Archive | March 2016

The Power of Suggestion & Family Ties

download (23)The Narcopath Mocks Your Family Ties

The power of suggestion and triangulation are two of the most powerful tools in the narcopath’s bag of tricks, and never underestimate her proficiency in their use.

Many narcopaths mock the family of their partners. The narcopath and the malignant narcissist sees your family, other people important in your life, in the same way she sees everyone: as tools, toys, or obstacles. She will use or treat the people in your life in much the same way as she treats you, and make no mistake, if they resist her control, she will remove them from your life.

She will cause you grief when you have plans with your family. By her negative and sarcastic remarks to time you spend with your family, she is putting the suggestion in your mind that your family is not good for your relationship. She cannot abide the idea that your attention would go to someone else. It doesn’t matter that if you are spending time with your kids. She will constantly interrupt and interfere with any quality time where she is the center of your attention. It doesn’t matter that you haven’t seen your parents in a long time. It doesn’t matter who has died or who is dying. It isn’t about them.

Understand this clearly, the narcopath does not see people in the same way the rest of us do. To her people are simply part of the environment. Some are resources; some are in the way; some are just there. The only real thing the narcissist wants from people is their admiration. Your family should fall down at her feet and worship. If they do not worship her, then they are competition for your worship of her. She may actively seek to stop you from gathering with them. She may be cruel or obnoxious so they will stay away. If she can’t control them, she will stop at nothing to remove them from your life. She will fabricate events where she is the victim of some cruelty of one of your family members to keep your attention on her. In this triangulation, she is the victim (a favorite role), your family member is the villain, and you are her protector.

She hates being reminded that there are people who know some of her secrets and failings. She hates the assumption of relationship and rights that family has. She hates the fact that some people refuse to be twisted by her manipulations. She holds your family in contempt and demands that you do the same. She ridicules and makes fun of your family in order to remind you that she is superior to your family. She convinces you that you are better off without them. She mocks the love and loyalty of your family. She never misses an opportunity to remind you of their failings. She constantly fabricates scenarios where she claims she was insulted, disrespected, ignored, used, or treated badly by your family to cause distance and hard feelings where there once was none. She will use her own children in her efforts to prove to you that your family is not the people you believe them to be. How does she accomplish this?

Power of Suggestion

Have you ever had someone say, “You don’t look well” or “You look tired,” and then ask, “How you are feeling?” If so, you probably said, “No, I’m fine” and then secretly looked in a mirror to see if your face really did look sick or tired. Then, a few minutes later, you started thinking… “Man, I do feel a little tired.”

This is the power of suggestion, and it is one of the most powerful manipulative psychological tools known to man and should never ever be underestimated. The narcissist uses the power of suggestion to plant the thought in your mind that your family is bad; that your family mistreats you; that your family doesn’t care about; that your family doesn’t want you to be happy; that your family is trying to come between the two of you & that your family only wants to control you. She plants the thought in your mind again and again until you actually believe severing ties with your family is your own idea.

The emotional and mental abuse that a narcissist inflicts on her victim is based on the subtle power of suggestion which leaves one believing an idea or thought is his own. To make the power of suggestion work, the narcopath must convince you from the beginning that she is your soul mate. To accomplish this mission, she makes sure in the very beginning of your relationship she creates a false self which is built up from a collection of simple and subtle pathological lies – lies which make her seem angelic and builds her a reputation of being ‘as good as gold’ resulting in the belief that ‘she would never do anything to hurt anyone’. And she will fabricate entire conversations to reinforce in your mind that she is perfect. As an example, she tells you she heard a rumor of someone they know cheating on their partner they may then make statements such as “how could they do that to him/her? That’s disgusting” making out that they wholly disagree with such behavior.

However, this is often only to fool you into believing that they would never be capable of doing such a thing themselves yet in reality the lie is usually a cover to hide the fact that the narcissist is doing, or plans to do, exactly that – they seek to appease. These subtle lies go on and on, building up over time, gradually pulling the wool over your eyes, leaving you blind to the narcopaths true hidden self.

All she needs do is constantly drop hints to control you through the mere power of suggestion and – BOOM – you are thinking or doing exactly what this manipulator wants. You may as well be a hand or foot of hers. It won’t happen this quickly. Most people reject any suggestion that their family is bad, but the power of suggestion that your mother isn’t who you think she is without telling you this directly will eventually impact your belief system. These are reinforced with lies about things your mother did that hurt her feelings. She begs you not to say anything because she doesn’t want to cause problems, so you file it away. Every time you have a disagreement, or you catch her in a lie, or you don’t treat her right, your mother’s name is somehow brought into it, slowly building up resentment in your mind. This process repeats itself over and over again until you hate your own mother.

