Co-Parenting With A Psychopath Is A Special Kind Of Hell

Sadly, we live in a world made up of many ‘split’ families. Parents are either separated, divorced or in extreme cases, one parent simply moves on and forgets they ever had a child.

Trying to co-parent with a ‘parent’ that is mentally unstable can be extremely difficult. Often times, one parent is responsible for the child while the other parent ‘thinks’ and truly ‘believes’ they too are responsible for the child, yet they don’t seem to show up to the party.

As the responsible parent, how do you deal with this? Well, you fight through it, stay true to your child/children and always put them first.

Here are some signs that may help you distinguish whether or not you are dealing with a sociopathic individual and ways to deal with the hardships of that realization. 

  • Lack Of Remorse – They hurt people, especially their children without a care in the world.
  • Liars – They lie about anything and to anyone and do so very casually.
  • Lack Empathy – They are like stone inside. On the outside they appear to care, but within they most certainly do not.
  • Incapable Of Loving – They are unable to love others, and it is apparent to those close to them. To outsiders they will appear to be the most loving people on the planet, but this is very untrue. These types of people will not show affection to their children. They will not hug, kiss or say I love you. Most often times, their affection will be in the form of sexual contact with a partner, with the sexual contact being the extent of their ‘love’.
  • Egocentric – They love being the center of attention. Often times they will talk their lives up in person and on social media, making it appear as though their life is wonderful, fulfilling and amazing!
  • Delusions Of Grandeur – They often feel superior to others.
  • Never Wrong, Always Right – No matter what the situation at hand, their opinion is always correct. They have an answer for everything and even though they may clearly be in the wrong, they believe whole-heartedly that they are right.
  • Selfish – Their lives come first. Their relationships come first. Their jobs, their playtime, their entire world comes first before their children.

How to Deal with a Sociopath

You need to be wary when dealing with a person with sociopathic tendencies. Here are a few things to watch out for when dealing with a loony.

  • Practice the Rule of Threes™

Only give someone 3 chances. After that, it’s best to cut your losses and run. One mistake such as a lie, a broken promise or a neglected responsibility should be forgiven since it could be a misunderstanding. The second mistake could be a serious mistake. The third strike should be the final one. Cut ties with them completely. This may be hard to do when children are involved, but if you are dealing with a sociopath and have been for some time… it won’t ever change and this will cause more stress and harm to your child that the pain of one parent walking away.

  • Avoid Them

When you realize you are dealing with someone who could be a sociopath, make a point of staying away from them. Do not try to cure them or beat them at their own game, you will never ‘win’. Again, this may be hard to do if you are co-parenting, just try your best to keep contact to a minimum. This will allow you to breathe and minimize stress for you and your child.

  • Don’t Try To Reform Them

With studies showing that efforts at curing sociopaths with therapy do not bear fruit, it is best to leave them alone. They will only waste your time and use the sessions to sharpen their conning and conversational skills. You simply cannot cure a sociopath. Only a person who has some humanity in them can be reformed. Those devoid of a conscience are beyond reform.

  • Keep It to Yourself

How to deal with a sociopath? Do not confront the sociopath about their behavior and your plan to cease interaction. This will only backfire on you.

  • Refrain from Accusations

Do not try to accuse them of any wrongdoing. They won’t respond well and it might turn into a fight. You will lose more than they will.

  • Hold Back Your Emotions

A sociopath wouldn’t want to hear about our feelings especially if what you feel reflects negatively on them. Avoid getting emotional whenever you are in a confrontation with them. However, if they feel wronged by you, show them as much empathy as you would another person.

  • Avoid Ultimatums And Power Plays

A sociopath will view any sort of ultimatums, emotional pressure and power plays as games or threats.

  • Avoid Intrigue

Do not play mind games with a sociopath. Do not compete with them, do not try to outsmart them or even psychoanalyze them. Your focus should be on protecting yourself.

  • There’s  No Right or Wrong

Don’t talk about being wrong or right. Sociopaths do not perceive right or wrong. They only understand power, and they want to have power over you.

