By | July 30, 2008 23 Comments

Welcome Steve Becker, LCSW, as a regular Lovefraud author

Since January, Steve Becker, a licensed clinical social worker and certified hypnotherapist, has been submitting guest columns to Lovefraud. His articles have been insightful looks at pathological personalities. I’m sure you remember them:

Steve has a private therapy practice based in Westfield, New Jersey, USA. He works with adults, couples, adolescents and families. He sees his fair share of sociopaths.

Clinically, Steve has been interested in the personality disorders—especially borderline, narcissistic and sociopathic—for many years. He developed a reputation earlier in his career for working effectively with aggressive, paranoid and manipulative clients at various community mental health centers. Since then, he has sought opportunities to work with, and develop his knowledge of, challenging, disordered personalities.

Steve has made presentations to clinical and lay audiences on subjects including sociopathic and narcissistic personality, rage management, and the mentality of the relationship abuser. In 2006, he was honored (as one of 10 men) by the YWHA in Elizabeth, New Jersey, for his commitment to end domestic violence.

Steve has placed clinical articles in many publications and published short stories in small magazines. He’s written an irreverent non-fiction manuscript, What’s Wrong With My Spouse?: Guidance For Partners of Impossible Spouses, which he’s hoping to publish. You can view it on his website,

Steve will now be contributing to Lovefraud on a regular basis. I’m thrilled to welcome him.

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All right! Welcome Dr. Steve!

Yes, his articles and essays have been tremendously valuable as have Dr. Leedoms, MLs and of course, yours Donna.

The one that caused my eyeballs to widen with necessary enlightenment was..”It’s not weakness, but lack of clarity….”
Whoa, my perspective was altered in a much more beneficial, logical way which has helped me learn what I need to learn to protect myself from predators.

That it’s ok to be a loving, caring, compassionate person just be extra careful to whom I share my good spirit with. That not every person on this planet deserves to be nurtured and felt sympathy for, especially hard wired personality disordered people.

That was a truly difficult concept for me to grasp, to accept. That I shouldn’t squander my goodness to a person who doesn’t give a flying fig about me or anyone else for that matter. Only themselves.

It was almost earthshattering for me to discover the all consuming self centered interest that PDIs portray, embody. It was a really scary idea to get my head around, but I did finally after months of reorganizing my own ingrained behaviors, attitudes, thoughts and ideas.

Thank you, Steve for sharing your knowledge, your experiences with predators in an effort to educate and empower us.


Dr. Steve- Thank you so much for your articles and essays. The one that most effected me (The borderline personality as a transient sociopath) this define’s my encounter so well. I realize how pitiful and screwed up he is. But there is nothing I can do but stay clear. I have been posting alot the past few day’s. I think I took a brain laxitive and I am finally flushing this out of my head. Thanks for all your help. BTW my name is Steve also. And I feel like a Dr. Steve with a degree in phycotherapy. A course I didn’t know I needed but it has changed me forever………

Ox Drover

Maybe we should have Dr. Steve 1 and Dr. Steve TOO LOL


Oxy-…ROTFLMAO, Sorry.

Ox Drover

Oh, well, Perky, laughing is good for the soul! I try to do it several times per day and BAD PUNS and plays on words are some of my favorite ways to do it. (it doesn’t take much to amuse me!)


Thank you Henry for not using you name, Steve also.


Your welcome Lib -just call me Henry the 8th…!!


So this isn’t Dr. Steve? Maybe we can have Dr. Steve and Steve Becker, LCSW.

newworld view

you guys are too funny…taking this and running with it is a healthy sign….and henry/steve……..the eighth…………you guys are a riot

Ox Drover

Well, actually NWV, I think I started to realize I had at least taken the first baby steps toward healing when I started making jokes again. When things started to seem funny/weird etc.

It sort of started out as “gallows” humor (black humor) but then it progressed somewhat to mostly bad puns and plays on words, and good jokes now too. I’m now able to get to the point that I can really ROTF laughing, choke and snort, and have trouble breathing between gasps of laughter that make your belly hurt. I have a new appreciation for “Maxine” jokes and I want to be just like her when I grow up! LOL (at least be able to crack the kind of jokes she does with a straight face!)

I’ve always been a real “one liner” kind of joke cracker, and sometimes have come up with some really stunning ones.

AT the site of the airplane crash that killed my husband my FIRST thought as I knelt over his body was a BAD PUN. I stopped myself from saying it, and for months that bad pun went around in my head, wishing I had said it, (my husband would have appreciated it) and Guilt that I had EVEN THOUGHT such a thing at such a time.

I have a friend who is a therapist and one day I told him my thought at the time, and that I had not said it and still felt guilty about even thinking it. He told me that HE THOUGHT IT WAS A TRIBUTE not a put down, and you know I haven’t felt guilty about it since. It was pretty much “black humor”—and I don’t feel guilty over it now, any more. It WAS a very funny crack even given the horrible circumstances, and in some situations, even horrible ones, there is a kind of macabre humor there. Since my husband was the KING of the one-line cracks and so very funny with them, I do think he would have appreciated it.


