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Meet the new Lovefraud author: Stephen Appel, Ph.D.

Psychopaths are not necessarily great liars. That’s the premise of a series of articles Dr. Stephen Appel, the newest Lovefraud Blog author, has recently posted on his website, The Top Two Inches.

“The Top Two Inches,” in case you’re wondering (as I was), refers to the head, but means the mind, brain and thinking. Dr. Steve’s website is devoted to contemplating “the mysterious workings of the mind.”

In Myth: Psychopaths are great liars, Dr. Steve agrees that psychopaths are pathological liars. “They are pathological, they are chronic tellers of untruths, and this dishonesty is tied up with their pathology,” he writes.

But according to Dr. Steve, research shows the speech of a psychopath is not particularly convincing. So how do they manage to be so deceptive? It’s everything else that they do—their arrogance, grandiosity, sob stories and intimidation—that mislead listeners into believing them. It’s not the words; it’s the show.

Published author

Dr. Steve is a psychotherapy practitioner, clinical supervisor and educator. He is editor of Psychoanalysis and Pedagogy, a book that looks at education through the lens of psychoanalysis, and vice versa.

Dr. Steve has authored scientific papers as well. One paper, The Heritage of Disorganised Attachment, describes people who relate to others in a way that seems to change moment by moment. They’re cheerful, they’re complaining, they’re angry, they’re depressed—all within an unpredictable matter of minutes. This disorder arises in childhood as a result of maltreatment or living in a frightening environment—conditions a child of a psychopath might experience.

“Psychotherapy with a disorganized client is demanding,” Dr. Steve writes, “but can be life-altering.”

Interest in psychopaths

Dr. Steve has an intellectual interest in psychopaths, and a personal and clinical concern for those they prey upon. While he believes much is to be gained from understanding the psychopathic mind, he is deeply skeptical about the merits of doing psychotherapy with psychopaths.

On the other hand, those who have had their selves distorted, corroded and emptied out by psychopaths need to repair themselves and may benefit enormously from working with a mental health professional.

The Lovefraud Blog welcomes the insights and contributions of Dr. Steve Appel.


Posted in: Dr. Steve

28 Comments on "Meet the new Lovefraud author: Stephen Appel, Ph.D."

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  1. sunsign says:

    Dr. Steve is right, these Ps are not great liars. Often times their lies are so way out there it is clear to everyone it is a lie. My guy continues to give out his favorite lie of owning a pink diamond worth $3.2 million. Everyone knows he is full of it! Even when the liar has been exposed though, do they hold onto these favorite lies? That is what perplexes me. They do weave quite a web of deceit. It is the lying about caring for someone that is vulnerable to them and in love that I believe is most destructive. I think back over the lies that he loved me. When I remember these things I have fond thoughts of being loved, then I am jolted into reality that it was all a lie. His actions proved he did not love me. Why is it that women need to hear the words, but don’t demand the words be followed by the actions? This is what makes us vulnerable to these people. What makes some women this way?

    You know, I believe my guy’s lying began when he was a child. He was one of seven children. Perhaps he learned early on that he could get attention if he made up stories. Or, that he could make his life better and avoid punishment by lying. The reason I believe this is he is now very boastful of how he is teaching his 3 year old son to lie effectively to the boy’s mother. He and the child’s mother fight constantly, he now is getting the child to join in his lying to her. Sometimes it is simple stuff such as what the child had for lunch. To me it is sick. I wonder if this is how it starts? or how a P can pass on these traits to an offspring? I am sure there are genetic elements as well as learned behaviors, maybe this is one of the learned behaviors.

    The lies often times don’t seem to support anything they are doing at the moment or have an apparent role in current or future manipulation of other people. It is just odd stuff that they will lie about. I often wonder what is sparked in their brain at that moment to cause the lie.

    I am glad for this site. I honestly thought I was losing my mind because of this man. I couldn’t make sense of being loved and being treated so badly simultaneously. I worry about the children of these people. I can only imagine how confusing and destructive a P parent would be. Here I am a highly educated, professional woman who is capable in every other way, yet I was completely dupped by a psychopath. How in the world could a child survive, when an adult is no match for a psychopath?

    All I can do now is count my blessings. I was never married to this guy or had a child with him. For all practical purposes I got away unscathed. He does have a wife and child, at some point he is going to hurt them in the biggest way. I know his wife already has mental issues and is dangerous in her own rite. The one I feel sorry for is their little boy, he couldn’t pick his parents. It is very sad.



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