Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Primer – Pt. 2

As I mentioned in my last post (See: A Primer on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy), a lot of folks who say they have either administered or received Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) have never actually engaged in a process that focuses heavily on the most crucial aspect of the paradigm: behavior.  Affording attention to the thinking patterns and attitudes that predispose harmful behavior patterns is important to be sure, but when it comes to gaining the skills to empower oneself – and especially when it comes to overcoming character deficiencies – perhaps nothing is as important as confronting, correcting, and ultimately replacing dysfunctional behavior patterns.

In Character Disturbance, I present some vignettes that illustrate the very different nature of therapy that remains true to the cognitive-behavioral model.  Disturbed characters readily display their problematic behavior patterns, even when they’re in the process of impression-management (i.e. doing their best to create a favorable impression and manipulate the opinions and judgment of the person evaluating them). and an astute clinician should be able to “spot” and label these behaviors when they occur.  And what makes CBT so different from other forms of therapy is that because change always takes place in the here-and-now moment, therapists employing the paradigm have to be willing to call out the behaviors of concern at the very moment they occur, then artfully “invite” the person to correct these behaviors and replace them with more pro-social ones, providing them afterward with much needed reinforcement for the person’s willingness to conduct themselves in a healthier way.

When I was doing research for In Sheep’s Clothing, I encountered a man who had some level of genuine care and affection for his wife and who truly didn’t want to loose her as he feared was very possible but who was also prone to some casualness about his frequent “flirtations” with other women and the few times he’d “slipped” and had an affair.  One would think he was “clueless” about the detriment his behaviors posed to his marriage.  And at some level, I suppose you could say he was indeed clueless.  But he was quite “aware” at least at an intellectual level that a marital bond that is both deep and mutually enriching is necessarily founded upon trust and fidelity. However, his habitual behaviors of minimizing the seriousness of his constant flirtations and episodic indiscretions, his persistent lying to himself about the consequences of his actions, his willingness to gaslight his wife whenever she suspected him of betrayal, and willingness to use a whole host of other behaviors (e.g., victim-blaming, feigning innocence, feigning ignorance) to manipulate her into sticking with him only “enabled” him to perpetuate the pattern. Something in this vicious cycle of abuse would have to be altered for the cycle to be broken, and that would necessarily mean some behavior would have to change.  Now, I’d always been taught that a therapist should always set an atmosphere where the client would feel “safe” to sort through the “underlying feelings and dynamics” always presumed to be at the root of such problematic behaviors (e.g., “fear of intimacy, fear of commitment, unmet love needs, unmet needs for adulation or affection, etc.).  And I’d especially been taught not to call out behaviors in a judgmental sense, lest I run off a client who’d not yet come to trust me and would likely become too “defensive.”  But I quickly learned that unless destructive behavior is confronted and corrected, almost nothing really changes, despite all the possible flowery talk and promises a person might make.  I also learned that there simply cannot ever be trust and respect between a disturbed character and a therapist (or anyone else for that matter) unless their tactics are both accurately labeled and confronted and a commitment to certain principles and values are firmly upheld (Over my career, I’ve seen far too many cases in which a disturbed character will “string along” both the therapist and an aggrieved relationship partner while all the time holding only both mistrust of and disdain for the person they were able to manipulate).  And perhaps the most important thing I learned is that behavior always has to be confronted the very moment it occurs.  So for awhile, I would confront this man every time he would minimize or trivialize, or when he would allow himself to distort the reality of circumstances.  Only then did he come not only come to a fuller level of awareness of the destructive nature of what he had been doing but also become more amenable to changing the kinds of thinking patterns and attitudes that predisposed him to conduct himself in a way so hostile to the nurturing of a wholesome, healthy relationship.  Just as the model predicted, changing behavior helped him reshape his attitudes, and as he changed his problematic ways of thinking, his behavior only improved all the more.  Most importantly of all, he began to change.  And as he became more willing to self-correct both his thinking and behavior without my prompting, I became even more reinforcing, until he was more consistently willing to engage in his own self-endorsement. Now, I’ve mentioned before that not all problem characters change their “internal stripes” as a result of outwardly changing their behavior.  But many do indeed change.  And it’s important to remember that for there to ever be any possibility of real and lasting change a person has to be willing to change behavior and thinking patterns in the here-and-now moment.

