Lovefraud presents a series of Q&A articles with members of the Professional Resources Guide. Katherine Johnson can help you heal from the devastating, traumatic effects of a relationship with someone with a severe personality disorder and learn new ways of protecting yourself from the ongoing insidious fear and threats.
Q. What experience have you had dealing with sociopaths or other disordered personalities—personally, professionally, or both?
A. It is both an honor and a privilege to be affiliated with the Lovefraud network! In my 20+ years of being in private practice I have treated both victims and perpetrators, but primarily victims. I have extensive experience treating dissociative disorders, PTSD, complex PTSD and concomitant mood disorders. I also have in-depth training in contemporary psychoanalytic and psycho-dynamic psychotherapy which facilitates in the repair, rebuilding and reconstruction of the devastated self following encounters or relationships with Narcissists, Sociopaths or Psychopaths.
I have treated many victims of childhood abuse including allegations of SRA. I have a specialty in treating dissociative disorders. I have born witness to the testimony of the spirit ranging from simple acceptance and resignation to actual healings and transformations. I am knowledgeable, emotionally attuned and experienced in helping with both childhood and adult betrayals of trust. I also work extensively with vicarious traumatization.
Q. How do you go about helping clients who have tangled with a sociopath?
A. To start, I validate the emotional reality of their experience, then we work on effectively protecting oneself from the individual or group. Victims need safety and security, first and foremost. I like to attempt to fortify the person before we begin an extensive exploration and debriefing of the traumatic events, to avoid further destabilization. I also like to see an improvement in functioning, overall. I use trauma based theory and techniques, which are always customized to the unique, individualized needs of the client.
Q. What, in your experience, is the biggest issue or problem that people who have been betrayed by a sociopath need to overcome?
A. In my professional and personal opinion, one must accept one’s feelings of helplessness and powerlessness while attempting to engage the pathological person. This involves the acceptance and resignation that one can never answer the question, “why me?” The ultimate healing occurs when one can begin to make meaning out of the experience and integrate it so that it no longer has the power to define.
Q. What’s one tip you can suggest for helping Lovefraud readers recover from the betrayal of a sociopath?
A. Learn to recognize the signs. Trust your gut since we now know scientifically that neurons alerting one to danger are present viscerally. If you believe your internal alarm system is damaged from childhood abuse, I can help you begin to trust your instincts and intuition.