began writing about women who love psychopaths, anti-socials, sociopaths and narcissists, we already 'assumed' that maybe you did have


Fantasy and Its’ Effect on Your Reality
March 19th, 2013

by Sandra L. Brown, M.A. Women who are in relationships with pathologicals test very high in the trait of 'fantasy.' Fantasy is not just merely wishful thinking. Fantasy has other components in it that affects your here and now life. Fantasy is often associated with the future and in some ways the past. Here's how... women often stay in pathological


REAL LOVE NOT JUST REAL ATTRACTION
February 12th, 2013

So many people confuse the feeling of 'attraction' with the emotion of love. For some who are in chronic dangerous and pathological relationships, it's obvious that you have gotten these two elements 'mixed up.' Not being able to untangle these understandings can keep people on the same path of unsafe relationship selection because they keep choosing the same way


HEALTHY LOVE – WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THAT?
February 5th, 2013

by Sandra L. Brown, M.A. Since Valentine's Day was upon us, I thought it would be a great discussion about what happens in Pathological Love Relationships--- that attraction is on over-drive while love (from a pathological) is lingo-bling. But what about real love, healthy love? People write all the time and say 'When are you going to write How to Spot a


Why a Focused Recovery is Necessary-Beginning with a Completely Different Mind Set
January 8th, 2013

Beginning 2013 in a Completely Different Mindset   Last week I began the New Year by talking about the issue of healing, recovery, and moving forward. In fact, all of January we are going to look at why starting 2013 'differently' can help you move forward in recovering from the aftermath of a pathological love relationship.   The past few


Finding Effective Help in 2013!
January 1st, 2013

By now, if you have been trying to heal from a pathological love relationship and can't find effective and knowledgeable counseling, you have probably figured out what we have...that the pathological love relationship is NOT widely understood. Frustrated women hear unhelpful advice from family, friends, and even therapists who label their attachment to


Triggers and Knee Jerk Reactions During the Holidays
December 11th, 2012

The holidays are stressful under the best of situations. Add to it a dangerous and pathological relationships and you can have a prescription for **guaranteed** unhappiness. The pathological relationship never lies dormant during the holidays. It's an opportunity to recontact you--of course "just to wish you a Merry Christmas." If you haven't already, do read


Fantasy And It’s Effect On Your Reality
December 4th, 2012

Over the  past few months we have been talking about the power of defense mechanisms. It is unfortunately common to employ defense mechanisms that actually enhance your own emotional suffering. And of course, what we want you to employ are resources that help you recover not defense mechanisms that keep you stuck. You have suffered enough from the pathological


How To NOT Go Back/Hook Up During The Holidays
November 27th, 2012

Last week I wrote about the "Power of Relapsing' and got many emails saying "THANK YOU for writing about it as I was thinking about going back to the relationship just so I wasn't alone during the holidays! You saved me from a disaster!" Here's a secret: "Even if you go back, you're still alone. You've been alone the entire time because by nature of their


Telling Yourself the Truth–You Don’t Have to Tell Me–But At Least Tell it to Yourself…
November 20th, 2012

"People, like all forms of life, only change when something so disturbs them that they are forced to let go of their present beliefs. Nothing changes until we interpret things differently.Change occurs only when we let go of our certainty. " Dee Hock Rigorous honesty is the first rule of recovery. Nothing happens until the truth is laid on the table. Well,that


Dissociation Isn’t a Life Skill
November 13th, 2012

"Dissociation Isn't a Life Skill" (Quote by Sandra L. Brown, M.A. ) Dissociation is described as: 1. The splitting off of a group of mental processes from the main body of consciousness, as in amnesia. 2. The act of separating or state of being separated. 3. The separation into two or more fragments. Let's talk about Dissociation a minute...it's


Is it Fear or Is it Anxiety? Part II
November 6th, 2012

Last week we began talking about the difference between fear and anxiety. Real fear draws on your animalistic instincts and cause a sincere fight/flight reaction. Anxiety causes you to worry about the situation but you aren't likely to bolt. Anxiety can develop as a counterfeit trait to the true fear you never reacted to. Gavin deBecker in the classic book


The Gift of Fear/The Curse of Anxiety
October 30th, 2012

Is it Fear Or Is it Anxiety? Women who have been in pathological relationships come away from the relationships with problems associated with fear, worry, and anxiety.This is often related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or what we call 'High Harm Avoidance'-- being on high alert looking for ways she might get harmed now or in the future. PTSD, by


Not All Abusers Are Created Equal
October 23rd, 2012

Just as not all victims are the same, not all perpetrators of harm are the same either. There is a temptation to 'lump' them all together--making 'who' they are that makes them abuse others the same as other abusers and what they 'do' as abusers the same as other abusers. Perhaps this is where Domestic Violence theory and pathology theory walk different


Trait Examination OR Character Assassination?
October 16th, 2012

Part of the problem we face in trying to get to the nitty-gritty of pathological love relationships is that 'how we do it' or 'what we call it' is judged so severely that it impairs sharing the valuable outcomes that are learned. There are groups of professionals, women’s orgs, and service agencies that tip toe around what we 'call' patterns of selection in


Recovering Without Validation
October 9th, 2012

Last week we talked about the difficulties, and yet the real possibilities of having to recover without justice. Many of you wrote me because you have indeed had the experience of facing getting over the aftermath of a pathological with very little legal justice. It doesn't mean that you don't pursue your own rights. You should always stand up for what you


Recovery With Out Justice
October 2nd, 2012

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month At the heart of the victims rights movement I was involved in during the 1980's after my father's murder, was the concept of judicial justice that would lead to psychological justice.  It's a great concept and in a perfect world it would work in all situations.  If the pathological person wronged you (physically


Am I Under His Spell? Part III
September 25th, 2012

My past two columns, I have been talking about trance states, dissociation, hypnotic suggestion, mind control...all ways the pathological controls your mind, thoughts, feelings, and ultimately your behavior. This is not hocus pocus stuff. Trance states, dissociation and hypnosis are all normal parts of the way our body and minds respond to certain conditions.


