By | April 3, 2014 36 Comments

Prologue of a Sociopath

PrologueCover.2The following piece considers our rampant professional failure to not only identify sociopaths but also to know how to label and talk about them if they are identified. It is an excerpt from The Other Side of Charm, which is by me, H.G. Beverly. Here it is:

I’m going to start you off by talking about psychopaths. Why not? I can’t think of a better way to start off a story about how a charming, apparently caring man can maintain a sparkling smile as he devastates you. Maybe you’ll recognize some of these tendencies in people you know. Maybe you’ll be surprised. So let’s talk about it.

Psychopath. Sociopath. Antisocial Personality Disorder. The labels are muddled and confusing because the field is equally so. The terms “psychopath” and “sociopath” are used interchangeably in the literature and by professionals. The exception to this is while establishing a formal diagnosis, because then it’s most proper (at least in 2013) to use the label “Antisocial Personality Disorder.”

But to keep it basic, all of these words refer to a specific diagnosis that research has indicated can be applied to 1 out of every 25 people in our general population.* 1 out of 25.That’s a pretty prolific diagnosis.But it’s also a confusing diagnosis. What’s it called? Why all these different labels? What does it look like? What does it mean?

How does a sociopath behave and how can I tell?

Most people can’t. Most people get confused. And not just by the niceness of many sociopaths, but by the messy complexity of properly applying the established diagnostic code.For example, it’s easy to confuse and misread the behaviors of a person with an Attachment Disorder with the characteristic sociopathic tendencies. But you have to be careful. Because while a sociopath may be incapable of forming attachments, the criteria for diagnosis are broader.

They’re different disorders.

The issue is that it’s apparently difficult for clinicians to see, experience, and identify the differences accurately. A clinician may look at the sometimes cruel or violent behavior of a traumatized and neglected individual who is suffering from Attachment Disorder and think “psychopath” and pursue the diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder.

The same clinician may feel the warmth behind the smile of a hand-shaking client who talks incessantly about family values and how his daughter may need a bit of help because she’s been hearing voices lately and is saying things that just don’t make sense.

This clinician will not likely think “psychopath” and will not immediately suspect that the daughter is starting to speak the truth about family incest and that her sociopathic father is simply ensuring that no one will believe her. She may be hospitalized. Institutionalized. Her father may run your local Rotary Club and coach your son’s team. He may show up for everything. He may be the most likable person you ever met.

He may be a sociopath.

If he is, he will never feel remorse. That’s the key. He may fully believe that his daughter brought it on herself, and he won’t care, anyway, as long as he wins. He has no conscience. He will hug her and may even cry over her declining mental health when the camera’s pointed at him. You will never see him for who he is. What’s scary is that most clinicians won’t, either.

I’m not an expert, I’m not a researcher, and I’m not leading the field. I’m an average clinician with limited experience—as are most mental health professionals that any of us will encounter in our lives. I simply have enough knowledge and personal experience to understand that any human being who is involved in the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of any form of abuse in any vulnerable population needs more training in the assessment of sociopaths, psychopaths, or individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder.

The fact that we don’t have a clear and consistent way to talk about these individuals is a small indication of a huge, confusing mess.

A mess. Who can see us through it? Research shows that untrained college students are as accurate in detecting deception as CIA and FBI agents.** That none of us—no one, anywhere, at any level of training—can detect a liar as well as we think we can. You know what that means?It means we’re all vulnerable.

Even the professionals. But we’d all like to know who’s out to get us. So let’s talk just a bit more about identifying these individuals and labeling them through diagnoses. The fields of psychiatry, counseling, psychology, social work, psychotherapy, and so on generally utilize a manual for establishing diagnoses that is called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, or DSM. I was trained in the fourth edition, the DSM-IV. In 2013, clinical professionals are in the process of being trained to use the fifth edition, the DSM-V.

