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The Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Podcast
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The Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Podcast

Author: Caroline Strawson

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The Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Podcast is to help women thrive after the devastating effects of trauma through narcissistic abuse. Hosted by Caroline Strawson, award winning Trauma Informed Coach, and The Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Therapist, using a unique integration of tools such as EMDR, Brainspotting, Positive Psychology and RTT, author (Divorce Became My Superpower) and speaker, this podcast is created to provide support, education and awareness around self healing, gaslighting, complex PTSD, codependency and surviving narcissistic abuse. This is a place where we understand the anger, toxicity and guilt you feel through the behaviours of a narcissist and this podcast is designed to help take you from trauma to transformation.
23 Episodes
Today we talk about the little signs and the red flags that we must be aware of when we start dating someone new. Even after a traumatic separation, at some point we need to start meeting new people, but we must have ears and eyes open to the signs of narcissistic behavior, so we know what to do if they keep happening.   What You Will Learn In This Episode: How we can step out into the dating world after a traumatic experience What is "love bombing" and how to detect it A key red flag - the narcissist’s lack of empathy Gaslighting as the real hallmark of narcissism The "I'm not apologizing" story and why narcissists believe they’re never wrong The importance of having a positive relationship with yourself The dating world after a divorce or a breakup can be terrifying. But it's important to remember that being with someone is not always better than being single. So if we decide to take a new chance, we must have our narcissistic radar on point to avoid falling into that trap.  Resources: Join my Facebook group at  Connect with me on Instagram:
In this episode I’m talking about the addiction to the narcissist in your life, how to deal with it, and the first steps to overcome it. Remember that every addiction serves to stop us from feeling the pain of our wounded younger part, and today we are going to unpack that mechanism.  What You Will Learn In This Episode: Recognizing the difference between knowing you are good enough and feeling like you are not How our body gets addicted to not feeling good enough How our brain reacts to our biggest perceived pain The importance of no contact or extremely modified contact with the narcissist in your life Why our brain always reverts to what is familiar even when it’s painful  In a relationship with a narcissistic person, we are continually trying to prove that we are good enough, and our body gets used to that sensation. Not feeling good enough then becomes familiar, and our brain perceives what's familiar as what's safe, thus ignores the pain we are feeling and perpetuates that cycle.  Resources: Join my Facebook group at  Connect with me on Instagram:
Do narcissists deliberately try to hurt you? What is their driving force? Even when they say or do horrible things to us, the narcissist’s intention is purely about themselves. What they pursue is the narcissistic drug of choice, what we call the narcissistic supply. That is the only thing they are after. What You Will Learn In This Episode: Narcissistic abuse happens TO you. It doesn’t happen BECAUSE of you. Why your pain is just the byproduct of the narcissist’s behavior Where the narcissist’s need for mistreating you really comes from Narcissistic aggression and manipulation as the expression of their younger, wounded part How to recognise when the narcissist is pretending to behave in a certain way to achieve what they want When narcissists hurt us, they want to heal their wounds at our expense. It has nothing to do with our integrity or our values. So remember that it is YOU who is holding the power to heal, and change the perception of your own childhood experiences. Resources: Join my Facebook group  Connect with me on Instagram
In this week’s episode, I want to talk about what exactly a narcissist is, and what tool is used to identify narcissistic personality disorder. We tend to wrongly label narcissists as those who take lots of selfies or those who are rude to us, and by doing that, we are not helping the real victims of narcissistic abuse.    What You Will Learn In This Episode:   •The difference between being a narcissist and being obnoxious •How being a victim of Narcissistic Personality Disorder affected me •Are narcissistic personalities born or created? •The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) nine traits to detect Narcissistic Personality Disorder •The importance of educating the society regarding NPD and helping its victims   If someone you know ticks the boxes of at least five of the nine traits described by the DSM, the person has NPD. This method might help you get some reassurance of what you are dealing with and that it is not your fault. Resources: Join my Facebook group at  Connect with me on Instagram:
Today I want to share with you the five key phrases that are great to disarm the narcissist. These phrases really helped me and my clients to understand that the power is within us to heal from narcissistic abuse. Five Key Phrases to Disarm the Narcissist: I'm so sorry you feel like that. I can accept your faulty perception of me. I have no right to control how you see me. I accept that this is how you feel. Your anger is not my responsibility. Keep me posted if you're using any of these five phrases to disarm the narcissist. I would love to hear what their expressions were like, what they said back to you. Even if you don't feel these right now, remember that it's all about dis-confirming those experiences, but we have to start somewhere. So give these phrases a try. Resources: Join my Facebook group:
In this episode, I want to talk about the different parts of you, that may be stopping you from healing from narcissistic abuse. In working with my clients, I use an evidence based parts therapy called Internal Family Systems, and I’m going to explain what it is and how it can help you heal. What You Will Learn In This Episode: Internal Family Systems and the concept of True Self Two main types of Protector parts - Manager and Firefighter How physical conditions can play their parts How we can change the roles of the parts to start healing from narcissistic abuse How you can create a map of your parts to become aware of them What is reconsolidation of memory Working with parts as I explained them here can help you update that younger part of you, so the roles of the Protector parts won't need to be so reactive, proactive or destructive, and you can start healing from narcissistic abuse. Resources: Join my Facebook group at  Connect with me on Instagram:
We rarely talk about the illness and disease that come from being in a narcissistic relationship. Today I want to talk about the physical effects of the trauma of narcissistic abuse, about why that might happen, and I want to potentially give you some hope. What you will learn in this episode: How our bodies respond to stress. Why our bodies remain in constant trauma when being in a relationship with a narcissistic. The different areas of our brains and how they work in triggering situations. The burdens and beliefs we carry that makes us a magnet to narcissistic people. How talking therapy and brain body based therapy can help you. A lot of the physical conditions that you have might be your body’s response to stress and trauma. I want you to get to know your body, your history, your timeline of events, and see if there's actually a root cause to whatever physical stress related illness you have. Resources: Join my Facebook group at 
Many times people are saying to me ‘Caroline, I just struggle getting out of bed in the morning, and I know I should be doing x, y, and z but I just haven't got any energy, and I feel weak and ashamed.’ In this episode, I want to help you try and lift some of that guilt and shame off yourself. What You Will Learn In This Episode: How our body and our nervous system works The Polyvagal Theory and the ladder analogy The roles of the ventral vagus and dorsal vagus Freeze trauma response and the root of your overwhelming fatigue How limbic system therapies like Brainspotting or EMDR can help you So if you're feeling tired all the time, really take a look. Is that a trauma response? Because if you're healing from narcissistic abuse, know that it's not you being lazy or weak. It's just your normal natural nervous system response, it’s your body trying to protect you. Resources: Join my Facebook group at  The Polyvagal Theory by Stephen Porges  The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy by Deb A. Dana
In this episode, I want to talk to you about the 4 trauma responses when we talk about narcissistic abuse. Many of you have heard about fight, flight and freeze, but there's also a fourth one that’s lesser known - fawn or appease. So let’s go through each of these four, and see if you can resonate with any of them. What You Will Learn In This Episode: What happens in our brain when we perceive danger What is fight response and what is behind the anger you feel Flight response and how it connects with anxiety Freeze response, depression and survival mode Fawn or Appease response and why it is typical for narcissistic abuse Can you recognize those trauma responses in your behavior? Which ones were you in the most? Were you like me? Let me know! Resources: 001 Why Narcissistic Abuse is Trauma Join my Facebook Group
013 Am I A Narcissist?