In next week’s post I’ll have some more detailed information about the actual mechanics of CBT (I have long made available to therapists and lay persons specially-designed worksheets for addressing and changing problematic thinking and behavior patterns).

Also, look for some more specific information about this fall’s upcoming webinar (we’re hoping to make it a fully interactive forum) in the next few weeks.

Sunday night’s Character Matters program will be a live broadcast, so I’m again happy to take your calls.


43 thoughts on “Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Primer – Pt. 2

  1. Dr Simon, would you be so kind and add at least one small example of how you confronted and corrected this man? It would help anchor for me what you are saying.

  2. Dr Simon you say that the disturbed person can string along a therapist or an aggrieved partner while all the while holding “mistrust and disdain” for the person they were able to manipulate. I find that a little confusing. I get that a disturbed character has disdain for the person they may be involved with and even a therapist because otherwise I wouldn’t believe they would do the horrible things they do and it has something to do with their core beliefs. The mistrust doesn’t make sense though when they are the person who is untrustworthy in the first place. If they are willing to manipulate then how does trust from their victim or therapist come into play exactly?

    1. Also Dr Simon, when listening to your Character Matters program I had a question as to how CBT could help a person emerging from a relationship with a disturbed character? Can it help with the grief and loss and the mistrust of others and generally getting back into life and creating a more self assured self?

  3. Tori, some good questions. I’m not sure about the CBT, but think it is relation to how we perceive ourselves and the world. I want to stay away from all the gobbledygook of psychobabble therapy treatments. I think I understand the how and why about many disorders except it is still hard to grasp the enormity of how unkind and callous this world can be. We keep repeating the same patterns of sickness and with each generation the sickness mutates further and deeper into society to the point its acceptable behavior. Looking at the aftermath of the storm, how do we get ourselves back.. I think Dr. Simon usually has somewhat of a simple approach, that really hits home instead of beating around the bush. (I did not hear Dr. Simons Show) I am thinking on the lines of what were our thinking processes before our experience, positive and or negative. How do we incorporate these experiences into our lives, our beings, spiritually, mentally, morally, and so forth. How do we go on and be at peace, really get to know ourselves, accept what happened to us and become stronger. To understand and see the old patterns that allowed us to use poor judgment, not set proper boundaries, etc…. What tools do we have available to utilize, how to deal with the fear, hurt, pain, rejection, so many emotions. I think changing ourselves and a (CBT) may be the vehicle to do so also.

    I don’t especially, like the above example Dr. Simon used, it is a little confusing, and could be construed in a light other than what Dr. Simon meant. But I understand what Dr. Simon is getting at. I believe many of the examples and the pervious threads conversation was already addressing some of these thought processes. When dealing with negative thought processes instead of letting them grow and at I have nurtured them, be it bad conduct in the CD or illogical, poor thought processes and behavioral issues, bad conduct, poor reasoning, insecurities and so on, we understand and learn for lack of a better word buttons in ourselves and maybe the CD, we learn to know ourselves and techniques and or whatever, to be aware of and change. I too, am looking to see where this goes. Your in our thought and prayers Puddle, and how are you Lulu? Blessings

  4. Hello Vera and Tori, and everyone, Wouldn’t it be educational, to have a real example, a live interview of Dr. Simon interviewing a CD on tape, visually, watch Dr. Simon call attention to the CD and their distorted behavior. I understand there are legalities. If you took the recorded, session reenacted the whole scenario with different people, play the tape for the CD and then record the CD’s reaction to watching the tape and get their response. What would that be!
    Would this be a helpful tool for both parties? Hmmm.. wouldn’t that be interesting. My apologies for the poor grammar and spelling, always to much to do. Blessings

    1. That would be fabulous, BTOV!!! But I think it would have to be reenacted, an actor playing the part of the CD. Doable, though!

