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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.
49 Episodes
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In this episode, we will talk about the difference between narcissistic abuse and narcissistic trauma. We will analyse and understand the origin of the trauma produced by narcissistic abuse, why narcissistic behaviour triggers memories of past events in our lives, and how we can reclaim our power.  What You Will Learn In This Episode: - Why we choose to stay in abusive relationships  - The differences between narcissistic abuse and narcissistic trauma - The role of our interpretation of past events during our childhood in how we feel today  - How separating abuse from trauma can help us take our power back When we are abused by a narcissist, our response to abuse is related to our childhood wounds, and it is crucial that we work on healing them. Once we recover our younger self, even though we can't change a narcissist, we can change our interpretation of their behaviour.  Resources: - Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse  - Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/ - My website: https://www.carolinestrawson.com/
In today's episode, we will discuss what happens when we end a relationship with a narcissist. We will analyse why the abuse continues after the end of the relationship, and why narcissists smear our reputation when we are the ones who decide to separate or divorce. I'll share some of my own experiences, and how I learned to stop judging myself and others in narcissistic abusive relationships.  What You Will Learn In This Episode: - Why narcissists feel their wounded parts triggered when we decide to end the relationship - What makes a narcissist want to end a relationship  - Why our narcissistic ex-spouse looks like a different person after we separate from them - Why narcissists tend to rewrite the story of what happened and then try to smear our reputation Instead of judging ourselves for staying in an abusive relationship, we can take this awakening as an opportunity to know ourselves better. We need to be curious about why we feel the way we do, and identify the younger wounded parts we were trying to protect by accepting being in a relationship with a narcissist. Resources: - Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse  - Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/ - My website: https://www.carolinestrawson.com/
This week we will answer a question that many people ask themselves after an abusive relationship - can a narcissist change their spots? We will dive deep into why those abused start doubting themselves, and understand why our narcissistic ex-partners seem happy and fulfilled in their new relationship.  What You Will Learn In This Episode: - Why we start doubting ourselves after breaking up with the narcissist - How a narcissist's protective parts trigger a codependent's protective parts - The two things to consider when a narcissist enters a new relationship  - What we can and what we cannot change about what happened to us in the past Healing from narcissistic trauma doesn't happen instantly. It's about realising that the narcissist highlighted our core wounds and protective parts. The best thing we can do is stop looking at the narcissist and their new relationship, focus that lens on ourselves, take back our power, and do what we need to do to live our best life. Resources: - Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse  - Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/ - My website: https://www.carolinestrawson.com/
Today I'm joined by the extraordinary Danette May, America’s leading healthy lifestyle expert, #1 best-selling author of “The Rise,” and 7 health and fitness books and programs. She is a co-founder and CCO of Mindful Health, LLC (#48 on the Inc. 5000 List), dedicated founder of The Rise movement, world-renowned motivational speaker, wife, and mother.   Danette's rise began after losing her son during childbirth, getting divorced, and finding herself with $47 to her name. It was then that she decided to stop being a victim and rewrite her story.  She began to focus on the three pillars of healing: healing foods, healing movement, and a healing mindset. These three pillars form the foundation of every product or program she's created since then.  In this episode, Danette charts how she was able to pull herself back from rock bottom to have POST TRAUMATIC GROWTH in all areas of her life.  Danette would also offer anyone who pre-orders her book access to a Free Live Virtual Relationship Coaching Event (worth $597). As a VIP coach, she leads healing retreats, and helps high level execs change their mindset, learn to manifest, and call in intimate relationships, attracting their Soul’s Contract Connection. Pre-orders of the new book "Embrace Abundance" can get a FREE TICKET to a live event by going here: http://embraceabundancebook.com What You Will Learn In This Episode: - What it meant for Danette to fail to tune into her intuition - The importance of taking responsibility for our life choices - Why forgiveness is so liberating - The three pillars of healing, and why it’s essential to focus on each of them - The importance of the words that we say to ourselves When we forgive those who hurt us, we unplug them from our energetic field. Either if they say or do something to us, or if we remember what they did to us in the past, we won't be affected. Only after we unplug ourselves from the people who hurt us, we can rise up and be who we want to be, without being pulled down by past memories.  Resources: - Visit Danette May's website: https://danettemay.com/  - Pre-order Danette’s new book “Embrace Abundance” http://embraceabundancebook.com  - Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse  - Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/