Essentially, this manual standardizes mental illness and provides clinicians with a common language and code for diagnosis along with a uniform system for obtaining payments from health insurance companies. Choosing a diagnosis is not an option—if a clinician wants to be paid through health insurance or if a client needs or wants to continue in therapy in a way that is supported and reimbursed by an insurance company, then a diagnostic code is mandatory.

You get a label.

That being said, the creation and use of the DSM is controversial. Who wrote the book? Who defines mental illness for our society? Who is diagnosing who and for what benefit? Who is it that benefits? Those questions are not the overarching topic of this book. My point is simply to educate—to make unfamiliar readers aware of issues that do exist in the field. It’s always important to question whether a certain group of professionals or body of work are benefiting humanity—and ask how they might do better.

I’m a licensed mental health professional. Today, I can pick up the DSM-IV and eventually the DSM-V, and I can legally use it under supervision to assign diagnoses to my clients. Not only can I do this, but I am impelled to do this by the system that manages our health care and well-being. Using the DSM-IV, I can diagnose a psychopathic or a sociopathic individual as having “Antisocial Personality Disorder.”

My issue with this power that I have is that I have absolutely zero training—nothing—nada—to guide me in this specific type of assessment. But that doesn’t necessarily stop other untrained clinicians from jumping right in. In fact, we’re encouraged and even pressured (under supervision) to do so.

If you work for a practice or a clinic or an agency, they want to get paid. The way to get paid is to get their clinicians to assign a label. Diagnoses are tied to paychecks. But I’m cautious. I don’t want to give the diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder and be wrong.

Yes, I’m supervised. And yes, I have to admit that at this point in my life, I probably have a better ability to detect these traits than probably 90% of the professionals in my field. The number may be higher. But I’m not bragging. It’s the reverse—I’m simply pointing out that the number of professionals who can accurately diagnose another human being with Antisocial Personality Disorder (a psychopath or sociopath, remember) is so small that most of us will not get it right.

And that’s scary.

And if this “disorder” affects 1 in 25 people,* then it seems to me that we all need further training in assessment—stat.

Especially when you realize that this disorder is incurable and potentially has a physiological basis.***

Especially when you realize that a troubled teen who is acting out his or her own abuse and neglect may be labeled “Antisocial” and have to share that mislabel with “true” psychopaths both internally and on record for the rest of his or her life.

Especially when you realize that the presence of an unidentified sociopath in group therapy or family therapy or any other type of therapy will completely change the success rates of that therapeutic process for everyone involved.

How can a family heal in therapy when a sociopath is dropping bombs on their progress and no one, not even the clinician, can see what’s happening behind the smoke and mirrors of an incredibly charming and manipulative human being? In individual therapy, I would venture to guess that every therapist I know has been fooled into thinking that their undiagnosed sociopathic client was making big progress and really embracing the work.

It’s a fool’s game.

Even further, the failure to identify sociopathic individuals extends far beyond the mental health field. I’ve witnessed and experienced enormously devastating systemic failures in the legal, justice, and law enforcement systems to date, and I’ve also experienced the gaps between these institutions.

It’s even bigger than confusion and a lack of education. Court-approved (admissible) forensic psychiatric evaluations cost thousands and thousands of dollars each, and their success depends entirely on the training and capabilities of the administering clinician. These assessments are reserved for the rich and can potentially be used as a weapon to hurt and label the victim of a better-funded (potentially sociopathic) individual.

It’s easy to label people who are suffering. It’s sometimes impossible to label a perpetrator.

I’ve watched for years as very clear sociopathic behaviors have been missed entirely by mental health professionals and educators and advocates who are trained to see but remain blind—sometimes by charm, sometimes by choice.

And I’ve watched my children suffer trauma and degradation almost daily for the past ten years as a result of these ineptitudes—in a system that not only fails to protect them, but prevents parents and caregivers like me from doing it as well.I believe there are millions living out this story in the United States.

