Arranging a Consultation with Dr. Simon

I get hundreds of requests for consultative advice every year.  And it’s always a pleasure to learn how folks were able to use such advice to put the principles I advocate in my books and other writings into practice and better empower themselves.  So I’m happy to provide some information on the types of consultations I engage in and their parameters:

Collateral Case Consultations

Providing therapeutic guidance to individuals with significant disturbances of character is both a difficult and a highly specialized endeavor.  It’s also often a challenge to provide the right kind of support to someone who’s been the victim of a character disturbed individual’s behavior. Many therapists, especially those trained and experienced primarily in traditional approaches, lack the specialized skills to deal with these kinds of issues effectively.  And I get more requests every single day from folks looking for a therapist “who gets it” than any other kind of request. Toward that end, with both the treating professional’s and their clients’ permission, I offer collateral case consultation, assisting therapists in diagnosis, assessment, and most especially, intervention planning.  The consultations occur on a mutually agreed upon schedule.  And while the consultation itself is not a direct therapeutic service that can be billed to insurance by the client, it can often be coded by the therapist as an ancillary service and may be subject to third-party reimbursement.  Collateral case consultations can be conducted via regular mail, email exchange or chat, telephone, Face Time, or Skype.

Individual Consultations

For a variety of important reasons, it’s not possible for me to either adequately assess or provide fair, direct advice specific to anyone’s particular circumstances from a distance. But I do offer scope and time-limited consultations designed to maximally empower individuals by helping them both better understand themselves and better understand and deal effectively with the character-impaired people in their lives. The consultations focus on expanding upon and/or clarifying the principles I advocate in my 3 books and numerous other writings, and provide helpful illustrations about how to put those principles into action.  The consultations are neither meant to be construed as therapy nor are they meant to supplant therapy.  As such, they are not billable to insurance.  The initial consultation is time-limited to a maximum of two hours and there is a possibility of a one-time follow up (one-hour maximum) at 4-6 months. Maximum effective use of the consultation time is facilitated by good familiarity with my books and other writings and the submission of via email in advance of the specific issues/questions that need to be addressed. Payment for the consultations can be made via PayPal and credit card.  Individual consultations can be conducted via email exchange or chat, telephone, Skype or Face Time. To arrange a consultation, click on the Contact Dr. Simon feature on the Contact page of the blog.

Customized Special Consultations

I consult with businesses, schools, special interest groups, churches, pastoral counselors, etc. on matters pertaining to character development and dealing with character disturbances.  If your group or organization is in need of information, training, or consultative services, a customized plan can be developed to address your concerns.  Use the “Contact Dr. Simon” feature on this site (i.e. the “contact” button on the homepage header and/or the form on the contact page) to send a message outlining your needs via email.  I generally reply within 7 days. But it can take me a bit longer to get back with you if I’ve been on speaking tour or have an unusually full email box.

27 thoughts on “Consultations

  1. Dear Dr. Simon,

    Hello, I am a survivor of the things that youre talking about on this website and I just wanted to say thank you so so so so so much . emotional abuse is such a painful and traumatic issue that isnt understood and is very difficult to expose. As a result the people who go through this feel ostracized . Resources like this will help people see that what theyre going through is a thing. I tried to start a blog called “abuse doesn’t always leave a mark” but i certainly feel distrust and fear a bit too much still to put my ideas out on the internet like that. Thank you for this and if there is anything at all I could ever do to help or anything please let me know I would love to help this cause in anyway I could.

    1. My fiance ultimately ended his life under a drug induced psychosis. His real issue after myself researching even before his death….PARANOID PERSONALITY DISORDER. I was with this man for 4.5 years and a psych major in college. He had an older brother (he was a middle) with full blown schizophrenia. My fiance was undiagnosed because his mother made excuses for the eldest brothers state. It’s sad the amount of people lost from ignorance

  2. If you could recommend a bit of reading to me for getting over the distrust, social anxiety and fear that houses your rational psyche id greatly appreciate that. And maybe something for the physical responses that you get conditioned into as well. thank you!!!

