Ross Rosenberg, Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome – From Self-Love Deficit to Self-Love Abundance

Tony welcomes Ross Rosenberg, author of the best-selling book “The Human Magnet Syndrom – The Codependent Narcissist Trap,” to the podcast. Ross shares his personal story of what led him to write The Human Magnet Syndrome. Tony and Ross break down “Self-Love Deficit Disorder,” and Ross shares what it looks like to move into a place of “Self-Love Abundance.” Ross also tackles the difficult question of “should I stay or should I go” in a relationship with a narcissist, and what role do children play in making the decision to stay or go? You can find out more about Ross, and his courses and programs at

Ross’s latest “Codependency Cure™” work, like The Human Magnet Syndrome, breaks new ground in the mental health field. This groundbreaking work reformulates, redefines, and ultimately renames “codependency” to “Self-Love Deficit Disorder™.” His original theories and concepts, such as the “Relationship Compatibility Theory,” “The 11 Stage Self-Love Recovery Treatment Program,” “The Observe Don’t Absorb Technique,” and many others, have reshaped what we know about codependency, codependency recovery, narcissism, dysfunctional relationships, and narcissistic abuse.

Ross Rosenberg M.Ed., LCPC, CADC is a psychotherapist, educator, expert witness, and celebrated author. He is also a global thought leader and clinical expert in codependency, trauma, pathological narcissism, narcissistic abuse, and addictions.

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Tony mentioned a product that he used to take out all of the “uh’s” and “um’s” that, in his words, “must be created by wizards and magic!” because it’s that good! To learn more about Descript, click here


[00:00:06] Hey everybody, welcome to episode 36 of Waking Up to Narcissism. I am your host, Tony Overbay. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, host of the Virtual Couch Podcast, and today is a phenomenal episode. When I started helping people look at narcissism and their relationships, emotional immaturity, all of these things, there was a book that one of my clients actually had recommended to me that really started to give me a lot of the dialog or the concepts that I began to work into my practice, and they started to make so much sense and they were from a book called The Human Magnus Syndrome. And it’s funny because I knew the name of the author because I would often refer to the author, Ross Rosenberg. And if I go on my Amazon account, I had ordered the book, I think at the time of this interview a dozen times or more for different clients, and I had recommended the book to so many people because his concepts around pathological kindness, when that person is in a relationship with a pathological narcissist and the concepts around this self love deficit that people have, he’s in essence redefining the concepts around codependency. But those things made so much sense and and people started to say, Hey, have you watched some of his videos? Or people that I would mention the book they already knew and they would say, I’m a huge Ross Rosenberg fan.

[00:01:23] And then it dawned on me that I should try to get Ross on a podcast. This was before I started the Waking Up the Narcissism podcast, and I thought it would be really amazing to get him on the Virtual Couch podcast. But life happens and the more content that I would put out, I’m very fortunate or blessed to then have more opportunity and more requests for interviews which built the practice more and things just kept moving forward and before I knew it, now it’s a year later, and then I start the Waking Up, the Narcissism podcast, and I’m referring to the human magnet syndrome in podcast episodes. And I keep thinking to myself, I should reach out to Ross. That would be amazing. And to be completely honest, throughout the entire podcasting experience with the virtual couch, with waking up in narcissism, I’ll continually reach out to people and not hear back. And that’s just part of podcasting. It’s why when somebody asks me to come on a podcast now, I do everything I can to come on the podcast because I know how many people I’ve asked to come on my Virtual Couch podcast over the last five years and 340 episodes or whatever that looks like. And I always thought I would probably end up reaching out to Ross and I probably wouldn’t hear back from him. And that was okay.

[00:02:28] At one point a few weeks ago, I had a client bring in the concept of pathological loneliness. And boy, there’s so much I could say here, but first of all, I felt like, why have I never heard of this phrase before? Because it just made so much sense, especially when talking about the narcissistic discard. When somebody breaks up or gets out of a relationship with a narcissist and they really do start to feel this just bone aching loneliness, and that would hit them nights, weekends or these sort of times. And then they would go to this place where they want to reach back out and then contact the narcissist mean we can make it work. I get it now because at their core or their subconscious or unconscious, you name it was this feeling of I would rather be in that unhealthy relationship than alone. And so then the person said Pathological loneliness. So what did I do? Being completely transparent? I googled it. I Googled the phrase, and who did it bring me to Ross Rosenberg. And it turns out he had addressed a lot of this in the human Magnus syndrome. And the reason I find that just funny, ironic is it just shows the way your memory works. It shows the way that we’re focused on things that we are focused on. And we may pass by a lot of other information in a book or a show or a series.

