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The long road back to self. An exploration of the lived experience of a survivor's journey of recovery, after being in a relationship with a partner who displays psychopathic traits

Little is understood about the specific relational harm that results from being in a relationship with a person/partner who displays psychopathic traits (PDPT's). The main traits include superficial charm, lying and deceit, lack of conscience or remorse and self-serving manipulation and/or control.

Victim symptoms are often missed or misunderstood by psychotherapy professionals and clients themselves may not recognise the detrimental psychological and physiological consequences as resulting from PDPT's, such is the insidious nature of the abuse.

Emerging, research is beginning to uncover the dynamics of this particular relational abuse and newly developed training is being introduced to the profession. The recovery process is long and complex, given the combination of neurological damage that results from cognitive dissonance, stuck PTSD symptoms and lack of psychological education. However, understanding of this process remains limited. This research therefore aims to further understanding of the recovery process via an in-depth Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), with a view to producing cogent, scientifically informed training for the profession.

I seek 8, English speaking participants, who have been out of a relationship with a person displaying psychopathic traits (PDPT) for a minimum of 1 year and who consider themselves to have recovered from the aftermath symptoms. They will be over the age of 25, and demonstrate a reflexive, sense-making capacity regarding their own journey of recovery.

Participation will involve an initial informal online introductory discussion, followed by a 60-minute, online semi-structured interview for successful applicants.. It is hoped that participation will be a positive, collaborative, beneficial experience that will be making an important and significant contribution to such a neglected, yet relevant topic. Applications can be made by psychological professionals or their clients upon recommendation.

This research is supported by the Metanoia DPsych Programme and is supervised by Dr Maxine Daniels. In the first instance, please contact me, Jayne Dales-Tibbott via email: jayne.dales-tibbott@metanoia.ac.uk or telephone 07868 083044

Your contact will be most welcome and your confidentiality assured.