Tag Archives: narcissist

Did You Vote for An Iceberg. The Danger that Lurks Ahead. The Trump Presidency

DID YOU VOTE FOR AN ICEBERG?

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT

TITANIC TRUMP

Most, if not all politicians are inherently self-serving, dishonest and moderately to patho- logically narcissistic. Successful ones win elections because they are able to create a praiseworthy image while secretly stowing away and hiding their truer ambitions and secrets. Often, the public is informed about factual (not contrived) secrets, lies, private affairs, or even mental health issues, is when a person with an agenda publishes, reports, or leaks it to public. Whether it is a news organization wanting to raise ad revenue or individuals or groups who are motivated to create a smear or propaganda campaign, most of this “fake news” has just one purpose: to manipulate us to believe one candidate will cure the ills of our society, while instilling doubt, fear, paranoia that the other will hurt us. Such propaganda peddlers are successful because they craftily prey on our emotions, especially fear, so that we believe their guy will be our savior and the other, the devil incarnate. To solve this scourge, we must vigilantly discern truth from fiction while taking the time and expending the energy to critically think about the “news” that is fed to us. Let us not forget that shiny, sparkly and harmless seeming chunk of ice, may actually be a Titanic sinking iceberg.

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome

Creator of “The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder” seminar (and upcoming book)

                         

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT

www.AdvancedClinicalTrainers.com

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Stop Trying to Change the Malignant Narcissist (Why You Should Never Give A Narcissist My Book).

Stop Trying to Change the Malignant Narcissist

malignant narcissistI am so grateful to the many people who have told me that my book The Human Magnet Syndrome was life-changing. Having such a positive impact on the human condition is my teenager “gonna change the world” dream come true. I couldn’t be happier!

My book was written to inspire and motivate people to understand their part in thedysfunctional dance they have been irresistibly drawn into their whole life. It WAS NOT written to be used as a defensive or offensive strategy in dealing with harmful pathological narcissists (PNarcs).

The “codependent” and “narcissistic” designations in The Human Magnet Syndrome were designed to identify a very serious personal and relational problem so the reader would be motivated to get help to disconnect from it. The book was never intended to be used as a retaliatory weapon to be used by angry, vindictive and/or controlling codependents, or what I now refer to as individuals with Self-Love Deficit Disorder (SLDD). Similarly, it wasn’t written to be used as a countermeasure against narcissistic harm.

The mere mentioning of my book to a PNarc is almost always counterproductive, as it will ALWAYS trigger a negative reaction, no matter how much you believe otherwise. I strongly suggest that you never give a copy of my book to PNarc. Never! It will always trigger a narcissistic injury and set up a dysfunctional interaction, or dance, where the PNarc has complete control and the person with Self-Love Deficit Disorder does not.

If a PNarc learns or is told that their partner is reading my book, they will react in one of two manners:

  1. They will exhibit various forms of vindictive and indignant rage, which compels them to openly intimidate, manipulate, and consequently sabotage their partner’s attempt at SLDD recovery.
  2. This is the more insidious and harmful reaction that is common with Covert and Malignant Narcissists. In this scenario, the PNarc covertly executes a plan of sabotage and disempowerment, which may include gaslighting, mind manipulation, and continued brainwashing.

The latter is more dangerous as the PNarc is allowed to maintain their victim role, while manipulating their partner into believing that they have the problems, not them. In these cases, some of my clients, in the beginning of therapy, are convinced that they are the PNarc and their significant other the SLD. Believe it or not, a few of these clients’ PNarcs read my book, and then gave it to their partner with the continued brainwashing narrative that they are the “codependent” and their partner the “narcissist.”

Plain and simple, any suggestion that the narcissist is at fault will elicit a narcissistic injury. Giving them my book, or referring to it, while telling them you are SLD or codependent, is and will cause them to react in one of two ways. One, they will project onto you that you are the narcissist and they the codependent; or, two, they will be triggered with a narcissistic injury, and subsequently rage against you for the comment or suggestion. You will be the target of their unmitigated fury and vitriolic criticisms, and they will punish you.
The following excerpt from the Human Magnet Syndrome exemplifies the predictable negative response that PNarcs have to my work.

“According to their verbal and/or written feedback, they feel the seminar is offensive, ill-conceived, biased and even absurd. In particular, they are quite bothered by what they perceive as prejudice. These participants hear me say that codependents are the victims and emotional manipulators are the perpetrators of their dysfunctional relationships. Nothing could be further from the truth, as the training (and this book) specifically details how both the codependent and the emotional manipulator are equally willing magnets in their dysfunctional “dance.” The codependent’s tendency to find harmful partners and remain with them cannot and should not be blamed on emotional manipulators, or vice versa.

It would appear that the severe reactions from my audience are likely products of a narcissistic injury, which occurs when the narcissistic individual felt criticized, judged or defeated.

Anger and defensiveness are the common reactions of a narcissistically-injured emotional manipulator, as they feel offended, degraded and/or humiliated when confronted about their wrongdoings.” (Rosenberg, 2013).

Depending on the PNarc’s sub-type or diagnosis, their narcissistically prompted rage will be either delivered directly (“in your face”) or passive aggressively/covertly, which is the common strategy by Covert Narcissists and Malignant Narcissists. The covert and passive aggressive form of the narcissistic injury is more harmful than the reactions from the garden variety overt narcissists. They deliver maximum damage to the triggering (activating) SLD because of the invisible, secretive and manipulative nature of their counter-attack. Examples include triangulation of family, friends or co-workers, in order to promote their victim narrative.

Sadly, and ironically, the mere fact of fighting for what SLDs most want and need — unconditional love, respect and care (LRC) — results in the loss of it. Once in a relationship with a PNarc, any attempts to control or coerce the narcissist into loving, respecting and caring for the SLD are quickly offset by a dizzying array of self-serving manipulative countermeasures. These come in various forms, depending on your PNarc’s subtype. Unfortunately, as long as codependents fight for LRC in a manner that renders them powerless and ineffectual, they are virtually guaranteed never to receive it.

I learned 22 years ago that setting boundaries, resolving conflict, and defending myself from a PNarc was a complicated and dangerous endeavor that left me feeling worse than I felt before the ordeal. I was surprised to learn that my repeated and unsuccessful attempts to control my PNarc’s neglectful and harmful treatment were the primary interactional components of our relationship. My behavior was so automatic and reflexive that I was completely oblivious to it. Adding insult to injury, the only predictable outcome of my control compulsion was feelings of shame, loneliness, anxiety, and anger.