That belief makes this story not only mine, but yours.

Your memoir.

~H. G. Beverly

*The Sociopath Next Door, Martha Stout, PhD**Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders, Anna Salter, Ph.D***Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us, Robert Hare, Ph.D

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H. G. – welcome to Lovefraud. Not only have you eloquently described your experience with your sociopathic ex in your book (which I reviewed on Monday), but you have drawn attention to two outrages of the health system and family court:

Outrage #1 – many, many therapists are clueless about sociopaths. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from Lovefraud readers who have been to therapists who were clueless about sociopaths. These therapists were often more damaging than helpful.

Outrage #2 – Family Courts are easily manipulated by sociopaths. In fact, some court professionals, including judges, are complicit in the sociopathic agenda of crushing their former partners.

Thank you so much for drawing attention to these issues.


HG Thank You for taking this on!!!! I am a LCSW a victim of 28 years!!!
I got my MSW from India and from one of the best Social Work programs in the US. Graduated in 1985…..without a single class dedicated to dealing with personality disorders.
I even for several years worked as a co- therapist for a county offering what we used to call Anger Management classes.
I was not a victim of physical abuse. My ex is Textbook ….covertly manipulative and exploitive. HE was doing so well as work that I was blinded to his absence in my children’s life. And in mine. I excused and tolerated and then some.
LF saved my life…. literally and figuratively.
I am still healing, still learning and still re establishing my professional life. Thankfully because I have been a Red Cross volunteer for twenty plus years and love it I kept my lic. current.
Now that I know better I do speak up loud and clear when I see therapists missing the Red Flags. My story is the same as all of ours are. You are making a valuable contribution and I thank you.
Sweet LF readers who get triggered please wait before reading he book… Our healing takes a while longer than I ever even imagined. IT also requires and demands your attention and full fledged effort. I’m honored to be a part of this blog. WE are all in this together….Keep our wits about us, learn and keep the wicked away.


I am so glad I found this, and am so moved by all the pain that contributed to your awareness and knowledge on this topic. I am just beginning to discover I probably live in this world. I have been divorced from my spouse for almost 8 years and the insanity is still prevalent. He is a social worker and therapist who would diagnose me – according to the DSM – gaslight, and harass me relentlessly and now is wreaking havoc on the kids, especially my son who is almost 15 and has just about shut down because of his dad. We are supposed to be co-parenting and everything is my fault.

Someone said to me years ago, death by a thousand little cuts, and I knew what they meant immediately.

I have made certain the kids always had access to a therapist and strangely my ex was always in opposition to this. There were all kinds of problems and opinions he created about the therapist and her unprofessionalism etc” and he fought fought fought me on it. I suspect he has been protecting his secret, and I believe he went into the mental health profession to either diagnose himself and hide in plain sight, and/or to continue to get his thrills from deceiving those all around him. I detected pretty quickly something was just not right about him, but ignored the red flags because I had survived a my own traumatic childhood through tenacity, fantasy, and self-medication, and certainly I could survive him.

The ex is provoking my son to react to him so he can point the finger to prove to everyone it’s not him, my son was/is not a behavioral problem, my ex is setting him up to become one. And my daughter is stuffing her feelings and turning into the peacemaker between her dad and everyone else he’s picks a fight with. I am witnessing the accident and cannot figure out how to stop it.

I know in my gut I’m right, and realize that I am going to have to go to battle again for me and my kids because I also know one thing for absolute certain, my ex will never stop.

How can one effectively bring something like this out in the open and get help? Are the forensic psychological exams useful and even practical, I’ve heard they cost a fortune. I guess there are no guarantees and one just needs to start.

Thank you both for your courage and honesty. Be well.

brooklyn – I am so sorry for your situation. What a nightmare. Whether or not any psychological tests are worth it depends on the judge.