  •  Be Skeptical

Sociopaths have perfected the art of pushing people’s buttons in order to get their way with them. It is important to be on the lookout for this. How to deal with a sociopath? Make sure to stay calm and collected no matter what the person says. For example, they might tell you about a party you were not invited you just to rile you up.

  • Don’t Share Personal Information

One thing you need to realize about sociopaths is that they will use anything you turn them against you. They are professional manipulators, and so you should be wary of what you share with them. Keep communication short and stick to the facts; avoiding sharing your address, your bank account, etc. Do not give your personal opinion on anything.

  •  Suspect Flattery

Flattery and compliments are different, and you should learn to tell them apart. Sociopaths use flattery as a tool for manipulation.

  • Avoid Pity Parties

Sociopaths have an easy time manipulating those who pity too easily. They will give you all sorts of sob stories to get you to do their bidding. If you are constantly feeling pity for someone who hurts you, then you are probably dealing with a sociopath. Stay away from them. That’s how to deal with a sociopath.

  •  Get Back Up

Depending on your relationship with the sociopath, you might need professional help to keep help you recover psychologically and physiologically. This is especially so when the sociopath is unwilling to let you go. Your friends can be of great help especially if the sociopath cannot reach them or is unknown to them. This is because the sociopath can easily start spreading rumors about you to your friends in a bid to turn them against you.

Be careful out there and remember as long as you are there for your child and create a loving, healthy environment for them you and your child will have an incredible, fulfilling life. It will be the other parents loss in the end.

2017 Professional Provider’s Holiday Gathering

Good friends & good cheer, it was a great time of the year!

The 1st annual Holiday Gathering took off in a Fun, Festive, Fabulous way! Everyone came (dressed in Red) to celebrate and share the Holiday Spirit. They even snuck in some ‘Shop Talk’ and exchanged wisdom and experiences, business cards and ideas!

The setting was grand….Calendar’s Grill on Wilshire Blvd. The food was scrumptious, and we had by far, thee best server, David Shepherd. Go David! (was that on purpose?!!!)

Thank you everyone for making the 1st Annual Holiday Gathering a Success. You guys are the BEST!

From my heart to yours….

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah.  Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!

scv logo Xmas 2017 Holiday Gathering 1 2017 Holiday Gathering 2 2017 Holiday Gathering 3 2017 Holiday Gathering 4 2017 Holiday Gathering 5 2017 Holiday Gathering 6

What Doesn’t Kill Me (The Film)

WHAT DOESN’T KILL ME – documentary feature film

Domestic violence: to stay or to go? Why do US courts favor the abusive father in custody cases?

On October 7, 2017 I attended the viewing of the Film, “What Doesn’t Kill Me, produced by Rachel Meyrick.  Watch Trailer Here. It was unimaginably eye-opening (and I serve in a field where eye-are-wide-open-regularly), yet this film  sharpened my awareness and reshaped my perspective in a VERY unexpected way.

WHO is behind unsafe custody decisions, is SHOCKING.

WHAT is happening in the US Court System, is SHOCKING.

WHEN the Court System stopped protecting children, is SHOCKING.

WHY are children (1 Million) being handed over to the UNSAFE parent, is SHOCKING.

HOW “We” as Americans did NOT see this, is SHOCKING.

CALL TO ACTION! The Need for a Federal Resolution

In the US, 58,000 children a year are court-ordered into partial or full custody with their abusive parent after their safe, protective parent attempts to protect them through the family court system.

When abuse is reported in custody cases, 60-75% of abusers gain custody; one study shows 85% of abusers gain custody in California.

Researchers have documented nearly 600 children [murdered] by a divorcing or separating parent involved in a contested custody case in the last 10 years. [600 Murdered]. Watch the film trailer and YOU decide if you are moved to Support the Federal Resolution.

1. Visit to identify your House Representative by zip code.

2. Schedule a meeting with your House Representative.

3. Stay connected with Child Advocate Groups:

Learn More. Get Involved. Take A Stand.