Still not convinced? Ever had someone tell you that a dental or medical procedure “will really hurt,” that a test “was really hard,” or that a new boss “is impossible to deal with”-and then had those scenarios play out just as predicted? Turns out, those early suggestions probably shaped your reality.

A deliberate suggestion can influence how well people remember things, how they respond to medical treatments, and even how well they will perform and behave, according to research by Maryanne Garry, Robert Michael, and Irving Kirsch. The reason, they say, is attributable to something called response expectancies. This means that the way we anticipate our response to a situation influences how we will actually respond. In other words, once you expect something to happen, your behaviors, thoughts, and reactions will actually contribute to making that expectation occur.

If you expect something to happen-if someone or something suggests to you a specific outcome-your expectations of that outcome play a major role in its occurrence. The expectation or suggestion alone, often unconsciously, changes your behavior and your responses to help bring into reality the outcome you are expecting. The power of suggestion is a guilt trap, an ‘I told you so’ just waiting to happen.

The problem is of course intent. If a suggestion is made that something terrible will happen, to you or something you care about, your subconscious mind subtly assigns a despair emotion before you file it away. You forget about it because it has no rational context, so it never comes up. But then later when the terrible thing happens your conscious mind reactivates the otherwise orphaned memory. Without knowing why, you feel you ‘should have known.’ Suddenly you feel regret and guilt about a terrible thing you had no way to rationally foresee and were not a party to.

Why is this important? The despair diminishes or even blocks the ‘will to action’ primary emotion. You will be paralyzed with guilt, and off-balance. This is when your toxic partner reaffirms the belief with a look, or a comment like, “I told you so”.

Malignant narcissists & narcopaths are masters at manipulating people through their emotions, beliefs, attitudes and perceptions, and unfortunately, most people are trusting by nature and are easily duped into buying into their crap. All those memories you shared with her in the beginning of your relationship are used in subtle ways until you start to believe them. For example, you told her about the time your mother was supposed to bring snacks to your class and how she forgot, and how embarrassed this made you feel, and you add that the next day she came in with all sorts of treats and how the teacher let y’all have a little party, and how awesome your mother is. This information is filed away, and a few months down the road, she tells you a story about something that happened at her daughter’s school, and the story is eerily similar to the one you told her. She tells you how horrible that mother was to do whatever it was she did, and she can’t imagine EVER doing anything like that, and then she starts talking about what’s for dinner. What has she done here? She’s implanted in your mind that the mother you love and would do anything for really is bad.

The power of suggestion is the use of small statements that at the time seem harmless. For example, you all are visiting your parents, and she isn’t the center of attention, she may text you, “gotta feel the love in this house, right?” You’re not exactly sure what she’s talking about, but you reply, “yea”. These aren’t big huge pronouncements. They are little sarcasms, little jabs that you don’t really focus on, but said repeatedly, they become a part of your subconscious memory. She criticizing your family and friends while telling you she’s not like that, until one day, you believe she is the only one of value that you can count on. For the power of suggestion to work, it must be subtle and repeated, until YOU believe it, and believe that this is YOUR belief. The power of suggestion is an insidious form of abuse because the abuser just stands back and proclaims she had nothing to do with the problems between him and his family. Your toxic partner will recruit others to help her destroy your family. She will do this same thing with anyone she feels is a threat to her control over you, and you will never suspect her of intentionally destroying your relationship with your family.

The Power of Suggestion & Psychological Warfare

Your expectations affect your behavior. Suggestions affect your expectations. These suggestions can be deliberate or non-deliberate. If you are in a relationship with a toxic person these suggestions will always be planned and deliberate to influence your actions in a way that benefits them, not you. Losing the support of your family and close friends is a perfect example.

The only way to protect yourself against these psychological strategies is to develop strategies of your own. Make early observations. When anyone makes a suggestion that triggers a memory or response in your mind, ask questions. Observations and questions control your focus, which control your expectations, which control your beliefs and behaviors. You may not overturn the beliefs in other people’s heads, but it will make sure that the negative beliefs your toxic partner is trying to get you to believe will never take root in your mind.