Am I Under His Spell Part II
September 18th, 2012

In my previous column, we started talking about the very REAL issue of trance in relationship with pathologicals. Women have described this as feeling 'under his spell,' 'spell bound,' ' mesmerized,' 'hypnotized,' 'spaced out,' 'not in control of their own thoughts....'  All of these are ways of saying that various levels of covert and subtle mind-control have


Am I Under His Spell?
September 11th, 2012

Time and again women allude to the mystical  aspects of the pathological they are involved with. They describe it as "being under his spell," "en-tranced with him" or "hypnotized by him" even "spell bound" or "mind controlled." Women aren't exactly able to define what they are 'experiencing' or even accurately describe what they think is occurring but they do


I Got This…
July 17th, 2012

By Jennifer Young The focus of this series of articles has been your Super Traits.  The Super Traits are your temperament and character traits that are powerful components of who you are which carry positive and negative consequences.  The power that you have over these traits comes in the form of awareness.  Your first task is to acknowledge them and address


What We Believe About Pathology and Relational Health
July 10th, 2012

"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


Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness
July 3rd, 2012

Happy 4th of July! With all that flag waving and potato salad, I couldn't help but think about 'Independence Day' -- the day that women cut the cords of dependency and exit dangerous and pathological relationships. Your emotional and physical 'Independence Day' is the beginning of recovery.  It's the day that you 'come to' and say: * How did I get


Default Settings in Patterns of Partner Selection
June 26th, 2012

If you use a computer you are probably aware of the ‘default settings’ that come on your computer or in various software programs on your machine.  A default settings is “The controls of a computer hardware, software, device, equipment or machine which was preset by its manufacturer.” Items on your computer that are preset are often the country you are in,


What Will You Do?
June 9th, 2012

In May 2012, Vicki Bolling lay dying in her front yard, shot three times by her husband.  The local news reports say that the death of Ms. Bolling was no surprise to her sons.  According to news accounts, her sons report that she suffered years of physical and emotional abuse that included threats, manipulation and intimidation.  She was married for 30 years. 


Determination in the Life of the Survivor
June 5th, 2012

I've seen the look many times – hundreds of times over the past 20 years, working with (mostly) women who are surviving a pathological love relationship.  There is a 'look.'  Initially it's a timid look – before she grasps that she really CAN survive and thrive. The look then begins to change, morphing into real belief and real power. Ironically, I saw the


The Spiritual Damage in the Aftermath
May 29th, 2012

There is no doubt that the wreckage from the pathological impacts you emotionally, physically, financially, sexually, and also spiritually. Everyone has a spirit—that God-shaped place in your soul that is touched and filled by beauty, awe, and stillness.  It’s the most authentic part of you so it’s also the most vulnerable and the most wounded from pathology. 


Let Go or Be Dragged
May 22nd, 2012

'Let Go or Be Dragged' – I don't know who wrote that slogan, but I loved it so much I bought it on a magnet.  My first thought was, 'Oh, I LOVE that saying for the women!'  But in a flash, I realized it's a slogan for everyone.  A friend of mine in recovery said she loved it for her 'A.A.' recovery slogan.  Another person told me she loved it as a spiritual theme


My Anniversary of the Plunge into Pathology
May 15th, 2012

The month of May marks my fairly 'official' date (at least in my mind) in which I was thrust into the field of pathology – totally without consent, without warning, and without return to the normal life I knew before May 13, 1983.  Twenty-nine years ago, my father bled out in a grungy gutter in Cincinnati after a psychopath plunged a knife into his aorta outside


Is This The New Normal?
May 8th, 2012

The 'new' normal (whatever that is) is code jargon for 'something in your life that changed and for which you just have to suck it up and get use to'.  This clicky kind of phrase has crept in the world of pathology too, and even the recovery movement. So let's answer some of those questions about 'the NEW normal.' 'Is How Crappy I Feel My New Normal?' In


How Pathological Is ‘Too’ Pathological?
May 1st, 2012

Another words, 'How sick is TOO sick?' One of the charactersistics of women who have been in pathological relationships is that they are very 'forgiving' and 'tolerant' of less than stellar mental health qualities in their intimate relationships. That's because the women have very elevated traits of compassion, empathy, tolerance, and acceptance according to


When Others Don’t Like The ‘P’ Word
April 24th, 2012

I was recently asked to be on a national TV show to discuss the issue of psychopathy in relationships based on my book 'Women Who Love Psychopaths.' They had looked at the website, read information about the book, discussed what the rest of the show was going to be about, and booked me for the show. They didn't invite me based on my other book (although equally


Am I Who He Says I Am?
April 10th, 2012

One of the chief complaints of having been with a pathological is the 'acquiring' of his view of you. In previous newsletters I discussed the 'pathological world view which is the 'lens' thru which he sees himself, others, and the world. This view of the world is processed through his own pathological disorder which is why his view of the world is not like normal


Who Does That? Part 2
April 3rd, 2012

(Last week we began discussing the ‘who’ of certain behaviors and crimes often perpetrated by Cluster Bs, and how the various systems who come in contact with Cluster Bs have differing names, thus views, of their destructive patterns. You can read last week's newsletter HERE). How convenient for pathologicals that each system is only focused on it’s identified


Who Does That? Part 1
March 27th, 2012

Part of our goal at The Institute is not only to help survivors heal from the aftermath of a PLR (Pathological Love Relationship), but it is also to help prevent future relationships with pathologicals. In prevention, The Institute helps survivors to spot overt, glaring pathology. The overt pathology is easy to identify. * Few would argue that mothers who


Emotional Phantom Limb Pain
March 20th, 2012

In a session someone says, "I really miss what we had.  I could get over this if it hadn't been the most wonderful relationship of my life.  I just feel like something has been cut out of me – like I'm missing a big part of myself now." Illusion is the mark of pathology.  It's why our logo is a mask, because it best represents the mirage of normalcy that


Genetic and Neuro-Physiological Basis for Hyper-Empathy
March 13th, 2012

I heard a universal 'sigh of relief' go out around the world as women read the title of this article.  Don’t you feel better knowing there really IS some science backing the whole issue of having way too much empathy? When we began writing about women who love psychopaths, anti-socials, sociopaths and narcissists, we already 'assumed' that maybe you did have


All Memory is Not Created Equal – Positive Memory Seepage
March 6th, 2012

Intrusive thoughts are associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as other emotional trauma disorders.  Many survivors say that the most painful memories are not the intrusive thoughts of all the bad 'stuff,' or even the violence – what is most painful is the intrusive thoughts of good memories. Intrusive thoughts are not just bad thoughts or