April Is National Child Abuse Prevention Month


Child Abuse  (click, copy and paste into your browser) Must Be Stopped…

Get Involved

The theme for this year’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month is “Building Community, Building Hope.” Communities have a great influence in families’ lives. Everyone can get involved and play a role in preventing child abuse and neglect and promoting child and family well-being. This section provides information on getting involved to strengthen families and your community.

Get involved to strengthen your community!

Baby steps

  • Meet and greet your neighbors.
  • Go to a parents’ meeting at your child’s school.
  • Use the Activity Calendars to plan activities in your community.

Small steps

  • Set up a playgroup in your community at people’s homes or local park (consider inviting people who may not have children at home, like local seniors).
  • Organize a community babysitting co-op.
  • Volunteer at your child’s school through the school’s administration or the parent’s organization.
  • Encourage local service providers to produce a directory of available services that are easy to find in the community.

Big steps

  • Organize a community event (a block party, father/daughter dance, parent support group)
  • Run for an office in the parent organization at your child’s school.
  • Attend local government meetings (city council or school board meetings) and let them know how important resources are in your community. Let them know how parks, strong schools, and accessible services help to strengthen your family and other families.


Federal Inter-Agency Workgroup on Child Abuse and Neglect

National Prevention Partners

State and Local Partners

Strategies to Improve Supervised Visitation in Domestic Violence

SCV logo

The following article was written by M. Sharon Maxwell, LCSW, Ph.D. and Karen Oehme, J.D. and is merely a portion of the larger article which can be found by clicking here. Professional Providers are encouraged to stay informed regarding “Best Practices” in domestic violence visitation cases.

If supervised visitation programs are to continue to be used in domestic violence cases, there

must be a more critical examination of the current provision of services in programs with the

goals of enhancing the safety of participants and confronting evidence of domestic violence as

it is manifested in supervised visitation programs. There are a number of strategies that can be

recommended but they must be addressed system-wide and become part of a coordinated

community response to ending domestic violence.

Judicial Strategies

• A formal evaluation of the alleged perpetrator and the victim should be ordered prior to the

court-order for supervised visitation. A key component of this evaluation must be a lethality

assessment. The evaluation should be conducted by a mental health professional who has

had specific domestic violence training in conducting such evaluations.

• If domestic violence is confirmed, judges should order the batterer to complete a certified

batterers intervention program before ordering supervised visitation. This is currently

mandated in Louisiana ( Ver Steegh, 2000 ).

• Once a family court judge orders supervised visitation, a schedule for judicial review of the

case must be established and maintained ( NYSPCC, 2000 ).

• Family law judges should collaborate with their local supervised visitation programs on a

regular basis regarding non-case specific issues which involve operational and policy

aspects of the program. Program limitations in accepting certain cases should be delineated,

procedures for handling court orders from other jurisdictions should be established,

procedures for providing services to families with special needs covered under the American

with Disabilities Act should be determined.

• Family law judges must acknowledge that supervised visitation programs are not appropriate

in all domestic violence cases. The potential for lethality is so great in some cases, as has

been demonstrated by program reports and experiences, that visitation programs cannot

offer an adequate assurance of safety.

• Courts should work with their local supervised visitation providers to develop formal letters

of agreement which specifically outline policies and procedures for accepting domestic

violence referrals, conditions of supervised visitation orders, and the role of the supervised

visitation monitor ( Saunders, 1998 ; NCJFCJ, 1995 ; Ver Steegh, 2000 ).

• Courts should collaborate with their supervised visitation providers in developing observation

report forms for visits or exchanges and establish a mechanism for these reports to be

conveyed back to the court on a routine basis ( NYSPCC, 2000 ).

• Finally, courts must acknowledge that supervised visitation services are provided in a very

artificial setting. While the visit or exchange may go well and there are not reports of violence,

it must not automatically be inferred from a family’s experience that unsupervised visitation

will be without risk ( Straus, 1998 ). Further evaluation by domestic violence experts is

necessary before the order for supervised visitation is withdrawn.

Program Strategies

• Staff and volunteers of programs serving domestic violence cases must be adequately

trained in the dynamics of domestic violence, the impact of domestic violence upon child

witnesses, behaviors common to batterers and how these behaviors are manifested in

supervised visitation settings. They must also be informed about legal remedies, such as

orders for protection ( NYSPCC,2000 ; Maxwell &Robinson, 1998 ).