013 Am I A Narcissist?


I get so many messages every day from people all over the world asking - Am I A Narcissist? The first answer I always say back to them is no, you're not a narcissist because no narcissist would ever ask themselves such a question. What You Will Learn In This Episode: Why narcissists will never describe themselves as narcissists How your doubts reveal your being abused The psychological changes that happen in your brain due to narcissistic abuse Why you feel like you can’t get out of a narcissistic relationship In what cases narcissists will seemingly admit their abusive behaviour If you are feeling upset right now wondering if You are the narcissist, please let me tell you you are definitely not. But it is good to have awareness that the reason you're thinking that is because you've been the victim of narcissistic abuse, and what you need to do now is get intentional about your healing. Resources: 010 Why Talk Therapy Alone Can't Heal Narcissistic Abuse 003 What is Complex PTSD Join my Facebook group
Today I want to talk to you about a term that you may have seen associated with narcissistic abuse.. This is Grey Rocking, and I’m going to explain how to be a Grey Rock around the narcissist. What You Will Learn In This Episode: What Grey Rock means in the communication with a narcissist Why it is necessary to adopt this behavior How to avoid being activated by what the narcissist says Practical tools to modify your communication with the narcissist What reaction to Grey Rocking you can expect from them I want you to give it a go now and be the Grey Rock to the narcissist. It gives you a sense of control, and being like that doesn't mean you're giving in. What it means is yourself taking your power back, so you can recognise that you deserve to heal, to survive, and you deserve 100% to thrive after the trauma of narcissistic abuse. Resources: The Trauma Bond & Addiction to the Narcissist Join my Facebook group 
I get messaged many times about the fact that people just can't break that addiction to the narcissist even if they know that it isn't the right thing for them to keep on messaging or emailing the narcissist in their life. We actually call this a trauma bond, and in this episode I explain exactly what it is. What You Will Learn In This Episode: What is Stockholm Syndrome and how it relates to the trauma bond What behaviour of the narcissist forms the trauma bond What neuropeptides are and the brain chemistry side of the trauma bond How to start creating the safe space for you to start healing Why it is absolutely necessary to block or extremely modify communication with the narcissist in your life Remember where you are right now with creating those neuropeptides, because that’s what we are addicted to. In order to break the addiction to the narcissist, we've got to calm that nervous system, so that we can create a space for you to start to heal the trauma of narcissistic abuse. Resources: 010 Why Talk Therapy Alone Can't Heal Nracissistc Abuse 003 What is Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Join my Facebook group 
While talking therapy does have a place in the recovery process, in this episode I'm going to explain to you exactly why talk therapy alone can't heal narcissistic abuse. What You Will Learn In This Episode: Complex PTSD and why it so difficult to heal The benefits and limits of talk therapy like CBT and DBT Why you need a therapist who has been through the trauma of narcissistic abuse Why talk therapy can access only 10% of your brain and what to do with the rest How talk therapy can sometimes actually make you feel worse How EMDR and Brainspotting therapies work Wherever you are on your healing journey, please make sure that you are getting the right treatment for you. Look for a therapist who has been through what you have been through, and who is using brain-body based somatic psychotherapies, so they can help you shift in the part of the brain where the trauma is stuck, because if you don't do that, you could be in talk therapy for years. Resources: Episode 003 What is Complex PTSD  Join my Facebook group   
Gaslighting is a very insidious form of psychological abuse. It leaves the victims feeling insane, thinking they are the crazy ones. In this episode I’m going to tell you some stories about gaslighting, so you can recognise it when you see it or experience it. What You Will Learn In This Episode: Why narcissists will never question themselves The examples of gaslighting How continuous gaslighting changes your brain physiologically Why you need to learn to believe your gut Being angry with yourself as a sign of healing   I'd love to hear if you've got any stories of gaslighting. Are they as wild as wacky as mine? Resources: Divorce Became My Superpower by Caroline Strawson 