We must learn that PNarcs are never the primary problem. Instead, it is a SLD’s distorted and delusional belief system that compels them to keep trying to change and control their PNarc partner, who has a great deal riding on not letting you succeed. Despite ample evidence that SLDs can rarely effectively and consistently control their PNarcs, they blindly continue.
In conclusion, please do not use my book or other works to wage a battle against your PNarc. In the words of George Bernard Shaw, I beseech you to Observe and Don’t Absorb your PNarc into oblivion!

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig.
You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it!
– George Bernard Shaw

About Ross Rosenberg, MEd, LCPC, CACD, CSAT

Ross is the author of the Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us.

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT © 2016
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us

BPD, codependency, codependency author, codependency expert, dysfunctional relationships, human magnet syndrome, love advice, love help, narcissism,narcissism author, narcissism expert, narcissist abuse, narcissistic abue, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic abuse syndrome, narcissists, npd, relationship advice, ross rosenberg, why he love people who hurt us,  addiction expert, aspd, best codependency book, best narcissism book, BPD, codependency addiction, codependency author, codependency book, codependency cure, codependency expert, codependency help, codependency treatment, human magnet syndrome, narcissism, narcissist, narcissistic abuse, narcissistic victim syndrome, npd, observer don’t absorb, pathological narcissists, ross rosenberg, ross rosenberg author, self-love, self-love deficit disorder, sldd, trauma expert, trauma resolution

 

Excerpts from The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder Book Proposal

Excerpts from The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder Book Proposal

Chapter 3: “CODEPENDENCY” NO MORE – THE SELF LOVE DEFICIT DISORDER STORY

Discovery Phase V – Core Shame Pathological Loneliness
At age 43, about two years after my humiliating second divorce, my life spiraled out of control and seemed be irrevocably reduced to shambles. My success driven self, the one that kept winning races because of the blinders he had on, could no longer carry the day. Like an old battered row boat with one too many holes in it, I took on more water than I could frantically bail out. No matter how much I tried, dragging on life’s rocky bottom, made it impossible to keep the “good” Ross afloat. As rapidly as one part of me was sinking, another part was rising upwards, seeking the light of day.

To my great dismay, from the murky depths of my unconscious mind, arose my emotional nemesis – core shame. This wasn’t the first time we met, as “he” had repeatedly and unremittingly tapped me on the shoulder back in my exquisitely sad, lonely teenage years. In an effort to stop the throbbing loneliness he caused, I almost self-medicated myself into oblivion. Twenty-eight years later, I was back to my self-medicating ways, trying to anesthetize myself from the ever-present reminders that I was essentially broken, worthless and unlovable. “Bottoming out” at age 44 served as a wake-up call, when I decided to awake from my self-medicated slumber and got myself back into therapy. This time around, I would not stop, until I could permanently eradicate my shame core, that part of me that kept leading me into the arms of a pathological narcissist.

Proposed Table of Contents

Dedication
Acknowledgments
Forward: Another author will write?
Introduction: The Journey to Self-Love: Breaking Free to Recovery
Chapter 1: “Magnets” and “Cures:” The New Codependency Landscape
Chapter 2: Codependency, Narcissism, And The Human Magnet Syndrome
Chapter 3: “Codependency” No More – The Self-Love Deficit Disorder Story
Chapter 4: Paleopsychotherapy: Uncovering Trauma Fossils
Chapter 5: Codependency Addiction: “Hooked” on Your Narcissist
Chapter 6: Organizing The “Codependency Cure.” A Six Stage Recovery Model
Chapter 7: Hitting Bottom – From The Ashes the Phoenix Does Rise”
Chapter 8: Stop Wrestling with “Pigs!” The Observe Don’t Absorb Technique
Chapter 9: Finding Your Voice: Setting Boundaries in A Hostile Environment
Chapter 10: Maintaining Safe & Secure Boundaries
Chapter 11: Healing the Wounded Child Technique
Chapter 12: Discovering Self-Love: Building A Self-Love Foundation
Chapter 13: Relationship Math: The Addition of Two Self-Loving Individuals
Chapter 14: Reaching Self-Love Abundancy – The Codependency Cure
Conclusion
Bibliography

CHAPTER 6: ORGANIZING THE “CODEPENDENCY CURE.” A Six Stage Recovery Model

The Inevitable “How To” Question
It seemed every time I talked about the Human Magnet Syndrome (HMS)—in seminars, YouTube videos, blogs, articles, and of course, in my book—I was repeatedly besieged by the same emphatic question: “When will you tell us how to solve the problem?” Even with the epiphanies and watershed moments that the HMS material made possible, these same people were still mired waist-deep in the muddy swamp of a lifetime of codependent pain.

Naturally, the HMS’s explanation for why they repeatedly mistook harmful Pnarcs for loving life-partners was helpful, but it wasn’t enough. It helped them identify and understand their destructive self-sabotaging tendencies, but they also craved guidance on how to break free from the bonds of codependency , while learning how to be in a relationship with a lover, a best-friend, a mother, or a brother, who was mutually loving, respecting, and caring.

In writing The Human Magnet Syndrome, my goal was to explain what codependency is, not the solutions to it. It was my intention to both revise and redefine it, while explaining its predictable and reflexive behavior pattern, and why codependents repeatedly “dance” with harmful Pnarcs despite cascades of consequences, losses, and emotional pain. As much as I sympathized with the urgency of these questions, I maintained the course of my mission, which was to create a seismic shift in the understanding of codependency. I would not waver from this decision, since I had already planned to follow-up my HMS work with an instructive “how to” book focused on practical solutions and the path to healing.

Even with the clarity of my master plan, I still needed to convince others—both professionals and patients eager for help—why my “why material” needed to be separated from and to precede the eventual “how to” discussion. The following lays out my rationale.

CHAPTER 8  STOP WRESTLING WITH PIGS!  How to Master the Observe Don’t Absorb Technique
The Emotional Wrestling Ring

The emotional ring is the fight that occurs in the SLD’s head, a fight which the SLD always loses. This thought and feeling-based wrestling ring consists of the flood of thoughts, feelings, suppositions, predictions, and judgments that overwhelms the SLD before, during, and after the SLD enters the physical ring. Adding another level of complexity, in any given emotional ring, the SLD is wrestling the current Pnarc, as well as Pnarcs from the past, namely the narcissistic parent or parents responsible for attachment trauma (the cause of SLDD).