• Programs must require participants to share orders for protection with staff and these orders

should be placed in the family’s case file. If the program employs security officers, they

should also be given an opportunity to review the order ( NYSPCC, 2000 ).

• Program staff and volunteers must pay strict attention to the confidentiality of program

participants. No information about addresses, living arrangements, means of transportation,

telephone numbers and children’s school should be released. To violate a participant’s

confidentiality in this manner could dramatically increase the physical risk to the victim and

the child(ren).


American Bar Association. (2000). Commission on Domestic Violence. Policy 00a109A.

Bailey, M. (1999). Supervised access: A long-term solution? Family and Conciliation Courts

Review , 37: 478-486.

Edleson, J. L. (1999). Children’s witnessing of domestic violence. Journal of Interpersonal

Violence , 14(8), 839-870.

Field, J. K. (1998). Visits in cases marked by violence: Judicial actions that can help keep

children and victims safe. Journal of American Judges Association , 35: 3.

Johnston, J. R. (2000). Building multidisciplinary professional partnerships with the court on

behalf of high-conflict divorcing families and their children who needs what kind of help? University

of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review, 453.



Anxiety and Your Brain

SCV logo


When you’re really anxious, your thinking center may strink to the size of a pinto bean, says noted Relationship expert Dr. Harriet Learner. It’s obviously hard to feel good about yourself when anxiety disrupts memory and concentration, leaving you unable to read, write, study, analyze, or take in new information.

Her next declaration is a telling picture into the bold impact anxiety has on a person. “Anxiety scrambles the brain in ways that leave us feeling helpless and self-doubting (ok so we’re familiar with these culprits, but wait), –when you’re anxious you experience catastrophic thinking. Doom and gloom fantasies tend to permeate your day, and reach a fever pitch when you’re lying in bed. Your anxious mind, saddled with far too much free time in the wee hours of the morning, will hook on to some dire, worst-case scenario frequently on the subject of personal finances, health, your child’s future, or the state of the world. And a slew of other issues not mentioned above. 

Anxiety can also destroy your capacity to tolerate ambiguity and complexities. We tend not to be able to see both sides of an issue, much less six or seven sides. Objective thinking becomes stunted, frozen, or your brain simply shuts down. Dr. Lerner says the most devastating part to you is your inability to see the many sides of your own self. “You” get lost in the equation, or should I call it, [Your best self] gets lost.  You tend to get locked into a narrow view of who you are, and lose sight of your own possibilities.

You’ve probably heard the saying “What you focus on grows.” If the saying is new to you,  it’s okay, the important thing for you to know is that IT IS TRUE. Since anxiety shrinks our brain center it makes sense that higher-thinking becomes compromised. When the thoughts we begin thinking are not healthy, by focusing on them allows them to appear real. The lesson to take away is, when a low thinking thoughts (from anxiety) enter your mind, redirect them to higher-thinking thoughts (the better part of who you are thoughts.)

Another noted and well-respected author, Susan Jeffers assesses the impact of anxiety this way. “Anxiety activates the little chatter-box in our heads that spews out catastrophic scenarios and serious doubts about our ability to cope, do new things, and handle whatever life brings. It drives our “lower-self” thinking, which Spurs us to operate from our most reactive self. So if you want to give a dinner party, take a new class, finish your degree after 20 years or get your high school diploma as an adult, your anxiety mind will immediately counter with several reasons why you’re inadequate to the tasks and shouldn’t try it or, for that matter, even think about it for another moment. Sound familiar? Don’t fall prey  this.

You matter. What you think matters.

Don’t compare. Appreciate.

Anxiety affects everyone. Focus on it and it grows.

Be your best-self by thinking higher-self thoughts.

Anxiety does NOT have to win. You CAN.


*The above post is a portion of  The Dance of Fear by, Dr. Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.. Emphasis added by Tamara L. Daniels The Growth Motivator.