    1. Yes, Dr. Simon I have given the above example more thought. I see the example CBT as an opportunity to use in my life. This is a great topic to explore. Thank you

    2. BTOV,

      in the comments of The ROle of insight in promoting change(Apr 2, 2015), you said:

      “Hmmm…I guess that could be a possibility, an emotional and physical punching bag, all contained inside a neat package, only problem, gets a little lopsided and lumpy overtime, slight wear on the jacket too. Oh, btw the link in the chain might get weak, be careful of that. Otherwise, depending on the individual, biggest bang for the buck get the high quality one if you expect it to last a lifetime. Or, are we talking Dr. Lobotomy, or SOUL MURDER!!!!!!!”

      Would you please explain what happened? I think my question was more along the lines there and didn’t stray off. Were you under loads of stress at the time? Had someone harassed, bullied, threatened, stalked or otherwise done something malicious to you just moments before you read my question?

  5. Lulu is well, thank you for asking. Just lots going, which of, course involves CD. More tmrw, but I’m close to being optimistic.
    Tori, for me, I did CBT and loved it. We dealt with everything you asked about, and more. I found Real Me and will be forever grateful.
    Puddle, still with you, honey.

  6. Dr.Simon, it appears the character you helped, through a more confrontational ‘in the moment’ approach, was more of a run-of-the-mill irresponsible type, or in layman’s terms, a bit of a jerk? It’s really good to know that as long as somebody has a kernel of concern for their significant other or others, there is hope. And further to that, that they are not motivated purely by self interest but by a desire to change for the sake of other or others. So their internal stripes are changed. His wife must have been some relieved.

  7. Just listened to the character matters program, sometimes I’d love to call in but being that time zones etc are all different it’s not possible but was interested in the caller who rang about gaslighting. I just wanted to say that the advice you gave was spot on about how the caller could only control their behaviour and what type of father they themselves decide to be. No matter how difficult his spouse is and what she says. It’s a difficult situation no doubt but as a parent your number one priority is looking after your children’s welfare.
    I have been told often I have such power by legal and others as I have custody of my son…and it always upsets me that my son comes down to some object of power (that I can supposedly wield) it disgusts me to tell the truth. That’s not how I see it at all and nor would I use him in such a way. Children are not bargaining chips. I’ve tried all avenues with regards to my ex having SAFE contact with his son. He refuses to negotiate at all, and he does not even initiate contact though he is free to do so. I think that shows exactly the level of Character Disturbance he has and the lack of responsibility or empathy he has for his own child. From the point of view as being on the otherside from the caller I look to how my ex will make an effort to be a good father toward his son to see if there are changes in his behaviour and so far I see zilch. If love and responsibility is shown it’s only then that I and my son can feel comfortable that maybe there is a change in him and that he has put his child before his own needs. I know that is what my son is looking for, what he craves as he loves his father and I can’t even begin to understand how heartbreaking that must be for him. After all as you say being a good parent is in everyone’s control and it is a step to rebuilding a bond if only people could see that and not reduce their children to objects of power or bargaining chips.

  8. That was sort of what I was wondering, LisaO, was it a “real” CD or a self centered jerk? All I know about CD is reading and learning here. So, I’m not exactly an expert but I thought CD was hard wired to be a CD and not capable changing. Insight is never about them, but they can figure out what to do to get inside your head to develop the most effective manipulation techniques aka arsenal of weapons to choose from to get their desired result.
    Hopping around a bit, from last week, too. My CBT therapist absolutely, no doubt about it called me on stuff when necessary. He was a kind, caring, at times gentle man. He would speak in kind of soft, kind voice, at other times, he was LOUD. No fun at the time, but that is how I learned to trust him.
    The shut up thing is a throw back from childhood, hearing it really upsets me. I told my kids we do not say shut up or stupid in this family (heard it a lot at the in-laws, yelled at kids, each other, charming).
    Another thing I’ve been curious about, if anyone wants to respond is at what point, generally, in your relationship did you realize that you were not dealing with a basic could be oh so nice at times, then mean but someone seriously disturbed? Marriage at 32 years, we did marriage counseling and separated, with the hope we could get it back together. Few months, I took him back, because he was being the best husband ever. I continued in therapy for maybe 3 more years, he went once a week or two for help with how to behave. He, of course, drifted away from the help, quit pretending to try as I was growing into Real Me. At the time, 4 years ago,it was a mutual agreement, although we really tried, it was the square peg/round hole. A couple of days later, the volcano erupted. I was shocked at how nasty he was being…little did I know it was the warm up act. It was a living nightmare for sons and me. No clue of how cruel he could be. It wasn’t til I got on here that the pieces of the puzzle came together. He had stopped harassing me daily, money was a worry but I knew pension would get here eventually, but I just could not sustain a feeling of well being for more than a few days. I wanted so bad to keep this good life I created going. What was keeping me back? Got here, everything made sense as I read the posts, a real turning point. Feelings were still there but I wasn’t churning about why and what could I do to make it better? Well, that drifted away from my question. I did not know how evil he was until after we separated and it was non-stop psychological torture. I don’t really know why but I’m kind of curious about how long it took you to realize you were dealing with a way crazy somebody?

