In the moment the disturbed character engages in their dysfunctional thinking and behavior patterns, you know they’re also resisting the idea of accepting and internalizing the values and controls necessary to change. That’s why they’re almost certain to repeat the same problem behaviors unless they are more reliably confronted and corrected.

For change to be properly promoted and reinforced, problem behaviors must be reckoned with at the very moment they occur. Toward that end, over the years I developed worksheets that both individuals with character impairments and their relationship partners have used to confront and correct dysfunctional behaviors, thinking patterns, and attitudes.

When it comes to gaining the skills to empower oneself – and especially when it comes to overcoming character deficiencies – perhaps nothing is as important as confronting, correcting, and ultimately replacing dysfunctional behavior patterns.

Most clinicians know how powerful a treatment approach Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is and when when asked, will tell you they’re both knowledgeable about and employ it’s principles. But in practice, what many therapists really do is primarily Cognitive Therapy (CT) or their own unique blend of CT and other traditional insight-oriented techniques.

Insight is a wonderful thing, but without challenging dysfunctional thinking and behavior patterns, and reinforcing efforts to do things differently, most people stay stuck.

The current edition of “Dame” magazine features some of my thoughts on gaslighting and what makes certain personalities use this manipulation tactic.

A 6-hour “webinar is being planned for September 24, 2015. More details will be available in the coming weeks.

To care enough about the welfare of others to want to work on their behalf requires empathy, and is the essence of genuine love. Disturbed characters lack the capacity to love in this way because they lack empathy, and the warning signs are always in the attitudes they display toward accepting obligation.

Some individuals possess innate traits and have learning experiences that together more easily prepare them to lead a responsible life. But other individuals possess traits that make the socialization process inherently more challenging than usual. And, if on top of that such folks just happen to come from environments replete with various types of abuse, neglect, or inadequate guidance, they can enter adulthood with little motivation to bear the burden of responsible living.