[00:03:34] I see that as a therapist where I’ll think that we spun some gold in therapy today talking about a particular concept. And then I love doing a summary at times. So hey, what do we learn today? And sometimes the client will say something where I thought, Oh, wow, I guess we did talk about that. I was thinking of something else, but this is your experience in therapy. And so I realized that Ross’s concepts of self love deficit disorder, which is redefining the whole concept around codependency and even better yet, the cure for self love deficit disorder and being this self love abundance that you must love yourself in order to then put yourself in this position to engender mutually reciprocal relationships that that he has that information there. So I put this episode on waking up to narcissism together a few weeks ago about pathological loneliness. And lo and behold, I get an email and it says It’s from Ross Rosenberg. And my first thought, again, full transparency was I was anticipating the words to the effect of cease and desist. And I mentioned that to Ross the first time I had an opportunity to talk with him, and I think he was a little bit bewildered and said, why? And without going into long stories in my previous career before I became a therapist, I spent ten years in the computer software and hardware industry, and at one point I had helped a person that helped me develop a really cool product.

[00:04:49] But then after a few years of having some success with that product, then I was hit with a lawsuit and I hate to say naively fought the lawsuit because it turns out it was just a larger company trying to get me out of the market. And so in that moment, I will never forget pulling into my the court where I live. And then seeing a car that I didn’t recognize and then a knock a few minutes later and delivered a very large lawsuit. So it’s the point where here I am 20 years later and I can still if I see a car that I don’t recognize on a Friday afternoon in my court, then I think, oh my gosh, is this happening again? And I only bring that up because, boy, look at the way that our brains work. Look at what we do with memory, look at what triggers are, and all of those come into play when we’re talking about things like the self love deficit disorder, when Ross lays that out, it’s beautiful. It’s this concept of I am only as good as I am or what I do for others. And then when that when that happens, that then you feel often like you can’t do enough or you are not enough.

[00:05:45] Which thing can lead to this concept of pathological loneliness, which then leads to trying to control others into loving you? And then the cycle repeats. And so many times people get stuck in that cycle. So codependency by definition is only a piece of this self love deficit disorder. So I lay that out in a podcast. Ross reaches out to me, and then at that point I literally told I’m a 52 year old man, and I and I reply back to him. I said, I’m fanboy in a little bit and I think Ross joked that he wasn’t quite sure what that meant. But since that time we’ve had an opportunity to communicate and talk a couple of times and man, the man knows his stuff. And so then having him come on the podcast to address some of these issues and talk about his own background, his own past, his own, some of his own relationship issues was phenomenal. And he’s already posted some clips up on his YouTube channel. And I think he has 400,000 subscribers or more. So if you’re not already following Ross on YouTube, please do. So if you have not read the book Human Magnet Syndrome, I implore you to do so because it is so well laid out of the way that people get into this human magnet relationship where it is very hard to get out of or very hard to break, and then even more so.

[00:06:50] And he promotes this at the end, but self love recovery. His website has an abundance of materials that give you just so much data that will help you understand how you’re showing up in a particular relationship, maybe the ways that it is unhealthy. Some of the things that we haven’t even talked about on this episode or more are his observed don’t absorb technique. He’s also has this 11 stage self love recovery treatment program working on the Codependency Cure. There’s so much that he’s doing that I just felt that. What an honor to work with him. I think you’re going to enjoy this episode. I would love to get your comments, your feedback. You can email them, go to Tony over and submit them through there. And and please by all means, go check out Ross’s videos. He has so many of them that address so many things around different types of narcissism and what you can do to try to find your self and develop this self love abundance, which is what one absolutely needs and these kind of relationships or to get out of those kind of relationships. Without any further ado, let me turn over to the interview that I had with Ross Rosenberg. It is absolutely a treat to have Ross Rosenberg on waking up in narcissism. Ross, thanks for joining me.

[00:07:56] Tony. I am excited and very curious on how this is going to go because my expectations are very high, because you are a very bright and accomplished psychotherapist that has done what people do, but you have credentials and background and I don’t always get that same. I don’t usually get a chance for that. So this is going to be a lot of fun.

[00:08:24] I feel no pressure. That is absolutely not true because honestly and I can’t wait to hear more about how you got into this particular part of the field and your book, Human Magnet Syndrome. I was well into working with people that are in relationships with narcissists and people with narcissistic traits and tendencies. And I had a client actually recommend your book. And then, boy, I was quoting you left and right. And if I go into my Amazon card, I think it tells me I bought the book about a dozen times. I’m being very sincere. It’s a real treat to talk with you. And and if I’m being completely honest, I think we started connecting after I someone had talked about pathological loneliness and then I mean, I knew you so much for being honest the first part of your book. And so then I really felt like, oh my gosh, I just got a bonus part of the book, which was now the part about self-love, deficit disorder and self love abundance. And so I cannot wait to I want to talk about that today, but I really want to just how did you get into this part of the field?

[00:09:24] Okay. So you want to know about my trauma?

[00:09:28] Do you need to lay down? I see a couch back there. I can get my notes out.