Examine their past – Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions about their past, not only of them but previous friends. It doesn’t need to be a job interview. Ask to see photo albums. Ask about old cars. Previous houses, towns. Narcopaths love to brag so make it about how great their things and awards were. This takes some time but this should yield research-able leads about their entire life.

Observe their behavior when in public and in public. Watch how they interact with co-workers. Narcopaths compete but never cooperate. It’s always a battle for power even if the battle is an inch at a time.

Listen to what they say to others and about others. Do they get offended over nothing. Do they seem to be a person who can “dish it out, but not take it”? Listen to how they describe people. Do they classify people by their day to day choices and decisions or by what they do and who they answer to.

Does he/she play mind games with their children or others? They love the power of suggestion. They will tell a target they are going to do something evil to them. Then they will distract them or say it was a mistake or joke. Later it turns out it was quite intentional when the evil thing actually happens. But now the target also feels responsible, and is less likely to retaliate.

If you don’t believe this could happen to you, think again. Family, friends, possessions, finances, identification, thoughts and emotions are all eventually stolen from you, leaving you in a position with no resources and no-one to turn to for help. You won’t realize it until it’s too late.

 

8 Head Games the Narcissist Plays – Ping-Pong, Anyone?

images (18)Narcopath Manipulation Characterized as Games

Narcopaths (malignant narcissists, narcissistic sociopath) are masters at playing mind games. They play to win and take no prisoners. They are sore losers and if they don’t win they will often react in a fit of rage and stomp away like a little child.

I have to say upfront, I am not comfortable calling what a narcopath does to us as games, but I can’t think of a better alternative. I used manipulation characterized as games, but that’s a mouthful. Anyway, every therapist I’ve talked with uses the term, so I will, too. When I think of games, I think of fun, laughter and enjoying myself. Nothing about my experience with the narcopath comes even close, so it’s hard for me to think of the narcopath and games in the same setting. Polar opposites in my mind.

I don’t want to play games with a narcopath anymore. The rules are not written down and change according to her whim. I’ve lost before the game even begins. However, I am not a pacifist by any stretch of the imagination. I won’t walk away when I’ve been challenged very often, so when I urge you not to play the narcopath’s games, it’s not because I don’t like a good challenge. I just want a fair playing field or at the very least be playing by the same rules. The narcopath is too skilled and had far more experience playing these games than we ever will. If we are going to triumph against the narcopath, and we are going to, we have to play by OUR rules, not theirs. Oh, you may win a skirmish here and there, but remember, they don’t think like we think. This article reminds me a story a friend of mine, Dale, told recently. He and his young five-year-old son had a marathon checkers match one evening, and after several hours of winning game after game, Dale told his son he was calling it a night, but his son looked perplexed and exclaimed “But, the game’s not over yet!” Dale said he told him they played about a hundred games already, and what did he mean “the game’s not over?” His son looked at him with the most serious look a five-year-old could muster, and said, “the game’s not over until I win”. This mentality is what we face with the narcopath.

The most important thing you must remember about all these game is that no one can know the rules except the narcopath. Here are some of the more common “games” that narcopaths play:

    1. Ping-Pong: When a person begins to understand how a narcissist works, he or she realizes that it’s a bit like playing ping-pong. Anytime a narcissist has to self-reflect about anything, they will immediately throw the ball back to the person they consider their opponent. Narcissists will always throw the ball back to the other person. They do this in the expectation that they won’t have to take responsibility for their behavior. Narcissists hope that by not taking responsibility for their own actions (by using blaming, shaming, projection, denial, etc.) their partner will do what they have always done-forgive the narcissist, make excuses for the narcissist’s behavior, claim the narcissist couldn’t help himself because he was having a bad day, and so on. The narcissist is a moving target and you are always on the firing line. To get away from them (or expose them), you always have to keep an eye on the ball i.e., their actions and motives for playing their games with you. You have to stop wanting to play. You can stop catching the ball and put it back in the narcissist’s court by setting boundaries and making him aware of his actions. He then realizes he has no one to play with anymore. He will either drop the person like a hot potato, try to punish the person, or run away.

