I am no stranger to counselling. Counselling was an essential part of my work, and I had trained at university to practice counselling in a work setting.
I am a big fan of it, and when you study counselling you need to receive counselling yourself, I found that when I did this, it was hugely beneficial to me.
Things had really progressed with the sociopath in my life. After a LONG period of no contact (almost a year), life had been his greatest teacher. After being made homeless he lived in a house with addicts, alcoholics, liars and thieves. Ironically what was done to him, was what he had done to others. He became sick of it, and decided to get a job, to work and pay his way to make his own life easier. He had learned a lot of life lessons – or at least I thought he had, and his behaviour following this, for a long period of time, showed that he had learned.
Over that time I did see change, the brain pattern would still be the same, but what really did change, was his ability for personal responsibility, to see his actions. Whereas before he was always RIGHT, now he would apologise, and tell me WHY he was sorry.
With this in mind, after a rough spell again, he decided to do counselling. Of course I didn’t really believe him, and thought that this was yet again another ruse, to manipulate me. It wasn’t. He was making the effort and checked into therapy.
I wouldn’t say that things were particularly bad prior to him doing counselling. It was more to do with his insecurities, which in turn led to the usual, need for control, false accusations, needing to be the centre of attention, creating drama, attention seeking, jealousy. The usual sociopath drama, and It was draining.
Counselling/Therapy doesn’t work for Sociopaths and will only make the behaviour worse, not better
He had been doing his counselling for six sessions, prior to us going on holiday to Turkey. I was pleased that he was making an effort, but really did feel that things were relapsing and going back to how they were before, he was becoming worse after therapy, rather than better.
Only a few months earlier, we had gone to a music festival, and shortly before that had a trip to London, both times I feared that this psycho head would emerge and the trip would be ruined.
However, my fears were unfounded, and he was a pleasure to be with on those trips. As many of you will know, charismatic sociopaths can be fantastic company, if they are on form, they can be charismatic, charming, gregarious, fun. Who better to go away with (as long as the psycho self doesn’t emerge). I was really pleased, for the first time since I knew him, rather than spending the day doing ‘drama’ created by him, we were doing normal things, things I would be doing had I not met him.
It was with this in mind, that my mind was eased, and I thought that perhaps this trip abroad would also be good. After all we had came so far, particularly in the last year.
It was while I was away, in a hotel in a foreign country that he really span out of control. When the sociopath goes into full on psycho head mode, nothing can stop it, it is like a switch that switches on, and cannot be switched off (until the narc rage stops) Well, actually it happened before we got on holiday, in the airport, when he flipped. I didn’t know that he hadn’t booked leave from holiday, we were lucky that they let us board the plane. Eventually I had to sit away from him at the back of the plane on my own, while he managed to blag free food (how does that happen).
He hadn’t been full on, full blown psycho for a long time. While I knew that the potential for this to emerge was always there, I genuinely thought that he had moved on, and moved forward.
The day after we returned he went to his weekly counselling session. It is now that I can really see how and why, counselling does NOT work for a socio/psychopath and will only serve to make things worse.
Why doesn’t it work?
With a normal person, you attend counselling as there is something that is broken (you feel) within you, that you need to fix and heal, usually this is related to a past event that has affected you.
My tutor at uni had described counselling as being like a record that plays, that jumps when it hits a scratch in the record. Counselling works, by erasing the scratch, so that when the scratch is erased the record plays without jumping.
When a normal person goes to counselling, they tell the truth, they are not manipulative with the counsellor. A normal person should be able to take personal responsibility. A normal person, hopefully wouldn’t lie to the counsellor.
Sociopaths charm pretty much everyone that they meet. They enjoy the game, life to them is a game. In the last six weeks of him doing counselling, things have gone backwards. Why?
- The sociopath enjoys playing victim and the attention that they get from this
- The sociopath will lie to the counsellor. The counsellor can be manipulated
- The counsellor will not be working with the full facts and the truth, because the sociopath only gives their side of the picture, and the counsellor has no clue about the disordered mind of the sociopath
- The counsellor will empower the sociopath, which could in turn increase abuse towards the victim
- Normal people CONNECT with others, sociopaths do not connect with others in the same way. They are always focused on themselves, what is in it for them. Always manipulating, always monitoring, observing, calculating.
The last point is an important one. It is the lack of TRUE CONNECTION that a sociopath has, that makes effective counselling almost impossible. In a normal therapist/client senario, there has to be trust (sociopaths trust nobody), the client trusts the therapist, and the two work together to erase the scratches from the broken record. With the sociopath there is no real connection with the sociopath, even this is faked. At least, it isn’t the same type of connection that regular people have. Therefore the results and the outcome is never going to be the same. To work properly with a counsellor you need to have
- Ability to allow someone else to help you
- An ability to open up, to go within yourself, and be totally honest
- Self responsibility and to be able to see your weaknesses to heal them
- To be open and not ‘hidden’
Sociopaths find all of the above very difficult to do. They are a law unto themselves. They operate although giving the impression with others, are usually operating alone, manipulating those around them.
What i discovered was that rather than behaviour improving, things became remarkably worse, in particular
- Felt a sense of justification
- Inability to apologise for actions
- Sense of entitlement
- Inability to face responsibility
- Blame towards the other partner
This was far away from where we had came to. It had taken a long time for him to
- Accept responsibility
- To see his actions and the impact of his actions on others
- To apologise
Worse was that he had returned to
- Narcissistic rage was at a level of full blown psycho – which was scary at the time – he was once again ’empowered’
The truth is that sociopaths are beneath their bravado, quite weak people. He had made changes to manage his own behaviour, because he wanted to. It wasn’t always perfect, but it was OK, and there were improvements. Huge improvements, from what things were those first six months, when it was hell.
Counselling/Therapy can empower the sociopath
The most dangerous thing is that a sociopath can become empowered by the counsellor, who is validating and empowering the client.
Things had moved from a person who had worked hard to accept personal responsibility, to a person who was now blaming me. This was the person that I had met in the first place. The person who never did wrong, everything was everyone elses fault. He was once again returning to this person. Counselling enabled him to not take personal responsibility for his own actions, or to minimise those actions as non important (as the counsellor wasn’t paid think about the impact on me, just to make the client feel better).
I began to be around someone who became more of a liability.
Life to the sociopath is often a game, and other people in life, are merely players in the game.
If you are involved with someone who says that they will get help, get treatment, you really should know, that this kind of therapy does NOT work for sociopaths, it will only make the current situation worse, as they feel empowered.
I am unsure whether the results would be different, if he was being counselled by a therapist who understood psychopathic behaviour? I suspect not.
Have any of you experienced someone who actually did therapy? What was the impact? Did you find that it helped, or like my own experience, made things much worse, and the relationship that you were in far more dangerous?
Copyright datingasociopath.com 2014