The Attraction Cocktail
February 28th, 2012

THIS WEEKS ARTICLE IS BY: Jennifer Young, MS "People can be induced to swallow anything, provided it is sufficiently seasoned with praise" - Molière You might be asking yourself "Why me?"  Why did you get to be the one to end up in this crazy relationship?  What did you do wrong to land THIS guy?  The answer begins with what could be called the "Attraction


Mutual Pathology: Gasoline and Fire
February 21st, 2012

Pathology is a mental health issue, not a gender issue.  Women have just as much pathology in some areas of personality disorders, as men do in other areas of personality disorders.  Some of the 10 personality disorders present more in men, while some of the disorders present more in women. As you have heard me say over the years, pathology is pathology –


Healthy Love – What in the World is That?
February 14th, 2012

Hope you're having a good Valentines Day! And since Valentine's Day is upon us, I thought it would be a great discussion about what happens in Pathological Love Relationships--- that attraction is on over-drive while love (from a pathological) is lingo-bling. But what about real love, healthy love? People write all the time and say 'When are you going to write


Real Love not Just Real Attraction
February 7th, 2012

So many people confuse the feeling of attraction with the emotion of love.  For some who are in chronically dangerous and pathological relationships, it's obvious that you have these two elements 'mixed up.'  Not being able to untangle these understandably, can keep people on the same path of unsafe relationship selection, because they keep choosing the same way


Trait Examination or Character Assassination?
January 31st, 2012

Part of the problem we face in trying to get to the nitty-gritty of pathological love relationships is that 'how we do it' or 'what we call it' is judged so severely, that it impairs sharing the valuable outcomes that are learned.  There are groups of professions, women's organizations, and service agencies that tiptoe around what we 'call' patterns of selection


Are You Really as Far Along as You Think You Are?
January 17th, 2012

For the New Year, in the month of January, we have been discussing recovery and finding your path to emotional wellness from pathological love relationships in 2012. When women get mild relief from the unrelenting symptoms of the aftermath with a pathological, it can be palatable to them.  The relief from the intrusive thoughts, obsessions, PTSD, poor sleep,


Why A Focused Recovery IS Necessary Part II – Beginning 2012 with a Completely Different Mind Set
January 10th, 2012

Last week I began the New Year by talking about the issue of healing, recovery, and moving forward.  In fact, during the month of January we are going to look at why starting 2012 'differently' can help you move forward in recovering from the aftermath of a pathological love relationship. The past few years at The Institute have been a tremendous time of


Finding Effective Help in 2012!
January 3rd, 2012

By now, if you have been trying to heal from a pathological love relationship and can't find effective and knowledgeable counseling, you have probably figured out what we have…that the pathological love relationship is NOT widely understood. Frustrated women hear unhelpful advice from family, friends, and even therapists who label their attachment to


Holidays and Pathological Stress
December 13th, 2011

Holidays are extremely stressful times. It's a time when it is more likely: * For domestic violence to occur or reoccur * For dysfunctional families to be even MORE dysfunctional * For pathology to be overt and blatant * For pathology to target your joy and ruin your holidays * For former pathological relationships to magically reappear and try to


About Face: Changing the Direction from Which You Seek Happiness
December 6th, 2011

This time of year has its own 'internal reflecting' which guides us to dig in, evaluate, and give thanks.  We ponder ideas, gather insights that might have eluded us during the busyness of the past 11 months, and slow down to look inward and receive the Light we may not receive at other times during the year.  I hope this week's newsletter is a little piece of


Triggers and Knee Jerk Reactions During the Holidays
November 29th, 2011

The holidays are stressful under the best of situations. Add to it a dangerous and pathological relationships and you can have a prescription for **guaranteed** unhappiness. The pathological relationship never lies dormant during the holidays. It's an opportunity to re-contact you--of course "just to wish you a Merry Christmas." If you haven't already, do read


How Not to Go Back/Hook Up During the Holidays
November 22nd, 2011

Here's a secret: "Even if you go back, you're still alone. You've been alone the entire time because by nature of their disorder, they can't be there for you. So you're alone--now, in the holidays, or with them. With them, you have more drama, damage and danger. Your choice...." People relapse and go back into relationships more from Thanksgiving through


Pathological Systems: A Look at Penn State
November 15th, 2011

The nation is aghast at the Penn State rape and cover up of the repeated assaults of young boys over a 15 year period. This case reminds us that even the most loved of places, those with the best of reputations, can have pathology coursing in its veins and leadership. Jerry Sandusky a former coach is charged with sexual abuse of eight boys (and more victims


I’m Not What You Say I Am
November 8th, 2011

I’m Not What You Say I Am-by Jennifer Young, M.S. “We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.” ~François Duc de La Rochefoucauld Life isn’t all about appearances. Life is about movement, awareness, insight, change, compassion. Life is about interactions with others. As we move through the world


Deciding Not Stay Where You Are
November 1st, 2011

"The first step towards getting somewhere is to DECIDE that you are not going to stay where you are."  (Anny Jacoby) I just love this quote.  It reminds me of what we have been talking about now for months—since I began the Living the Gentle Life series, which has been about the recovery from PTSD and Pathological Love Relationships. I get emails that say,


Recovery With Out Justice
October 25th, 2011

At the heart of the victims rights movement I was involved in during the 1980's after my father's murder, was the concept of judicial justice that would lead to psychological justice.  It's a great concept and in a perfect world it would work in all situations.  If the pathological person wronged you (physically hurt, conned out of money, had screwed up custody


Remembering Our Roots
October 18th, 2011

Joyce’s Brown’s Influence on The Pathological Love Relationship Recovery Process This weekend marked the 4th death anniversary of an extraordinary visionary. Many of The Institute’s highly acclaimed purposes, products, and processes came from what Joyce lived through, talked about, and role modeled for others. Joyce, like other leaders, did not set out


E-Course, Class 4
October 11th, 2011

It’s all about Him! Are You Dating a Narcissist?   Many women are now familiar with the word ‘narcissism’ but not always totally aware of the specifics of the disorder. The word ‘narcissism’ is tossed around a lot as a catch all phrase for people who are conceited or aloof. But narcissism is more than a case of conceit. It is a pathological and