The emotional wrestling ring is more dangerous than its physical counterpart. Not only is it invisible and lacking a definitive shape, but it is also the venue in which inner voices or dialogue command your attention. On a good day, the voices or dialogue are patient, accepting, self-forgiving, and self-loving. On a bad day, the Pnarc takes residence in your head, berating you with a cacophony of conclusions, judgments, and impatient commands that unfairly second-guess, judge, and ridicule your actions while degrading and derailing any attempt to secure healthy boundaries.

With the Pnarc infecting your thoughts, feelings, and judgments, the wrestling match is over before it starts, and the inevitable outcome is assured. When you add to the mix the flight or fight and false power responses, the SLD’s thought processes and judgment are impaired, rendering them the surefire loser of any altercation, argument and/or conflict with their Pnarc partner. In addition, once the SLD “rents” the Pnarc “space in their head,” all bets are off, as defeat in the emotional ring ensures another humiliating smack-down in the physical. The fight may seem to the SLD to be fought and lost in the physical ring, but this is an illusion, as most fights are lost in the emotional ring.

Muhammad Ali’s Emotional Knockouts
Muhammad Ali, international sports icon and boxing legend, exemplified a person who dominated his sport because of his mastery of both the emotional and physical rings. Many boxing aficionados and sports historians would agree that Ali may not have always been physically stronger, faster, or more skilled than his opponents. However, these same people would agree that despite his opponents’ obvious advantages, “The Champ” would find a way to win the boxing match. It is unimportant to this book to determine if Muhammad Ali was a Pnarc or not. But what is of value is to demonstrate how and why his psychological boxing methods were a masterful use of the emotional ring, and how they enabled him to achieve dominance in the boxing world.

Especially in the mid to later part of his career, Ali racked up wins through the carefully executed psychological manipulation of his opponents. His big wins, especially against the likes of Joe Frazier and George Foreman, were attributed to his ability to get into their heads, provoke unbridled anger, and ultimately, render them their own worst enemies. Winning in the emotional ring was achieved by taunting, ridiculing, and embarrassing them, which got them so enraged and hell-bent to pulverize Ali that they would ultimately sabotage their own efforts to win the fight.

Once Ali’s opponents were antagonized to the point of rage and a hyper-focused obsession to beat him to a pulp, they expended huge amounts of their energy early on in the match. The combination of his opponents’ triggered vindictive rage, their all-out intention to knock him out in the first few rounds, and Ali’s successful use of his “rope-a-dope” strategy (hunkering down in a safe, defensive position), all but guaranteed Ali a win. By the time his opponent lost his steam, and perhaps his false power, Ali would tap into his reserves and deliver a flurry of bout-ending punches.

Simply speaking, Ali won most of his fights by leading his opponents into an emotional ring and manipulating them to fight unknowingly against themselves; just as the Pnarc does with the unsuspecting SLD.

 

DON’T USE MY BOOK TO FIGHT A NARCISSIST! You Will Lose, I Promise.

 

Male hand holding a fake pistol with red flag isolated on white background.

DON’T USE MY BOOK TO FIGHT YOUR NARCISSIST!  You Will Lose, I Promise. 

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT

I am so grateful to the many people who have told me that my book was life-changing.  Having such a positive impact on the human condition is my teenager “gonna change the world” dream come true.  I couldn’t be happier!

My book was written to inspire and motivate people to understand their part in the dysfunctional dance they have been irresistibly drawn into their whole life.  It WAS NOT written to be used as a defensive or offensive strategy in dealing with harmful pathological narcissists (PNarcs).

The “codependent” and “narcissistic” designations in The Human Magnet Syndrome were designed to identify a very serious personal and relational problem so the reader would be motivated to get help to disconnect from it.  The book was never intended to be used as a retaliatory weapon to be used by angry, vindictive and/or controlling codependents, or what I now refer to as individuals with Self-Love Deficit Disorder (SLDD).  Similarly, it wasn’t written to be used as a countermeasure against narcissistic harm.

The mere mentioning of my book to a PNarc is almost always counterproductive, as it will ALWAYS trigger a negative reaction, no matter how much you believe otherwise. I strongly suggest to never give a copy of my book to PNarc. Never! It will always trigger a narcissistic injury and set up a dysfunctional interaction, or dance, where the PNarc has complete control and the person with Self-Love Deficit Disorder does not.   If a PNarc learns of discovers or is told that their partner is reading my book, they react in one of two manners

  1. They exhibit various forms of vindictive and indignant rage, which compels them to openly intimidate, manipulate, and consequently sabotage their partners attempt at SLDD recovery.
  2. This is the more insidious and harmful reaction, that is common with Covert and Malignant Narcissists. In this scenario, the PNarc covertly executes a plan of sabotage and dis-empowerment, which may include gas lighting, mind-manipulation, and continued brainwashing.

The latter is more dangerous, as the PNarc is allowed to maintain their victim role, while manipulating their partner to believe that they have the problems, not them. In these cases, some of my clients, in the beginning of therapy, are convinced that they are the PNarc and their significant other the SLD. Believe it or not, a few of these client’s PNarc read my book, and then gave it to their partner with the continued brainwashing narrative that they are the “codependent” and their partner the “narcissist.”

 

Plain and simple, ANY SUGGESTION THAT THE NARCISSIST IS AT FAULT will elicit a narcissistic injury.  Giving them my book, or referring to it, while telling them you are SLD or codependent, is and will cause them to react in one of two ways.  One, they will project onto you that you are the narcissist and they the codependent; or, two, they will be triggered with a narcissistic injury, and subsequently rage against you for the comment or suggestion.  You will be the target of their unmitigated fury and vitriolic criticisms, and they will punish you.

The following excerpt from the Human Magnet Syndrome exemplifies the predictable negative response that PNarcs have to my work.

“According to their verbal and/or written feedback, they feel the seminar is offensive, ill-conceived, biased and even absurd. In particular, they are quite bothered by what they perceive as prejudice. These participants hear me say that codependents are the victims and emotional manipulators are the perpetrators of their dysfunctional relationships. Nothing could be further from the truth, as the training (and this book) specifically details how both the codependent and the emotional manipulator are equally willing magnets in their dysfunctional “dance.” The codependent’s tendency to find harmful partners and remain with them cannot and should not be blamed on emotional manipulators, or vice versa.

It would appear that the severe reactions from my audience are likely products of a narcissistic injury, which occurs when the narcissistic individual felt criticized, judged or defeated.’ 