    1. Lulu I only realised the state of his character disturbance after I left and found this site in searching on whether or not abusive people could change. All situations are different though very similar. I also had a moment when listening to a radio show on DV when I was feeling so sorry for the victim when something came through to me and tapped me on the shoulder. That was only a couple of months before I finally left. It was a slow awakening but when suddenly you realise that your life is in danger you wake up pretty quick! I didn’t think it was character disturbance and never knew much about anti social personalities, psychopaths etc except I believed such people to be full blown career criminals or serial killers. I knew something was wrong but thought it was me and his alcohol usage that were the major problems that needed addressing. I spent years trying to get help for me, then trying to get the drinking stopped but to no avail. How I couldn’t put two and two together I’ll never know as in some ways my situation was really in your face but at the same time he was playing such a great manipulative game that I was completely confused.
      Once I read Dr Simon’s books, then Lundy Bancroft’s it was like there was my life between the pages. Once I read comments from Puddle i couldn’t believe the similarities, then on Love Fraud and other books and sites I started to get the full picture. There are many reasons you stay put for so long even when you know someone is bad for you. I would say trauma bonding is huge even though I still wonder if I confuse a deep love with trauma bonding. I’m not sure sometimes and that is another step in the healing process I suppose. All I know is that the whole confusion of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde warps your brain or mind in some way that it makes it hard to disentangle from it all.

      1. It’s gut-wrenching, when trust is betrayed. Add to that when someone must be strategically picking times to be nasty and confusing. What utter crud.

        I don’t know how common it is to have a conception that all such people are “full blown career criminals or serial killers”, but it’s certainly understandable.

        Trauma bonding is something I’ve read about for dozens of times and it’s creepy beyond belief. It’s disturbing and unsettling that such a bond can form to a carefully constructed person that’s actually just a lively illusion in the first place, coming from a projector. Doubly disturbing is, of course, the abuse, the issue that doesn’t resolve, because the person behind the projection doesn’t want it to resolve, on the contrary.

        It’s good that you had that tap-on-the-shoulder-experience and woke up quick – and woke up at all.

        Marie-France Hirigoyen, in her book Stalking the Soul, talks about some different kinds of therapy, including CBT and hypnotherapy. CBT’s talked about here, but what about the latter? Do you feel that could help? Even listening from Youtube or purchasing some download? Unless you found a hypnotherapist, who didn’t bill too much?

  9. Oh, shoot, one more thing. Someone used the word coward which I had not thought of but was spot on as they say. I never felt like he was a man, a grown up adult, although he had great jobs. He was a total coward.

  10. I have matters to discuss with J. Others stay out of this.

    J, because you aren’t home now and I think this is the best way to deliver what I have to say to you anyway and boy do I think I really need to say this to you, I say this here. You know me. If you want to discuss some things, feel free to do so privately, since I’m not going to and never had had the intent to comment on this site anyways. Because I’ve discussed many, many things with you over time, I have at least reasonable amount of belief that you will hear me out and this is something you absolutely need to hear and will benefit from hearing, which is what you can take my word for.

    Thanks for telling me of this site. Haven’t read all that many articles as of yet and haven’t been following discussions here anywhere near actively, so I admit my understanding is limited. Regardless of that, I have gone over some comments, including your recent discussion involving Marianne and Elva.

    You like to discuss so many things with people and almost every time I see you, that’s been so, which makes me think you like discussion often just for discussion’s sake, no matter what’s being discussed. I’ve also seen you, both here and otherwise, make connections between unrelated things.