 

    1. Crazy Eights: This is a favorite game of narcissists. YOU are called crazy anytime you confront them, bring up past issues or behaviors, or expose them when they’re doing something appalling. The game goes like this: he/she tells you that you have an overly active imagination, you don’t know what you’re talking about, they have no idea what you’re talking about, or that you’re simply making things up to cause problems. They’ll tell you that it’s obvious that you are the one who is crazy (and tell you that everyone around you agrees with them about you being crazy). They will claim not to remember even unforgettable events, flatly deny they ever happened, and will never entertain the possibility that they might have forgotten. This is an extremely aggressive and infuriating tactic called “gaslighting”, a common technique used by abusers of all kinds. Your perceptions of reality are continually undermined so that you end up without any confidence in your own intuition, memory, or reasoning.

 

    1. Liars Poker: Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) play this game fantastically. They lie better than anyone I’ve ever been around. Unless you know them well, they don’t show any of the tells experts look for in exposing deception. My guess is this is how they are able to con so many therapists. I know first hand what that look is on a narcopath. When she was here, the things she didn’t tell us, most with tears in her eyes. I felt so much sympathy for the horrible things that her ex and her parents did to her trying to control her. The stories she told us were outrageous and I bought every one of them, hook, line and sinker. Their persona and their entire world are totally based in lies. Their positive attributes and alleged actions are all made up to trick and seduce others into giving them their fix of narcissistic-supply: praise, adulation and accolades.

 

    1. Gotcha! The narcopath is a master of phony empathy. He/She appears to take you in, appears to understand what you are experiencing, and appears to genuinely be able to put himself in your shoes. These acts cause you to let your guard down; just when you think there is a genuine give-and-take in your relationship, he pulls a fast one on you-a “gotcha”- most often when you’re at a low point. He will suddenly tell you about his extraordinary new career move, a luxurious trip that he’s taking, or a huge shift in financial status that will make you feel even more diminished. Narcissists perfectly execute an unexpected psychological pounce; their purpose is to grind you down, to humiliate you, and make you feel small and inferior.

 

    1. Death by a Thousand Cuts: This is a really fun game that all narcissists like to play! Some of your strongest trauma bonds are created with this sadistic game. It involves destroying your soul, your ego, your accomplishments and any belief system you have that does not agree with their beliefs. You both start with empty buckets. The first one to fill his/her bucket wins. They win the game if they are successful at turning everything about you and everything you do into a complete failure. They earn extra points when they successfully take all the credit for everything good that has ever happened in your life, and you thank them. They earn double points when they manage to put all blame for everything bad in your bucket.

 

    1. King/Queen Game: Either the king narcopath or the queen narcopath gets to make up the rules as they go along; they don’t have to tell the you the new rules, and they change the rules when it suits them. They are the king/queen and, as your superior, entitled to win this game, always. You suffer the consequences for breaking the rules, even those you didn’t know existed.

 

    1. Cat and Mouse: This is a kind of competitive patience (solitaire) game for two players. It is also known as Spite and Malice. You start this game by arranging the cards from low to high with the Kings/Queens being wild. Suits (the normal order of things and/or common societal rules) are irrelevant in the game. The game ends when someone wins by playing the last card of their “pay-off” pile. The game can also end if the players run out of cards, in which case the result is a draw. Cat and Mouse (or Spite and Malice) is a perfect game for a narcissist because it is actually a form of solitaire, it requires “one-upmanship”, and involves pulling out “better” cards to beat the opponent. It involves a “payoff” and for the narcopath, that usually means hurting you somehow. They keep track of real and imaginary things you do, have done, or might do. This is their “pile” and they will pull a card from it and use it against you when they feel like it.

 

  1. Guess Who?: This is a pretty simple game, and quite popular. The rules are few. Basically, you must summon all your psychic skills for this game. It is your job to read the narcopath’s sick mind, then decide what kind of mood he/she is in, and respond to her without her saying a word. Your options include, but are not limited to, two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum; Guilt-tripping puppeteer; Poor unappreciated Cinderella; Cock of the Walk; Coy tease; Inquisitor; Keeper of the Gate; add your favorites to the list. If you get it right, then you win the right to change your behavior to mirror his/hers, and your day will be a good one. Get it wrong and you lose. You get to listen to what a loser you are all day long. Either way, they win. OR, you don’t guess at all this time. Instead, you pack up and leave crazy narcopath and win you back.

The only way for the you to win any of the narcopath’s games to not play. If you are in a relationship, you can walk away from the toxic narcissist in your life. If your boss is an abusive narcissist, you can find another job. You can walk away from your parents, too, if they are abusive. If it’s a family member, move away, go no contact or low contact.