‘Anger and defensiveness are the common reactions of a narcissistically-injured emotional manipulator, as they feel offended, degraded and/or humiliated when confronted about their wrongdoings.” (Rosenberg, 2013).

Depending on the PNarc’s sub-type or diagnosis, their narcissistically prompted rage will be either delivered directly (“in your face”) or passive aggressively/covertly, which is the common strategy by Covert Narcissists and Malignant Narcissists.  The covert and passive aggressive form of the narcissistic injury is more harmful than the reactions from the garden variety overt narcissists.  They deliver maximum damage to the triggering (activating) SLD because of the invisible, secretive and manipulative nature of their counter-attack.  Examples include triangulation of family, friends or co-workers, in order to promote their victim narrative.

Sadly, and ironically, the mere fact of fighting for what SLDs most want and need— unconditional love, respect and care (LRC)[i]—results in the loss of it. Once in a relationship with a PNarc, any attempts to control or coerce[ii] the narcissist into loving, respecting and caring for the SLD are quickly offset by a dizzying array of self-serving manipulative countermeasures.  These come in various forms, depending on your PNarc’s subtype.  Unfortunately, as long as codependents fight for LRC in a manner that renders them powerless and ineffectual, they are virtually guaranteed never to receive it.

I learned 22 years ago that setting boundaries, resolving conflict, and defending myself from a PNarc was a complicated and dangerous endeavor that left me feeling worse than I felt before the ordeal.  I was surprised to learn that my repeated and unsuccessful attempts to control my PNarc’s neglectful and harmful treatment were the primary interactional components of our relationship.  My behavior was so automatic and reflexive that I was completely oblivious to it.  Adding insult to injury, the only predictable outcome of my control compulsion was feelings of shame, loneliness, anxiety, and anger.

We must learn that PNarcs are never the primary problem.  Instead, it is a SLD’s distorted and delusional belief system that compels them to keep trying to change and control their PNarc partner, who has a great deal riding on not letting you succeed.  Despite ample evidence that SLDs can rarely effectively and consistently control their Pnarcs, they blindly continue.

In conclusion, please do not use my book or other works to wage a battle against your PNarc.  In the words of George Bernard Shaw, I beseech you to Observe and Don’t Absorb your PNarc into oblivion!

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig.
You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it!
George Bernard

Ross Rosenberg is a licensed clinical professional counselor and professional trainer. He is the author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us. Contact him at info@advancedclinicaltrainers.com

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT © 2016
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us

                  

Why Internet Dating Apps Have It All Wrong. The Truth Behind “Chemistry”

Why Internet Dating Apps Have It All Wrong

hms unified graphic cr

Ross Rosenberg reveals the hidden truth behind relationship chemistry

Have you been working on your online dating profile? Posing for the perfect selfie? Finding the exact right words to describe your wonderful self? Sadly, and unfortunately, all of the effort in choosing the best photographs, writing one’s personal biography, and positioning oneself in the most appealing personality and lifestyle categories is all for naught; it simply doesn’t matter. Adding insult to injury, it is futile to base your hopes for a happy relationship on the careful reading and interpreting of a potential love interest’s profile, while scanning every pixel of their pics with a magnifying glass looking for potential clues or red flags. Why? Because dating chemistry is not based on your prospective match’s face or body type, musical interests, favorite foods, political leanings, education, religion, or other criteria. Dating chemistry is based on “The Human Magnet Syndrome!”

The Human Magnet Syndrome accounts for one of the most common couplings we see—the pairing of caretaking, empathetic, and altruistic codependents with selfish, arrogant, controlling, and harmful narcissists, who simultaneously fall head over heels in in love while remaining tied together in a long-term dysfunctional relationship.

What we call chemistry between two lovers is the unconscious matching of perfectly balanced opposite personality types. I describe this phenomenon in detail in my book, The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us. The Human Magnet Syndrome accounts for one of the most common couplings we see—the pairing of caretaking, empathetic, and altruistic codependents with selfish, arrogant, controlling, and harmful narcissists, who simultaneously fall head over heels in in love while remaining tied together in a long-term dysfunctional relationship.

When a caretaking woman feels the chemistry bliss over her narcissistic romantic man (or vice versa), it is not because of any similarities she shares with him. Rather it is due to the activation of unconscious psychological attraction mechanisms that recognize a perfect “dancing partner” who makes her heart skip a beat or two. His boldness, charisma, self-confidence, and charm create the illusion that he is the man about whom she has always dreamt. Little does she know that she, a codependent, has chosen, yet again, another in a long list of narcissists.

Human Magnet Syndrome chemistry, of course, goes both ways. Mr. Perfect’s unconscious chemistry machinery has also been activated. His heart is aflutter over this perfect angel of a woman who listens to him, cries for him, and validates all of the “unfair treatment” he has received from his ex-wives who demand child support, the IRS who is auditing him, and the long line of jobs from which he was terminated for “knowing the job better than (his) bosses.” So of course, Mr. Perfect, a.k.a. the narcissist, has also hit the (dysfunctional) relationship jackpot.  At the end of the day, the codependent’s dreams of a soul mate invariably dissolve into a “cellmate” reality.

♦◊♦

Self-orientation is divided into two categories: those who are comfortable with giving away and not receiving LRC, and those who are more comfortable taking LRC while not reciprocating.

The multi-billion-dollar Internet dating industry doesn’t realize it, but despite all those algorithms, all that matching, and all that swiping, they are selling the Human Magnet Syndrome. When two romantic hopefuls meet, whether by chance or the result of an Internet dating site’s heralded selection technologies, they will instantly feel comfortable, familiar, and safe when their self-orientations match up. What, you ask, is a self-orientation? A self-orientation is defined as the manner in which a person distributes or takes love, respect, and caring (LRC) in relationship. Self-orientation is divided into two categories: those who are comfortable with giving away and not receiving LRC, and those who are more comfortable taking LRC while not reciprocating.

Like a dancing partnership, the caretaking and others-oriented person will naturally feel comfortable and instinctively familiar with a “dance partner” who is in need of caretaking and who focuses on his (or her) needs more than their own. The same intuitive feeling of familiarity and comfort is experienced by the other “dance partner.” Like opposite sides of a magnet, these two “human magnets” are unconsciously drawn to each other because of the way their self-orientations match up, not because of the compatibility of their Internet dating profiles or the allure of their attractive photos. It’s simple chemistry at work!