[00:09:31] We can know my favorite place is downstairs. Okay, so I got a divorce from my second wife, and the first one was absolutely devastating, the mother of my son, and the second one was equally devastating. And I was crushed. And more than crushed, I was just overwhelmed with shame. I felt like I was a complete hypocrite and faker as a therapist because how could I be a good therapist and go so wrong and be so blind? And I just walked around in this depressive slump and I and the only way that I could come out of it was I had to figure out what happened. Wow. And so the moment of change was in a therapy session and or maybe to my therapist, said, Ross, the problem is you have a broken picker. And then somewhere after that he said, he’d like to say my problems. And you know what? When you’re good and you’re caring, you’re okay with that. Yes. Your other problem is you fall in love with the same woman who has a different face. And those were watershed moments when I started to, like, recast my problem as well. This isn’t just these despicable, horrible narcissists that messed me over and messed me up. I can use more technical words that cause me great trauma and pain and misery. There’s something about me and my attraction, the sense of familiarity, this paradoxical feeling of safety and this incredible attraction.

[00:11:14] And that’s when I kind of set my course to figuring it out because no one else had any answers. And that led me to writing an essay on codependency, the dance between pathological narcissist leaders and metaphorically and now analogously, I always confuse the two and the caretaking codependent and the care needing narcissist and that explanation of how they both need each other’s traits in order to feel like they’re having fun. And then everyone loved that. And the next thing you know, me and my ambition. And back then, my. Supposed workaholism. I guess I’m still in denial, but I’m not like that. Yeah, I became a professional trainer. I traveled around the United States and in a couple of places in Europe. And I put together a training, a seminar for therapists that was entitled Codependency Narcissist Understanding the Attraction. And that training led to me writing a book. And then I got on this YouTube channel, this YouTube thing 11 years ago, and and that kind of put me on the map. And but it was born out of my own pain and my several instances of hitting bottom and my desire. To stop the insanity. Yeah. And if no one else could tell me what was wrong with me, I had to figure out myself.

[00:12:41] No, I appreciate that. And, boy, I’m curious. I saw you in couples therapy for some of that time. And if so, what was that like as a therapist trying to figure that out?

[00:12:51] Well, couples therapy does not work when one of your partners is a pathological narcissist. And in my book, The Human Magnet Syndrome, I currently define pathological narcissist as one of three personality disorders narcissistic, borderline or antisocial or sociopath sociopath personality disorder. And if because of their personality disorder, they have limited to no ability to take responsibility, to accept fault and to want to and be able to come to some kind of agreement. And so I learned a lot from the marriage therapy. I learned because as they were failing, I was like, I had to. I had two people in that room. One was the the guy that was, like, really angry, like, what the heck? I can’t believe this is happening. And then I would find out that there was another guy listening that I would later have access to. When I started writing it down was the observer who was like recalling how in all of these couples marital sessions, it was like talking to a wall. And because it’s just the type of therapy environment that narcissists don’t. Not only do they not get anything out of it, they fight as hard as they can, depending on their unique form of narcissism to sabotage.

[00:14:20] So are you saying that when you were watching that as a couples therapist, when you were watching that in the room? Oh.

[00:14:26] I’m a big fan of psychotherapy, and I credit some of my personal success with going to therapy. And I’m pretty good at letting go and just being the lost and messed up client. There are times when I think the therapist is full of it, and that’s when I kind of go, and that’s one. And those are red flags that usually move me to end it. But so in the sessions we’re talking about, I didn’t have any time to analyze it as a therapist because, you know, when you’ve been doing it as long as I have and now it’s 35 years, it’s really the same thing. I mean, I’m different as I am as a person with my personal relationships, as a therapist, but I have the same beliefs and values. And if anything, I just had a lot of empathy for the therapist because he or she would be asking the same questions in ten or dozens of different ways differently to try to get something reasonable from my partner. And so I am very clear to the people that follow me, listen to me, including my clients. I think they listen to me. Do not go to marriage therapy, family therapy or mediation unless you are forced. Because it is actually. Well, at first it’s counterproductive, but it’s it’s harmful because unless you are equipped. With some of the things that I teach through my program. You’re going to get sucked up into it and and probably 50% of the cases. And it’s appalling. But it’s true that the therapist takes the side of the narcissist.

[00:16:02] Yeah.

[00:16:02] And that’s a whole discussion in itself.

[00:16:05] Yeah. And I would love one of these days, I would love to have that one for you. Maybe we do something for the therapist because and I think where I was going with that is as I’ve seen, I see 20 couples a week and I’ve been doing that for a long time. And it is it’s so different or distinct or textbook to watch the narcissist show up in in therapy. Now, they don’t know because they think that they’re being. But I do feel like as a therapist, you sure do see that difference between.

[00:16:28] Oh.

[00:16:29] Right.

[00:16:29] Yeah. And because I have x ray vision. Yeah, I can spot a narcissist, a pathological narcissist, one with personality a mile away that I there was a point in my career where I made a commitment that I will no longer. Now that I was working with a lot of codependence, I will no longer have couples therapy because it is really frustrating as a therapist having to deal with the inner change. That can’t be therapeutic. It’s traumatizing for the client. And if a lot of us, a lot of psychotherapists have their own trauma, and for me it was triggering. So I was I had the good fortune to be able to say no to it. So I’m glad people like you are doing that. And because I know there’s a time and place for it.

