Toxic relationship recovery is always challenging and often complicated. And the aftermath of a toxic relationship can be just as challenging as the relationship itself.
Surviving narcissistic relationship partners requires special knowledge and, often, special help.
During a remarkable interview, Dr. Carter and I sometimes use different terms, but we describe the same realities – perspectives that differ considerably from those taught during our professional training but which both experience and abundant recent research soundly validate.
Do we all need therapy? Perhaps not. Could most of us benefit from a little therapy? Probably, especially if it’s the right kind.
Abuse victims and toxic relationship survivors are used to doing all the suffering while their tormentors seem to get off scott free. But with time and dedicated rehearsing, survivors can cultivate empowering habits. And when they remember the all-important task of self-reinforcing their efforts, the quest for empowered living gets a bit easier.
Many therapists will say they understand personality and character disturbances. But then when you go to them for help you find they just don’t get it at all. In fact, you might even experience therapy-induced trauma.
Fighting dirty is fighting without principle-guided limits and boundaries. It’s placing winning over everything and using whatever tactics or psychological “weapons” you can think of to secure the dominant position. Such fighting is the destroyer of relationships.
Disturbed characters see the world and others in some pretty unhealthy ways. And their unhealthy perceptions and attitudes predispose them to relate in a destructive fashion.
Knowing where someone truly lies on the character disturbance spectrum is not only important for professionals engaged in assessment and treatment but also for individuals trying to make sound judgments about a potential relationship partner. Without a good sense of what to look for and how to evaluate what you find, you run the risk of learning far too late and after much unnecessary heartache how character impaired a partner might be.
Defining the problem, its cause, and what needs to be done to correct it is what therapeutic confrontation is all about.