This magnetic love connection predictably begins like a fairy-tale, but quickly morphs into a painful “seesaw” of love and hate and hope and disappointment.  The Human Magnet Syndrome Chemistry phenomenon is almost always this way.  Just ask your friends, think about your own family, or analyze your own dating history. You will discover that chemistry, or that intuitive feeling of relational and romantic perfection, exists because of the connection of opposite self-orientations, not because of a well thought out list of similarities, likes, and dislikes.

Consider your own chance encounters and skillfully matched dating setups, which seemed perfect “on paper” but wouldn’t elicit the smallest of romantic sparks or chemistry.

Consider your own chance encounters and skillfully matched dating setups, which seemed perfect “on paper” but wouldn’t elicit the smallest of romantic sparks or chemistry. You will likely conclude that, when self-orientations are similar, shared feelings of disappointment and frustration are experienced, especially if there are areas of conscious compatibility. To illustrate, the smoldering sexy man with six-pack abs and the drop-dead gorgeous woman who sports a perfect set of lips and long beautiful legs just might not be a good match. If these seemingly well-matched romantic hopefuls have a similar self-orientation, then Mr. Smoldering will never connect with Ms. Gorgeous. Or, if entranced by lust, the lack of chemistry will surely be the bucket of cold water that tears these two apart.

It’s my theory that the folks at the helm of the big Internet dating companies either don’t know about the Human Magnet Syndrome, or shy away from negative and complicated “blame your parents” psychological explanations. I am sure the promise of the perfect match or soulmate sells more subscriptions than the uncomfortable truth: the bonding of similarly lonely and unhappy personality types—codependents and narcissists. It is difficult to imagine Match.com, eHarmony, or Tinder embracing the Human Magnet Syndrome explanation over their multi-million-dollar marketing and advertising campaigns that offer the promise of finding a soulmate through patented scientific matching algorithms.

Everything in my life, both personally and professionally as therapist, confirms the causal connection between The Human Magnet Syndrome and romantic chemistry. Moreover, my clinical work, personal dating, and relationship experiences along with the thousands of testaments from clients, readers, social network connections, and YouTube subscribers, all validate the codependent/narcissistic chemistry connection.

So here’s the bottom line: the romantic relationship that is brought together by an interminably strong magnetic force will survive the test of time as it adheres to the human instinct to find and stay with a partner who is uniquely compatible and familiar. According to the continuum of self theory, compatible romantic partners tend to stay true to their uniquely opposite relationship orientation. The same applies to the human magnet syndrome: We are attracted to and maintain relationships with individuals whose “magnetic polarity” differs and, therefore, is compatible with our own.

Does all this mean you should stop swiping or inputting your interests on your dating profile? No. It means you should start thinking so you can understand the underlying basis of attraction as you try to find lasting harmony with a romantic partner.

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT © 2016
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us

                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Narcissists Do Not Like Psychotherapy

narcissists don't therapy

 

Narcissists Do Not Like Therapy

  1. NPD’s, in or out of therapy, frequently deny personal responsibility when blamed for a problem.
  2. A person diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) resists seeking psychotherapy.
  3. The NPD’s tendency to blame others and deny responsibility for their mistakes, misdeeds and/or problems, inhibits the experience of cognitive dissonance or the affective experience of guilt, shame, or self-anger.  Cognitive dissonance is often the antecedent or motivating factor for one’s decision to seek psychotherapy.
  4. As a result of the NPD’s lack of insight into their role in personal and interpersonal problems, their participation in psychotherapy is limited to the cessation of discomfort others are causing them.
  5. The potential for positive outcomes in insight-based psychotherapy with an NPD client is low.
  6. The NPD’s lack of empathy inhibits the collaborative problem-solving process necessary for most couples-based psychotherapy to succeed.
  7. If and when a psychotherapist directly attributes a problem to the NPD client or challenges their lack of empathy and/or denial systems, the likelihood of an eruption of anger, resentment and paranoia (narcissistic injury) is high.
  8. Psychotherapy terminations are likely if and when the NPD client perceives the psychotherapist agreeing with or supporting (taking sides) another party in the psychotherapy process.
  9. Narcissistic injuries are the most common reason for psychotherapy termination.
  10. NPD’s temporarily participate in psychotherapy to seek forgiveness or to alleviate a consequence.  When the threat of the consequence has been lifted or neutralized, the NPD often terminates psychotherapy.
  11. NPD’s may leverage their participation in psychotherapy as a “bargaining chip” to manipulate another person.

NOTE: I use the term “Narcissist” to represent Pathological Narcissists, which included those with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Antisocial Personality Disorder / Sociaopaths (ASPD) and, of course, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).  It also inlcudes a person active in an addiction.  They all share the following characteristics.

  • Impaired thinking, mood & control of impulses
  •  Impaired relationships
  •  Trouble perceiving & relating to situations & people
  • Rigid & inflexible thought & behavior patterns
  • Resist change despite consequences
  • Unaware of the harm they cause others
  • Commonly project blame on others

(c)    ©Rosenberg, 2016

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT © 2016
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us

                  

 

 

 

Romano & Rosenberg 2/13/16 Webinar: Banishing Fear: Finding the Courage to Heal. Experts

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 ROSS ROSENBERG & LISA A. ROMANO
Together for the First Time!

Banishing Fear: Finding the Courage to Heal
Codependency / Self-Love Deficit Disorder

 

Ross rosenberg lisa romano

JUST IN TIME FOR VALENTINES DAY   2/13/16 12-3pm EST

Banishing fear and finding courage to heal or recover from codependency, or what Ross now refers to as Self-Love Deficit Disorder is the perfect seminar from those who want to heal and grow into more complete self-loving, self-caring and self-respecting individuals.  Ross Rosenberg and Lisa Romano, two internationally renowned experts in the respective fields, will jointly participate in a life-changing seminar that focuses on the codependency/Self-Love Deficit Disorder and trauma recovery.  During this three-hour webinar Ross and Lisa will give individual presentations while interacting with each other during them.  Questions from the webinar audience will be answered.

Ross Rosenberg – Breaking Down the Fear Barrier to Codependency Recovery

  1. “Codependency” No More – Introducing Self-Love Deficit Disorder (SLDD)
  2. Attachment trauma is so frightening, we have forgotten it
  3. Fear is a major obstacle of SLDD recovery
  4. Core shame sets up SLDD related anxiety and fear
  5. Finding the courage to be vulnerable
  6. Facing Codependency Addiction’s withdrawal symptoms
  7. Bravely enduring necessary losses
  8. Beating Pathological Loneliness

Lisa A. Romano – The Freezing Function of Core Shame

  1. Why we fear confronting narcissists?
  2. Why is it we struggle so much with having boundaries?
  3. Why do we lack self-love?
  4. How we can tap into courage to confront our fears and begin the healing journey?