Today I’m sharing with you a fantastic conversation with Ross Rosenberg. Ross Rosenberg M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, is the owner of  Self-Love Recovery Institute. He is a psychotherapist, educator, expert witness and author. Ross is known globally for his expertise in codependency (Self-Love Deficit Disorder), Pathological Narcissism, Narcissistic Abuse and Trauma Treatment. He is a keynote speaker who has presented in 30 States/70 cities and abroad and has been regularly featured on national TV and radio. His “The Human Magnet Syndrome” books sold over 120K copies and are translated into 10 languages. His YouTube Channel has amassed 19 million video views and more than 200K subscribers.   In this episode, Ross shared brilliant insights about responsibility, codependency, children moulded by narcissistic parents, and core shame. We talked about his definition of codependency, and how it was a game changer for so many people after finding an explanation that made sense for them.  What You Will Learn In This Episode: - The victim's connection with responsibility and the band-aid therapy - Ross' journey of dealing with narcissists in his life, and how he managed to overcome his challenges - How many types of codependents there are according to Ross, and the difference between them - What is the human magnet syndrome - What is a relationship template, how it is created, and how it works Ross’s definition of codependency is revolutionary, because it offers a simple explanation of the condition. After we have an answer, we can make a choice to address the problem and neutralize its cause.  Connect with Ross Rosenberg: - Self-Love Recovery Institute https://www.selfloverecovery.com/  - Find Ross on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/rossarosenberg/  - Find Ross on Twitter https://twitter.com/rossrosenberg1/  - Find Ross on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/rossrosenberg_slri/ - Visit Ross’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/clinicalcareconsult Resources: - Book: Ross Rosenberg - The Human Magnet Syndrome: The Codependent Narcissist Trap: Surviving Narcissistic Abuse https://www.amazon.com/Human-Magnet-Syndrome-Codependent-Narcissist-ebook/dp/B07D99945P/  - Book: Alice Miller - The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self https://www.amazon.com/Drama-Gifted-Child-Search-Third-ebook/dp/B06XCG9MKN/  - Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse  - Connect with me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/
Today, we will talk about why we feel WE need to change after all the abuse received from the narcissist in our lives. To help us see this issue from a different lens, we use the Internal Family System perspective, and we will understand why we feel that way.  What You Will Learn In This Episode: - What is the reason behind our protective parts making us feel angry or frustrated - The consequence of blending with our protective parts - The questions we need to ask ourselves when we start feeling angry and frustrated When we feel we need to change our behaviour around the narcissist, or change how we react to their abuse, a sense of injustice invades us. The truth is we don't need to change; we only need to ask ourselves and understand why our protective parts are coming to rescue us. Ideally, we should see a narcissist as a spotlight warning us against being triggered and confusing our protective parts with our true self.   Resources: - Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse  - Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/  
In this episode, we will dive deeper into a question that I get asked a lot - am I turning into a narcissist? We will talk about why we start to notice some narcissistic behaviours in ourselves after going through an abusive relationship with a narcissist.  What You Will Learn In This Episode: - Why those victimised by a narcissist start exhibiting narcissistic behaviour - What the mirror neurons are, and their role in our behaviour - Why narcissists won't start mirroring codependency - How looking from a trauma-informed lens can help us understand our own narcissistic traits  No narcissist will ever question their narcissistic behaviour, they will blame others for their actions. The best thing we can do when we detect narcissistic behaviour in ourselves is to step back, and look at it from a place of curiosity, compassion, courage, and clarity. If we are genuinely asking ourselves - am I a narcissist? - we most certainly are not.  Resources: - Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse  - Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/
In today's episode, we will talk about narcissists and empathy. We will go through the three types of empathy and explain which area of the brain is responsible for each of them, so we can understand better why, according to the DSM, narcissists lack empathy.  What You Will Learn In This Episode: - The three types of empathy - cognitive, emotional, and compassionate - The three main areas of the brain that are associated with each type of empathy - What kind of empathy narcissists are able to demonstrate - Why and when narcissists are showing some kind of empathy - What happens to us when we are offered no empathy When we understand the origin and the difference between the three types of empathy, it becomes easier to understand why sometimes it may look like the narcissist in our lives is showing kindness or compassion. For them, it is all about getting narcissistic supply, and they'll put themselves in a situation where they can get more of it.  Resources:  - Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse   - Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/
In this episode, we will talk about the shame and judgment that those who stay in a narcissist relationship suffer from others and from themselves. We will dive deep into the reasons behind the decision to stay in an abusive relationship, and how to be more compassionate towards those who make such decisions.  What You Will Learn In This Episode: - How our protective parts don't know what happiness is - What happens when we hear the phrase ‘Just leave then’ - Safety concerns in case of leaving a narcissistic relationships - How we can help people who decide to stay in abusive relationships - The importance of bringing awareness into your internal protective mechanisms Someone that comes from a place of not feeling worthy is more likely to end up as a codependent in an abusive relationship. In most cases, the fear of leaving that relationship will be greater than their suffering, so they'll choose to stay. Without help, those people can enter the endless cycle of not feeling good enough to leave and, simultaneously, not worthy enough to generate love in their partners.  Resources:  - Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse   - Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/