Keep Away Game for You: Keep Away is a game the narcopath doesn’t play, but if you must stay in near the narcopath, it’s one you need to master, and the rules of this game are not to respond the any of the narcopath’s attempt to pull you into one of her no-win games. You are not allowed to respond to jabs, barbs, promises, put-downs, etc. It will take focus and determination to break old habits and create new ones. It only takes 21 days of consistent behavior modification to create a new habit. This is not going to be easy, but you’ll get the hang of it pretty quick. Think of it like this: if you’re playing a game of catch, the only way to stop the game is to not catch the ball when someone throws it to you. It’s possible to stop playing games with a narcissist, as long as you mentally prepare for the challenge, and prepare yourself for the onslaught of negativity, accusations and histrionics. Ignore inciting words, don’t respond to inciting words, hang up the phone politely or leave. Take a drive, go for a long walk, anything. Just get away. There are many ways you can refuse to catch the ball and not throw it back. This is the game of “Keep Away”. You stay away, walk away, and refuse to play. This is a game that you, yourself, must learn to play. It is important to recognize that the narcopath will never acknowledge that he/she is now, or has ever played mind games. It’s up to you to stop playing. Don’t try to get them to acknowledge or take responsibility for their words or actions because they will always say they didn’t do it or it never happened or it was your fault.

6 Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring an Attorney

download (21)How Do You Prove Severe Emotional Abuse In Your Divorce or any Court Proceeding?

Why can’t you both just get along for the sake of the children?” Those words are like nails on a chalkboard to anyone who is divorcing a narcissistic sociopath (narcopath). Divorce brings out the worst in normal people, but a divorce involving a narcopath is like inviting the devil to take part.

The narcissistic sociopath appears charming, charismatic and endearing to those whom he encounters during the legal process, yet outside of the courtroom, he/she is calculated, manipulative and many times, downright dangerous. The untrained observer may perceive the situation to be about two immature adult who can’t get along, or worse, parents who are not capable of putting their children first.

Are you thinking the judge and other court personnel will see you’re narcissistic sociopath ex for who she/he is? How long did it take you? You’re putting way too much faith in the system if you think your judge is going to see your ex-partner, friend or co-worker for the manipulative liar he/she is. Many of the untrained observers are the very people who work in the court system such as Judges, court personnel, and sadly, even the attorneys. A narcissist is like the modern-day version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

I recall the first time I tried to explain to a Judge in a divorce case involving a narcissistic sociopath, that the parent siting at my table wasn’t being unreasonable. I distinctly remember fumbling with my words on how to explain what may look like unreasonableness was really just the opposite. It was not until that very moment that I realized how difficult it is to describe emotional abuse.

As you know, the abusive tactics build on each other, and the re-telling of the events starts sounding like nit-picking, when that’s the farthest thing from the truth. Not to mention, I have the narcopath’s attorney objecting and smirking at how absurd I sounded.

There are no photographs of the injuries. There are no police reports describing the attitude and cooperativeness of the parties. There is no ballistics report. There is no ER report precisely identifying the injuries and the lasting effects it may have on the abused party. Nothing. It was just me trying to explain the unexplainable, with opposing counsel jumping up and down. He objected to my “characterization” of the soon-to-be ex, all the while trying to make Dad look like the crazy one. He objected to every issue I raised the same way – “Your Honor, if we are going to rehash very marital spat between these two we’ll be here until next week, and we adamantly deny these accusations, “I mean what grown woman hides her husband’s keys and medication. Doesn’t it seem more likely Mr. Jones misplaced these items and is looking for someone to blame?” As he addressed the court, he patted the woman on the shoulder as she was dabbing her eyes with a tissue brought to her by the court reporter. I was sinking fast, and the Judge was looking at me for a response. I was speechless. The allegations I was making did sound crazy.

Finding my voice and a coherent string of words, the Judge listened. I could see his eyes gloss over, and knew I was losing him. Scrabbling trying to find the right words to get him back, I noticed the time and asked if we could recess early for the dinner break. Of course, he agreed.