    1. I have your two books in two forms, on my Kindle for all devices and in hard copy. Awareness was the first step to healing and breaking free from the need to defend my stance (conditioned response 101). When you described it as a battle, or defining the rules of engagement I disengaged my emotions and watched his tactics in a third person way. Telling myself he is in a battle to get his way, and he is fighting dirty really helped me engage properly. Divorce became my only option. I still have scripts in my mind that I have to rewrite, my husband should hold a PhD in covert tactics. I was on multiple medications for anxiety and have seen more counselors than I can even name. I was told over and over that I was causing him to be oppressed! Wow, I still can’t believe how many people helped him convince me I was the problem, so he could stop me from confronting behavior I knew was not in alignment to the values and codes he claimed he lived by. He wanted me to doubt myself so he could continue to live the way he wanted. He even bought your book and told me that he now sees how I need help, and said he is willing to work with me. Sad thing is, a year ago I would have believed him. I have raised the bar in my life and he resented every healthy step I took. I am a wonderful person who now holds my shame, remorse, and self reflecting as a badge of honor. If I do something to hurt another I can’t sleep till I ask for spiritual forgiveness, evaluate where I should take responsibility, and reflect on how to never do that again. Knowing this about me reminds me that I am a good person and that takes his power away. I thank you for all you have done, not only to change my future but also the 3 boys and 3 girls who are learning for the first time how to engage with character. You have help countless people just in my family and those we touch. Thank you so very much for all you have done and are doing! I serve others, and now I can help them love themselves and protect themselves from the horrible tactics of manipulation! Even if it is only having awareness 🙂 God Bless and I pray I will be able to shake your hand someday!


  4. How do you get a manipulator/covert-aggressor/borderline person to finally recognize his behavior and STOP! He is a master manipulator and can con any therapist he meets, especially since most are not privy to the skills he has (they’ve rarely read any of your books or so many other great books on the subject of BPD/narcissim and tend to be quite the narcissists themselves regarding being the “professionals”), and usually refuse to believe the descriptions I tell of his behavior outside of their office. Mostly I think, because he plays to their egos about how they are the professional and I’m trying to do their job by diagnosing him! and he always adopts this absurdly meek personality in their offices, he slumps his shoulders and wraps his arms around himself and casts his gaze ever downward only looking up to speak. In reality he is loud, angry and intimidating. I’m at a complete loss since every time we see a new therapist as they lap up his act and it only serves to strengthen his belief he’s perfectly fine and I’m the one with problems because of how dramatically he flips/twists/spins the stories to benefit him and make me look bad!!

    1. Andrea,

      You’re fighting a losing battle. He likes who and what he is. You have decide what to do with your life, decide if you want to spend more time with this person, as he is, or get on with your life without him. You are losing money and time on this person. I’m sure he’s smirking at you how he’s “gone along” with this therapy program and playing games.
      Sorry to sound so callous and cold, but I speak the truth.

      1. Andrea, Lucy hit it on the nail. I’ve been with a master manipulator, liar & overall self-centered, selfish, emotionally disturbed man for 25 years…. (that’s a quarter of a century) & I allowed my life — the best years of my life — (and ALL of my life’s dreams & goals) to be destroyed! I tried to escape to freedom, but he blocked every attempt I made…. Depression and horrendous feelings have set in….Now I have to wrap my head around the fact that I have wasted my life with a man who NEVER respected me, loved me or accepted me for who I am…. Save yourself…. Don’t waste the best years of your life! I am “YOU” talking to you from your future…. Do what you feel is best for YOU!

    2. Andrea,

      You are mistaken about “how do you get a manipulator person to finally recognize his behavior and STOP”
      Right thing is:
      – Manipulator already knows!
      – Manipulator recognizes his tactics very well.
      – Manipulator won’t stop his tactics as long as they get him what he wants.
      Things really are simple. Stick around and read blogs, I am very sure you will figure it out in few days.

      As for fighting it out…
      George Bernard Shaw — ‘Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.’