E-Course, Class 3
October 4th, 2011

Adult Children of Abusive Parents—When Parents Are Pathological This is the third installment of The Institute's E-courses we have been offering the past few weeks. 'Why' women have ended up in pathological love relationships is a widely debated topic. After 20+ years in the field, our view is that the reason(s) are often a mixture of several issues. We


E-Course, Class 2
September 27th, 2011

Addictive Relationships Let’s face it, if we were really good at choosing healthy relationships, we wouldn’t be here reading information about dangerous men. We would be happily somewhere with a healthy guy! So let’s at least begin with the universal assumption that we haven’t done our best job at selecting potential relationships with men who actually HAVE


E-Course, Class 1
September 20th, 2011

“Stop Dragging My Heart Around” (Song by Tom Petty) E-Course 1, Class 1 Women spend years and thousands of dollars trying to heal from dangerous and pathological men. If they are lucky, they only encounter one in their life times. If they aren’t, there are many more… That’s because women haven’t really verbalized what they think constitutes a dangerous


Starve The Vampire
September 13th, 2011

Pathological persons are energy and emotional vampires. They live off of your emotional content. Part of their personality deficit is the lack of a stable and consistent inner core of a self concept so they need constant attention, distraction, and identity management from which they draw their identity. Lots of their identity is acquired from their


Who Does That? Part 2
September 7th, 2011

(Last week we began discussing the ‘who’ of certain behaviors and crimes often perpetrated by Cluster Bs and how the various systems who come in contact with Cluster Bs have differing names, thus views, of their destructive patterns. You can read last weeks newsletter on our magazine site under Sandra Says). How convenient for pathologicals that each system is


Who Does That? Part 1
August 30th, 2011

Part of our goal at The Institute is not only to help survivors heal from the aftermath of a PLR (Pathological Love Relationship), but it is also to help prevent future relationships with pathologicals. In prevention, The Institute helps survivors to spot overt glaring pathology. The overt pathology is easy to identify. * Few would argue that mothers who drown


Your Medical Conditions–Is the Root Your Relationships?
July 5th, 2011

Many women don't know that ongoing stress (whether it is recognized or not) leads to very predictable medical conditions. Our mental state is our physical state so women with the worst health issues are often women with the worst emotional stressors. Women who were raised in addicted, mentally ill, abusive, or pathological families often have the most severe


Stress & Adrenal Fatigue
June 28th, 2011

The last two weeks we have been discussing PTSD and it's use in Legal Advocacy in court regarding divorce, separation, rehabilitative alimony and child custody. You can read the last two weeks of newsletters to see how using a PTSD Accommodations Report in Court can help you. And you can also read up on the differences between PTSD and mental illness if you


PTSD As Trauma Disorder Not Psychiatric Illness
June 21st, 2011

Last week we began talking about 'how' women can level the playing field in court with a pathological. This could be related to a divorce, seperation, restraining order, or child custody. If you have PTSD, the courts are mandated to offer you special accommodations while in court to protect you and to help your level of functioning due to the PTSD. As we


Helping Women Find Effective Strategies For Court
June 14th, 2011

Leaving a pathological is never easy—they aren't wired to allow for easy separation and disengagement.  What they value most is drama, trauma, and the perpetuation of misery at any cost.  High on their entertainment list is any legal activity—especially divorces, separations, and custody battles. Pathologicals get bored easily and have a high need for


The Successful Pathological’s Evil Twin: The Parasite
June 7th, 2011

The Successful Pathological's Evil Twin: The Parasite Last week we looked at The Successful Pathological and how he flies in under the radar while women are looking at his success and missing the red flags about his character or behavior. Women can get side tracked by his degree, a noble career like a doctor or blinded by his business bling.The Italian-made


Talent-vs-Personality Disorders
May 24th, 2011

Talent -vs- Personality Disorders The world was rocked by the death of Michael Jackson. He is likely to be remembered, not only for his creativity as one of the world's most talented people in music, but also for his bizarre behaviors, appearance and abuse allegations. It seems at odds that someone so talented might also have been fairly disordered in his


Your Profession and Your Lovers
May 16th, 2011

Last week I started this conversation: could your profession indicate 'who' you would pick as a partner? Our research in 'Women Who Love Psychopaths' showed that many of you worked in professional care giving jobs (or wanted to be). Most of the people who ended up in relationships with narcissists, socios, or psychos were women in these types of careers. This


Professionals in the Helping Industries and Their Personal Pathological Relationships
May 9th, 2011

Are you a doctor, nurse, therapist, social worker, female clergy, medical personnel, 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 aboard to the group of people


Genetic and Neuro-Physiological Basis for Hyper-Empathy
May 2nd, 2011

I heard a universal SIGH go out around the world when women read the title to this article. Don't you feel better knowing there really IS some science to the whole issue of too-darn-much-empathy? When we began writing about 'women who love psychopaths, anti socials, sociopaths and narcissists' we already 'assumed' that maybe you did have too much empathy (as


Nothing Bothers Him–I Wish I Were MORE Like Him!
April 25th, 2011

At the heart of pathology is a lack of empathy, conscience, and remorse. Sounds horrible on paper (and it is) but it looks different in action. Sometimes women wish they were more like THAT--less empathic as a way of getting less hurt. She doesn't really mean that (unless she too has a pathology bent). She is exhausted by her own mental activity of intrusive


Soul Slayer– Psychological ‘Evil,’ Spiritual ‘Evil’ or Both?
April 18th, 2011

The one adjective I hear repeatedly connected to pathology is the word 'evil.' Spiritual, unspiritual, heathens, pagans, Christians, Jews, Buddists--it doesn't matter. The word 'evil' is the chosen adjective-of-choice to describe pathology. But what IS evil? Is it more psychological than it is spiritual? Or is it a spiritual issue that has been picked up and


Testing the Edge
April 11th, 2011

Women who end up in dangerous and pathological relationships often end up there because they like (or find interesting) 'living on the edge.' They don't like their lives boring and that extends to liking men who are 'edgey' as well. No boring normal 'geek' men--Nope! The more the edge/bad boy/outlaw/rebel (or the more you perceive they need some support to keep


Adult Children of Narcissistic, Psychopathic, and Borderline Parents
April 4th, 2011

Nothing is sadder or more destructive than not getting your needs met as a child because your parents were pathologically disordered. Narcissism, socio/psychopathic, antisocial or borderline are just four ways that your parents could have been pathologically disordered. There are a number of other ways and diagnosis as well. But the fact remains that so many