We returned to my office, and I flat told him if I didn’t come up with something to prove his wife was lying, the judge wasn’t going to take his word for it. When I finished, he said he didn’t have any evidence to prove her wrong, and where was he supposed to get evidence like that. As he’s talking, he pulls a little notebook out of his pocket and began flipping through the pages, and telling me all he has are a few tape recordings of telephone calls, most of the emails she sent him and a few text messages, but he didn’t have any “court” evidence. I almost kissed him. After fighting the urge to give him a bear hug, I asked when he started keep a journal, and he said about 6 months before they split. His gut told him something was up again. She had done this kind of thing before, and each time she left him, she always claimed it was because of him, so this time he was going to prove her wrong. He said each morning when he got to work, he spent about 7-8 minutes writing down what happened at home the night before. I looked at it, and for each entry, he recorded the day of the week and the date. Gold, I tell you, this man had gold.

I remember his answer to this day when I looked at him and asked why he hadn’t given me these items when I asked him at our first meeting. I reminded him that I did ask him if he had any evidence for trial, and that he told me no. His reason? He didn’t think his stuff was “court” evidence, and he didn’t want me to think he was stupid if he asked me to explain evidence. We each learned something that day, and it wasn’t anything I was going to find in a law book. I never again assumed a client knew what I was talking about just because they didn’t ask questions. The incorrect assumptions we both made nearly sunk his case from the get-go.

I told you that story to tell you this: Do not expect a narcissistic sociopathic spouse to be any more cooperative during your divorce than she was during the marriage. He/she is not going away quietly. In fact, they get worse. They don’t like losing control, and they go after anyone they think is challenging them, including your lawyer. They become even more manipulative and exploitive, feeling neurotically entitled to get whatever they want. They blame everyone else for their problems, and because they are so self-centered, even while bullying their spouses they often perceive themselves to be the victims. True narcopaths believe they are above the law and feel that the rules do not apply to them, making them notoriously difficult to deal with. It is common during a divorce for narcissists to:

  • refuse to give financial information and documents
  • refuse to negotiate
  • refuse to listen to their own lawyer
  • defy court orders
  • use the children as pawns

Because they are so competitive, narcissists love the adversarial nature of the legal system and excel at manipulating it to their advantage. They project all of their own faults onto their spouse, playing the role of victim and accusing their spouse of lying, cheating, and being mentally unstable. Much to the frustration and detriment of their spouses, narcissists are often good at making themselves likeable and believable to their lawyer, the judge or a jury.

Narcissists find it hard to accept losing their influence over their estranged spouse’s life and will attempt to find ways to control their ex-spouse even after the divorce is final. This is much easier for them to do if there are children from the marriage, so the narcissist will work over-time attempting to control their ex-spouse through child support, visitation time and co-parenting decisions.

With most courtrooms filtering people in and out like cattle, it is imperative that you have an attorney who understands Malignant Narcissism and Sociopathic Personality Disorders, and that they will work diligently to protect you and your children in many ways. Having an attorney who understands NPD will make sure a strong parenting plan and court orders with zero room for manipulation or wiggle room is in place. Dealing with an attorney who isn’t educated on personality disorders is an extra battle that you will not have the energy to fight. High conflict divorces are difficult enough without the added task of educating your attorney.

If I was interviewing a prospective attorney, I would be very straightforward and direct. I would ask them to describe their personal experience working with clients who were divorcing a narcopath. This question offers a lead-in and one can quickly gauge whether the attorney knows enough to properly represent you. I would ask for examples of situations or cases that fall into the high conflict group and specifically, how he handled them. Any attorney who seems annoyed or put off by your questions is not the attorney that you want on your side. Attorneys sometime forget who is working for whom.

Here are the 6 Questions To Ask A Prospective Attorney:

  1. How many High Conflict Divorce cases have you handled?
  2. Can you define sociopathic tendencies and malignant narcissist personality disorder?
  3. Do you believe there is a link between the HCD (High Conflict Divorce) and these personality disorders?
  4. Have you ever won a case arguing “Emotional/Psychological Abuse”?
  5. Do you work closely with psychologists/therapists and/or evaluators experienced in these types of personality disorders?
  6. In past trials, how have you been able to get the judge to understand that the psychology of personality disorders and how the intentional behavior in one party can be solely responsible for maintaining high conflict divorce?”
  • Ask around, and, if you have the opportunity, sit in family court a few days. Watch different attorneys and how they handle themselves in the courtroom and whether they have a good rapport with the Judge. When you’ve narrowed down your choice, ask them point-blank the questions I set out above, and whatever you do, if you aren’t sure what the attorney is talking about, then ask. Don’t assume you know what’s in his mind. The only stupid question is the one that goes un-asked. You are choosing an advocate to represent the best interest of your children. Choose wisely.