Today I’m talking about the family dynamics of narcissistic abuse, and the different roles that occur within a family. In particular, I want to talk about the scapegoat within the family when you have a narcissistic parent. What You Will Learn In This Episode: What is a scapegoat? Why narcissistic mothers are particularly harmful to a child The examples of scapegoating within a family How scapegoating affects a child’s beliefs about themselves Why narcissistic personality disorder cannot be cured How you can heal your children by healing your own codependency I'm a big believer that when you heal yourself you heal the next generation. So just because your children have a parent that is a narcissist does not mean that they will be a codependent or a narcissist. You can break the cycle of scapegoating, you can heal, and the reason I know that is because that's exactly what I did. Resources:
It's not a coincidence that you end up in a relationship with a narcissist. There are always patterns to this type of behaviour. So where does it all start? That’s what we are looking at today. What You Will Learn In This Episode: How unhealed inner child wounds manifest in our adult life Why it is wrong to leave babies to cry and fall asleep by themselves How our brain actually keeps us safe by keeping us stuck in the trauma response Where our inner feeling that the world is unsafe comes from How to heal and upgrade our inner operative system What we have to look at here is deep inner child healing. When we heal and upgrade that inner child into your world today, we get a level of understanding, and when we heal that inner wound, we can change everything. Resources: 
In today's episode I want to talk about codependency and the narcissist, because a codependent is literally a magnet to a narcissist. We will go over what codependency is, and the mechanism behind the codependent-narcissist mutual attraction. What You Will Learn In This Episode: What is exactly codependency? The roots of the lack of self-love and self-worth in childhood The similarities and differences between a narcissist and a codependent How we end up in the vicious circle of a narcissist-codependent relationship Why it’s easier to heal codependency than narcissism How to start with healing your codependency When you put expectations on other people to behave in a certain way for you to feel good enough, you're putting your happiness in someone else's hands. You need to take responsibility to go within and heal your wounds first. And when you heal your own codependency, you change everything because you stop looking externally to get your sense of self worth. Resources: Healing Codependency: Self Hate To Self Love Course:
The question is - can you ever survive narcissistic abuse? Right now you might be feeling like you are in a long dark tunnel, feeling angry, guilty, shameful and having no energy to get out of it. But I’m passionate about helping you and educating you on how to start overcoming this trauma. What You Will Learn In This Episode: How to tackle the feeling of overwhelm by narcissistic abuse Introduction to our parasympathetic nervous system How our childhood wounds condition our nervous system The value of body-based therapy for processing childhood trauma Being in the present moment as the key for changing your trauma response So the short answer to whether you can survive narcissistic abuse is yes, absolutely. And I don't just want you to survive, I want you to thrive and help you find meaning in what you have been through. Resources:
So you found yourself married to a narcissist, and you are thinking about leaving. Or maybe you have already started the process of divorcing a narcissist, and you realise that it is only just beginning. In this episode we are covering steps and resources that can help you go through this difficult process. What You Will Learn In This Episode: Why divorcing a narcissist is not like other divorces How to take care of your personal safety first The three lanes when divorcing a narcissist Legal lane aspects: divorce, children and finances Why mediation doesn’t work with a narcissist Emotional lane: blocking or modifying communication Other people lane: creating new friendships based on trust, love and connection    Know that the first year of divorcing a narcissist is going to be really tough, but you can do it. I trust you and I believe in you, but you've got to focus on your safety and on your mental health. Resources: McKenzie Friend, Our Family Wizard
I'm sure most of you have heard of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. But there is something else called Complex PTSD. So in today’s episode we are talking about the Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. What You Will Learn In This Episode: What Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is The difference between PTSD and Complex PTSD Being busy all the time as one of the traits of Complex PTSD Avoiding certain things and lack of memory as possible signs of the Complex PTSD How dissociation, flashbacks and intrusive thoughts manifest in Complex PTSD Long-term health risks of this disorder The neuroscience behind the Complex PTSD If you can relate to some of the symptoms of the Complex PTSD, it doesn't mean you're going to have this forever. It just means that trauma is stuck, and what we have to do is unstick it, process it, get it time stamped into the past and move forward. I believe you, but it is your responsibility to do something about it. And I’m here to support you. Resources: 
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