**Anger Management classes held monthly, half-day format at Argosy University. Email: or 310.288.6868








Helpful Ways of Dealing with Anger

·         DO acknowledge that you are angry. It is important that you know how to recognize that you are angry, and give yourself permission to feel it.
·         DO calm yourself before you say anything. In the previous discussions, we saw how there is a biological reason why anger can feel overwhelming — our body is engaged in a fight or flight response. It helps then to defer any reactions until you have reached the return to normal/ adaptive phase of the anger cycle.
·         DO speak up, when something is important to you. This is the opposite to ‘keeping it all in.’ If a matter is important to you, so much so that keeping silent would just result in physical and mental symptoms, then let it out.DO explain how you’re feeling in a manner that shows ownership and responsibility for your anger. Take ownership and responsibility for your feelings. This makes the anger within your control (you can’t control other people).


Identify Your Hot Buttons Anger_hotbutton graphicHot buttons differ from person to person. Our personal histories influence what would make us angry. Some triggers are caused by conditioning, modeling, and unresolved issues.

A key to seeing if a hot button is the real cause of the anger, or just a trigger, is to see if your anger reaction is proportionate to what the situation calls for. If you’re angrier than you should be, perhaps there is an underlying emotional issue that needs to be surfaced.

*Understanding Anger Workshops held monthly on a half-day format. $49/$5 materials

For registration info go to Anger Workshop and SELECT “Which Workshop, Tele-seminar, Supplemental or Refresher Training class would you like to register for?”



Positive Parenting: In Honor of Father’s Day


American SPCC supports healthy parent-child relationships, and is a strong proponent of non-violent, positive parenting. We hope to help break the cycle of child maltreatment and violence, and have a positive effective on the well-being of children and families.

There is no doubt that parenting can be rewarding and exhausting all at the same time. The process of parenting is a full-time job, full of joys, trials, challenges, and triumphs. No parent is perfect. However, good parents take their parenting roles seriously, and are empowered to learn and develop their positive parenting skills. They accept responsibility for the total healthy development of their child, and good parents act as a positive role model. They mentor and guide their child through childhood to a successful adulthood.

What is the Definition of a Parent?

According to the Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, a parent is described as ” a protector or guardian,” “to be or act as parent of: to parent children with both love and discipline,” and, “a person who brings up and cares for another.”

What are 3 Major Parenting Goals?

  1. Ensuring children’s health and safety
  2. Preparing children for life as productive adults
  3. And, transmitting cultural values3
    (Adapted from the Encyclopedia of Psychology)

According to the American Psychological Association, a high-quality parent-child relationship is critical for healthy development.

4 Key Points to Positive Parenting Success:

  • An Effective Parent
    Your words and actions influence your child the way you want them to.
  • A Consistent Parent
    You follow similar principles or practices in your words and actions.
  • An Active Parent
    You participate in your child’s life.
  • An Attentive Parent
    You pay attention to your child’s life and observe what goes on.

From Adventures in Parenting. Click here to download a complete pdf copy.
Courtesy of Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

What are the Benefits of Positive Parenting?Parenting-Positive-Happy-Mother-Child

Positive parent-child relationships provide the foundation for children’s learning. With parents’ sensitive, responsive, and predictable care, young children develop the skills they need to succeed in life1. Early parent-child relationships have powerful effects on children’s emotional well-being (Dawson & Ashman, 2000), their basic coping and problem-solving abilities, and future capacity for relationships (Lerner & Castellino, 2002). From Positive Parent-Child-Relationships. Click here to download a complete pdf copy. Courtesy of HHS,gov and The National Center on Parent Family Community Engagement.

Like to read more from them? Click link below

ABC’s of Visitation Orders: What Every Parent and Monitor Should Know

Photo_Trainer in action-2

What is violation of a visitation order?

Violation of a visitation order occurs when one party fails to comply with the terms and provisions set forth in a court-approved child custody/visitation order.  Violations of visitation orders are usually treated very seriously, as the child’s safety or well-being may be endangered through such violations.

Violation of a visitation order may be different than a violation of an informal visitation agreement.  In general, a visitation order is usually approved by the court and is enforceable under law.  Violating it may lead to legal penalties and consequences.  On the other hand, a mere agreement between the parties may not have the full backing of the court’s approval, especially if the agreement was never written down or presented to a judge.