A big problem with family court is that judges can do whatever they want. You can have all the tests in the world, even testimony by experts, but if the judge believes the sociopath, or doesn’t believe the experts, it’s useless.

If you are familiar with the judge who would hear your case, and he/she doesn’t seem to get it about sociopaths, any legal action you take would likely be a waste.


I feel like one of the lucky ones. My therapist told me that she thought the person I had been in a relationship with, who kept trying to suck me back into his life, was a sociopath. She also was adamant that I cut him out of my life entirely.

This is a great article, but very sad. Your phrase “dropping bombs on [the family’s] progress” is a great analogy. That’s what it felt like for my family and I. Every time we made progress, our mother found a way to drop a bomb and undo everything we’d done. We fought a long, hard battle in the court system trying to protect our mentally-handicapped brother from her. In our case, a team of psychiatrists in a hospital diagnosed her correctly, but the court STILL wouldn’t comply! I can imagine how frustrating that would be for clinicians, too, to have their diagnosis undermined in court by a conniving sociopath! Our mom managed to charm the attorneys and the judges into giving her whatever she wanted. She had her attorney so convinced she was wrongly accused that her attorney made life hell for all of us (interestingly,in the end, mom’s attorney became one of her victims, and we never heard from her again).

On a different note, you mentioned in 2013 the DSM-V changed the name of the disorder to “antisocial personality disorder.” I am curious why they changed it? APD sounds so much more benign than what it really is. It makes it sound like sociopaths are just very shy people. I also wonder if this will allow sociopaths to get by with even more, having a diagnosis that sounds less severe? That troubles me.


Wendy you are right about the concern you state about diagnosis of personality disorders according to the new DSM. A lot of clinicians protested about the process but here we are!!! NOTHING about psychopaths is benign.
Some have the lust for violence and some remain cloaked as wolves in sheep’s clothing. Most clinicians in private practice who see couples do not administer a personality disorder diagnosis even if they do pick up he fact that there is one…
For example, in sexual addictions programs most participants would be dual diagnosis with NP or Psychopathy. BUt the presenting problem is always the addiction. That’s their cover…….and abdication of responsibility to hurt partners and families.



I continue to be outraged that sexual addiction treatment is so biased toward the addict. In my own life, I literally was not coherent during my sweet daddy’s last year of life due to the trauma that my stupid Spath husband put me through. Our individual and joint counselors never, ever, ever gave me any indication that there was a possibility that he could have a personality disorder. I asked them over and over, especially as my family suffered repeated incidents of bizarre evil and frightening events at his hands.

I realize that counselors are not in the business of diagnosis, but I was certainly led to read dozens of books about sex addiction during my treatment. It would seem like they would have suggested just one that would have given me a clue of what I am dealing with. They stuck to the fact that the problem was “sex addiction”. I’m sorry, that is just wrong!

They led me to believe he had to heal himself by focusing ONLY on himself as he healed. Never mind the trauma we were all in. He used those words to party down, steal money, overdraft our checking accountant, scare us with suggestions that people were after us because of his past dealing, alienate my kids and me from his friends and family, and he had a whole year to ruin my reputation and plot to make me appear unstable. All in the name of an a addiction that really is caused from the void of spiritual goodness in a persons soul. ( or lack of a soul)

I am so mad right now. Just thank God, seriously, THANK YOU GOD, that I found Lovefraud. I would still be in the dark and he would be sleeping beside me, had I not. Uggghhhhh


H to H – your story is my story. My husband’s sex/porn addiction has very dark aspects which help me with my decision to plan my departure. I am so glad you are away from your husband and so glad the therapist became an advocate. Be angry – good for you !! I identify with you and I support you – best wishes to you.

For personal safety reasons, I am being careful about my plans to separate from my husband – I am keeping a very low profile. If not for the great information and posts on Love Fraud, I would be making all kinds of mistakes right now. Thank you God for leading me here !!



