Recent Articles

Office Politics and Narcissistic Personality Disorder
We all encounter “difficult” people in the workplace, and Karen was no exception. But there are subtle, yet significant, differences in the way Karen behaves towards other employees that places her outside of being just a difficult person to deal with. Karen is a full-blown narcissist... (Read more)

Mothers with Borderline Personality Disorder
Lillian is an excellent example of how borderline personality disorder (BPD) can affect an entire family, as well as causing extreme unhappiness to the individual. Lillian is in her mid-40s and the younger of two daughters. Although personality disorders are not formally diagnosed until adulthood, the subtle signs are present by the late teens and Lillian’s heavy drinking and promiscuous activities left her pregnant at 19... (Read more)

The Stigma and Misunderstandings Surrounding Mental Illness
I was alerted to the publication of the article below by a colleague who has worked in the field of mental illness for over two decades. It was written by Jaelea Skehan, who is the Director of the Hunter Institute of Mental Health in Australia. Read her article below and you will see a clear example of why mental illness remains a problem for sufferers due to the inability of people in this woman’s position to have even a modicum of understanding of the pain that sufferers endure on a daily basis... (Read more)

Poor Treatment of Suicide Survivors
What’s worse than getting to the point where life is nothing more than an ongoing emotional hell that needs to end? It’s surviving a suicide attempt and being treated by so-called professional medical staff with contempt and irritation... (Read more)

The Male Narcissist as a Worker and a Husband
... By the time Jenny was due to give birth, she was essentially alone all day, isolated from the community, had no employment and was far from family and friends. Jenny gave birth to a baby boy, whom Anthony crowed over and shared photos on social media and at work. Anthony was happy and proud of his achievement. It was all about Anthony... (Read more)

No-One Believes My Mother Is a Narcissist: The Narcissistic Façade
... On the surface, Gloria looks like a godsend. Under many conditions, she is seemingly able to “control” her narcissism. However, this “control” is a façade. The reason why Gloria does all of the community work that she does is not due to her desire to help others – it is all about her need to look good to others and to look good to herself. In performing these duties, Gloria successfully convinces others that she is a “wonderful” person – “warm” and “loving”... (Read more)

Michelle: A Study of Borderline Personality Disorder
Like many people with borderline personality disorder (BPD), Michelle is initially engaging and personable at first meeting. She has a deep need to be liked by those she sees as her betters, and therefore is compliant with those she reveres. Hence she appears to be easy to get on with, and helpful and willing to please. But it doesn’t take long for most of Michelle’s endeavours to flounder, both personally and in the workplace, due to her BPD... (Read more)

My Narcissistic Mother is Dead: What Now?
What happens when your narcissistic parent suddenly dies? This largely depends on what level the client has reached in therapy or in their individual processing about the relationship. Being in therapy makes this passage (and, in fact, dealing with a narcissist) much easier, as negative belief systems sown in early childhood need to be unravelled and changed... (Read more)

Estranged Adult Children: When People Blame the Mother
The phenomenon of estranged adult children is on the rise and affects more families than statistics indicate. This is largely through the embarrassment of parents who are hesitant to admit to anyone outside the immediate family that they have not heard from their adult children in months or even years. It is seen as a failure on the part of the parents... (Read more)

Hannah and Jeff – How a Mother coped with her Estranged Son
In the previous article on Hannah and her two sons, we looked how Hannah dealt with the difficult relationship she had with her younger adult son, Cam. In today’s article we will be following Hannah as she works in therapy to decide how best to cope with the estrangement from her elder son, Jeff... (Read More)

Coping with Estranged Adult Children (2)
So many of my clients have suffered from the effects of having a relationship with an estranged son or daughter. The estrangement is not the choice of the parent – it is a choice of the adult child. When the cause of the estrangement is obvious, there is less pain on the part of the parent. However, in the cases I work with, many of these parents (often it is the mother who seeks counseling) have no real idea of why their adult son or daughter no longer wishes to have contact with them. Not only does this cause extreme emotional pain to the mother, but as the cause is not known, there is nothing that can be done to rectify the situation... (Read More)

Living with Difficult Adult Children: The Story of Helen
Helen has three adult daughters. Aged in their 30’s, they act more like adolescents than adults, regarding their ability to plan and take responsibility for their lives. These women do not have psychiatric disorders but they have failed to mature as normally expected. So instead of being able to relax and enjoy her space from active mothering, Helen is basically “on call” for every minor trauma or circumstance that happens in these girls lives. And the word “girl” is intentional, because in no way are any of these three daughters “women”... (Read More)

Being the Child of a Parent with Borderline Personality Disorder
In this article, we will be addressing the experience of being a child brought up by an adult with BPD, and the emotional damage that may result from growing up in such an environment... (Read More)

Philip: Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder in the Workplace
Philip is an intelligent and hard-working engineer with many years experience in his field. He also suffers from undiagnosed Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD). This came up during the marital counseling he was undergoing with his wife. The marriage was in trouble because Philip’s wife Sara was at her wit’s end in trying to communicate with her husband... (Read More)

Coping with Estranged Adult Children
In this article, and ones to follow, we will be looking at relationships between parents and their adult children. In particular, when those supposed adult-to-adult relationships go horribly wrong. One of the features of many of these relationships is that the parent does not know why they are now estranged from their adult children. And, of more concern, when they try to ask what is wrong, the parent is often met with a wall of silence... (Read more)


Return to Home Page