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LOVEFRAUD TO THE NEXT LEVEL: Our first program for high school guidance counselors

On Wednesday, January 5, Dr. Liane Leedom and I took the first steps in Lovefraud’s efforts to teach high school students about sociopaths.  We made presentations to the guidance counselors and child study teams at two high schools in Southern New Jersey.

Our plan, and I’ve explained before, is to present the program in two parts. One, of course, is to the students. But before that, we want to talk about sociopathy to the guidance staff. Our reasoning is, if students hear our information and realize they may be involved with sociopaths, and turn to the faculty for advice, the faculty needs to know what they are talking about.

I presented a description of the sociopathic personality disorder, outlined the size of the problem, and offered warning signs of sociopathic behavior. Then Dr. Leedom explained her Inner Triangle construct, how sociopaths are deficient in the ability to love, and how this can lead to the disorder. She also addressed issues the counselors may see regarding sociopathic behavior in students and parents.

We spoke to about a dozen people at each school. Watching their faces, I could see the information registering with them. Many were taking notes. The feedback we received from the guidance supervisors was that the information was valuable.

And, two teachers approached us afterwards—they both realized that they had been involved with sociopaths, and were looking for advice on how to cope.

Posted in: Donna Andersen

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18 Comments on "LOVEFRAUD TO THE NEXT LEVEL: Our first program for high school guidance counselors"

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I AM SO EXCITED TO HEAR THIS!!!!!

I’m SO happy about this!!!

Donna,this site is provoking thought on perhaps changing my major to Psychology. I will need LOTS of prayer for that, but I’m so SHOCKED at how FEW know about this disorder, but the fact that you and Dr. Leedom have taken the steps, pioneering the way is just so exciting and SO ENCOURAGING!!!

My children were the FIRST to bring to my attention (my eldest daughter) that my ex just might be a Narcissist. I never bothered to ask how she figured that out or where she learned about it, but it set my feet upon the path to educating myself. While Narcissism is just as unsettling a disorder, sociopathy didn’t cross my path until I found this site. Teaching our young people about this disorder is CRITICAL for so many reasons!

I hope to someday help others who have been so deeply wounded.

Thank you for this site, all those that write and work so hard to help others become aware of this disorder and the DESPERATE need to educate young people and COUNSELORS about this disorder!

I’m SO excited about this and the responses you received. WONDERFUL news!!!

WOW!!!! Wonderful!

I hope that your program continues to expand and EXPLODE in the educational field. At STATE & NATIONAL teachers conferences and not just individual schools, at EDUCATIONAL conferences of all kinds across the country and the world.

I think that starting this program in schools is a wonderful starting point because it reaches two groups that so desperately need the information, the students themselves and their instructors. With the start of the anti-bully programs that are going on here in the schools in Arkansas (I’ve seen some of these programs in action in some of the schools where my living history group does programs in middle schools) the anti-psychopathic programs go hand in glove I think with the anti-bully programs. (Though not all bullies are psychopaths most psychopaths are bullies of one sort or another)

GOOD JOB!!!!

Awesome Donna and Liane!
Thanks for working so hard to make the world habitable by HUMANS!

Wow, Donna and Liane…I am SO happy that you are on this mission. I live north of you…and we desparately need it in our schools! My girls have had encounters with young socios over and over. I taught them about sociopathy and my 14 yr old will come home and tell me she” identified one today”.(she is high functioning “aspergers possible’…very sociable and a brainiac!) She saw a girl taunt someone…play “jokes” on her by stealing her stuff and watching the girl go crazy…etc…! She is so right. Turns out the girl got into trouble for stealing and lying.
Anyway….teenagers need to learn about abuse and red flags..especially when they begin dating and spending time with friends. My girls are well aware from my experience and what they learned from me educating them about not trusting unconditionally,etc.
I was a high school teacher for 26 yrs and I know that teenagers really need to learn social skills to protect themselves…especially in this high tech world!! They are exposed to so much information, yet they don’t understand how to handle it emotionally.

Thank God for your efforts to prevent hurt and pain and even dangerous situations for our children.