Be safe, sweetie. Be safe! I understand where you are. Once the Spath crosses over to the dark perverted world of sex/porn/drugs etc….. They become so evil that there is nothing off limits to them. They have seen and experiences such evil that the veracious hole in their soul can accept nothing but something more profane. Please don’t question your instincts, get help if you are scared of him, and never ever trust what he says.

I’m praying for God to surround you and your family with his protection. I pray he will give you peace.


H to H – you are right about everything and thank you for the prayers !! My prayers are with you as well.


Good Evening. This is my first visit to LF and I fear I have found answers that I did not want to find. I do not even know which pages / posts to read first as (for the first time in 10 years) I feel that someone is reading my mind and writing about it. I have been with the same man for 10 years, married for 5 of those. We have a one and a four year old. I believe he is a psychopath. I hate using that word to describe him as it sounds so strong and almost overly dramatic. However, as I have spent hours and hours reading the definition, blogs, etc re the word… I feel it is the thing that describes him most. I am lonely, scared, depressed, depleted, confused, hopeless and sad. I once was confident, optimistic, open and hopeful. He convinces me every day that it is all my fault and that I need to change to make this work. But I see the light. Now… finding this page, I fear my work has just begun. Perhaps this is not the right place to begin communicating on this forum. Is there anyone who can help me start the process of acceptance that this is my husband and marriage? obviously, with 2 small kids… I fear making the wrong decisions. I need support. My friends and family are great. But after years of “being there” I do not know if they are ready for the term “psychopath”…. Please. Someone reach out and help me begin the journey back to a life of happiness and love.



Bless your heart. I understand, as does everyone on this blog, the shock and fear you must be feeling upon realizing the reality of your spouse. It is a life changing discovery for sure. However, while you may think that this is the worst news ever, it actually the beginning of a journey that will help your soul heal.

As you read the post and comments on LF, you will find yourself more and more enlightened. Everyone here is at some stage of recovery from manipulation or has survived the process and can now share with and guide those of us who are still in the middle of the storm.

I’m fairly new to this revelation myself, and to LF, but I have already grown so much stronger from the information and advice I have received here. I encourage you to explore all the stories, advice and information that you will find hear. Donna Anderson has taken her story and used it to help so many with this sight. I’d also suggest reading her books. I read Love Fraud and was inspired by her strength, courage and honesty about her own life with a Spath.

Finally, I hope that you will begin immediately building a support system. Your new knowledge will soon lead you down a path of emotions that are difficult to handle alone. Maybe a friend or counselor or someone at church. Read, read, read. Start with the tabs at the top of this page and go from there. Scan new topics and those that are archived. Donna Anderson has made this site very user friendly and she has recruited awesome experts to contribute information. Thank goodness, you will always find a family here that will support and gently guide you. This group of survivors are very nurturing. It’s very important to take heed of their advice. Your heart is NOT going to want to accept this truth about your husband, but slowly, what your brain has realized will sink in. Of course, you have to weigh everything within the confines of how you can apply it to your present life.

Again, I’m so so sorry to know of your pain and despair. But the most important thing you will learn, and should take to heart, is that you will survive this. You will be stronger, wiser and more joyful, and so will your babies. You WILL be the person you remember……..but so much better. I’ll be praying for you.



Thank you so much for these kind words. After so many years of feeling “maybe he is right… maybe it is my fault” it is so nice to find people who will understand. The day to day of living with someone like this is a true roller coaster. I appreciate so much your immediate reply and will heed your advice.

I have already begun reading “The Other SIde of Charm” and will begin, as you advised, at the top here and move forward. I would assume the path to “freedom” is so different for every victim. If I am willing to stay in this battle for 10 years, obviously it will be tough to turn this around with any haste. Not sure if you have children, but it is them that caused me to really start searching on line for some answers. We both began to see a marriage counselor about a month ago. It was in these sessions that I realized who I was dealing with. The inability to take any responsibilty for actions… the actions that say “I live by my own set of rules”… these things and many more make me realize that he is a man with many issues. I mentioned the term sociopath to the counselor in a one on one session. He seemed very interested and I could see the light bulb go off after he had spent some time alone with my husband.