Am I Pathological TOO?
March 28th, 2011

People who were raised by pathological parents or with siblings who are pathological are more likely to repeatedly date pathological men. Some of the patterns of partner selection has to do with learned conditioning--learning to normalize abnormal behavior until that is the norm. Some of pathology can also be genetically transmitted so people are often


Should I React This Way?
March 21st, 2011

Partners of pathologicals face chronic confusion about their reactions to his pathology. She feels the incongruency in the Jekyll and Hyde personalities, reacts to it, and then gets labeled by him as being hysterical. The fact is, pathologicals project their traits and behaviors on everyone else and say it's 'them' instead of 'him.' That IS part of


Reality and Suffering
March 14th, 2011

Oh boy, have I learned a lot lately. What is becoming evident is that much of your intrusive thoughts, your obsession with him/relationship, your cognitive conflict known as dissonance, and many other symptoms as well are stemming from one major issue: The inability to accept what he is, how he is, and what this means about your relationship. This level of


Grieving The Pathological Loss–The Personal Side Part II
March 8th, 2011

Last week we began talking about the grief process as it pertains to ending the relationship with your dangerous (and often, pathological) person. Even though the relationship was damaging and maybe you even initiated the break up, it doesn't stop the necessary grieving. Women are then shocked to find themselves grieving at all given how abusive, damaging, or


Grieving the Pathological Loss, Part I
March 1st, 2011

Over and over again women are shocked to find out how bad it is and how horrible they feel leaving a pathological partner. As horrendous as the relationships has been, as hurt as they have become at his hands, and the emotional/physical/financial/sexual/spiritual cost it takes to heal and asks, "Why in the world am I so sad and in so much grief?" 'Loving'


Grieving the Pathological Loss
February 28th, 2011

Over and over again women are shocked to find out how bad it is and how horrible they feel leaving a pathological partner. As horrendous as the relationships has been, as hurt as they have become at his hands, and the emotional/physical/financial/sexual/spiritual cost it takes to heal…she asks, "Why in the world am I so sad and in so much grief?" ‘Loving’ a


How Pathological Is ‘Too’ Pathological?
February 21st, 2011

In other words, 'How sick is TOO sick?' One of the characteristics of women who have been in pathological relationships is that they are very 'forgiving' and 'tolerant' of less than stellar mental health qualities in their intimate relationships. That's because the women have very elevated traits of compassion, empathy, tolerance, and acceptance according to


He Seems Happy Now, Will I EVER Be Happy Too?
February 11th, 2011

There are a lot of distortions that go on about the pathological man's ability to 'be happy.' One of the issues of permanent personality disorders and pathology is that at the core of them is unhappiness. That is why they have so many angry outbursts, attitude problems, and failed relationships. Some of them 'fake' the external appearance of 'happy-go-lucky'


The Other Woman–Now He’s HAPPY With HER!
February 7th, 2011

Nothing cranks a woman up more than going through a drama-filled ending of her dysfunctional, pathological, abusive, addicted and/or sick relationship ONLY to find he rapidly moved on and now seems 'so happy.' Women tend to conclude it must have been 'her' and if he can be happy with someone else and not her, well then....it was some shortcoming in her and she


When Friends Don’t ‘Get It’ About Him
January 31st, 2011

Remember the line 'You're known by the company you keep'? Well, I don't think that ONLY includes the pathological and dangerous man...it also includes your 'friends' and 'family' members who are emotional accomplices of his. Someone wrote me this week and said "Please write about this--when your own friends don't get how sick he is and think you should go


Hate and Your Potential For Relapse Part I
January 24th, 2011

When women tell me "That's IT! I will never, ever, ever talk to him again. I HATE HIM!" I begin looking at my watch to see how long it takes for her to talk to him again. Why do I think her relapse thus contact is imminent? Because 'HATE' is passion. Anything that feels that impassioned or has that much energy is usually acted on. If anger is the energy for


Hate and Your Potential For Relapse Part II-Moving Towards Detachment
January 24th, 2011

Last week we discussed 'Hate' as an impassioned feeling that has high connection to relapse. Anything we feel that embroiled about we are likely to act on. Relapse prevention has to be more detailed than utilizing mere feelings such as using 'hatred' as a tool for distancing yourself from the pathological. This usually doesn't work because hate is passionate and


When Am I Ready to Help Others?
January 10th, 2011

At the heart of any grass roots efforts or organizations is the concept of the wounded healer. There wouldn't be a women's movement without those who have been victims of something or other helping newer victims. It's not only the heart of grass roots organizations (like ours) but the victims rights movement and many other strong and healing national movements in


Psycho-Ecology
January 3rd, 2011

Change is redemptive. It's transformational and it's healing. No wonder not any of those things happen to pathologicals--they don't change so they don't redeem, or transform or heal. But for those negatively effected by the pathological, change is your only hope. Without the transformation of change you are hopelessly stuck on what feels like the karmic treadmill


The Power of Relapsing
December 14th, 2010

Never before in my 20 year career have I seen more 'relapsing back into pathological relationships' than I have lately. "What's wrong with me? Why do I do this?" they ask. My answer is---I don't know....why DO you do it? "I didn't know what I was doing..." Yes you did. Contact is a choice. "I just thought he changed this time." No you


Joy vs. Happiness
December 7th, 2010

You were out looking for a little happiness when you stumbled upon Dr. Jekyll as he was appearing wonderful and considerate. Strangely, before you knew it, evil Mr. Hyde was instead dismantling anything that resembled happiness and leaving in its wake, destruction and despair. Despair is a long way from the happiness you were initially seeking. How did you


Mutual Pathology: Gasoline & Fire
December 3rd, 2010

Pathology is a mental health issue not a gender issue. Women have just as much pathology (in some areas of personality disorders) as men due in other areas of personality disorders. Some of the 10 personality disorders are seen more in men while some of the other disorders are seen more in women. As you have heard me say over the years, pathology is


Dissociation is Not a Life Skill
November 23rd, 2010

"Dissociation Isn't a Life Skill" (Quote by Sandra L. Brown, M.A. ) Dissociation is described as: 1. The splitting off of a group of mental processes from the main body of consciousness, as in amnesia. 2. The act of separating or state of being separated. 3. The separation into two or more fragments. Let's talk about Dissociation a minute...it's