What are some ways that a visitation order can be violated?

Visitation orders can be violated in many different ways.  While state regulations may be different from state to state, violations may include:

  • Overstaying a visit with the child
  • Withholding visitation from the non-custodial parent
  • Not dropping off or picking the child at the correct place/time
  • Attempting to change the visitation schedule
  • Attempting to reduce visiting time of non-custodial parent without courts permission
  • Allowing someone else to pick up the child without authorization from the court
  • Attempting to visit or contact the child at non-appointment times

In some cases, changes to the visitation schedule may need to be made for legitimate reasons.  In such instances, the parties should file to modify the visitation order, rather than attempt to change it without the court’s knowledge or supervision.

What are the consequences of violation of visitation orders?

The legal consequences for violating a visitation order can include:

  • Contempt of court (any willful disobedience or disregard for a court order)
  • Criminal consequences (this usually happens as a result of repeated violations)

Also, repeated violations of visitation orders can also affect the violating party’s rights in other areas, such as their right to custody in the future.  If the party keeps violating a court ordered visitation schedule, it will be reflected in their record and may cast them in a negative light in future court hearings.  Thus, violations of visitation orders should be avoided at all costs.

What can you do when a visitation order is violated?

Parents usually violate a visitation order by keeping a child for too long or failing to pick up a child at the right time. You have many options to use if your court order is being violated. Here are a few options:

  • Call the police: Call the police if you are unable to resolve the issues on your own.
  • Seek Legal Assistance: Alert your attorney about the violations. Your attorney can send a letter notifying the other parent about legal penalties for not obeying the court order.
  • File a Motion with the Court: You can file a motion for contempt of court if the other parent continues to violate the court order. You can also request attorney’s fees and other costs with this motion.

What could happen if a parent disobeys a child custody court order?

Disobeying a court child custody order may result in harsh consequences:

  • Non-violating parents could petition the court for enforcement of the order.
  • Violating parents may need to appear in court and explain why they violated the court order.
  • The court could find the violating parent in contempt of court, which could lead to jail time.
  • The violating parent could also lose custody rights previously granted by the court.

What are some of the biggest mistakes parents make regarding visitation orders:

    1. Violating the court order willfully or with disregard
    2. Withholding visitation
    3. Repeatedly changing visit schedule for your social or personal needs
    4. Speaking derogatory about other parent
    5. Discussing court case with children
    6. Coaching children to act a certain way or say a certain thing with the other parent
    7. Interviewing children during or after a visit


  • For more information regarding visitation or custody orders, please visit

Parent Abducts Child While On a Supervised Visit at The Grove, Xmas eve.

SCV logo As I have always stated in my training classes, “All money isn’t SAFE money, or good money. Rejecting cases is a safety protocol.” This same parent contacted me for services and after he shared his objections to the Uniform Standards of Court 5.20 (Guidelines for visitation) I refused to offer my services. The case represented 10 hours per week. Sound tempting? Don’t allow money to be your sole criteria for providing services.

Tuesday,  December 29, 2015 07:05AM

A 2-year-old girl who was allegedly abducted by her father during a supervised visit near The Grove on Christmas Eve has been found safe in Palm Springs and reunited with her mother.

Jack Perry, 31, was arrested in Palm Springs shortly after 9:30 p.m. Monday night after a witness called the Van Nuys Police Station. The witness recognized Perry and his daughter, Lucia Perry, from a community flier she had seen. She alerted police to their whereabouts in the Palm Springs area and the suspect was taken into custody. The suspect had allegedly rented an apartment on Sunday using a fictitious name. Perry abducted Lucia on Christmas Eve, police said. The person who was supervising the visit lost sight of the pair in the 100 block of The Grove Drive in the Fairfax District at about 5 p.m. Authorities were worried that Perry would take Lucia out of the country since he has access to private aircraft and had threatened to do so before. Perry was booked on child abduction charges. He’s being held in lieu of $40,000 bail. No further details were immediately released.