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Help your therapist measure the abuse you’ve endured with this questionnaire and survey

Mary Ann GlynnBy Mary Ann Glynn, LCSW, CHT

For several years I have been working with people in abusive relationships, that includes partners of those with Cluster B personality disorders and co-morbid traits of psychopathy — those we call narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths, exploiters.

There is one complaint I hear most often and continually: “I can’t find a therapist who gets these relationships,” or “The therapist we went to sided with my partner in blaming me and I feel traumatized all over again.”

The people making these complaints are right. Therapists are not trained in how relationships go with these personalities and the inherent, and often subtle, abuse that is present. It has now been proven by Lovefraud’s research study that only about 25% of those who went to therapists for exploitative relationships found therapists who eventually saw the picture clearly. The success was usually in individual therapy, and almost never in couples therapy.

In response, I have created a questionnaire. This questionnaire is purposefully lengthy, as it is meant to be worked on with your therapist, taking time to identify the different types of abuse (emotional, control, financial, physical, sexual, deceit). Of course you can use this just for your own clarity. I chose to focus on the experience of abuse because it is really the only thing important to identify. It doesn’t matter if you can identify your partner as a narcissist, sociopath, etc. What matters is whether your experiences in the relationship add up to abuse, how you have responded to it, and whether you have significant symptoms of stress and trauma as a result of it.

The questionnaire is meant to educate your therapist and help direct your treatment. Included is a note page for the therapist that explains the problems with identifying these relationship, as well as a scoring page. My hope is that through use of the questionnaire, no matter what a therapist’s previous training or experience with abuse is, he or she may now identify if it is present and understand better how to help you. The questionnaire is available for download on the Resources page of my website, Destructive Relationships Help:

Intimate Partner Abuse Identification Questionnaire

Please note that just under the download link there is a link to participate in a survey if you wish.  The questions are exactly the same, and your answers into the survey are totally anonymous.

My dream is that the collection of data may prove valuable to future studies and the education of not only therapists, but law enforcement, the court system, and society at large. Below is another link to the online survey. (Please note: There is no mechanism for you to download your completed survey. If you want a paper copy, please use the questionnaire link above.)

Intimate Partner Abuse Identification Survey

Your help would be much appreciated. Thank you. Wishing you healing and peace.

Mary Ann Glynn, LCSW, CHT


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5 Comments on "Help your therapist measure the abuse you’ve endured with this questionnaire and survey"

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Thank you, Mary Ann, for developing this questionnaire. I hope it helps people identify that yes, they were in an abusive relationship.

I’m having problems with the survey because my PTSD is a very real struggle and related to the abuse but it started months AFTER I left him (when his mask fell and I saw the real him). The abusive behaviors such as gaslighting, manipulation and deception happened DURING the relationship (I was not knowledgeable about these terms). So they didn’t happen in the same time period and so they can’t both appear in your survey. Right?

BerylPink – the objective of the survey is to help you identify your symptoms. If you have experienced the symptoms at any time in connection with the relationship, go ahead and mark them.

I can’t find the link to the questionnaire.

1. Click the link above that says “Intimate Partner Abuse Identification Questionnaire.
2. This will take you to the Destructive Relationships website.
3. Under the headline “Help your therapist,” you’ll see the words “click here to download a questionnaire” in green. That is the link. click it and it will take you to a PDF.
4. At the top of the PDF screen, you’ll see icons to either download or print the questionnaire.

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