I wish I was informed earlier. When I married my xhusb, who was professionally diagnosed, (as his father was also!), I kept telling everyone that, even though I was a Spec Ed teacher, I couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong with him…something wasn’t right!!! Boy did it come out after the honeymoon!! Only I never found out what he was until he we went to counselling…(he fooled the first three)…with a top notch guy!! He told me that there was NO hope…he is incapable of loving…etc. (funny that his mother was told the same thing about his father!)

Anyway….keep us posted on your new mission!!!

And, thank you!

Donna and Liane;
I’m proud that you both have stepped up to the plate on this level, to educate teens about ‘life’ in our world.
I know from my kids and what they’ve learned first hand from their father and through their inspiration to find out ‘why’, just how important this info is to the young ones setting out into the dark, with all the invincibility. I see my kids recognizing the toxic behaviors and with what they’ve learned they KNOW what is normal ill will and what behaviors won’t change.
Today I ‘put together’ another ‘avenue’ the spath is up to with young girls… and if these young ladies were educated about these predators……he woulnd’t be successful! They need YOUR presentation! They are over 18 and in college, so just out of the parents grasp, are easily influenced by the attention, will take drugs/alcohol from him, which opens them up further, which makes them perfect prey!
I look forward to hearing how this is received.
Knowledge = power……and who better than to start the movement!
Kudo’s to you both…..for a job well done!

Dear ErinB,

Hi, glad to see you are sounding more positive and upbeat! That “avenue” the Spath courts the young ones is underlined in the book I am reading now about Ken McElroy (he was killed in Missiouri in 1981 by the entire town and NO ONE saw NUTTIN)—he had groomed the young ones 12, 13, 14, 15, male and female for sex and crime, picking on the kids that felt left out, the ones who needed a “father figure” and worked his grooming magic like the pedophile he was.

Some of these kids and young adults are so needy no amount of education will save them, but some can be educated to watch for the grooming and “love bombing” that the psychopaths use.

I think the program that Donna and Liane are developing needs to be in every school, in every teacher conference in the nation and the world!

I believe that a population also well served is divorcing women. In many states a pre divorce counseling class is mandatory. I know it is in Colorado.

This is an appropriate topic to discuss in even greater detail in that forum.

As for educating the people who educate young people, make sure you understand what other kinds of issues can cause behavioral problems.

I worry that the label of socio path could become as common as ADHD and in fact, many labeled cases are not that, at all.

What will you say or do to help kids that get labled but aren’t?

I’ve only had a teacher try to label my son with ADD/ADHD once. She did not have the qualifications to reccomend medication for a child and she was FAR off base. So was the principal who tried to diagnose CAPD.

When you create the box, you have no control over who gets put in it. Even though the information is valuable.

And I like many others can only wish I knew then, what I know now.

I applaud the work you are doing. I have no doubt that if it save one victim one time, it is work well done and it will do more.

The implications are far reaching in many directions.

Silver,

You are right in your assessment of the labeling box I think, and “psychopath” or “sociopath” etc. should be reserved for the baddest of the bad not just for any bad behavior, and again, not for those under 18 (at this point in time anyway) and not all people who do bad acts are psycho/socio-paths.

BloggerT (one of the professionals who posts here) had just this discussion here on LF tonight and I have had these discussions with him many times off blog as well. While for our PERSONAL USE we can call anyone anything we want to, for professional and school purposes we must be careful to back up our “assessments” with FACTS and clinical evidence.

There are plenty of people who are truly horrible who could not even come close in the game of “pin the label on the psychopath”—my egg donor is one good example of this. She is not a person who would cause a blip on a PCL-R, but she is what I call (for lack of a “real term”) a PSYCHOPATH BY PROXY because she does the BIDDING OF THE PSYCHOPATH by persecuting me and my other sons. Some of the things she has done are truly EVIL, and she is not going to change her opinion at this point in her life (80+ yrs old) or face the consequences of her behavior and get therapy. NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

I agree with you that the implications are far reaching in many directions, but at the same time, people do need to be educated to abuse, and abusers and the potential ill effects. NO one should stay in an abusive relationship.