The third and final interview segment with Sam Vaknin is perhaps the most triggering, as we discuss the concepts of victim, victimhood, and being victimized by a narcissist. We also analyze Sam's view on victimization and victimhood as new social trends and part of the tribalism we live in nowadays.  What You Will Learn In This Episode: - What happened to us is not what we are - Why people idolize, perpetuate, and glamorise being a victim - The danger of the self-styled empaths - How to love yourself, trust your gut, and not abuse your abuser When we grow up hearing things like we are not good enough or our parents find us helpful only as victims, then our self-esteem is low and we understand there is no other way than victimhood to get favourable outcomes from our environment. However, in order to heal, we must allow ourselves to be loved for who we are, and not for what happened to us.  Resources:  - Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited by Sam Vaknin - Connect with Professor Sam Vaknin on LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube - Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse   - Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/
This is part two of the fantastic interview with Professor Sam Vaknin. In this episode we talk about narcissistic abuse from a social perspective, and how we, as society members, deal with abusers and victims. We dive deep into the danger of labelling people, and discuss the idea of fluidity between the roles of victims and abusers.  What You Will Learn In This Episode: - The counterproductive tendency of isolating trait behaviours, labelling and medicalising - Regarding narcissism as a positive adaptation that has helped a child to survive - Are we all a part of a colossal victim community? - The differences in a relationship between narcissists and healthy people, and narcissists and codependents - How the confirmation bias and the saviour mentality affects the victims of narcissist abuse Accepting that many victims are never likely to abandon their abusers, Doctor Vaknin believes that people should be educated on self-defence, on how to create boundaries and react to abusive situations. Both the victim and abuser share the same source - they are children with wounded inner parts, utilising their survival tools.  Resources: -  Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence--From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror by Judith Lewis Herman - Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited by Sam Vaknin - Connect with Professor Sam Vaknin on LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube - Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse   - Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/
This episode is the first part of an enlightening interview with Sam Vaknin, Professor of Psychology & Finances at the Southern University of Rostov-on-Don, Russia, PhD in Philosophy and Physics, and author of the book "Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited."  In this first of a three-episode series, we talked about why the narcissistic abuse experience is different from other abusive relationships, and why each narcissistic abuse story is unique.  What You Will Learn In This Episode: - How it was connecting with narcissistic abuse victims before the internet era - The uniqueness of the narcissistic abuse experience - How narcissists live inside their mind - Why making demands or having expectations threatens a narcissist’s equilibrium  - The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) vs. the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM) When Professor Vaknin started working with narcissistic abuse trauma back in 1995, there was no terminology, no words to describe it. One of his first jobs was to coin terms like narcissistic supply, somatic narcissist, cerebral narcissist, and narcissistic abuse itself. He has been studying the subject passionately for over 26 years, helping thousands of people to recover from their trauma.  Resources: - Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited by Sam Vaknin - Connect with Professor Sam Vaknin on LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube - Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse   - Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/  
Today, I want to talk about what happens after we break up with a narcissist, what we should expect from them, and how to prevent being affected by what they can do or say to us and our closest friends.  What You Will Learn In This Episode: Safety is your number one priority What to do when our reputation is being shredded by the narcissist The narcissist and their army of flying monkeys What drives narcissists to take action Why falling into a love bombing trap is easier than it looks Our goal is not trying to change or fix the narcissist Breaking up a relationship with a narcissist might lead us to a lonely place if they turn our friends and relatives against us. We must create a robust ecosystem around us, and surround ourselves by the people who believe in us. We need to keep in mind that we are enough, and that we are worthy and lovable regardless of what the narcissist could have said to us or to anyone else about us.  Resources: Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/
This week we are talking about relationships after narcissistic abuse. But to talk about future relationships, we need to look at our past and what we learned about love when we were children.  What You Will Learn In This Episode: The three parts of our brain and what their roles are Where the belief that the world is a dangerous place comes from How to use the knowledge about how our mind works in order to empower ourselves The prominent role of attachment in our perception of what love is The connections between how we felt as children, and how we feel around the narcissist as adults How YOU can break the cycle of narcissistic abuse To ensure a healthy and lasting new relationship, we need to do some inner work, identify our blueprint of what love and connection are, and work on it. If we don't address it, we are at risk of repeating this inter-generational trauma, and possibly passing it onto the next generations.  Resources: Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/