    You seem to have many ideas, but what’s beneficial to keep in mind is that ideas need time to form, grow, ripen, perhaps merge with other ideas, sometimes evolve into different kinds of ideas. You can’t just throw an idea out there and assume or expect it to be good to go. It’s no wonder anyone would make some connections between your posts.

    What I’ve seen of Elva doesn’t seem to suggest malice or pettiness. I actually saw an exchange where you talked something about finding your life purpose(which I think just comes, if you don’t bother yourself too much about everything and listen to what feels important and constructive to you, but I digress here) and Elva gave her own viewpoint, which you thanked her for. That was times ago and I can’t remember where, but J, what happened?

    I get it if you think someone’s saying’s something to “flaunt how much better they are than” you. I get it if you’re pissed. I take it you see subtle insults. If you think people twist your words, okay. Those can happen, no one likes them, not you, not me, not anybody, and I’ve heard of Viper, too, from another friend and Sinister Man, both from you and some others as well as some cases that were just as peculiar yet too much briefer to be significant apparently, so your viewpoint wouldn’t be totally unreasonable or totally mistaken taken very generally, but in this case it doesn’t seem to be the case. Sometimes I’ve gotten the impression that if I would say something, the same thing someone else has said, you’d easily accept it, even if with some critical thinking.

    Even though I haven’t found anything about your supposedly similar exchanges with others than Elva(anymore than I’ve noticed any mentions of metal bands), I don’t know what subtle insults you could be seeing in her comments, Marianne may have glossed over some things in your posts without understanding them properly, some others didn’t take issue with your posts that strayed too far from the usual discussion and and some other poster(I don’t remember who) said she(?) felt you got painted in an undeservedly bad light, I am certain, and I assert this, that it IS possible for instances to include careless, poorly-thought-out actions, genuine misunderstandings, poorly expressed thoughts, emotional flare-ups at inconvenient times as well as letting yourself flare up in belief you get satisfaction.

    It’s appreciable that you wanted to warn Marianne beforehand so as not to scare her away(and make up for what you did earlier?). Sadly it didn’t seem to work out the way you hoped. If she and Elva think you’re a bully, odds are there’s some kind of reason to it. Yes, sometimes a reason in a similar situation may be that someone is arranging for things to go awry for you or deliberately making you out to be a bad guy, unjustified, or some people may get infected by unfounded suspicions or someone is tainting you by association without you having asked for it or someone blows things out of proportion or you remind someone of someone else or anything where intentions end up counting for jack, and I wish that never happens to you or me. You did also include your own part and do seem to try to stay as neutral as possible, but nonetheless, despite that, there seems to be a grumpy, negative “I-just-don’t-know-how-to-make-this-better” -tone in those latest posts. You seem to have recognized it’s to no avail to talk more to Marianne despite her possibly not having understood everything you wrote properly. I, at least, wouldn’t attempt this kind of thing and advise you against it, J.

    Just because you’ve had some rapport with someone doesn’t mean it pays to go into controversy as with your wonderings about Christians and stoning homosexuals.

    Now, I don’t think you’re a bully. I may not have known you the longest and you’ve made more friends through other ways than me and it doesn’t change the fact that we have many common friends and I know many people, who’ve been in contact with you, whom I’ve known long to be worthy of their word and able of thinking of things from many angles. That being said, if something ever came up concerning you, things would be settled. If you did something, I would know. I’m saying this to you and you only, just to make this clear. For all others know, I could be just you from another computer and, while that is ludicrous, their mistrust isn’t completely baseless.

    What I strongly suggest to you is that anytime you get an impulse to post, you wait at least a day before posting, thinking what you say. If you’re still not sure, wait some more.

    If someone else here asks you, I have no problem with you responding to them and it’s not like I can control you, since what I’m suggesting anyway is that you do yourself and others a great favor.

    Your friend, Mikael

    1. Hey, Vera, it looks like you’ve seen a lot of J here, too, your suspicion is understandable(from which I figure you have talked to J as much if not more than Elva) and speaking of volumes by itself(if that’s not so, please don’t comment; it doesn’t really change what this is all about) and, if anything, I’d expect you folks to distrust me by association, as I would, too, if suddenly a friend never mentioned before came on the scene. The most of the post directed at J.