External Locus of Belief: Is it True, is it REALLY True?
November 16th, 2010

In psychology, we refer to the belief about where control over events in our lives resides as 'internal and external locus of control'. This means we see our behaviors either generated by personal efforts or by destiny. We believe that we make things happen or we believe others do it for us whether we like it or not. But also related to internal and external


Just Because You Believe It, Doesn’t Make it True
November 10th, 2010

The last few weeks we have been talking about how your defense mechanisms affect your emotional suffering. We've looked at denial and fantasy. Today we are going to look at how your own distortions in thinking can also cause emotional suffering. I am reminded frequently that this statement 'Just because you believe it, doesn't make it true' is accurate when it


Fantasy and its Effect on Your Reality
November 8th, 2010

Two weeks ago we talked about the power of denial which is a defense mechanism. Over the next few weeks I am going to be looking at various defense mechanisms that are employed by you that actually enhance your own emotional suffering.  The reason is, you suffer enough from the pathological love relationship and the last thing you need is for your own


Not All Abusers Are Created Equal
October 26th, 2010

Just as not all victims are the same, not all perpetrators of harm are the same either. There is a temptation to 'lump' them all together--making 'who' they are that makes them abuse others the same as other abusers and what they 'do' as abusers the same as other abusers. Perhaps this is where Domestic Violence theory and Pathology theory walk different


Denial and Its Power
October 19th, 2010

Acknowledging Domestic Violence/Pathology Awareness Month with the POWER of Information! Every once in awhile you need to be reminded that not everyone thinks you know diddly squat. Sometimes it's the people closest to you that think you really don't have a clue. It's not that it's new to me. It reminds me that not everyone believes me when I tell them I think


Telling Yourself the Truth – You Don’t Have to Tell Me — But at Least Tell it to Yourself
October 13th, 2010

"People, like all forms of life, only change when something so disturbs them that they are forced to let go of their present beliefs. Nothing changes until we interpret things differently. Change occurs only when we let go of our certainty." - Dee Hock Acknowledging Domestic Violence/Pathology Awareness Month with the POWER of Information! Rigorous


60 Million Persons in the US Negatively Affected by Someone Else’s Pathology
October 6th, 2010

Acknowledging Domestic Violence/Pathology Awareness Month with the POWER of Information! Do you believe that someone else's pathology is none of your business or it's simply an 'unfortunate turn of events' for the person in a Pathological Love Relationship? Or that what happens to someone else doesn't affect you? What happens because of pathology affects us


When Your Symptoms Look Like Something Else
September 30th, 2010

Women tell me other therapists have diagnosed them with a variety of diagnosis which has made the women not only confused, but often MAD!  They have been diagnosed, for instance with disorders like Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder, Paranoia, and other not-so-fun labels. We recognize that this happens a lot which is why we have instituted a therapist


Verbal Bulimia and the Art of Over-Disclosure
September 27th, 2010

I wrote about Verbal Bulimia in my Dangerous Man book, discussed in Women Who Love Psychopaths, and frequently remind everyone in the newsletters and yet I still see this embarrassing behavior among women that not only sounds inappropriate to anyone else listening but also puts her at tremendous risk amongst pathologicals. Years ago when I had a few


Fantasy Re-runs or ‘Obsession Interruptus’
September 11th, 2010

Everyone knows what 'coitus interruptus' is--but what you really need to know is what 'emotional obsession interruptus' is! In the past, I have talked about the inherent traps, pitfalls, and perils of how people get roped back in to the pathological relationships during 'weak moments' of family or relationship fantasizing about normal relationships. There are


Am I Responsible for How He Acts? Do I Drive His Behavior?
September 4th, 2010

One of the most frequently asked questions in pathological relationship coaching is "Did I make the person behave like this?" The clients often believe they bring out 'the worst in him' or so the pathological wants them to believe. The pathological likes to label his own acting out or cheating or other inappropriate behavior as someone else's fault. This is


The Pathological: The Child Prodigy-Savant–All Grown Up, Part II
August 27th, 2010

Last week I started talking about this natural ability that pathologicals have when it comes to reading human behavior. Last newsletter we talked about how the child's emotional developmental deficits actually spur them towards compensation in these areas by trying to hide their lack of a full emotional spectrum, lack of insight, and lack of ability to sustain


The Pathological: a Child Prodigy-Savant of Human Behavior
August 17th, 2010

People often want to know why people with personality disorders (pathology) often have the worst and most inappropriate behavior indicating they are clueless about others feelings AND YET they are often enabled with the uncanny ability to so know human behavior they con even the most knowledgeable of people. This 'savant-like' experience with human behavior


Characterlogical Disorders: He is What He Does
August 12th, 2010

Personality disorders are those permanent disorders that mar a soul. They impair a person's ability for emotional growth, to sustain enduring positive change, and to develop insight about how their behavior affects others. This is the path of pathology--when disorders so affect a personality that it leaves them impaired that it disengages their character


Chronic Personality Problems in Problem Relationships
August 4th, 2010

A large portion of emotional and physical abusers (although not all) have some similar identifying disorders, traits, or diagnosis. They are not all created equal. That means, each one of them brings a unique combination of traits, challenges, and problems to the equation of the relationship and even therapy. Therefore, not all abusers treatment is going to be


REALITY + EXPECTATION = HAPPINESS
July 7th, 2010

William James, an early writer on psychology from the late 1800's wrote about happiness and reality. I think what he has to say applies a lot to the issues that women face in pathological relationships. Let's see how... The crux of James' pragmatic approach to happiness was rooted in his belief about expectation and its effect on how we come to feel about


Finding Competent Help for Your Recovery
June 29th, 2010

By now if you have been trying to heal from a pathological love relationship and can't find effective and knowledgeable counseling you have probably figured out what we have...that the pathological love relationship is NOT widely understood. Frustrated women hear unhelpful advice from family, friends and even therapists who label their attachment to


When a Pathological Dies
June 24th, 2010

If you have been reading our magazine site, then you probably have read why and how I got started in pathology. Like you, so many years are initially spent not knowing what is wrong with the pathological. Since part of pathology is the ultimate in projection (taking their traits/behaviors and saying they are your traits/behaviors), most people walk around


Intense Attachments
June 15th, 2010

Women in these relationships and their family members who watch her relationship dynamics all wonder about **why** this dangerous guy is so hard to leave. While all the people around her have the easy and rational answers of how and why she should leave, the disengagement and detachment is harder with pathological persons than anyone else. No one knows this