[00:17:21] Well, and I appreciate that. And it’s interesting. I do actually, I can pull validation from there because I love what you’re saying about I feel like sometimes my to help people understand that this is what we’re looking at the narcissist showing up in therapy and then now no longer is couples therapy going to be productive. And so, no, I appreciate what you’re saying. So talking about that work with the codependent. So I love the concept of the self love deficit disorder and I feel like that just it hits on so many levels. When did you start developing that whole?

[00:17:51] I never liked the term codependent I have. I’ve probably from the beginning of my career 35 years ago have been in the substance abuse and addictions field. And I understand I mean, I was there when the whole codependency melody beaty thing. Yeah. I came out and. It became a ten headed monster. No one ever defined it the same way. And what was actually really telling? I was on a wonderful podcast and I’m going to forget it. But Christine Oh my gosh, I will remember it afterwards as Kristin won a second. I am I am not going to do her a disservice, Kristin. I was on a podcast with Kristin Resnick and she is one of the brightest ones out there. And she says, you know, Ross, I read this book and I won’t mention the author. And but it was one of the most revered clinicians in the field who wrote a book that some people hold up as one of the best about codependency. And she said, I kept waiting for a definition and there was no definition. And it’s funny because I didn’t read the whole book, but I didn’t remember that. And and so to your question, I could not find anyone that had a very concise explanation, because as psychotherapists, we are taught that there’s really only one definition for mental health disorders.

[00:19:29] We can add to it, and there’s only a one set of diagnoses or diagnostic symptoms. And but codependency became whatever people wanted it to become. And by the nineties and the 2000s and of course where we are now, people just wouldn’t take it seriously. So you can get around a group of mental health conditions and start talking about codependency. You know, it’s just kind of a joke and. And thanks to TV and all that stuff, just people kind of relegated it to just a cartoon. And so I always knew I was going to change the name and I had to wait until something came to me and then it hit me. Every codependent has a problem with self love deficiency that if they had self love, they’re that magnet for dysfunction, that attraction to someone familiar, that dance, the codependent nurses dance. It wouldn’t happen. And then decided the new name is Self Love Deficit Disorder. Sld And the name of the person is self love deficient codependent self love deficient self. And, and I was a little bit nervous on how the codependence would take it, but uniformly everyone loved it because it’s like if you have depression problems or ad problems or anxiety problems, you have a diagnosis with that name.

[00:21:00] Yes.

[00:21:00] Like make up some silly thing that makes no sense. And I wanted to give a diagnosis that describe the problem and then have a treatment and develop a treatment program that would give another name for the solution, which would be self love abundance. You, if you are a self love deficient and you get into treatment that solves it, which is a treatment I created, you then morph into become something that can never go backwards self love abundant.

[00:21:29] Which sounds it’s a very strength based and what I love about that is yeah when I when someone would feel like am I b am I codependent, I feel like that does carry a lot of negative weight. It carries baggage. But, but boy, speaking about the self love deficit, I feel like, oh yeah, that, that makes sense. I can own that. And I know for some labels mean more than others. For some it’s nice to have a label that fits. So I like that a lot. Do you did you get push back from that initially?

[00:21:54] I mean, no, the people it’s kind of interesting that people that don’t like my work and the pattern I’m about to tell you was noticed that I was working for a company called Pepsi, where I travel for two years, about 60 different cities giving this one training. They had this over the top automatic evaluation system. And so I would get these statistics and I would always get like a really high score overall. But I would look at all the individual scores and there was always about 1 to 5% of people that absolutely thought I was an idiot. That gave me a one. I had people walking out and then I started noticing the people that would give my Amazon book a one star and they would like. And what I concluded is that narcissists absolutely are triggered by my work. And and there are narcissists because of their own mental health problems, actually think they’re co-dependence. And these are not gas lighters. These are people that are so deluded that they’re the victims and the people they hurt are the the perpetrators. So I got almost universal, positive feedback and I almost never get anything negative. And every so often someone makes fun of it. But who makes fun of something like that other than someone who’s probably a narcissist or has some kind of chip on their shoulder?

[00:23:23] So I love that you shared that. And on my Virtual Couch podcast, I think it’s 4.98 with the reviews or ratings over and then with the waking up to narcissism when it’s lower and I will go look and they’re all fives or their ones and the ones are wonderful. They’re Hey, get to the point and I love where it’s get to your point. Am I not doing this the way that you would like for me to my my sincere apologies. And I didn’t I guess I should have expected that that it’s going to be the narcissist is going to say, I’ll take him down a peg and I’ll bless their heart.

[00:23:53] I have a 3.5 out of four book review and it’s frustrating. Yeah, I read these. Oh, my gosh. Praise the compliment. Yeah. And then there’s someone going, this is trash. And Rubbish is so filled with grammar mistakes, which I hired a couple and some of that’s true, but that’s when you talk about something as important as this you are going to have. People that are going to feel like you were putting them against a wall. And that’s the only power they have that is to create in their mind. They’re the good people. And people like us are the idiots.