Congrats to the both of you! Spread it like wildfire!!
GROOMING is a new phrase I learned today! Oprah had a great show today that had me in tears. I always new my xspath had what I called inappropriate socializing with the guys in the neighborhood much younger than him, I thought it was a common interest thing… race cars. I come from a race car family ( father, brother, nephew and many friends). NO it was all the “young people” that came with the interest for my xspath. Young guys, young women!!!! Underage, vulenerable and feeling the need for acceptance “young people”. WTF would a 40 yr old man have young-uns partying at his house for? PERVERT!!! My point is… he has no pedophile history.. how do you warn people about this without a criminal background that applies? He moved 700 miles away to a small country town and has everybody there fooled by the mask of Mr. Nice Guy. Is it going to take him to finally get busted? In that case, he will have already violated someone.
Soimnotthecrazee1!
PS. He’s now 50 and living the lie he wants to. I feel he is dangerous to the young people and women he comes in contact with.

Donna,

congratulations on spending your time so efficiently spreading this information

I think it is very wise to give an input to the whole School, as what is the point in just telling the children who may need assistance the next day. It is very empowering for staff to become aware of how they can assist and support children and perhaps give them concrete directions on where to get further help if they need it…

I see it as an essential component of education, to arm a child with the knowledge and information, that can validate and affirm their reality in such a way they can be aware and self protect.

I know somewhere in my head I knew that there were evil people out there, but was brainwashed into thinking meeting and falling in love somehow excluded evil…when in reality it may actually cradle evil. Imagine being able to prevent even one child from falling into the hands of evil which presents as love and all their dreams come true!

Donna,
I am so excited to hear this! One of the reactions that I had after my experience with my s-path, was one of anger. At him, of course, but more so that no one had ever told me about these people. I remember thinking, “Why don’t they teach this in school? This is what we should know before going out into the world!” Very seldom have I used the Pythagorean Therom or diagrammed a sentence in the 30 years I have been out of school, but I wish I had learned about s-paths. It would have saved a lot of heartache. I wish you much success in this vital undertaking!

Distressed Grandmother

I know that all the good work starts in the USA. Like FASD. I remember my fist seminar was with people who came from the USA and helped me understand my foster children who were FASD It reached and helped a lot of Canadians. So you two go hard, it will reach here two in a couple of years then more people will understand because right now I believe they think I am over exaggerating when I say they are s paths.and they are not capable of change. Everyone says give it time it will get better.It won’t last. She’ll come around but I know the only way she will come around is if she need me for some reason or another She will never come around to just say ” I Love You Mom”. Keep up the good work We all need to be educated and the schools are the best place to start.My grand Children need your help too Thank you!

Another badly serviced sector is the women’s prison population! Specifically the women who are in and out for street crimes assiciated with addiction. It appears to me that women involved with addiction and addictive behaviors are often entangled with manipulative men and also do a fair amount of manipulating themselves. Often they are rejected by their families as “unmanageable” which, sadly, they are. Addiction and sociopathy are a lethal combination (as is depression and sociopathy) and I believe the “treatment” available in the prison system is utterly impractical- useless and only short-term. Don’t want to spend those tax dollars on programs that might actually be effective beyond cleaning up a drug habit!

Hi Donna,
I believe this project/initiative may just turn out to be the most profoundly important ‘world-changing for the better’ thing that you could possibly do. Everything I’ve ever read says that this disorder really starts to show its colours in youth, and the young are the ones who are most easily led astray by disordered individuals &/or injured for life by them. The disorder individuals themselves aren’t helped if their behaviour is condoned and allowed to escalate. If this initiative is successful, youth will start to question their situations, AND they will have somewhere to go with those questions.

Bravo, and thank you.

To me, you look to be one of Viktor Frankl’s’ “saints”: those people who in the face of extreme adversity pull themselves up and become better, truer versions of themselves.