Again, thank you for the kind words and sentiments. This journey is going to be difficult, but not much could trump the difficulty of this past decade.

I wish you all the best as well in your journey. I am here as a listening ear if needed.


I hear a resolve in your words that leads me to believe that you are in a better place already. YAY! Beware though, the journey is not a straight line from point A to point B. Your opinions and feelings will battle the logic in your mind. You may find yourself is despair one day, more confident and resolved the next day, and then the day after you may question if your are just “overreacting”. Stick with the facts of his actions, not his words!

I do have children, four grown and a precious teenage daughter. This has been so tough on her. I can see great damage to her self esteem and a feeling of her dreams being diminished. She has no trust in others because she’s been betrayed by her father, the one man she should have been able to count on. He just doesn’t see or care what he has done to her. And sadly she feels so lost. Counseling can’t cure the hurt of a parents abandonment by betrayal.

One tip that I learned here on LF is to be very, very careful if you go to marriage counseling. A Spath is very skilled at making you look bad and setting you up to fail. After all, he doesn’t reason with conscious as you do. He plots, schemes and manipulates to keep himself in the favored view of others. Anything you bring into counseling, with an honest heart and desire to improve the relationship, he will turn it around and use it to make you look bad. And then, you always have to consider a possible court date one day in the future. How can he twist the story to make you look crazy, paranoid, out of control? Be very careful.

If you truly believe that your husband has a Cluster B Personality Disorder, the you need to make yourself know that he will not change. He does not have the mental ability to do that.
Tracy Anderson submitted an article on March 29,2014
You may want to read it and the linked original story on This scientific information really helped me understand that he cannot and will not ever “get it”, no matter how I beg, no matter if our counselor says he’s wrong, no matter if he faces consequences, no matter if he loses he marriage, his family or his future. Nothing will change.

I hold on to all the information I learn . I never give him any clues of what I am thinking! for if I did, he would use the info to mold himself to appear less like a Spath, or he would use it to scare me. Protect your children and their future.

Best wishes!

Hoping to heal – I am so glad the therapist got it. Good for you.


Not only is diagnosis tremendousely expensive ( beyond what the average victim can afford) but psychopaths REFUSE diagnosis. They either fear it or truly feel they are superior homo sapiens. Thus, as an amateur, I firmly believe that the proportion of psychopaths in our society are far more prevalent than reported in “statistics”.

I was in and out of therapy and we were in and out of marriage counseling for many years. We had a wonderful therapist – I had a great rapport with him. However, he missed both the fact that my husband was a sex addict (as did I) or that he had sociopathic/narcissitic behavior. This, despite the fact that he blatently lied during our therapy about the fact that he was having an affair with his boss. He had the therapist fooled and it was only because I found indisputable evidence that he came clean. But he did not show any remorse…that should have been a red flag!

I continued to see this therapist to help me through the divorce. He was excellent at treating trauma and he helped me heal, but I was the one who educated him on sex addiction and whenever I brought up that I thought he was a sociopath or narcissist, he wasn’t very receptive.

Thanks for sharing this.

Thank you, HG.

I have been enormously blessed to have found a healthy and genuine relationship. I credit my work with my therapist and the help of a 12-step group for relatives and friends of sex addicts as well as the information I’ve learned here, in helping me get healthy enough to be part of a healthy relationship.

But as far as helping with marriage counseling – it really did no good.

For all other readers here, there is hope and healing possible.