      Let me make some things extremely, if not painstakingly, clear, J. You(not as in you, specifically, but you in general terms) needn’t be a pscyhopath, covert-aggressive or other jerk for me to lose respect in you. Now back to more personal terms, I haven’t gotten any indication, either, of you having a personality disorder. I don’t know what exactly has motivated you to this, I don’t care how many here have lost or still have any measure of respect for you, this is not the matter of someone just having an opinion of you or someone trying to define you by their opinion(the latter being what I’ve heard you conclude many times), I don’t want to hear lost respect as an excuse, I don’t want to help you if you aren’t open to guidance and, unless you’re sincerely, seriously, rigorously, stubbornly 100 % adamant that my respect for you doesn’t count for anything, take my words to heart.

      What I’ve seen of you time and time again is that you admit things without it really changing anything and guess what? Just because you admit things doesn’t get you to change. You see where it led now.

      You gave way too many rebuttals to Elva there and it’s even more understandable that Marianne would join her in her view, as would I, without any doubt, if I didn’t know you from before. Vera’s comment seems to suggest that you did have a similar row or unpleasant exchange with her(and possibly others, too, as far as I can gather), on the basis of which I believe you need to leave the comment section alone altogether.

      I don’t follow your thinking sometimes. What was the point of linking to the Eltarani -post? He(?) may have come across as more willingly mindful, respectful and accepting of other viewpoints than a typical manipulator, but how his thoughts tied in to anything I have no foggiest clue and proportionately, then, it’s even clearer to me why Marianne concluded you to be such a person she came to conclude.

      You shouldn’t even have tried to warn Marianne beforehand.

      Why you linked to the lex talionis -discussion I don’t know. It seems interesting and more related to the discussed issues. What’s the freaking point again? It doesn’t make up for starting up discussions less and less related.

      I commented here, because I’ve liked talking to you and being with you and I’ve been bothered by some things it’s still good you’ve expressed. If you have so many damn things to discuss, you can discuss them with me. If you slide into talking about intentions, I say: “How do you do better?” or “What are you doing to do about things?” Same if you seem to gloss over what you shouldn’t.

      Thanks for borrowing your keys, letting me stay at your place and letting me use your old laptop, which works excellently. Doesn’t mean I let you off the hook.

      Perhaps Vera’s response just means what it means, nothing more. Damn right serves my point here. If others think I’m a sockpuppet, too, more reason for you, J, to leave.

      For other commenters, don’t bother to respond, ‘cos I’m not commenting more anyway. If you see J commenting anything here and it’s not in response to this, refer him to this post.


    2. Okay, “Mikael”, since you want to get me out of this site so much, a simple e-mail or a private talk would’ve sufficed.

      If you wanted to cover my back and convey to others I’m not what they seem to suspect, really? Did you really think it would change a thing?

      I’m not sure what non-sensical monologues Lulu refers to. By psting the CD-side, she must be refering to me. Wouldn’t ignore the chance she’s also refering to you, “Mikael”. In making this kind of public declaration, you’ve given further incentive for Tori, a long-time commenter, to leave the site. Who knows if others, too? The way you handled this went too far and is inappropriate in itself.

      For others, yes, “Mikael” is my friend and I lent(not borrowed) him my keys while I was journeying, so he’d have a place to stay for night. I also let him use my old laptop. What I just saw will change some matters for the future. Let this be my own problem and mine alone, if anyone’s. You have nothing to do with it.

      I leave. I would’ve done it later anyways without “Mikael”‘s comments. I won’t come in the backdoor, even if Dr Simon writes an incisive character and personality analysis of me(a suggestion, which Dr Simon is free to take up on or not to take up on).

      Those, who said they’d ignore me and not even talk about me, I expect to act like they said they would. No parting shots needed.

      Tori, I hope you are well and stay well. Keep going on.

      Puddle, thanks for our discussions. May you recover and find a way to make it all work. It’s good that you think you’ve gotten some value out of my comments, but it doesn’t make up for several messes.

