Many people have asked Lovefraud to suggest a treatment program to help them overcome the personal devastation of a relationship with a sociopath. A friend of Lovefraud, Sandra L. Brown, M.A., offers a program for women who are recovering from such debilitating encounters.
Sandra Brown is the author of How to Spot a Dangerous Man, which was reviewed in a previous blog post. The book describes eight types of dangerous men—most of them are sociopaths, or partial sociopaths. Brown then explains how women override their internal warning signals and get involved with these men, even when their instincts are shouting, “Run away!”
If you’ve been in a relationship with a sociopath, at some point, of course, you found yourself devalued and discarded. He merrily moved on to a fresh new supply. You’re in a crumpled heap, a shell of the person you once were.
Many of you have asked Lovefraud: How can I heal? Will I ever be able to love again?
The answer is yes, you can recover, and yes, you can love again. Sandra Brown’s program may help you.
Sandra Brown offers four-day retreats at her facility in the hills of North Carolina. The program is called Healing the Aftermath of Pathological Love Relationships.
First, Brown explains pathology 101—adults with personality disorders are hardwired to behave the way they do. They are not going to change.
Then Brown looks at the dynamics of a relationship with a disordered person. The lies, the manipulation, the crazy-making—this is nothing like a relationship like a normal man. The point is to help you understand that you were not imagining things. Yes, the guy really did lie to you. And no, he never loved you.
But then Brown helps you look at your own life to figure out why you were vulnerable to the sociopath. What did you learn in your family as a young girl? How do you view men? What was going on for you internally throughout your life?
Many women come out of the sociopathic relationship with post-traumatic stress disorder, which can be reactivated by future traumatic events. If this happened to you, Brown teaches self-care techniques and symptom management to help you in the future.
When to participate
The most beneficial time to participate in Brown’s retreat is after you’ve been out of the relationship for four to six months or more. “We are a good program for women who have figured out what he is, have left, and need some psycho-education that they did, in fact, make the right decision,” Brown says. The program then helps you identify internal traits that made you vulnerable, and issues from your family of origin.
The program is not appropriate in some cases:
- Women in crisis. If you’re recently out of the relationship, or if you’re still trying to decide whether you should leave, it’s too soon to gain benefit from this program.
- Women using online dating sites. After a relationship with a sociopath, Brown believes you should stop dating for a year or two, until you’re closer to being healed. “If you’re on Match.com, don’t call me,” she says.
Adult children of sociopaths
Some Lovefraud readers have realized that their parents were sociopaths. For you, Brown offers another program called Adult Children of a Pathological Parent.
Space in all retreats is limited—only six participants are accepted for each session. For more information, visit SafeRelationships.com.