How to recognize and recover from the sociopaths – narcissists in your life › Forums › Lovefraud Community Forum – General › Taking the sociopath to counseling
September 13, 2020 at 7:17 pm #63883
Touched on this in another thread but I think the therapy topic deserves its own thread.
In a normal marriage/relationship with a normal person, marital or couples counseling can be very helpful. It can give both of you the space to express yourself and see if you’re still compatible as a couple and work on resolving your issues together.
However that only works with normal people who are honest and who genuinely care about you and genuinely care about the relationship.
With a sociopath none of that will work. They will just lie and put on a show and will charm or manipulate the counselor.
In fact taking sociopaths to therapy is actually dangerous. Because it is an EDUCATION for them on what kind of behavior is expected by normal people. So therapy actually teaches them to be even more manipulative and sociopathic, because they gain additional vocabulary and psychological insight that makes them even more effective at conning normal people.
These personality disorders cannot be cured or changed. All you can do with a sociopath is get away and stay away. And then you can go to counseling by yourself if you need more support.
September 14, 2020 at 7:06 pm #63886Donna AndersenKeymaster
Sept 4 – you are absolutely correct. Counseling with a sociopath is pointless, and yes, can be dangerous.
September 15, 2020 at 1:49 am #63890almostfree40Participant
Is there any way to know for sure if someone is a psychopath? Can the doctor do a brain scan or something? My husband definitely has the traits of a psychopath but he is also an alcoholic and alcoholics can be selfish, arrogant liars too. He drinks a 5th of vodka a night and desperately wants to stop but anytime he does the withdrawals are so bad that he can’t go more than a day. The other night he thought he was having a heart attack and was having hallucinations and body shakes from not drinking for one day. It scared him so much that he actually called the doctor and has an appointment on Thursday to see what he can do aside from inpatient detox. We are currently separated and I am in the process of filing for a divorce (he has no idea). I just read several articles about sociopaths and alcoholism and they said that these types of people don’t normally suffer from withdrawal the same way as a normal person would. The article actually went on to say something like, “if you are currently going through withdrawals the good news is you are probably not a psychopath.” I realize this was just one article but I don’t want to get a divorce if he isn’t really a psychopath. If he is really just an alcoholic then counseling and sobriety could work for us. I just wish there was a way to know for sure if he is or isn’t before I move forward with such a life changing decision.
September 15, 2020 at 6:38 am #63891
I’m sorry you are going through this. I’m not sure if there is any way to tell for sure.
In my case my husband was also an alcoholic (also vodka actually) and he was a hard drug addict as well (high functioning addict). I don’t know for sure if his sociopathic behavior was mainly due to a personality disorder or mainly due to addictions. To me it did not matter because either way it was unacceptable to me and I did not want someone capable of such atrocious behavior in my life.
I did ask our marital counselor if he could diagnose my ex with a personality disorder. The counselor said that under their policy, if someone is under the influence of substances they won’t try to diagnose personality disorders because they don’t know if the behavior is due to substances or an underlying disorder.
If you have a counselor maybe you could ask for their thoughts.
September 17, 2020 at 9:37 am #63902Donna AndersenKeymaster
almostfree 40 – there are no physical tests to determine if someone is a psychopath. The determination is made by examining the person’s traits and behavior. Here are the key symptoms:
Many psychopaths also have substance abuse issues. Some stay addicted forever, and some can overcome their addictions. However, when they do, they are still psychopaths.
I never heard that psychopaths do not suffer from withdrawal symptoms. I doubt that it is true.
Did you know your husband when he was not alcoholic? If so, think about whether each of the key symptoms applied to him when he was sober. If many or most of them do, then he’s probably psychopathic.
September 22, 2020 at 11:58 am #63914nospParticipant
I find that the cluster B disordered people can learn the buzzwords of psychology (& dating websites etc), they can parrot back the right words to non disordered people, but the feeling a non-disordered person will get from interacting with a disordered person saying all the ‘right’ things is going to be ‘off’ or lacking in some way which is why really listening to your gut helps a lot.
On a good day with them, the disordered will make you feel confused. On a bad day with them, they will make you feel abysmal.
Ideally you have as little contact with a disordered person as possible. When the contact has to happen, you need to be as bland, boring & ‘grey rock’-like to them as possible.
Who knew that the training that I received for my father who died from front-temporal dementia in not reacting to his behavioral incidents (luckily very infrequent, Dad had the language variant but on a very bad day he would act up) would make it far easier to deal with a Cluster-B disordered person?
That said, I cut out the one & only disordered person I know, I’m 100% no contact with him, have been so for over a year & life is sweet again *plus* I now know how to deal with him & his kind.
September 22, 2020 at 1:20 pm #63916
Nosp yes I used the “grey rock” strategy as well during my divorce. Basically the goal is to be as boring and non reactive as possible. After a while the sociopath just gets bored of you because he’s not getting any reaction out of you. So they get bored and move on to other more exciting targets.
Grey rock is a very useful strategy for if you cannot cut contact with a sociopath altogether. For example if you have kids together or financial ties that you are working on resolving.
I found that strategy online though by reading about Cluster B disorders. I don’t think a normal counselor would know about that. A normal counselor will just assume that both parties are normal people with basic empathy and basic morals. So the counselor will try to get you to communicate better and cooperate better etc. Things that work on normal people but that will have zero effect on Cluster B’s and in fact can be dangerous for you because that can make you more vulnerable to manipulation and further damage.
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