My Anniversary of the Plunge into Pathology
June 1st, 2010

The month of May which we just exited, marks my fairly 'official' date (at least in my mind) in which I was thrusted into the field of pathology--totally without consent, without warning and without return to the normal life I knew before May 13, 1983. 27 years ago my father bled out in a grungy gutter in Cincinnati after a psychopath plunged a knife into his


The Illusion of Management
June 1st, 2010

A part of how people convince themselves to stay in the pathological love relationship is that they think they are making 'progress' by managing the pathological's behavior. Once there is a glimmer of doubt about the pathological's behavior, the partner begins to do one of two things: they either change their belief system or they change their behavior. Most of


Am I Under His “Spell?” – Part III
May 25th, 2010

The past two weeks we have been talking about trance states, dissociation, hypnotic suggestion, and mind control...all ways the pathological controls your mind, thoughts, feelings, and ultimately your behavior. This is not hocus pocus stuff. Trance states, dissociation and hypnosis are all normal parts of the way our body and minds respond to certain


Am I Under His “Spell?” – Part II
May 18th, 2010

Last week we started to talk about the very REAL issue of trance in relationship with pathologicals. Women feel 'under his spell,' 'spell bound,' ' mesmerized,' 'hypnotized,' 'spaced out,' 'not in control of their own thoughts....' All of these are ways of saying that various levels of covert and subtle mind-control have been happening with the pathological.


Am I Under His “Spell?” – Part I
May 12th, 2010

Time and again women allude to the mystical aspects of the pathological they are involved with. They describe it as "being under his spell," "entranced with him" or "hypnotized by him" even "spellbound" or "mind controlled." Women aren't exactly able to define what they are 'experiencing' or even accurately describe what they think is occurring but they do


Last Week Was ‘Will It Ever End?’ This Week is “Why Won’t It Ever End?’
May 4th, 2010

We began talking about the ongoing battles with pathologicals-whether it is a break up, move out, divorce, property settlement, mediation, child custody, or the ever-revolving door of litigious events with law enforcement or the legal system. By nature of the pathology, they are MORE likely to allege falsified abuse, stalk the other parent, sue, to continue to


When Will This Ever End?
April 27th, 2010

Lots of clients lately want to know 'when will this ever end?' -- 'this' being the aggravation from a pathological. Constantly harassing you Stalking Stirring the pot Making up allegations against you Not paying what they are suppose to Going back to court for the 1,000th time Turning others against you Turning you in to Social Services for child


Why you Only Remember the Good Stuff of a Relationship – Part II
April 20th, 2010

Last week I began discussing the reasons why women have a difficult time 'remembering the bad aspects of the relationship.' Women describe the sensation of only remembering the good times, the good feelings and being 'fuzzy' or sort of forgetting all the bad things he has done when they think of him. This process seems to be triggered by an emotional feeling


Why you Only Remember the Good Stuff of a Relationship – Part I
April 13th, 2010

Over and over again women are puzzled by their own process in trying to recover from a pathological relationship. What is puzzling is that despite the treatment they received by him, despite the absolute mind-screwing he did to her emotions, not only is the attraction still VERY INTENSE but also the POSITIVE memories still remain strong. Woman after woman says


Emotional Phantom Limb Pain
March 31st, 2010

In a session someone says "I really miss what we had. I could get over this if it hadn't been in the most wonderful relationship of my life. I just feel like something has been cut out of me--like I'm missing a big part of myself now." Pathology is marked by the issue of illusion. It's why our logo is a mask because it best represents the mirage of normalcy that


The Gift of Fear/The Curse of Anxiety – Part II
March 16th, 2010

Is it Fear Or Is it Anxiety? Last week we began talking about the difference between fear and anxiety. Real fear draws on your animalistic instincts and causes a sincere fight/flight reaction. Anxiety causes you to worry about the situation but you aren't likely to bolt. Anxiety can develop as a counterfeit trait to the true fear you never reacted


The Gift of Fear/The Curse of Anxiety – Part I
March 9th, 2010

Is it Fear Or Is it Anxiety? Women who have been in pathological relationships come away from the relationships with problems associated with fear, worry, and anxiety. This is often related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or what we call 'High Harm Avoidance'-- being on high alert looking for ways she might get harmed now or in the future. PTSD, by


Are Feelings Facts?
February 24th, 2010

Women don't know whether to trust what they feel or not. Are you confused over whether feelings are factual or if they are fiction? You're not alone. Women struggle where to draw the line between believing what they think and questioning it. On one hand, feelings can be red flags in the beginning or in the midst of the relationship. Red flags can be emotional,


Real Love Not Just Real Attraction
February 9th, 2010

So many people confuse the feeling of 'attraction' with the emotion of love. For some who are in chronic dangerous and pathological relationships, it's obvious that you have gotten these two elements 'mixed up.' Not being able to untangle these understandings can keep people on the same path of unsafe relationship selection because they keep choosing the same way


LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! Will I Ever Find MINE?
February 2nd, 2010

February is Valentine's Day month--a trigger month for many women who want to just 'slip back into the fantasy' of everything we associate as a culture with Valentine's Day. It's one of those trigger months like Thanksgiving and Christmas where women want to 'look the other way' in order to have a nice day or time with him. Just for 24 hours she wants to pretend


Pacing and Planning Your Own Recovery
January 26th, 2010

Becoming Part of The Institute's Path to Recovery Since the beginning of the year, we have been focused on discussing your recovery in great detail. That is because the power of pathology saws people off at the knees. In order to heal, you have to have a plan for your own recovery. We consider this so important that a portion of all of my coaching including


Are You Really As Far Along As You Think You Are?
January 19th, 2010

For the New Year, the month of January we have been discussing recovery and finding your path to emotional wellness from Pathological Love Relationships in 2010. When women get mild relief from the unrelenting symptoms of the aftermath with a pathological, it can be palatable to them. The relief from intrusive thoughts, obsessions, PTSD, poor sleep,


Finding Effective Help in 2010!
January 5th, 2010

By now if you have been trying to heal from a pathological love relationship and can't find effective and knowledgeable coaching you have probably figured out what we have...that the pathological love relationship is NOT widely understood. Frustrated women hear unhelpful advice from family, friends and even therapists who label their attachment to pathological


