Robert Hare jokes that the chapter on sociopath treatment is the shortest in any book on sociopathy, because nothing works. If there is no treatment, what does that mean for your relationship with them?
Various sociopath treatment options have been tried and failed. Putting them in prison and other punishments don't work because they just don't care about consequences. The desire for instant gratification over rides any consideration of consequences.
Modern brain scans show defects in certain parts of the brain so medications are not a viable option.
Sending them to therapy often results in the sociopath learning more about how humans with feelings think and function and this new knowledge is simply used to improve their manipulation skills!
One sociopathic treatment that has seen some success is positive reinforcement therapy but for the moment this is being tested in adolescents with psychopathic traits in institutional environments.
So it sociopathic treatment does not work, what implications does this have if you find yourself in a relationship with a sociopath.
Without a cure, it means that the sociopath is not going to change. Ever!
This is very significant because it means that however much you think you can help this person to change, with more love, more attention, more pleasing them, or whatever, it's a waste of time. If you are reading this, then you have probably tried all these things for some time and it's time to give it up! They are never going to change.
Secondly, while some sociopaths don't' apologize for anything, some of them do, because they realize that it s expected and/or they are forgiven for what they have done. Remember many sociopaths are great actors and they can be very convincing when they apologize.
However, they don't mean a word of it. They will continue to do the same nasty things no matter how often they apologize. It is one of the ways that the sociopathic trait of lack of responsibility shows up, not having any sense of having to stick to their promises. (Have you noticed that you seem to be fighting or arguing over the same things, time and time again?)
And thirdly, if this sociopath is abusing you, then you can expect the bad treatment to continue. They ain't gonna change! The best 'sociopathic treatment' is to get out of the relationship, and the sooner the better...
Sometimes the sociopath will offer to go to therapy and they promise that they will change. This is a trick. Remember that big ego? They think they are superior and don't think they need to change. It's simply done as a way to keep the victim trapped in the relationship.
What typically happens is that the sociopath learns more things about their partner in therapy as the partner often feels emboldened to reveal things in front of a therapist because they feel safer. This information can and will be used against the partner by the sociopathic controlling husband or wife.
Most therapists do not understand mind control and sociopathy (this has very significant implications in sociopathic treatment) and this leaves them vulnerable to being tricked and deceived by the sociopath. The sociopath lies about and distorts the events in the relationship and makes out that they are the victim in the relationship.
What happens then is that the therapist believes the sociopath and both the sociopath and the therapist end up blaming the victim for the relationship problems. This is an absolute disaster for the victim because the sociopath then has somebody else with authority on their side and they are not shy about taking advantage of it! The 'sociopath treatment' then becomes another big stick with which the victim is beaten.
Another possibility is that the therapist, not recognizing sociopathy, offers a diagnosis that they are familiar with. Sociopaths have been diagnosed as bipolar, autistic, Asperger's, "has difficulty expressing emotions", multiple personality disorder and so on.
The sociopathic treatment then becomes treatment of another disorder, which is obviously doomed to failure.
Couples therapy with a sociopath is a no win situation for the partner. Especially when the therapist does not know about mind control or sociopathy because some of the things may seem so far fetched that the therapist does not believe they are really happening and the therapist often does not notice the subtleties of psychological abuse. (These problems also arise when a victim goes alone for treatment, either while still in the relationship or after having left the abusive situation.)
At best, the victim gets no help and at worst this type of sociopath treatment makes things a whole lot worse.
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If you think you are or have been in a cult or a destructive relationship, or a friend or family member might be in a cult and you want to talk to someone, send me a message on the Contact page and we can arrange to talk. All communication will be treated in the strictest confidence.
You have the theory but how do you actually apply it? This book spells it out...
Do you think that you might be in an abusive relationship? Are you realizing that the group you are in may be a cult?
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