Registration Options:

$65 for the three hour webinar

$85 for the webinar and (the advanced purchase of) the video version of it

For IL psychotherapists, $75 CEU version for the webinar or $95 for the webinar and video

NOTE: The video will be available 2 weeks after the webinar, and will be sold for $50

.

CLICK HERE  To Register

Ross’s Facebook   Ross’s Twitter   Ross’s YouTube Channel

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Lisa’s Facebook    Lisa’s Twitter     Lisa’s YouTube Channel

Check out our YouTube Joint Venture!
NUMB DISCONNECTED OR DISASSOCIATED
Coping with Trauma & Codependency / Self-Love Deficit Disorder

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC2x79P-TUo

ALSO DON’T MISS 

Ross’s 2/26 Live Seminar – Skokie I

THE CODEPENDENCY CURE: TREATING SELF-LOVE DEFICIT DISORDER SEMINAR

Live 6 Hour CEU/CE Seminar – For General Audiences Too

February 26, 2016

SKOKIE IL (Chicago Suburb) on February 26, 2016

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT © 2016
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Advanced Clinical Trainers Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us

                  

https://www.youtube.com/my_videos_annotate?video_referrer=watch&v=MRRkIapGufQ

Understanding Why Opposites Attract: The Internet Dating Edge. Match.com Consultant Helen Fisher

Understanding Why Opposites Attract: The Internet Dating Edge

Narcissism Expert

Ross Rosenberg

Helen Fisher Match.com Consultant

Helen Fisher

 

 

 

 

 

This expert panel discusses why caregivers and care needers are automatically attracted to each other. This dynamic is crucial to understand when seeking a perfectly matched online partner, i.e. through Match.com or Eharmony.com. In extremes, why codependents and pathological narcissists complete the perfect broken relationship. Helen Fisher, the internationally renowned anthropologist, author, researcher Match.com advisor, Melanie Gorman, Marci Telander, Rhoberta Shaler share their point of view about opposite attraction.

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Continuum of Self Values (CSV) Personality Type Breakdown / CSV Sheet

Continuum of Self Values Examples / CSV Sheet

From The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT 

COS udated for Narc copy

The following list matches each of the 11 Continuum of Self Values (CSVs) with a general personality description.  These examples are only intended to illustrate the range of general personality possibilities according to the Continuum of Self Theory’s self-orientation concept.

-5 CSV:  A codependent is completely absorbed with the love, respect, and care (LRC) needs of others, while completely ignoring and devaluing their own.  This category of individual is often powerless, unable and/or unwilling to seek LRC from his romantic partner.

-4 CSV:  A person with codependent tendencies.  He is almost always focused on the LRC needs of others while only intermittently seeking to have his own LRC needs reciprocated or fulfilled.  This person is able, albeit unmotivated, fearful and/or inexperienced in seeking LRC from his romantic partner.  He often chooses not to ask others to fulfill his LRC needs, as he doesn’t want to upset others or cause conflict.  If asking for some semblance of LRC from his partner, he does so nervously and with distinct feelings of guilt or neediness.

-3 CSV:  A person who identifies with his caring and giving nature.  He is predominately focused on the LRC needs of others, while often diminishing, delaying or excusing away the fulfillment of his own needs.  This person’s identity and reputation is fused with his helping and caretaking nature.  He is typically in relationships in which there is an imbalance between his partner’s and his own LRC needs – giving much more LRC to his partner than receiving.  This individual is capable of setting boundaries in relationships while also asking for what he needs, however, he tends to feel guilty or needy when setting such boundaries or when asking for help from others.

-2 CSV:  One involved in relationships in which his caretaking identity is valued and appreciated, but not exploited.  He enjoys relationships with others in which he provides ample amounts of LRC, without wanting equal amounts reciprocated.  He is able to ask for what he wants or needs from others, although is slightly uncomfortable doing so.  He is comfortable with a partner who needs more LRC than he is willing to give in return.  He is able to set boundaries and ask for what he needs when the LRC balance goes beyond his comfort level.  He might experience mild feelings of guilt or neediness when asking his partner to meet his own LRC needs.  As much as is possible, he avoids individuals who are narcissistic, exploitative or manipulative.

-1 CSV:  A person with a healthy balance between loving, respecting and caring for self and others.  He typically seeks life experiences and relationships in which he is able to satisfy his own LRC needs.  He tends to participate and appreciate relationships that are based on a reciprocal and mutual distribution of LRC.  Although he derives meaning and happiness when helping and caring for others, he does not tolerate a selfish or self-centered romantic partner.  He often enjoys caring for others, but does not identify himself as a caretaker or helper.  He do not experience guilt or feelings of neediness when asking for LRC from others.

0 CSV:  A person who participates in relationships where there is an equal distribution of LRC given and received.  They easily ask for what they need from their partners, while being open to their partners LRC needs.  With their LRC-balanced relationships, they easily fluctuate between being the recipient and giver of LRC.

+1 CSV:  A person with a healthy balance between loving, respecting and caring for self and others.  They tend to participate and appreciate relationships that are based on a reciprocal and mutual distribution of LRC.  This individual values personal and professional goals and ambitions, which they confidently pursue.  Although they derives meaning and happiness through the pursuit of his own goals and ambitions, he is also cognizant of the necessity to love, respect and care for his romantic partner.  He effortlessly provides LRC to his romantic partner when necessary or requested.  He may identify with both the role of a caretaker or helper while wanting to fulfill his own goals and ambitions.

+2 CSV:  A person who prefers to be involved in relationships in which the pursuit to fulfill his own ambitions, desires and goals is encouraged and supported.  In a romantic relationship, he actively seeks attention, appreciation and affirmation.  Although he is a go-getter and may be consumed with “getting the spotlight,” he is willing and able to fulfill his partner’s needs.  He is neither exploitative nor selfish.  As an individual who is more oriented toward his own LRC needs, he periodically forgets about the inequity of LRC distribution in the relationship.  He responds favorably and non-reactively when his partner asks for higher levels of LRC.  Although he can be comfortable in a caretaking role, he doesn’t maintain it.

