Why does he abuse me? Stop asking this question!

Why does he abuse me? Stop asking this question! Victims of abusive and narcissistic relationships often ask “why does he abuse me?” They do this 1) because our primitive brains engage in pattern-finding for make sense of fear 2) trauma bonding 3) love bombing 4) self-blaming tendencies toward “fixing” the self 5) Victim blaming by the abuser 6) victims trained not to hold the abuser accountable

How to Support Grieving and Traumatized Teens

It can be difficult to know how to support grieving and traumatized teens following an event such as the gun violence episode at Oxford High School in Oxford, Michigan. I regularly see clients from this town, which has grown a lot in the past 10 years, but still...

Stop Explaining Yourself to a Narcissist

In parenting and relationships I’ve often given this advice: See how few words you can use to talk to the other person. Endless explaining is a power giveaway. If your narcissistic partner is not negotiating in good faith and seeking to understand your position, it really won’t matter how much you explain. Your attempts to make him understand you will never overcome his need to NOT understand you.

Do You Feel Guilty When You Don’t Feel Guilty?

Some people are so well practiced at feeling guilty that they feel guilty when they don’t feel guilty. What do I mean by this riddle?  Let’s consider a scenario of a young woman, Charlotte (fictionalized account) who has been estranged from her grandfather for years....

How to Identify Low Self-Worth in Children

 Would you believe that I can spot low self-worth and poor shame tolerance even in a child as young as three?  It’s true. Sometimes it is obvious. I have worked with three- and four-year old children who say things like: “I’m no good,” and “I’m a bad kid.” These...