I go to and with my daughter and get stupid laughs. If you haven’t looked at it will make you laugh no matter HOW terrible you feel.

newworld view

oh oxy i agree your husband would have appreciated your pun…it was in part a release of stress and as well a way of your connecting with him in a way that only you two could…bypassing the horribleness of the accident and quickly getting to the core of HIM, his heart by way of his brain/humor….especially if he was the king of one liners….to me that means he GETS that there are certain occasions that call for an immediate hit……so sorry for the loss of that specialness

kat for a good belly laugh i cant help the americas funniest bloopers….nothing is more funny than us being able to laugh at ourselves at our own mishaps…….and i die laughing when they show the lillte babies laughing………….another that my 18 yo son watched with me briefly the other night was of newscasters bloopers…….we both laughed so hard..he came back later and asked if i could find any more……….

there was also an exercise class on tv and when the beautiful woman sat up after some abdominals, she let out a large fart on TV!!!!! it was not so much the fart on national tv, but how she and the rest of her workout team handled it…..they each started laughing so hard, while trying to stay professional, that the whole room contagiously couldnt stop and the entire exercise team fell on the floor laughing………..i recorded that and play it often… makes me belly oxy says till i snort and drool and gasp for air!!!!


Dear Mr. Becker,
I am currently involved in a terrible divorce with a man (an attorney with great power to manipulate in the small city I live in in the Midwest). His biggest tools for using people to do his bidding and receive sympathy is money and pity. My two older daughters, ages 29 and 23 have been completely bought by him and I believe he has convinced them I am mentally ill and unstable because I have spent 7 years in therapy and their little 9 year old brother has been in therapy for 3 years. I recently changed my sons therapist to a forensic therapist and he is doing so much better. The 3 of us took the MMPI test a couple weeks ago and he and my son had a bad meeting with the therapist conducting the tests for their meeting together. My son came outside crying, frustrated and angry because he confronted my husband on his lies but my son said the therapist seemed to keep handing my husband excuses and suggesting my son was probably mistaken. He also said his dad shouted over top of him and the therapist didn’t stop the bullying. Is this common-normal for a therapist to sit back and let a parent scream, shout, deny, call their child a liar and just sift them? I am very concerned. When I saw the therapist for my interview he seemed convinced he had seen my son at a Catholic Church parking lot around the corner from my home in a raging thunderstorm on his bike. I said I would never let my son ride his bike in a storm like that but I got a gut feeling this mans mind was made up and he did not accept the truth of what I told him. It just felt weird and I have a bad feeling about this guy. His name is John Day& Associates out of Peoria, Illinois. Is their any way to check out if he has a vanity board on these custody cases. He is the almighty and powerful last word on psych exams in this small city. I am worried about what he will write in his (I understand sometimes over 30 pages of assessment on people). He spends 1 hour with each parent and 1 hour with each parent with the child. What on earth could warrant 30 pages on a basic stranger?!


Inthebreach this is such a scary post and really brings back the bad times. I’m glad you are reaching out for help and I hope Dr. Steve will get right back to you. My second husband regularly tries to call our 9 year old a liar. That therapist sounds VERY suspicious.


Inthebreach some advice for you.. if your husband is powerful in that city ask for a change of venue. Also make sure you ask your own therapist to see your son and bring his testimony to counter your husband’s. Your daughters will be able to see more clearly later on when you have been away from this abusive man for a while. I hope you will have your therapist or another one meet with your son to discuss the abusive way that therapist handled the meeting with your husband. Above all appear calm and rational in court no matter what, even if you have to scream into the pillow later.


My head, my heart, my soul is spining. I found this site a couple of months ago when my whole saga was like someone breathed life back into me. I had a name for all that had happened. I no longer felt alone, for this I am truely thankfull. I have been able to realize that I am very lucky I got out alive. However, now that I am going through a divorce, it is all coming back to haunt me again. He is not cooperating with anything. He showed up to the ” Early resolution hearing” but he never sent me or the court’s the paperwork. The court did not care and proceeded. I started to see a clinician because I was so stressed I almost got into 2 car accidents, have locked my keys in my car numerous times and I am now down to 98 pounds. After reading my resolution papers she told me to read a statement she prepared prior to the begining od my hearing. I was told I could and it basically stated that my clinician requested that I request that I be allowed to change some info in my statement and that it was 100% obvious to my clinician that I was suffering from PTSD as a result of the fear and terror I experienced while living in a near captive marriage. I knew he was gonna have a fit and he did, He would not agree to anything despite me asking for only a few thousand dollars so I could pay back the people who borrowed me money to get back to Wisconsin. He than stated that he did not like what I said about him and that he was angry and hurt and therefore he was now going to file a divorce against me. I was told I had to call him the next monday(I could not call over the weekend because he was going to Mexico with his job) to let him know when I could get a flight back to get my things because he needed gone because he could no longer aford his apartment. I was asked why I did not take them with when I left and I tried to explain that I “ESCAPED”, I did not leave because I wanted to. It was all throwen in my lap. When I called Mon as I was told to let him know I could not aford to get my things he would not anwser my call.
How do I know I am not the CRAZY one. Do they always get away with everything. Should I fight for 50/50 or let him get everything. I hvae no lawyer. I left pennyless and with only a couple boxes and plastic bags. Savings gone, belongings gone, Oh I get his $20,000 tax debt.
I feel like it was all just a bad nightmere. One minute I thought I was on top of the world…we had dated 26 years ago. I called it my Oprah Story, suddenly I had bars on my windows, 4 deadbolt lock on the front door and 2×4’s on my back door.
Does he really not know what he is doing. I guess I am one of the lucky one’s. He does not want me back. He changed the locks on the house and removed over 260 box’s of our belongings 2 days after I went to the shelter.
Help???? Walk away…or hold him accountable..
The sinking Molly Brown

