Relationship Corner
with Tarra Bates-Duford, Ph.D., MFT

Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Why Are We So Fascinated by Narcissists?

People with narcissism live in world that focuses on themselves all day, every day. The world in which the narcissist “lives” is quite distorted, filled with self-indulgence, thoughts of superiority, and double standards. Interacting with a narcissist can be both confusing and frustrating as the narcissist has little to no insight into social norms, appropriateness, and how to use empathizing behaviors. Expecting the narcissist to see beyond his or her own personal needs and desires is...

Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Celebrating the Holidays Post Divorce: 12 Tips

It is pretty safe to say, most couples do not enter a marriage with the expectation of later divorcing. However, when divorce or separation occurs within the family, the holidays can be an especially challenging time of year. Many former spouses find themselves dreading the holidays as they now have to focus on how they should engage with each other post-divorce, how their children will respond to the change of their parents being divorced, should they follow...

Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Broken Things: Our Need to Fix Others


For some, the need to “fix” others can be overpowering, we want to fix what we perceive to be broken or not working properly. The need to fix others can often be seen in romantic relationships, one partner feels the other may need “a little work” in order to make him/her a better person or better partner in the relationship. One problem with this is that the other person may not want fixing or may not...

Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Can Children Become Narcissists?

Just about everyone has crossed paths with a narcissistic, has a friend or family member that is a narcissist, or works for/with a narcissist. However, the question remains, what causes a person to become a narcissist?

Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder are often associated with certain childhood experiences or the environment in which we are raised. As children we look to our parents for guidance and approval. Most of us grow up wanting to be just like...

Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Teen Dating Violence: 25 Signs

Teen dating violence (TDV) also known as intimate partner violence (IPV) occurs among adolescents and teens in dating and romantic relationships. TDV can include physical, psychological or sexual abuse; harassment; or stalking of any person between the ages of 12 to 18. TDV like many other forms of violence and abuse extends beyond racial, ethnic, religious, gender, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Violence that occurs during the course of a dating relationship can be committed against both males...

Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Psychopath vs Sociopath: 16 Key Differences

Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a long-term pattern of disregard for, or violation of, the rights of others. Individuals with a personality disorder have a low moral compass or conscience, as well as a history that is likely to include maladaptive behaviors such as crime, legal problems, or impulsive and aggressive behavior. Not surprisingly, antisocial personality disorder is included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th Edition.

Antisocial personality disorders can consist of several variations; however, the...

Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Sexual Pasts: 7 Things to Consider Before Disclosure

In my practice, I often receive questions related to the amount and type of information that is appropriate to disclose during the course of a romantic relationship. A dilemma we all struggle with, to some degree or another, is telling a potential partner about our sexual past. We all enter relationships with a past. Women considerably more than men will question how much of their sexual past appropriate to share in intimate relationships. How much does a...

Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Romantic Relationships and Mental Illness: 5 Potential Reactions

Dating and relationships can be difficult for anyone: what to wear, what to say, or what to do, are all common grievances in the dating scene. Once we're in a committed relationship, communication problems, trust issues, and conflict can arise, but those with a mental health concerns have an added complication and may need to approach dating differently.

Living with a severe and persistent mental health condition can be challenging for anyone, however, when you add the...

Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Fearing Adulthood: 8 Potential Reasons

From the time we are children many of us fantasize about what it would be like to be an adult, , ability to do whatever we want, eat whatever we want, stay up as late as we want, go out as much as we want, fall in love and live happily ever after, etc. Most children view the adult phase of life as a phase without restrictions, however, many adults have learned that this couldn’t be...

Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Relationship Breakup: 11 Warning Signs of Unhealthy Functioning

Relationship breakups can be one of the most painful and distressing experiences of our life. Unfortunately, following a breakup some of us are flooded with the most useful and often ridiculous advice from others regarding how we “should be dealing with the breakup”. Interestingly, not all the advice we receive are from close personal friends and family but acquaintances, onlookers, and even strangers. As with matters of the heart there is no real answer surrounding how to manage...