      1. Andrea,
        Both Lucy and AndyD have given you excellant advice. I will tell you from my experience you are dealing with a master manipulator, a malignant one. He know exactely what he is doing and he is playing the therapists like a violin and getting not only immense satisfaction out of it but filling ego supply massively.

        He is playing the victim act, he is making you out to be the knit picking whiner.

        It is exactly true, many in the medical field are of the old school training standards of diagnosing these individuals. Also, they are not adept at picking up on the subtle, subliminal ques that a true trained professional or person that has been around these chameleons can pick up on.

        Since you know who and what he is be very careful. If you stay on this blog and read and I encourage you as the others have to participate, do not tell him. If you do, you will lose a lot of the advantages you will need if you choose to take any type of action in your life.

        For now and I hope you keep posting, God bless and be very careful.

      2. AndyD,
        I have heard this quote many times and forgot it. These disgusting CD can make ones life a hellhole. The more havoc they can create the more they love wallowing in their filth, trying drastically and many times succeeding in pulling you in, only to crawl your way out.

        Well said, this is exactly how Lucy has told of what has happened to her and is still happening in her life with the CD she married. The CD pigs love it, they don’t care if they look good or bad, its about pulling you into the quicksand of their filth, sucking you dry, with whatever means they can muster up and when they are done with you and if they can get away with it, they will let you sink to the bottom relishing every minute of it.

        Make no mistake about these CD ones, they are evil and corrupt, rotten to the core. The only illusion is the outer skin and in time that gives way too.

        Thanks Andy, I really needed a laugh and its so true. I hope you are well and my thoughts and prayers are with you. I admire how you have handled things.

        Take care Kindred Spirit

      3. The Bible says, “Don’t throw pearls before swine”. That’s what kept me going. Things like understanding, compassion, forgiveness, patience, and love (real altruistic love), are LOST on “wolves”, and yet they use those words about themselves. Wolves in Sheeps Clothing : ( designed to mislead.

        1. Say you love trains … they are really neat to you . Is it wise or constructive to expect them to love you back and react to your presence ? If you found yourself on the track would you think your love would stop it from hitting you ? Would it make Spence to get angry at the train that hits one who put themself its path ? Is it helpful to call it names and rage against it or is it better to recognize its nature and respectfully appreciate its limitations and abilities without hating it or fearing it. Name calling and resenting is a form of still engaging with an unhealthy dynamic. Isn’t it better simply to say that we need to be discerning in our relationships no matter what and choose our response with both respect for our health, well being and personal limitations ? To simply dismiss other people as swine or wolves because they are emotionally messed up or have destructive responses is to devalue them and to perpetuate their broken unhealthy world view which serves to keep that going and ultimately justifies their perspective . The only true way to challenge the cycle of destructive behavior is to take personal responsibility for our wellbeing and get out of that destructive cycle by take ourselves out of harms way so we may be able to be reasonable instead of desperate , rational and realistic about what is healthy and set healthy boundaries for our relationships and self as well as recognize that each individual is responsible for their own healthy relationships and that it is both socially responsible and imparitive to take the best care of our selves that we can . Seeking help and saying “no “ should never result in being emotionally blackmailed or shaming if we are in healthy relationships.
          We don’t need to hate or harm anyone else to take care of our own needs or feel valid .