Ox Drover

Dear dear Molly Brown,

I am so glad that you are here on LoveFRaud, and I am so glad that you are alive to be here! Welcome. People here will believe you, the courts may not, but we will. You are NOT crazy, you are the sane one. It just FEELS crazy right now, because this is not a “normal” situation and a “normal” response would be ABnormal.

Walk away or hold him accountable? I wish I could answer that question for you. Only you can answer that question.

I will give you this piec eof advice though, as for his “tax debt” you might be able to file a claim for “innocent spouse” with the IRS. I know several women who were involved with men who were abusive and secretaive and cheated on their taxes were able to show that they were “innocent” parties by reason of marriage to these cheaters. So, let that be some HOPE to you on that score. Check it out.

Starting from scratch with only the things you took away may not be easy at all, but fighting in the courts with a CHEAT like him who will VIOLATE ALL THE RULES won’t be easy either. He will hide things, lie and cheat just to make more legal expense and chaos for you and increase your stress.

I don’t know of course how much you two had, or what your job qualifications are or anything so I can’t answer the question of “walk away or hold accountable” but at the same time I can tell you that NEITHER OPTION will be easy, so you will ultimately have to make that difficult decision from inside your own heart and mind.

READ READ READ every word of every essay here and that will help you come to your decision. I’m glad you are here and strong enough to tell your story. I’m also so glad that you had the strength to make it out alive and not let this bully keep you prisoner. God bless you my dear, you along with all the LF people are constantly in my prayers. (((hugs))))


Welcome Molly and good luck with all of it. I feel so lucky sometimes to be out of that terrifying part of it. You are not the crazy one. They have to keep us off balance, or their little smoke and mirrors act goes down the tubes. Even if everyone in “normal” life thinks you are, ei. the police, the lawyer, the judge.. we know different.


Guyz I want to write a post about Tom Sawyer. Does anybody remember how in the first book he bamboozled and scammed his way through life, making his aunt think she was losing her mind?

Then in Huckleberry Finn, when Tom comes down the river to stay with his Aunt Polly, he forces Jim to go through all these insane trials just for his own amusement. And when he wants to steal spoons, sheets and stuff from his aunt he takes them and puts them back over and over until she just won’t even count them anymore? This is what sociopaths do to us. They are very very good at making us look and feel crazy.


Great to have Steve Becker as a contributor of LoveFraud! Loved his insightfulness and skills i.e. knowledge as a therapist and will look forward to more of his articles to this site!!!!

I want to personally thank everyone who responded so generously to Donna’s announcement of my new regular-authorship status. I’ve just returned from a two-week break where I had no internet access, and apologize for my delayed response. It means so much to me–that any of my articles should positively affect and/or stimulate any of you. It’s been an honor to be a part of the LoveFraud community. I look forward immensely to becoming even more visible on this amazing website and to the challenge of offering relevant, thought-provoking posts on a bi-weekly basis. Thanks again, everyone!

Inthebreach, I apologize to you for my late response to your concerns. I’ve been away for two weeks and just returned a couple days ago. Naturally you are correct to be concerned that a therapist in a situation like this would appear to be biased in some way. If he conducted himself in the session as your son reported, that’s pretty troubling. And his apparent conviction that he saw your son in a place you are sure you son was nowhere near? That, too, is understandably disconcerting? You can certainly check out his credentials with the local APA (American Psychological Association), or whatever the appropriate accrediting body would be? If you think he’s conducting himself inappropriately and/or unfairly–especially with bias–obviously your attorney would need to know this and advise you.
The MMPI is a pretty standard personality assessment, the results of which should not be affected by the therapist’s attitude? (assuming he scored it properly)
You are also right to wonder how it’s possible to generate a 30-page assessment based on an hour spent with several individuals? I share your dubiousness.
Certainly it’s important that you feel confident of your attorney in this kind of situation. Additional evaluations can be arranged, perhaps, if there are suspicions of bias/incompetence, etc.
I hope I haven’t been too late in responding.

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