Two things I’d like to ask you to consider including if possible (if you aren’t already):

1) I know that you don’t discriminate on gender in your writings here, but there is a very large percentage of the population (including many posters here) who persist on treating this/speaking about it as a largely gendered issue, which leaves a very dangerous false impression, which means that female perpetrated psychopathy-type behaviour is still not seen or addressed. I hope, just to compensate and bring the discussion back closer to true centre, you’ll put a little extra emphasis on what the female-type behaviour looks like. As Oxy says, her egg-donour wouldn’t necessarily show up on a PCL-R rating, nor would my egg-donour, nor, I suspect, would Rosa’s SIL. If we want to cut this behaviour off before it harms people we must learn to recognize its early warning signs.

2) Even now I find very little information describing the kind of child abuse I endured at the hands of my egg-donour – with the one notable exception of your post about Rosa’s SIL (which frankly freaked me out and put me in a traumatized state for some time – which I needed in order to move through it and start to heal). As odd as it may sound, when I was in high school, and for most of my adult life, I never would have conceived that I was abused – mainly because no-one ever talked about those kind of things. Tragically, for the most part, if your psychopathy-type perpetrated child abuse doesn’t leave obvious physical scars (e.g. like Munschausen’s by proxy, or other examples I could list but won’t here) it STILL isn’t talked about or recognized. I hope that you’ll spend some time talking about what female-perpetrated child abuse looks/feels like so that those youth in your audience who are being abused by their female caregivers (and thus being setup to be lifelong victims or lifelong perpetrators) will have SOME tools to use to begin to recognize it for what it is. Not being able to see/name it is far more harmful than the abuse itself.

There are many examples of the above, but here are two which flew under everyone’s radar (although hard to fathom how) until it was too late:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/i-hate-myself-for-the-decision-i-made-that-night/article1292273/

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/918930–dimanno-ex-bernardo-groupie-accused-of-stalking-young-boys

Again, thank you.

Donna

Just a thought. Something I’ve struggled with and continue too, unless I’ve missed anything here (I’ve not nearly read through all the articles here yet), I believe this particular issue needs to be addressed and that is: Can a psychopath/sociopath/narcisst, be “happy”. This seems to plague not only myself at times (something I’m working through now and feel grounded about for the moment), but other posters here as well. Might you consider an article, or any of your authors here about this particular subject? And if there is already an article that I’ve not seen about it, would you please provide a link, or anyone else here that might know of where such an article exists?

Thank you.

LL

Donna,

I am so profoundly out of my mind thrilled to read this news. I have said to my friends so often how angry and frustrated I was that it took me so long to find out what I was dealing with for so many years. I found that lifeline through your website , as you know. I’ve also expressed how I wished my experience would help at least one person along the way and someday I would love to find a way to help educate others about “unsafe people.” You are now launching that type of program and if there is anything we can do as the Lovefraud family – please let us know. For all the lives you will touch and change – God bless your venture and you.

My experience in high school. My boyfriend was treating me badly. I caught him cheating. He drove recklessly when I said it is over. He floored the pedal to the medal! It was so scary! He wouldn’t stop until I said I’ll stay with him. Then at school I told him it is over. He waited for me by my locker. He used my locker as his vantage point. He could chase me around and demand I give him an answer. Even though I already did. I told him it was over again. He wasn’t taking no for an answer. That is why he kept asking for an answer cause he wasn’t getting a “YES”. He used my locker as a way to bulldoze me back into the relationship. I wish the school would have counceled me and put a stop to him.

I married this man. It was a life of abuse. And one abusive relationship leads to the next…

I will be 50 tomorrow. Jan 14. Gee, what a celebration. A lifetime of abuse. If the young girls of today could picture themself stuck in abuse at age 50, well, they wouldn’t believe it. But, it is worth a shot to tell them it could happen.

Sometimes we only understand what we can relate to. I knew a girl. She was with a beater. Her boyfriend was never around yet he was sure she was cheating on him. He constantly beat her breasts and yanked on her breasts. This girl wore no bra and her breasts sagged down like a old lady. This girl was only 15.

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