    3. I’ve gone to 15 different marital therapists for over 20 years…. I’m telling you from experience that a manipulator/liar/abuser will always manipulate a therapist & will sometimes even add little “crumbs of truth” to “appear” to be emotionally honest & sincere about changing. I wasted my time in therapy having to “re-tell the truth” because he would always twist & manipulate the truth or just flat-out lie; he even confidentially boasted to me: “I can make reality anything I want!” When I had proven over & over that he had manipulated, distorted, dismissed, diminished, gaslighted, lied, etc., as a destructive pattern, the therapist just replied: “I can only go on what you both tell me….” It was outrageous, maddening & a monumental waste of my life, time, money & dreams! Marital therapists ask both partners: “What destructive patterns are YOU contributing in the relationship?” — or “What do you ‘own’ in this relationship?” as in “How are you contributing, enabling, adding, creating, playing into the problem, etc.”? I wasn’t the problem! He was the liar, manipulator, cunning-scheming degenerate who couldn’t “let go” of his “prisoner!” After 20 years of therapy, I had ENOUGH! I tried to leave but he controlled everything & blocked everything I tried to do to: getting a job, having money, getting a divoce or separation, living apart, etc. DON’T WASTE YOUR LIFE IN THERAPY LIKE I DID!!! I GAVE UP ALL MY DREAMS: HAVING MORE CHILDREN; PURSUING CAREER GOALS; TRAVELING….. FINDING LOVE WITH A RESPECTFUL, DECENT MAN…. SAVE YOURSELF! SAVE YOUR LIFE BEFORE IT GETS DESTROYED PERMANENTLY. MAYBE THERE IS SOMEBODY ELSE OUT THERE IN THIS WORLD OF 7.5 BILLION PEOPLE THAT WOULD BE A BETTER, CARING PARTNER FOR YOU? When a woman wants to stay with a destructive partner I just want to ask her one question: “Why do you want to stay on the S.S. Titanic when you already know what the future will be if you do ‘stay’ until the end…?” Why go down with a doomed ship?

      1. JAS,

        Sorry you had such crummy therapists. I had only one, and immediately she caught on that he was not authentic, was a liar, was not sorry, was uncaring. She kept telling me, “Do you feel it that he’s really sorry? I’m not seeing it. ” I was trying to believe he was sorry but I knew he wasn’t.
        I pretty much tell everyone on this site if they are married to a selfish, uncaring, cold, manipulative, gaslighting, cold hearted CD to just leave if you can. Plan the leave carefully so you get out with some money, a job, some way to support yourself. But get out. Quit wasting a life. I wasted too many years. I should have left much sooner but for many reasons I stayed. Boy am I paying the price now.
        They will not change. Ever. In fact, they worsen with age.
        There are great people in the world who can make a sweet companion. I found one. I’ve got a man who genuinely cares and takes an interest. It’s so nice for a change.
        And I do understand it when you say he “blocked everything you try to do”. The husband I’m trying to divorce always tries to block my progress, in everything I try to accomplish. I work hard, he does not help, and makes it worse by trying to prevent me to progress. It’s a crappy way to live, being with someone like this. I do understand. You’ve got to get away from him.

      2. The marriage counselors you went to should have recognized the imbalance in desire to genuinely understand how the other is feeling and thinking. It was only a waste of time because the Narc was present. Couples counseling NEVER works with a PD, and can often make the situation WORSE.
        INDIVIDUAL sessions should have been the recommendation of therapist.
        Best bet:. Seek individual therapy with a professional that specializes with domestic violence victimization.

  5. I am still wondering and probably do not want to accept that even a nice daugther on the surface was able to manipulate me, her loving mother for sooo many years.
    Is this really possible?

    1. Claudia,

      Yes. It is very much possible.

      This is part of human nature. Some people are simply predators. The actual degree of predatory tendency varies from softer manipulation to more extreme measures like matricide. And, any smart chimp will know that why take more risk (lets say kill and risk social outcast & incarceration) when less risky strategy (lets say manipulation and risk minor setback once in a while) will get what that smart chimp wants.

      Start protecting your interests while respecting your daughters need. Only needs, not wants. Once you start doing that you will find the true depth of problem, and see if both of you can come out of downward spiral and improve your life. If your daughter just need bit of discipline or tough love, then she just may thank you later on.