[00:24:32] Absolutely.

[00:24:33] I use this term, I teach it, I observe it, I don’t absorb it. And I let.

[00:24:38] People.

[00:24:39] Live in the misery of their own grandiosity and entitlement.

[00:24:42] Yeah. You know what’s interesting when you say that, too? I talked about this one particular review and I did do it with humor. I didn’t want to give the review any extra power, but I just pointed out the fact that is how a narcissist will view things. I mean, they said he spent 20 minutes going on about the a file that was deleted. And so I couldn’t help myself. I went and looked. I did spend 15 seconds. I’m not going to lie. But the 20 minutes and I called it the narcissistic path.

[00:25:04] And if you spent 20 minutes on it, if you’re not a narcissist and you’re not a codependent, you just click out.

[00:25:10] Absolutely.

[00:25:11] Yes. Just click. You know, I did a YouTube live the other day. It’s this guy who always comes on, who was always on the border of doing what other podcasts? My podcast. Listen to me. Yeah. And and he did it again. He just started up this conversation about Hm, to make some QAnon thing and, and I, because of my own progress and my own mental health and the creation of my observed and absorb technique, I just said bye bye. And I know that people like that are going to try to hurt me if a tree falls in a forest and you neither want to know where the forest is, and if you did, you didn’t want to go. What’s the sound? And the answer is, who cares? So that’s kind of my point of view.

[00:26:06] Yeah. No, I love it. I do. Hey, can I ask? Because I could just talk to you all day. Can I?

[00:26:10] Whatever you want. I’m like.

[00:26:11] Good. Okay. Okay, this is awesome. So what I love about is I’ve got the pyramid in front of me, the self love abundance, and I would love to go through the self love deficit. Which one do you normally? I don’t know. What do you think it’s best to start with?

[00:26:23] Start with the it’s best to talk about the pyramid. But let me give a little history. So in the human magnet syndrome, before I created the self love deficit disorder and ultimately the pyramid, I needed to create a definition that had diagnostic criteria. So I had this imagination or fantasy that who knows if it’ll end up in the DSM, but that it was in one of our diagnostic manuals and it had to be short, sweet and concise because that’s what I always wanted when I would learn a diagnosis. Yeah. So I created the definition of codependency is a problem of the distribution of love, respect and care and relationships. Co-dependence give all the love, respect and care in relationships. Despite the inequity, despite the abuse, despite the neglect, they don’t get it. They try to get it and they stay in the relationship. And that is my definition of codependency because it doesn’t account for personality. See, when you start talking about personality, you got the aggressive codependence, the passive ones, and then I created the five codependent personality types. These are good, passive, active, oblivious, cerebral and anorexic. And then I talk about. We don’t define codependency by personality. We define it by the distribution of love, respect and care and relationship. And that made it simple. And so if you ever want to know. Precisely. If someone is a codependent, all you have to do is ask yourself if you can be objective or have the data in their relationships.

[00:28:09] Who gives the most LRC and who takes it? And if it’s a one way distribution, that almost always points to codependency. But then I after that book, I just started to really absorb this whole self love deficit disorder idea. And I came up with what the explanation for what it is. So as much as I have this simple explanation for codependency and and I created a pyramid that. I believe, explains the problem very clearly. At the very bottom of the pyramid is attachment trauma. That is the trauma that all co-dependence, all sides experience in childhood because they had or have a pathological, narcissistic parent. And more often than not, a codependent parent, because they go together from the attachment trauma, which is the attachment trauma is represented in the part of our brain and our limbic system. It’s disassociated. We can’t remember a lot of it, but it is there. And that is why codependent treatment often won’t work because people don’t know about the disassociated elements of it, and if they did, they don’t know how to get to it. The next level is coercion, and that is a fundamental belief that you are unworthy of love, that you’re fundamentally not good enough broken, and that no one, if they really know who you are, could ever love you. From core, shame comes this existential disease called pathological loneliness. It is a bone aching, painful loneliness that makes you feel uncomfortable by yourself because it reminds you of all of the pain, of the shame and the unconscious memories of the trauma.

[00:30:00] And as every codependent knows, and this is if you ask them in between relationships, did you experience loneliness? And they go, Oh my God, yes, I know, because I was one. And the pathological loneliness is also the withdrawal, the primary withdrawal symptom for the next part of the parent, which is codependency, is sld addiction. And that is the, the uncontrollable compulsion to take the pain. And so the drug of choice is a relationship. So these are not addicted to narcissists. That’s like me being addicted to mustard and pepper milk. I made it up because I just. Yeah, they make me throw up. Yeah, but they the pathological loneliness is so severe that they need to find a relationship. And according to the human magnet syndrome cell, these are always going to have chemistry based romantic connections with the narcissist. And at the very top of the pyramid is everything people think of when they think of codependency. It is the behavioral, it’s the personal, the emotional, the thinking. It’s all the symptoms of codependency. And what people mistake is that’s not the problem. And all of these people that are going to therapy for their codependency or their self love deficit disorder, they are working at the top of the pyramid.