+3 CSV:  A mildly selfish and self-centered individual.  He is predominately focused on the LRC needs of self, while often diminishing, delaying or excusing away the fulfillment of his partner’s needs.  This person’s identity and reputation is fused with his need for attention, validation and recognition.  He identifies with the persona of the go-getter and success-driven individual.  He is typically in relationships where there is an imbalance in the distribution of LRC needs, expecting or taking more LRC than giving.  If confronted about the LRC inequality, he may get defensive, but will be able to make corrections.  He can modulate or control his self-centered and seemingly selfish attributes.  Although he may be perceived as self-consumed and self-centered, he is willing and able to love, respect and care for his partner; they just need frequent reminders.

+4 CSV:  A narcissistic individual.  This individual is absorbed and preoccupied with the LRC needs of self, while rarely seeking to fulfill the LRC needs of others.  He comes across as being entitled, self-absorbed and self-centered, as he are driven to seek LRC from others, while giving very minimal amounts of the same in return.  He is comfortable with the LRC disparity, believing his needs are more important than his partner’s.  Although this person is overtly narcissistic, he is still able to give nominal levels of LRC to others.  If confronted about the LRC inequities, he will characteristically get angry and defensive and are quick to justify his actions.  He, however, does not experience a narcissistic injury or exhibit narcissistic rage when confronted.

+5 CSV: An Emotional Manipulator.  Unable and unmotivated to love, respect and care for others.  He is consumed with fulfilling his own LRC needs with no intention of reciprocating.  He has great difficulty in exhibiting empathy, unconditional positive regard or love.  When he does give LRC to others, it is typically conditional, with strings attached.  He is not able to comprehend or accept his pathological levels of narcissism.  When confronted about the LRC imbalances, he will often strike back with either direct or passive aggression.

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Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
3325 N. Arlington Heights Rd., Ste 400B
Arlington Heights, IL  60004

Owner of Clinical Care Consultants and Advanced Clinical Trainers

                  

The Codependency Cure: Reversing the Human Magnet Syndrome’s Introduction

THE CODEPENDENCY CURE: REVERSING THE HUMAN MAGNET SYNDROME

 “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

George Eliot

INTRODUCTION

One would think that after the sweat and toil of writing my first book, the second one would flow freely and easily.  After all, I have been ruminating about it since 1988 – the beginning of my psychotherapy career.  Actually, to be completely honest, I began thinking about it in 1978, when at age 17, I began to piece together my curious habit of self-destruction.

As early as I can remember, I needed to know how and why the world around me works.  Like a compulsion, I have never been able to let go of a moment’s curiosity without first learning more about it.  This “information addiction” is interwoven into the very fabric of my being.  I am similarly compelled to know how and why I have become me – the good, bad and ugly.  A psychology education, therapy, a continuous study of psychology, and more therapy have gone a long way towards satisfying this need.  The combined pursuit of worldly and self knowledge has brought me closer to understanding my predilection for dysfunctional relationships while setting the stage for more loving and balanced relationships with others and, most importantly, myself.

My need to seek answers from the world around me prompted me to write “The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us” (HMS).  It reveals why we repeatedly fall in love with people who ultimately hurt us, while also explaining why codependents always seem to repeatedly fall in love with pathological narcissists.  The book dissects and attempts to answer this codependent/narcissist relationship dilemma.  Or, in the words of my father, it explains why so many who pursue soulmates end up with “cellmates.”

In almost every one of my over 60 Human Magnet Syndrome seminars, one or more participants would ask a form of this question, “…this is great, but how do I change the outcome?”  Instead of being drawn away from the seminar’s focus, I would typically respond with “In order to solve the Human Magnet Syndrome, it is absolutely necessary to first know what it is, its origins and what perpetuates it.  Neither a person’s intelligence, education, degrees, certifications or self-proclamations of expertise brings them closer to solving a ubiquitous psychological problem without first understanding it.”

This answer was never satisfying enough, as it was invariably followed up with an inquiry about a companion instructional training and book.  Well, I can finally say that now is that time!  My beloved “why” book now has a “how to” sibling.  I am proud to introduce “The Codependency Cure: Reversing the Human Magnet Syndrome.”  It is specifically written to guide readers toward the resolution of their own personal craziness: their repetitive merry-go-round experiences with harmful narcissists.

Since “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” this book will help the reader resolve their own codependency insanity.  It will do so by explaining how to heal those deeply embedded and unconscious emotional wounds that keep many tied to harmful narcissistic loved ones.  It will also bring the reader closer to your long dreamed about soulmates and further away from all the looming cellmates.

GROUND ZERO FOR “THE CODEPENDENCY CURE”

After graduate school at Boston University 28 years ago, I moved to Boone, Iowa to work in a small community counseling center.  Central Iowa and its non-stop landscape of corn and soybeans with the intermittent smattering of pig farms wasn’t my number one choice for my first post-graduate job, but a first job often takes you to where a job offer exists.  I would serve a hardworking blue collar and moderately rural community of about 15,000 people.  As the only counseling center in town, I was required to do a little bit of everything.  Like most graduate school students who eventually become psychotherapists, I experienced a “baptism by fire.”  It would be an understatement to say that there was a sharp and swift learning curve!

 

With about 18 months under my belt, I was assigned a client by the name of Becky[1].  She was a 45-year old woman with two children who was married to a physically and verbally abusive narcissist and alcoholic.  Unbeknownst to me, she was going to introduce me to codependency and its connection to unresolved repressed trauma.  Yes, my very first codependent client!

Becky and I would ultimately join forces to take up arms against those real and imagined combatants who compelled her to remain with abusive narcissists, especially her husband.  We would learn together that she really wasn’t imprisoned by her husband, but more by the unconscious part of herself that was frozen at the time of her childhood trauma.  Through her diligence and courage, she would face her inner demons – her unresolved trauma – and free herself from the life-long harm it caused her.

During our work together, Becky demonstrated great strength and courage as the work was very difficult and, at times, fraught with danger.  She would eventually vanquish the enemy part of herself that kept her connected to her narcissistic captors.  Ultimately, she would usher in a new era of her life in which her childhood trauma would be resolved (healed) and her compulsion to remain with abusive men would cease.  More than that, she would learn about the necessity for self-love and practice it regularly.  Before I proceed with the rest of the story, let me first digress back for a moment to Boston, Massachusetts.

In the 1980’s, Boston was a hotbed of psychoanalytical and psychodynamic thought.  It was also the time that Family System Theory was all the rage in counseling/psychology graduate programs throughout the country.