  6. I stumbled upon Dr. Simon’s book, “In Sheep’s Clothing” several years ago, when I was at the end of my rope dealing (for 25 hellacious years) with a “trouble-making” sister-in-law, and Googled words like manipulative, because that’s what it felt like I and my family had been dealing with. When I read excerpts from this book, everything clicked, and my gut instincts (and everything I’d been saying) were confirmed, and I shared the excerpts with the rest of my family, so they could see in black and white, who we’d been dealing with, and that we weren’t “the bad guys” for keeping her at arms length…which was really hard to do when her son (our beloved nephew) got cancer, battled it for 6 excruciating years, and then died. Talk about a test of faith, love, and perseverance! THEN I reconnected with someone from high-school…and 3+ (hellish, insane) years later, realized she is a “wolf”…and the kicker is, she’s got a PhD in psychology, a license to practice, and knew how to talk the talk. After dealing with her (and all of her “collateral damage”), I was left…at the end of my rope again, dealing with undeserved blame and shame by someone who manipulated me into caring for her. It’s been 2 years since we last spoke and I’m still “getting over” the abuse. I even saw a psychotherapist, who (as it turns out) was the spitting image (talk, mannerisms and life-story) of my “friend”, and she even went so far as to call herself by that friends name. Needless to say I ended therapy with her. There are a lot of what I’d call “sick/twisted” “grown-ups” out there, and my “friend” even joked about being “sick and twisted”…and that she “only played one (a psychologist) on tv.” By the way, her “story” was that she’d been sexually abused by her father, which gave her a license to get away with murder.

  7. …what I learned from dealing with 2 “wolves”, is to trust your gut instinct, no matter what they say. You’re not the “bad guy” they say you are for keeping them at arms length. Hopefully this site can be a support-group for all of us “out there”, surviving a “wolve’s” manipulation. I survive because I know who I am, and I’m not the “monster” I’ve been made out to be by “wolves”. You will NEVER get a “wolf” to admit they are one: even if they have a PhD in psychology.

  8. This site and reading other people’s experiences is helpful. I have been feeling alone and scared. Divorced my ex husband early on when I finally accepted his CD. I thought by getting away from him while my daughter was still small (3 yrs), I could protect us both.

    She is very much like her father. I didn’t want to believe it. She had limits and consequences as a child, but strongly resented them. She had therapy to help her deal with her anger in her teenage years. She learned my weak spots and began using them. I allowed myself to be manipulated and abused and kept trying to get her to see and understand how much she was hurting me. I did set limits and give her consequences, and she rolled over my boundaries without reservation then attempted to convince me I was the bad guy for setting limits or for enforcing them. I mistakenly believed she didn’t get it and when she did, she would stop. My blindness to who she was started to fade when I was weakened by a series of may life altering events in a short period of time. She showed her true colors. She was cruel and she ruthless. I was down and she wanted me to stay there. She used doubt, gaslighting, denying reality, neglect, minimizing, evading, ignoring, lies, playing the victim, destroying my property, any and everything she could. I see now that she wants her way and will do whatever it takes to get it and does not care what the cost is to me (and her?).

    Once I began accepting (it has not been an easy awareness for me to accept, and I’m don’t believe that I fully have) who she is and that she is doing it consciously, and that she was bullying me and keeping me in doubt to dominate me, and that she refused to address ANY of my concerns, I cut communication with her. First I felt relieved, then terrified, then I felt despair.

    She responded by first pretending nothing was wrong, then making demands, then threatening me – all to get me to communicate (submit).

    She finally went to therapy ( 2 visits) and said she is working on her aggression and realizes she is like her father. She admitted that she is selfish. I began to have very limited contact with her. She has shifted to very subtle covert behaviors and continues to make excuses and to find a diagnosis to blame her behavior on (diagnosis keeps changing).

    She also attempted to coerce me, actually threatened not to have a relationship with me, unless I agreed to go to a therapist with her. I called her bluff and said no. I saw it as another set up (trick), a trap. She is very charming and persuasive (and an expert actress) and could easily also play the victim. She has been trying to convince me that I am crazy…I believe she is looking for a professional to confirm it.

    She lives in another state. She does appear to be trying to address her behavior. She is now respecting limits for the most part (still very manipulative). I do often feel that it is a war on my will/rights. She feels very entitled and in the right and fights hard.
    She has told me that the things that she has done were not personal. That she didn’t see me as a separate person, but as mom (a thing/object?). It could be true. I also believe some of it was done out of anger/hate. Once she told me that after the one time I was sick and really needed her (she was college age) and she just looked at me and left (for weeks), that she was thinking – “screw you”.