1 Day At a Time ,
Your story gives me a lot of hope. My soon to be ex was a sex addict also. Marriage counseling did not help at all. We went to 6 sessions before he decided that the counselor is a complete uneducated “idiot” and refused to go back. Individual counseling with her was more of a benefit to me. She told me that the best plan for him was “just having sex with prostitutes or willing women” and never form a “relationship” or marriage with another woman. Because he is incapable of true love and feelings, she was so right.
Looking through his bank statement, which he had to turn in to court, I see that he spends his entire income on “his pleasure”. My lawyer apologized for the pain this must cause me. It really doesn’t , it just shows me that I made the best and only choice by filing for divorce. I do not want a “pervert” around my son, even though is 19. I don’t want a “pervert” in my life anymore.
To be honest, the year after the discard was the most difficult time in my life. I was not able to see the truth or being able to reason with it. Now I am at peace with it because I know that god wanted him gone. Nobody should be treated like garbage for 20 years and that is what my son and I were. Garbage which you dispose of when you feel like it.
I am happy now, even in the midst of divorce proceedings. Happy I survived those 20 years but his ultimate goal was for me to die, be locked away in some mental institution or jail. I know he would have accomplished that being a police officer. So this little co worker of his literally saved my life. I used to hate her, in reality I owe her. Because now she is my replacement and I am free. 🙂


kaya48 – your post is so helpful to me. “Just having sex with prostitutes and willing women and never form a relationship” describes my husband D exactly. Yesterday we spent the afternoon together and I started to get pulled back in because he was pleasant. then I checked his texts late last night and he was arranging another “date” with a prostitute for the coming week. Obscene language too.

I thought about all that assertiveness training and thought about yelling at him and “throwing” him out of the house and “being strong.” But then I thought – wait – this is sociopath behavior and he is totally capable of schmoozing me and 10 minutes later texting a prostitute. It’s how they are. It’s what they do. I need to stay calm and continue forward with my plans to escape and go no contact.

Sociopaths are a totally different ball game. I am looking at condo rentals this afternoon and have an appointment with a lawyer the last week of April. Moving forward and staying calm, calm, calm.


Hoping to Heal – wow – just wow – Easter Sunday morning and prostitute in the evening. Exactly the same kind of pattern with D. It is mind-boggling.

I know when the s*** hits the fan, it will all be my fault somehow in his mind. But it helps me to remember that he was addicted when I met him. He just hid it really well.

Thank you so much for your support – it is priceless !!

English Elle

Fantastic article. As a retired mental health professional, I totally agree with what you say. It is only since having endured a 7year relationship with one of these ‘charmers’ that I realised that I had been duped. Despite my training and many years working in both NHS and private practice, I failed to recognise (and label) that this man was without conscience or true humanity. In fact,on reflection, I now believe my training was a HINDERANCE to identifying exactly what he was sooner. I was arrogant enough to believe I could heal him !!
It only since going through an intimate encounter with a sociopath that I have researched and become more fully aware of these people that can cause so much destruction in society without ever being recognised/diagnosed.
I completely agree that mental health practitioner training is woefully inadequate in this area ( worldwide) !
Congratulations on raising this issue and writing a book about it.


It is our sense of empathy and confidence in our professional abilities that enable them to make us easy targets!!!!!
I realize now that I tolerated and excused and fought a loosing battle… because with my ex I had blinders on and rose colored glasses and every thing it takes to make a “relationship of inevitable harm ” work.
All we can do now is become advocates for curriculum change and become more vocal in CEU.


I sometimes believe that it is the innate character in a mental health professional which causes them to be perfect targets for psychotics. After all, they are generally compassionate, caring human beings who go into this profession due to their caring nature.


Imara…sounds SO typical and I laud you for trying to educate the public in any way you can. I do the same even though some may think it sounds crazy; I am beyond caring about whjat others may think. Kudos and best wishes to you!


thanks Flicka!!!
Other’s opinions are their business not ours!!!
I know how it feels to be discarded by your own child…..most people just cannot relate
I keep thinking of our LF community in that we are all in this together!!! Best Wishes to you too!!

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