[00:31:30] And even with the most talented therapist, none of it sticks. Yeah, because you are not getting to the levels that are responsible and because the bottom level is attachment trauma and you it is not accessible through normal recollection of memories, then you know that you have to have some kind of therapy ability technique to get to that disassociated, unconscious stuff, which is why I created my healing the inner trauma child treatment method or what I call edge. So, so that’s the pyramid and self love deficit disorder is represented there. So if you go into a treatment program and I created one and that’s a 11 stage program and let’s save that for another question. But it’s a methodically built program that gets to all of the different elements of the problems, including the integration and the and the neutralization and the processing of the trauma. And once you are a third way through this, there’s this almost structural change. People start to feel love for themselves, compassion and strength. And it’s not something that they practice looking in the mirror or practicing. It is because all of the forces that kept them and their self love deficiency are being resolved and they are learning to do things for themselves. And so once you start to feel self love abundance, there’s really no turning back and you can have relapses. So I then created the self love abundance pyramid.

[00:33:13] And Ross can and I do not want to cut you off because I love everything about this. Can I get just extreme external validation from you? Can I do this? I’ll do it so quickly. So here’s why. Here’s why I have just been so captivated by the self love deficit disorder pyramid and I’ve got it in front of me. So, so I want to say watch this. And I feel like this is where I can’t wait to hear about your treatment program because I do feel like I’ve got all things figured out. And so that attachment. I mean, I am so I talk so often about that we all have our attachment abandonment wounds. It starts from the womb. We need to get our needs met or we die. And and I jump right up into this. So attachment, how do I get the needs met? Abandonment. If people don’t meet my needs, it’s because something’s wrong with me. And then I’ve done a deep dive on Shame. Shame is this childhood defense mechanism. So I’m up the next level, right? That that that since my parents didn’t give me a pony or let me eat licorice for dinner every night, then it must be because I’m a bad person. So we got that default of shame, which then it does lead up to that. This is where it’s so it just so validates everything that I that you’ll see there’s a catch coming up here.

[00:34:13] So then I get to that pathological loneliness where then it’s like, okay, I need external validation because we all need that in order when we’re young because we don’t have a sense of self. So then I’m going to turn to get that external validation. And then lo and behold, I get connected with this pathological narcissist who then they don’t have a sense of self either. So the rules change every 5 minutes, which is going to cause that that ache in the withdrawal. And then they turn and they’re going to and I love the top of that. You’re different versions of codependency are okay am I going to go back to almost like my attachment self? Am I going to withdrawal to get my needs met and get angry and get my needs met? Am I going to? So what I love about it is I felt like, oh, I can confirmation bias all of my things into your pyramid and it makes so much sense. And then I do find myself with my clients saying, so there you go, those are all things. And so now just love yourself and validate yourself internally. And then that’s when people say, How do I do that? And that’s when I said, Okay, so well, will you first validate me and tell me that? That was amazing.

[00:35:09] First of all, I’m not going to validate. I am going to give you my feedback and it’s validating and then I hope it is okay. You are a very smart and deep thinking therapist who does. What is not very common is you are looking for explanations that are not obvious so that you can show people a problem that is equally invisible to them. And so what you are doing with my work is you are you are fitting it into your own frame of reference, which I like, and I don’t need to validate that it’s already good, but it’s awesome. You rock.

[00:35:56] Oh, I feel so good. But no, I appreciate you saying because it is. And I will confidently say I feel so confident about that. But why I am so drawn to and now tell me more is I have noticed that then there is that part of me that says so there you go. And I like how you identified that. Doesn’t it all make sense? Because it sure makes sense to me and so it should make sense to you. And but I really feel like there still is the so now what? And so then I love the self love abundance pyramid. But then again, I almost feel like, okay, and I won’t do this for the second time, but I can fit all my things into there. But then people and this has been the question today because I let a lot of people know that I was going to interview you, then they’re saying, okay, so yeah, how do you do that?

[00:36:33] Everyone wants to know how I wanted to know how and because I couldn’t find anyone who could explain it, I had to figure it out myself. And the how is not easy when people come to my to me to seek psychotherapy and I am seeing clients. So if anyone’s interested, we’ll get the information out at the end. I explain to them if you want to be in the Self Love Recovery Treatment Program, which is what I call it, you should know that at the very quickest it lasts nine months and typically it’s a year or two year and a half. And and I said, and if they go, Oh, that’s so long, you’re expensive. And I say, I always respect people where they are. But I said, What you cannot imagine is that when you are 20% into this, everything starts to change and you are experiencing something that you have not experienced in other therapy. Is that there is now. I wrote a set of diagrams that you have that make sense for everything, and then there is someone who is going to lead you in the solutions, and it’s not all learning based. That’s and you start to feel good, self loving, and that becomes in a very positive way, infectious. And and then I have what to many people is a very complicated treatment technique, which is the hitch treatment technique.