    I’m terrified of who she is and what she is capable of. I also feel guilty for considering going full no contact. I cannot tell if she is truly trying to change or playing a destructive game. It’s a scary reality to face that your adult child may want to destroy you/will destroy you if you let her.

    I have limited contact with her. I have changed the locks.
    Do you have other suggestions for protecting myself and for knowing when they are really trying to change rather than playing along to keep us trapped/duped?
    I am getting older and she is my only child and I’m concerned what will happen if I can’t protect myself.

    Thank you for your work it has helped me to face this reality. For years I have been searching for answers and support. Your work is empowering and it is so essential in this culture of dis-empowerment by lies and manipulations.

  9. Dr Simon, I found out about you from Dr Nothrup’s energy vampire online course, which helped me to discover the many narcissists I have been dealing with. However, one is my 16 year old son. I know it in my gut. I feel lost as to what to do, as I also fight off his father who is likely more toward psychopath. But a child…it is so hard to understand. All these years of not seeing only to awaken and find I’m sleeping in the wolf’s den. Could my son have simply learned this behavior? Or am I kidding myself?
    Any direction would be greatly appreciated.
    Best S

  10. Dear Dr. Simon,
    I saw your video interview with Meredith Miller. In it, you talk about training counselors your way with Benign Confrontation methods. Without going into all the lovely details of the last several years, I am separated from my Christian CD husband who freely admits does not like who he is and does not know what to do. He is totally open to anyone you have trained. We have been to 6 or 7 people for help so far, the current one a LMFT – not helping as the approach is much like you described many counselors in the video (traditional M&F therapy) and I keep being asked to come to the sessions as an “equal” in the problem, with both of us being assigned homework (some of which was good because I was able to write up some very firm, finality-based boundaries). Overall, though, my husband and I both recognize that this is not the right approach. Would you mind recommending someone in my city, who has been directly trained by you, to work with such an individual as my husband via Benign Confrontation? I can let you know my location via email. Thank you.

    1. the same happened to me and my husband., he uses a poker face in front of therapists and they believe him. I quitted the last lady that was trying to portraying me as abusive. but was the other way around. They blame on you! all is your fault and there is no agreement about any emotional issue or commitment to change whatsoever. I am currently with my divorce and his divorce in court and living together in separate rooms and no longer husband and wife.

  11. After decades of working with a wide variety of specialists in the mental health field, (psychoanalysts, social workers, psychotherapists, and psychologists) I have come to understand that very few therapists understand “evil.” Furthermore, as Judith Hermann has so eloquently pointed out in her works, there is a universal desire to “see, hear, and speak” no evil. We are admonished to forgive our trespassers, and have compassion for their suffering. Those of us who have been traumatized by these traumatizing narcissists (see Daniel Shaw’s work on overcoming the shame imposed by the same in Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation) spend the rest of our lives healing from the wounds, shattered by the disowned shame they project onto us.
    For anyone who struggles with the sense of isolation that we invariably experience because of the traumatizing influence of these personalities, I would highly recommend the work of Patrizia Romito, A Deafening Silence: Hidden Violence Against Women and Children. Her feminist perspective sheds light on the means by which the institutions of our society conspire to silence women and children. The most significant silencing institution of all is the family, where fathers use the threat of violence, intimidation, and abandonment to keep women and children in a state of fear and dependency. The physical abuse of a woman’s children is one of the most powerful means by which fathers maintain control, silencing both the women and children from exposing the abuse. Mothers learn very quickly that men will use their children as weapons against the mother if she tries to stand up to his abuse.
    Dr. Simon’s work is exemplary in his understanding of psychopathic personalities. For those of you who are interested in deepening your understanding, Robert Hare, has also contributed immensely to the field. Understanding destructive personality traits and learning to identify the tactics of manipulation is important; however, healing from the trauma caused by these destructive personalities is a lifetime work. Compassion and forgiveness are not the answer and only provide the fuel for the most disturbed personalities to continue their destruction.

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