Circling the Promised Land
December 29th, 2009

Reflections on the year lived...isn't that what December 31st was all about before it was about party horns and too much champagne? For me, sometimes it's good and hearty reflections...satisfaction at goals reached and lives touched. Other times it's sadness, frustration or confusion. These past two years have been all of that for me...hearty and hell...so


About Face: Changing the Direction From Which You Seek Happiness
December 15th, 2009

This time of year has it's own 'internal reflecting' which guides us to dig in, evaluate and give thanks. We ponder ideas, gather insights that might have eluded us during the busyness of the past 11 months, and slow down to look inward and receive the Light we may not receive at other times during the year. I hope this week's newsletter is a little piece of


Stress and the Holidays
December 8th, 2009

The holidays are stressful under the best of situations. Add to it a dangerous and pathological relationships and you can have a prescription for **guaranteed** unhappiness. The pathological relationship never lies dormant during the holidays. It's an opportunity to re-contact you--of course "just to wish you a Merry Christmas." If you haven't already, do read


Dangerous Liaisons: How To NOT Go Back/Hook Up During The Holidays
December 3rd, 2009

Here's a secret: "Even if you go back, you're still alone. You've been alone the entire time because by nature of their disorder, they can't be there for you. So you're alone–now, in the holidays, or with them. With them, you have more drama, damage and danger. Your choice...." People relapse and go back into relationships more from Thanksgiving through


Professionals in the Helping Industries and Their Personal Pathological Relationships
November 4th, 2009

Are you a doctor, nurse, therapist, social worker,female clergy, medical personnel, paramedic, teacher, psychiatrist, Certified Nursing Assistant, day care worker, guidance counselor, speech therapist, missionary, physical therapist, psychology grad student, art therapist, writer, artist, musician, work in parole or probation, or work with at-risk kids? Welcome


Deciding to Not Stay Where You Are At
October 2nd, 2009

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (To us, this includes Pathological Love Relationship Awareness) 'The First Step Towards Getting Somewhere is to DECIDE That You Are Not Going To Stay Where You Are' (Anny Jacoby) I just loved when I read this quote...it reminds me of what we have been talking about now for months---since I began the Living the


Living the Gentle Life
July 21st, 2009

"Be gentle with yourself. The rest of your life deserves it." (Sandra L. Brown, MA) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a trauma-related anxiety disorder. PTSD is often seen as an aftermath symptom of Pathological Love Relationships. Exposure to other people's pathology can and often does, give other people stress disorders, including PTSD. Our systems


Phantom Limb Pain
July 8th, 2009

In a session someone says "I really miss what we had. I could get over this if it hadn't been the most wonderful relationship of my life. I just feel like something has been cut out of me--like I'm missing a big part of myself now." Pathology is marked by the issue of illusion. It's why our logo is a mask because it best represents the mirage of normalcy


Talent -VS- Personality Disorders
June 28th, 2009

The world has been rocked by the death of Michael Jackson who is likely to be remembered equally for not only his talent/creativity, his bizarre behavior, appearance, and practices and the abuse allegations he has gone thru more than once. It seems at 'odds' that someone so talented could also be fairly disordered. Michael appears to meet the critieria for


Determination in the Life of a Survivor
May 19th, 2009

I've seen the look many times--hundreds of times over the past 20 years working with (mostly) women who are surviving a pathological love relationship. There 'is' a look. Initially, it's a timid look---before she grasps that she really CAN survive and thrive. Then the look begins to change, morph into real belief and real power. Ironically, I saw the look this


Today–My Anniversary of the Plunge into Pathology
May 13th, 2009

Today marks my fairly 'official' date (at least in my mind) in which I was thrust into the field of pathology--totally without consent, without warning and without return to the normal life I knew before May 13, 1983. 26 years ago my father bled out in a grungy gutter in Cincinnati after a psychopath plunged a knife into his aorta outside of his jazz club. I was


Genetic and Neuro-Physiological Basis For Hyper-Empathy
April 15th, 2009

I heard a universal go out around the world when women read the title to this article. Don't you feel better knowing there really is some science to the whole issue of too-darn-much-empathy? When we began writing about 'women who love psychopaths, anti socials, sociopaths and narcissists' we already 'assumed' that maybe you did have too much empathy (as well as


Just Because You Believe It, DOESN’T Make It True
March 29th, 2009

I am reminded frequently that this statement is so true when it comes to denial in pathological love relationships. There's something about a narcissist and psychopath that can make you forget all about their pathology and return to your previous 'fog' of beliefs. F.O.G.--Fear, Obligation and Guilt. Entrenched in the partner is the dire desire to have a


All Memory is Not Created Equal–Positive Memory Seepage
March 19th, 2009

We already know that intrusive thought is associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as other emotional trauma disorders. However, many of the survivors say what is most painful is not necessarily the intrusive thoughts of the bad stuff or even the violence. It's the intrusive thoughts of all the good times that are really hard to deal


Are Batterer Intervention Programs Killing Women?
March 10th, 2009

Our Batterer Intervention Programs might not be providing the hope women want. Our court systems are not psychologists so consequently are under-educated in the issue of pathology. Most judges have very little knowledge about the permanence of pathology, the effects of pathological parenting on children, which batterer has a personality disorder, which one


Valentine’s Day – Real Love, Not Just Real Attraction
February 15th, 2009

So many people confuse the feeling of 'attraction' with the emotion of love. For some who are in chronic dangerous and pathological relationships, it's obvious that you have gotten these two elements 'mixed up.' Not being able to untangle these understandings can keep people on the same path of unsafe relationship selection because they keep choosing the same way


Trait Examination OR Character Assassination?
January 29th, 2009

Part of the problem we face in trying to get to the nitty-gritty of pathological love relationships is that 'how we do it' or 'what we call it' is judged so severely that it impairs sharing the valuable outcomes that are learned. There are groups of professionals, women’s orgs, and service agencies that tip toe around what we 'call' patterns of selection in


New Beginnings
January 2nd, 2009

A brand new year, a brand new look, a brand new magazine launch, a brand new start, and could be, a brand new you! The miracle of life is the ability to begin again. To start over, to look ahead, to sweep the slate clean, to turn the corner, to hope and plan again, to strengthen, to birth a new beginning for oneself. I am not one for resolutions, instead I