[00:38:07] It’s just not it’s really not that complicated. But you need to have treatment. You need to have trauma background. And if you can’t do that and it’s not the same as EMDR and I’m a fan of EMDR, but it is not EMDR doesn’t work. But if you can get to that hurt wounded little child that is frozen and in the mind where the trauma is and that person froze, disassociated at the time of the trauma, if you know how to get to that person, then you can bring that forward, integrate it, and for the first time unite the person with themselves and help them cross over a bridge that they could never cross over, no matter how talented the therapist was or how much how motivated they were. And that’s why it’s a six hour training. I have a 15 of them myself, but that’s why my hitch training is well received because it starts to explain everything in a very common sense way and in the training on a little more than superficial way talks about the process. When I say superficial way, I mean the actual technique that would take like. Weeks. You explain everything? Yeah.

[00:39:31] No, but I love knowing that there is a way. And and as again, a therapist is trying to work in this space, that’s all you want to do. You can bring that awareness, but then what do you do? That’s the question that gets asked over and over again.

[00:39:43] Yeah, I have this ambition. I don’t know how I’m going to do it because I’m 61 and I’m starting to think that I don’t want to work so hard. Hard means like, I’m not you. You’re crazy hard. You’re a very hard worker. But I am going to be developing in the next 3 to 6 months an educational platform that’s going to be fashioned like a college, online college that is going to have a tremendous amount of information and strategies, homework assignments, papers. And I’m going to create as best as I can, a parallel experience of being in therapy with me. It won’t be the same, but it will be the closest that I can get for people because a lot of people either can’t afford me and I don’t think I’m that expensive. But I also only see at most 14 people a week. And and so I wanted to part of my legacy is to have that out there. And I’m going to be writing that book, The Code. Sure.

[00:40:44] Yeah. No, I think that’s good. And it is interesting. And I’m not trying to pat you or myself on the back. But the thing is, when you are passionate about it and you and you want to help so many people, then a lot of people ask for help. And I think that that is it is not a good problem. People want to say, well, that must be a good problem to have, but not when you hurt at your core because people are writing you saying, I don’t even know if I want to continue on because I’m now aware of these things. So I love what you’re doing with that. Yeah. Can I force an agenda for a few minutes here? Is that okay? Yes. Okay. Good. And can I already guarantee that you will come back? Because I put out to the my group, I have a group of women who are in relationships with the narcissist in their life, whether it’s a spouse, a parent, an employer, that sort of thing. And I think everybody’s pretty excited that we were that I was going to have you on here today. And so there was someone that asked a specific question. And it’s interesting because I recorded another episode this morning and I actually threw out some ideas. I thought about the co-parenting with the narcissist.

[00:41:46] And so this person had talked about a blog post that that you had written. And I really like their question, so I hope this isn’t catching you off guard or anything. So the person and there was a lot of good feedback and the person said, Ross has a blog post about how women with ASD don’t protect or shield their kids. And he said tired and beaten down. They often shut down and disconnect from their parental responsibility to protect their children. And it’s interesting because I didn’t know about this yet and so on the episode I just recorded, that will end up probably going out before this. This is, I feel like the question I’m constantly trying to figure out and I get asked so much are the people that are trying to they stay in relationships for the kids. But then I feel like just from anecdotal evidence as a couples therapist, I’m very confident that when they are out of those relationships, then they show up better for their kids. And then there’s one parent that’s safe. But I feel like when the person is in that trauma, they can’t see that. And I have tried to figure out a mathematical formula and accurate. I don’t know. So is that what this is talking about?

[00:42:45] Let me jump in and help clarify your question. So you’re asking me, is it better to stay with the kids than leave the narcissist? Right. I get that question a lot. Yeah, it’s not it’s a very easy answer, but it’s also but it’s complicated to navigate. Yeah. So if the person is in sleep and they for whatever reason, and more often than not the narcissist leaves them, but whatever reason they, they, they terminate or the relationship is terminated and they have not done any of the work under SLD. I can guarantee with a 90% accuracy that the next person are going to fall in love with, no matter how much they promise themselves that it won’t happen again. It’s going to be a pathological narcissist. It’s inevitable. That’s how strong the attraction dynamic is with the human magnet syndrome and SL is not solved because you promise you don’t want to hurt yourself or the kids anymore. So if you are in a situation and your narcissist is not dangerous to the children and more harmful to the spouse and the kids, limited experience with that. Then you say, well, is it better to leave him or her and then let the kids stay? But if you’re going to leave that person and the next person you’re going to hook up with, with. Which will probably be very quickly because pathological narcissism, pathological, pathological loneliness is a pain and that is why ourselves rebound.