In today's episode, we will talk about future generations and narcissism. We will explore and analyze kids' trauma responses to being with a narcissist and the best ways to help them deal with it. What You Will Learn In This Episode: The importance of breaking the trauma cycle and teaching self-love to our kids Parallel parenting as the best choice for co-parenting with a narcissist The fourth trauma response to narcissistic abuse Why our kids choose to misbehave with us The best response we can offer to our angry children When our kids come back to us aggressive or angry, we must see them through the trauma-informed lens. We need to understand them, show them love and compassion, be supportive and make them feel that we see them and hear them. Our kids misbehave with us because we are their anchor. We must be aware of that and build our relationship with them from that place.  Resources: Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse  Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/
This episode is about the controversy around the diagnosis of a narcissist and its medicalisation. Should narcissists be medicalised? And if they should, how does it affect those who've been involved with a narcissist? What You Will Learn In This Episode: The problem with medicalisation of a certain problem Why Complex PTSD doesn't go away with a sense of retribution The beauty of hindsight in the context of a relationship with a narcissist Why moving forward knowing the narcissist won't change is a powerful step How narcissism has a lot more traits than the 9 from the DSM As a society, we are conditioned to look at the symptoms and there is not much space for considering the root cause. That's what is happening with narcissists as well. The root cause gets overlooked, and the abuse suffered by the narcissist's victims remains unacknowledged. But the solution might lie in looking at narcissists through the trauma lens.  Resources: Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse  Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/
One of the narcissist types that is hardest to identify is the covert narcissist. Today we will go through a covert narcissist's behavioural traits, the ways they get their narcissistic supply, how that makes us feel, and how to deal with that behaviour. What You Will Learn In This Episode: What happens when a narcissist agrees to go to therapy Why covert narcissists are so hard to identify How they act like they are the victim The spiral effect of nobody believing our story How to bring the power back to yourself Why you should stop worrying about what other people say When we think about a narcissist, the first image that comes to mind is an arrogant, entitled and overly confident individual. But a covert narcissist is quite the opposite, they will portray themselves as a victim who suffers constant abuse. We need to be aware that they can turn people who know us against us, and be ready to deal with that.  Resources: Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse  Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/
This week I want to talk about co-parenting with a narcissist in COVID times. We'll talk about what happens when the pandemic is used as an excuse for not giving the kids back, or sending them over. We will also go through the best way to communicate with a narcissist in conflict situations, and what parallel parenting is.  What You Will Learn In This Episode: The difficulties of co-parenting with a narcissist What it means to parallel parent The importance of self-care and why it is NOT selfish Why you need to register, document and not get dragged into an argument How to set up up a grounding station at home We need to pay special attention to the pandemic restrictions used as control methods by the narcissist in our lives. If that is the case, our kids' happiness is essential to look at before we decide to act.  Resources: Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse  Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/
This week I want to talk to you about judgement from the Internal Family Systems and parts therapy perspective. We’ll go over what judgement really is and what questions you can ask yourself to get to the root of judgement both towards yourself and towards other people, including the narcissist. What You Will Learn In This Episode: 
 How to look at judgement as one of the parts in our system The protective role of judgement The wounded younger parts hiding under someone’s judgemental behaviour Three questions to ask yourself when you recognise judgement in yourself How to approach judgement with compassion and curiosity It is definitely not pleasant to be on the receiving end of somebody else’s judgment, but I’m also inviting you to check in with yourself. How much are you judging other people? Because that's just a protector part showing up to protect you from your wounded younger parts. Resources: Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse  Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/
This week we talk about the possibility of curing a narcissist, and what we can do to make our situation better. Is it possible at all to get beyond their protector parts, and heal that wounded inner child that is responsible for their narcissistic behaviour?   What You Will Learn In This Episode: - What the real chances are of curing a narcissist - How a covert narcissist turns things around and gaslights us - The lack of ownership and of sense of responsibility in narcissists - The difficulty of helping someone who thinks they don’t need help - How to be compassionate towards the narcissist and still keep them accountable for their behaviour As narcissists are a product of a childhood trauma, it is okay to be compassionate and empathetic. We need to accept that it is impossible to help someone who doesn't acknowledge they need help.  Resources: - Join my Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thriveafternarcissisticabuse  - Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinestrawson/
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