      Anyone, who might have any thoughts about me, let them go. It doesn’t matter at this point. This started from me taking discussions too far without being mindful, which others experienced as disrespectful regardless of any intention. Keep posting here.

      Last requests to Dr Simon:

      *Would you, please, leave THIS post as a mark I was here at all(unless you plan on the login feature suggested)?

      *Would you remove ALL my OTHER comments? Not just the ones that aren’t the usual discussion, but ALL of them. Or at least remove any old comment of mine upon stumbling upon such.

      *From discussions involving me, would you only leave parts including genuinely enriching discussion?

      *If you do see something of value in my posts, you can save them privately for your own reference or you can edit them into someone’s else’s post.

      Thanks a lot in advance, Dr Simon.

      Goodbye, everyone. May things work out for you.

  11. To everyone here and particularly Puddle I just wanted to say that I have found such great support on this blog at a time when I really needed it. It was a comfort to know others understood from living through something so insidious as a relationship with a CD. I’ve learned so much and I thank you too Dr Simon without your articles and books I might never have had the light bulb moments I needed to see what has happened and move forward with my life. I just wanted to say it takes a lot of courage for people to open up their lives especially under traumatic circumstances and even more so on a blog such as this, there is never full security in this world particularly on the internet. Character disturbance is everywhere, this me me me life we lead is so individualistic that it is difficult sometimes to find people who care and are willing to help. That’s what made this blog so valuable, the care and helpfulness of those who post. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. For me it’s time to move on from this part of my life. I had hoped that perhaps by commenting that others might feel that they are not alone which is so important when emerging from these relationships. Puddle your posts were intrinsic to helping me work through this mess. ((hugs)) 🙂 You’ll never know how much you helped, you are wonderful! It’s just things have got a little strange here at present and I don’t feel comfortable posting any longer. I do hope in my heart that others who are desperate for help don’t feel the same way. I know there is no real way to avoid such things on the internet but I hope that there is a way that can be fixed…maybe a log in feature or something. Anyway I didn’t want to just sign off and not say thank you to all of you. I wish you all the best in your future journey and I will certainly miss the conversations with you all. Take care and all the best and may your work continue to grow strong Dr Simon, your words have certainly helped me and so many others 🙂

    1. Tori, Oh ((((Tori)))) I feel so uplifted that I have helped you in any way. We have had such a strikingly similar experience that it has often been almost hard for me to believe what I’ve read in you descriptive posts. I feel a bond with you and want you to know that you have been such a help to me as well. It’s truly a symbiotic relationship, as in your words of your experience validate my experience and visa versa. Just beautiful in spite of the ugly background that our exchanges centered around.
      I wish you the very best and appreciate you taking the time to explain that you are signing off. It does not surprise me one bit that you would be thoughtful enough to do so.
      PLEASE stay safe Tori?

      1. Also, I have no idea what is going on with J and the whole recent bizarre inflicts and exchanges. I’ve been staying out of it and hoping it would work it’s self out but it seemingly gets even more bizarre. I’m sorry it has caused you to say goodbye Tori.

  12. It never ceases to amaze me how true Tori’s statement is, all situations are different though very similar. Then, just to prove the point, Mikael posts the CD side, and darn if that’s not very similar to the nonsensical monologues I’ve been sent.

    1. Lulu, I have no CLUE what to think about this whole recent exchange. I’m hoo’ing Dr. Simon will step in here and have been hoping he would for some time.

      1. To the many loving, caring and wounded people here. I want to thank you for your courage to have come to this site to reach out, to share your deepest pain, to help and encourage others. Under the circumstances it takes considerable strength and character to love and nurture another after what we have endured. Its time we band together and fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith. Evil prevails because good men do nothing. Please, at this time I would encourage everyone to pray for Dr. Simon that the Lord give him strength and wisdom.
        Numbers 6:24-26
        The Lord bless you and keep; The Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up his countenance upon you; and give you peace.
        Blessings to all

      2. Puddle’s back! A breath of sanity! 🙂

        I too have been hoping to see Dr Simon here, or at least the webmaster, whoever he is.

        I hope whatever was tormenting you is over with.

  13. Yet again, I am reading many eloquent posts about what I am feeling. My gratitude for the support, caring, understanding, encouragement, sharing that I found here has no bounds. For now and always. I can only add yes, yes, yes to (most of) what was wtitten above.

