For several years I have been working with people in abusive relationships , that include partners of those with Cluster B personality disorders and comorbid traits of psychopathy – those we call narcissists, sociopaths, psychopaths, exploiters. There is one complaint I hear most often and continually: “I can’t find a therapist who gets these relationships”, or “The therapist we went to sided with my partner in blaming me and I feel traumatized all over again.” They are right. Therapists are not trained in how relationships go with these personalities and the inherent, and often subtle, abuse that is present. It has now been proven by Lovefraud’s research study that only about 25% of those who went to therapists for this issue found therapists who eventually saw the picture clearly. The success was usually in individual therapy, and almost never in couples therapy.Educate Yourself and Learn More Here!
In response I have created a questionnaire. This questionnaire is purposefully lengthy as it is meant to be worked on with your therapist, taking time to identify the different types of abuse (emotional, control, financial, physical, sexual, deceit). Of course you can use this just for your own clarity. I chose to focus on the experience of abuse because it is really the only things important to identify. It doesn’t matter if you can identify your partner as a narcissist, sociopath, etc. What matters is whether your experiences in the relationship add up to abuse, how you have responded to it, and whether you have significant symptoms of stress and trauma as a result of it.
The questionnaire is meant to educate your therapist and help direct your treatment. Included is a note page for the therapist that explains the problems with identifying these relationship, as well as a scoring page. My hope is that through use of the questionnaire, no matter what a therapist’s previous training or experience with abuse is, he or she may now identify if it is present and understand better how to help you.
The questionnaire is available for download here: Questionnaire & Survey
Please note that just under the download link there is a link to participate in a survey if you wish. You may input your questionnaire answers into the survey anonymously. My dream is that the collection of data may prove valuable to future studies and the education of not only therapists, but law enforcement, the court system, and society at large. Your help would be much appreciated. Thank you. Wishing you healing and peace.
Mary Ann Glynn, LCSW, CHT