Most of my BU professors were heavily influenced by the psychoanalytic and psychodynamic works of Freud, Erikson, Jung, Adler and others, who all espoused that most psychological problems could be traced back to a person’s early childhood relationship with their parents.  This long-term treatment proposition involves a circuitous path in and out of a client’s conscious and unconscious mind.  According to these theories, the resolution of the problems or issues for which psychotherapy is often sought requires a deep probing into the client’s conscious and unconscious memories of their childhood experience with their parents.

BU’s Family Systems course had a profound impact on my understanding of individual and relational psychopathology (issues and problems).  It would teach me that family relationships, nuclear and extended, create and perpetuate positive or negative mental health, or somewhere in between.

According to Family Systems theory, when implicitly or explicitly adopted rules are changed, forgotten or challenged, relationship systems experience instability and acute discomfort.  Because instability is uncomfortable and, therefore, undesirable, the renegade member of the relationship system has to either return to their dysfunctional role – acquiesce to the system’s rules and expectations – or push the system to adapt to their changes.  This process either promotes greater relational health or causes a deterioration of the relationship.  Creating new and healthier rules – a new equilibrium – is a difficult proposition, as it is always much more difficult to change than to maintain the status quo.

Returning back to Becky, my first codependency client in Boone, Iowa: although the term “codependency” was not addressed in graduate school, I quickly devoured books and sought out professional trainings on the subject.  Books such as John and Linda Friel’s “Adult Children Secrets of Dysfunctional Families” (1990), Melody Beattie’s “Codependent No More” (1986) and Terry Kellogg’s “Broken Toys Broken Dreams: Understanding and Healing Codependency” (1990) fed my burgeoning interest on the subject.  These brilliant writers and treatment specialists inspired and guided me toward a better understanding of Becky’s peculiar personal and relational struggles.  Notwithstanding, I still had no explanation for the forces that compelled her to remain married her abusive narcissistic husband.

Thanks to my Family Systems background, I felt prepared to help Becky understand how both her nuclear and extended families kept her mired in a powerless victim role.  My understanding of psychodynamic theory helped me to comprehend how and why her inability to leave her abusive husband was intricately connected to her unresolved childhood trauma associated with her abusive and narcissistic father and codependent mother.

After six months of therapy, Becky was no closer to having insight or understanding into her codependent compulsion to remain with her husband.  The bubble of optimism that had motivated me up to that point seemed like it was going to pop at any moment.  Determined not to give up, I shifted my therapeutic strategy.  I began engaging her in discussions about her childhood abuse about which she had, up until that time, only shared vague and non-emotional details.  Although difficult for her, she courageously shared several vivid accounts of her horrifically abusive and neglectful childhood.

Such recollections were rife with disturbing accounts of abuse, neglect and deprivation – all at the hands of her parents.  It will suffice to say that she lived in constant fear of her father’s unpredictable abuse, while feeling unprotected and abandoned by her mother.  Becky protected herself in the only way she could, which was to mold herself into what her father most wanted: “daddy’s good and compliant little girl.”  Such would require her to detach from and deeply submerge her childhood desires and dreams for being unconditionally cared for and loved.  She learned that, as long as she maintained her role as daddy’s trophy child, she would experience some semblance of safety.

On Becky’s 18th birthday, she hurriedly married her boyfriend, the young man who would eventually replicate the abuse of her father.

I found it peculiar that, while sharing memories of her tragic childhood, which was brimming with horrid details of verbal, emotional, physical and sexual abuse, she maintained a stoic and detached appearance.  As she would recount these incidents, she seemed to automatically sanitize them of any emotional content.  Even with prodding, she would only describe the “photograph” version of the events, not the full “motion picture.”  Little did I know that her affective or emotional experience of the abuse and neglect was buried deep by the forces of repression – beneath the concrete defensive walls of her mind.

My gentle but persistent prodding for emotions, which I refer to as affective memories, would eventually pay off.  At about the nine-month mark in our therapy, I asked her to imagine how the little eight-year old girl she used to be felt during the abuse.  Her eyes suddenly turned red and welled up with tears, she began to tremble and her face turned white.  In the flash of a moment, she transformed into a frightened little girl.  Her voice, her facial expression and posture exposed the eight-year old abused child that had been neatly compartmentalized and forgotten for over 37 years!  I was sitting face to face with “little Becky,” the physical embodiment of her long-repressed trauma memories.

Little Becky’s emotions erupted with an intensity that I had never before experienced.  The torrent of tears, hyper-ventilating and more seemed to escape with the velocity of an over-inflated tire that has been expectantly punctured by an icepick.  I intuitively knew the importance of keeping her safe while gently probing the painful memories that she was exposing to the light of day.  With an understanding of psychodynamic theory, I knew I was facilitating the release of bottled-up or repressed memories that had been deeply embedded, and forgotten, in her unconscious.

For the next three months, the adult Becky and I would periodically return back to Little Becky’s emotively honest but raw world, sifting through both happy and distressing emotional experiences.  Together, we would release the claw-like grasp her unconscious mind had on her personal and relational health.  Over time, Becky understood the harmful nature of her codependency, her dysfunctional urges to remain with her husband, her fear of being alone and, most importantly, the lack of love and compassion that she had for herself.  As a result of our work together, Becky would resolve the trauma that compelled her to remain powerless in codependent relationships.

By the year-and-a-half mark of our therapy, Becky had divorced her husband and relinquished most of her selfish and/or narcissistic friends and family relationships.  Like a flower finally given sufficient water and sunlight, she bloomed into a vibrant, strong and loving woman who could and would protect herself from exploitative narcissistic people.  Moreover, her new and improved “human magnetism” landed her in the arms of mutually and reciprocally loving men.  With ease, she began to develop new friendships while enhancing existing relationships with family and friends.  Building a foundation for self-love released her from her life-long indentured servitude to narcissistic masters.

All in all, my work with Becky set the stage for all of my future work with codependents and trauma survivors.  I didn’t know it then, but my experiences with her would eventually compel me to create hypotheses and theories that would culminate in my cherished Human Magnet Syndrome work.  I can never thank Becky enough for her impact on my life.  Her courageous battle upward from the emotional abyss inspired me to write this book.  Moreover, it helped me understand the far-reaching and ever-present truth about codependency recovery:  self-love is the antidote to codependency.     

Now, let me tell you why and how someone can heal trauma and “cure” codependency.  Moreover, let me show you how a person devoid of self-esteem, feelings of personal efficacy and debilitating shame can learn to love themselves and break free from their “cellmates.”  I hope you enjoy my book.

[1] Name changed to protect her identity.

                  

Ross Rosenberg,
3325 N. Arlington Heights Rd., Ste 400B
Arlington Heights, IL  60004