    It also reminded me of one of the games CD played. I don’t know how, it’s too hard to describe, but it felt like he was inside my computer. Very troubling, scary, and one more time no help from the legal system.

    Although my heart is broken, I cannot be on here any more. From the depths of my soul I say thanks to each of you and wish you all the awesome life you deserve.

    1. Hi Lulu, Tori, Puddle, Marianne, all other posters — hang in there, I have just been in contact with Dr. Simon and JUST NOW received a message from him saying that J will no longer be allowed on the forum.
      I expect that we will see some changes made here. Peace and hope to all from Elva. If it happens that I might be banned too, I will accept that so that the forum may continue. My prayers will be with you all.

  14. To all, I echo Elva’s sentiments. I have been here for just a short time. You may have thought some of my posts very direct, or even puzzling but I knew what j was. I think this is a time to reflect and yes, pray for direction. EVIL seeks to lie, steal and destroy. Lets not let this twisted individual destroy a venue that is so meritorious in it goals.
    How can we take this experience to learn and turn it into good. Please lets not let this twisted perpetrator of evil steal this venue.
    We are all kindred spirits on this journey, it took great courage to come here, now it will take great courage to stay.
    Blessings to all.

  15. I too am dismayed by what is going on. I have found so much hope and comfort here, we are, for the most part, kindred spirits. I hope that many here will find it safe enough to remain, or change usernames and post again, if necessary. I selfishly and sincerely hope we can keep the supportive discussions going. (Puddle, I’m relieved to know that you are okay.)

    1. Vera and GG, thank you, yes I’m “ok”. Just facing some unfortunate truths which seems to be the norm rather that the exception. My best to you all with a huge virtual ((HUG)) 🙂

  16. Fwiw,

    Make of it what you will. I am going to begin attending a Presbyterian church in November. It has taken me a long time to ‘find’ the right place to go. I am going to attend this church because a friend of mine attends. He has been very kind to me. He also volunteers with fellow church members to provide a place for the homeless to shower. Every time he cooks a meal at home he takes some of the money he saved by cooking and puts it into a fund for charity. More than anything, he drew my attention to the fact that, post P experience I tended to see this pathology too readily. My criteria for offhand diagnosis shrunk down to “they just give me the creeps”. And different people are creeped out by different things. Now, granted, I was certainly picking up on something being ‘off’ with certain individuals, but I had been so sensitized to sharks, my net was cast too far and wide and the collateral catch was way out of proportion.

    This was a natural consequence of being exposed to evil for the first time in my life, many years ago. is something I swore I would never do–but ended up doing, just the same. My friend recognized this and reminded me of the tendency.

    Can you trust your intuition, post trauma? Yes. You can certainly feel or intuit when somebody clearly falls outside of the bell curve–but without closer real life exposure, diagnosing another is fraught with emotional land mines at best and Pyrrhic victories at worst.

    I hope Marianne and Tori return if they feel they can find some benefit here after the forum was side tracked. They both have so much to offer! Marianne’s spiritual journey so echoes my own so I would feel a budding meeting of mind and heart was cut off in its infancy. Tori, with her great wisdom, insight and heart too, I would ask her too, to please return to help others, as well.

    1. Hi LisaO — I just want to wish you well on the next step in your life’s journey. Peace and hope from Elva

  17. Thanks Elva. I would be just as happy going to a Buddhist temple, if their mission was to help the needy in practical ways. If I find that this church has an hysterical rather than reasonable approach to the reality of evil, I will quit.

    1. Hello, Marianne, OFF TOPIC
      I am so glad you were compelled like I was to post on this site for many of the same reasons I decided to. I have read all of Dr. Simons work and found it be the best out of anything I read for the reason Dr. Simon minced no words and got to the heart of the matter. The Judas Syndrome is what led me to write on his blog. I hope on you journey you find more of the answers you are searching for, you are an amazing woman, and so is Ms. Elva. There are many wonderful kindred spirits on this blog that have reached out to encourage and share to uplift and care for others. Thank you again Marianne for sharing your truth and wisdom and fighting the good fight. Blessings

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