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Help for healing from the devastation of a sociopath

Many people have asked Lovefraud to suggest a treatment program to help them overcome the personal devastation of a relationship with a sociopath. A friend of Lovefraud, Sandra L. Brown, M.A., offers a program for women who are recovering from such debilitating encounters.

Sandra Brown is the author of How to Spot a Dangerous Man, which was reviewed in a previous blog post. The book describes eight types of dangerous men—most of them are sociopaths, or partial sociopaths. Brown then explains how women override their internal warning signals and get involved with these men, even when their instincts are shouting, “Run away!”

If you’ve been in a relationship with a sociopath, at some point, of course, you found yourself devalued and discarded. He merrily moved on to a fresh new supply. You’re in a crumpled heap, a shell of the person you once were.

Many of you have asked Lovefraud: How can I heal? Will I ever be able to love again?

The answer is yes, you can recover, and yes, you can love again. Sandra Brown’s program may help you.

Healing retreats

Sandra Brown offers four-day retreats at her facility in the hills of North Carolina. The program is called Healing the Aftermath of Pathological Love Relationships.

First, Brown explains pathology 101—adults with personality disorders are hardwired to behave the way they do. They are not going to change.

Then Brown looks at the dynamics of a relationship with a disordered person. The lies, the manipulation, the crazy-making—this is nothing like a relationship like a normal man. The point is to help you understand that you were not imagining things. Yes, the guy really did lie to you. And no, he never loved you.

But then Brown helps you look at your own life to figure out why you were vulnerable to the sociopath. What did you learn in your family as a young girl? How do you view men? What was going on for you internally throughout your life?

Many women come out of the sociopathic relationship with post-traumatic stress disorder, which can be reactivated by future traumatic events. If this happened to you, Brown teaches self-care techniques and symptom management to help you in the future.

When to participate

The most beneficial time to participate in Brown’s retreat is after you’ve been out of the relationship for four to six months or more. “We are a good program for women who have figured out what he is, have left, and need some psycho-education that they did, in fact, make the right decision,” Brown says. The program then helps you identify internal traits that made you vulnerable, and issues from your family of origin.

The program is not appropriate in some cases:

  • Women in crisis. If you’re recently out of the relationship, or if you’re still trying to decide whether you should leave, it’s too soon to gain benefit from this program.
  • Women using online dating sites. After a relationship with a sociopath, Brown believes you should stop dating for a year or two, until you’re closer to being healed. “If you’re on Match.com, don’t call me,” she says.

Adult children of sociopaths

Some Lovefraud readers have realized that their parents were sociopaths. For you, Brown offers another program called Adult Children of a Pathological Parent.

Space in all retreats is limited—only six participants are accepted for each session. For more information, visit SafeRelationships.com.



153 Comments on "Help for healing from the devastation of a sociopath"

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  1. learnthelesson says:

    Akitameg —

    Ok …the good news….CONGRATULATIONS YOUR THYROID TEST CAME BACK NORMAL. THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ONE MORE THING TO PUT YOU OVER THE EDGE…I ASSUME MAYBE HE DID OTHER BLOODWORK AS WELL? AND IF SO THAT ALL CAME BACK NORMAL TOO?! THIS IS GREAT REASON TO CELEBRATE..OUR HEALTH IS FIRST AND FOREMOST AND ITS ONE LESS THING FOR YOU TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH ON YOUR SHOULDERS…We have to get you to a better place soon though, or this will start to take a toll on your health…and we wont be able to point to the S!!!! It falls on us to make sure we stay healthy, eat healthy, regain our strength and our way AGAIN.

    Secondly, NEW JOB TOMORROW! Way to go! I know the amount of pay was a concern for you, but for right now I personally think this IS THE BEST STEP AND DIRECTION FOR YOU. IM PROUD OF THIS MOVE!!!! Its so hard for us to get back on our feet and get even one foot in the door let alone what you have accomplished with two feet in the door, and training is always a drag, but somehow theres always something new to learn or refresh ourselves with.

    The new meds…TOWANDA…you feel improvement…TRIPLETOWANDA… Can your dentist make a mouth guard for TMJ??

    Much love and positive thoughts and continued strength to you from me…sometimes its traumatic for us to step out of the comfort of the hell we are in…that sounds so messed up…but it makes sense…often when we try to get out of it…move on…we are subconsiously drawn back to it (the place/stage/state of mind of “cant believe what he did, or simply reliving it everyday stuck in it unknowingly “comfortably numb” for us… its the point where it now becomes 100 percent up to us to cut the cord from the past and start taking breaths of fresh air in our future…your cord is so close to being cut….new meds…clean bill of health…new job…unknown…. or staying in the “comfort” of grief and solace and hurt and pain…when you are ready to cut and leap forward you are going to blow us all away leaps and bounds….I just know it!!! Your journey has been long and god awful…your healing and learning and growing has been a challenge… your future is going to be skys the limit…its truly in your hands, when you are ready to get back to being YOU at your best!

    YOU ARE DOING IT! Just have to make the choices now, to choose the future not the past…when you are ready!! xoxo



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  2. Tilly says:

    James”:
    I lost a stone in 6 weeks when we first split up. Than I went back to normal after three months. Now I’m piling it on!



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  3. akitameg says:

    Shabby– thanks Any chance you saw Larry King last night? If not– they may reply it tonight and it was AWESOME. About Karma and thoughts and ego and all of what you have mentioned.
    or see if you can find it on internet.



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  4. akitameg says:

    Learn the Lesson–
    what a great post to me from you. Thank you.
    I hate that it feels that when I have these nightmares/dreams about him at night, that I am back to ground zero. But maybe the is not true.



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  5. shabbychic2 says:

    akitameg: no, I missed seeing that Larry King show, dang it!



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  6. Stargazer says:

    Akitameg,
    Stay strong! Congratulations on starting a new job! I think you’ll find the distraction very welcome. I believe, as everyone else says, that you will get through this if you can just stick it out.



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  7. ErinBrockovich says:

    Dear Learned:
    I am very proud of you for ‘shaking it up’ with the new job!
    It will be a great change for you, that will lead you down a path of new discovery.
    A good excuse to meet new people and be in a new environment.
    REMEMBER>…..You can be whoever you want to be….show them your best self and keep that smile on your face. Soon it will be contagious!
    Good luck, have a wonderful first real day and you will feel great after your accomplishment!!!!
    HAVE A GREAT MONDAY!!!!



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  8. ErinBrockovich says:

    OOOPPPSS…AKITAMEG:
    I must be tired….It’s YOU that’s starting the new job….
    The above post is for you dear…..
    Sorry…..
    Also…keep embracing the dreams….it’s processing!



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  9. akitameg says:

    ERinB
    Thank you so much!
    thanks also to STARGAZER.

    I did not have any nightmares last night. Wow. I had taken a mg of Ativan before bed– maybe that helps?

    bless you all and please think of me as I am at my new little job!



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