[00:44:23] Then you’re going to bring another narcissist into the family and they’re going to be better or worse, depending on a lot of factors. So if you have a narcissist that you are, say, married to and you don’t want to do the work necessary to solve your SLD, and that narcissist is contained to the point that their children are not in any imminent risk of emotional, psychological or physical harm. And nor are you the SLD. I’d say stay with the kids until you are strong enough. Healed enough to know how to love yourself. And that’s how you protect yourself. There’s the thing they teach you on an airplane. When the oxygen mask dropped down, you put it on yourself first. Then you’d put it on your children. Well, you can’t protect your children if you can’t protect yourself. In the case of domestic violence, abuse, sexual abuse, that’s not a question that even deserves to be answered. It’s pretty obvious. Get the hell out. But if you are hell bent at solving your SLD, then it’s a no brainer. And the way I explain why you must leave the narcissist is not to look in the mirror now, but imagine. And it’s a mind. It’s a it’s a kind of a strategy or a trick that I use to help me make decisions.

[00:45:54] Imagine your child at 30 years old in therapy. What are they going to be like? The child who stays and their whole childhood, from birth to adolescence and college and this terribly dysfunctional home? It is a 195 to 100% probability that they are going to become either pathologically narcissistic or SLD. I start my human magnet center with this chapter and I talk about this concept of a relay race. You pass the baton on to the next generation. So anyone who thinks that it’s better to stay in the marriage, they should reconcile that. The child. The children are going to be the next generation. And that is usually a selfish thing to do. And that is why I, in a very compassionate and empathetic way, I hold slides. Partially responsible to the stuff happening in the relationship because one is you’re attracted to you feel you powerless. Three, you’re afraid, consciously or unconsciously, to leave because of this addiction, this pathological loneliness. Four is you’re just doing what you’ve always known and and the slides. My clients who are slides tell me the same story about the old parent. And yes, it’s real easy to get mad at the narcissist parent, but but through processing, it’s helpful for them to understand that the old parent, despite the more kindness, the more compassion they chose their own safety that are over the children and some hide it better than others.

[00:47:50] Some SLA parents don’t hide it well, and that for that they’re responsible. And the reason I teach people that because you is you can’t solve a problem if you don’t know what it is. So knowing that I’m responsible. Means I have to solve it because I want to protect my kids. And so I say that with compassion and guidance and support, not to make people feel bad or ashamed. So to answer your question, if you are committed to solving your self love deficit disorder, there is no situation where it’s better to stay with stay in the broken marriage. And the people that do that use the excuse that it’s better for the kids. Well, that’s a crock of bleep, bleep, bleep, because if you get down to it, it’s really a part of the denial system that they don’t denial don’t even know I am lying an acronym. They don’t even know they’re afraid because they’re too guarded to deal with the shame of it. So absolutely not. If you are in a broken relationship with a pathological narcissist who we know because of the personality disorder cannot get better. Yeah, you are going to subject your children to enough psychological harm that they might irreversibly be the next generation of pain and suffering, either the victim or the perpetrator. So I hope that answers your question.

[00:49:21] And I mean, it’s so good and I’m not just trying to butter your bread here, but again, working with this population, I like that you’re saying if the person is working on their self love deficit disorder, that’s what needs to happen, maybe while they’re in that relationship. But it’s with this goal of then when I am enough, then then I can leave. I love that. And then I haven’t thought about it. I have talked with plenty of those people that are older at 30 or whatever that age is. And it’s the why didn’t my.

[00:49:49] Why don’t.

[00:49:49] They leave. Yeah, why didn’t they leave. Why didn’t. Yeah. So I love that.

[00:49:53] And then by the way, by the way, my 11 stage self love recovery treatment program, the stage where you leave is number six because if you leave before all the other foundational elements of SLD are not solved, or at least partially solved, you’re going to relapse back into the drug of choice.

[00:50:17] Now, it makes so much sense. That really does. I appreciate that. And I think that and I love how you’re saying it is with compassion, because I feel like you’ve seen it far more than I have. I’m seeing it in my office and people that are writing in from the podcast that they haven’t they haven’t worked on that slide. They haven’t found the self love abundance. And so I, I had not looked at it that way. Some of them just feel like they got to rip the Band-Aid off and just get out. But then that is.

[00:50:38] Sometimes that’s why I delineated between escaping harm. Absolutely. That’s more crucial and important than before. You develop a better sense of self love, abundance, or somehow start to mitigate the self love deficit or deficiency.

[00:50:54] Perfect. Russ That flew by and I think I told you that I it really was so I would love to have you back on again and anything that we can do to promote your work, I’ll have that in the show notes. I mean, I want everyone to go by human magnet syndrome again. I’ve got a dozen of them that I’ve ordered for clients. And then what else? Where else can people find you?

[00:51:14] Ww Self love recovery. You will find that is the hub for everything I do. Any questions about our weekend intensive retreat? My book, my seminars? Just send us an email at help itself Love Recovery. And then we have a YouTube channel and slash slash Ross Rosenberg or just type in Ross Rosenberg and Google. And one of my videos I’m sure will come up.

[00:51:40] I’ve watched enough of them that now the algorithm is showing me everything that you have and more the, the. So that’s been great. So. Ross Yeah I know. I would love to have you on another time and I really know. Thank you for taking the time that that was wonderful.

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