1) The therapist does not want to enable the belief (especially the non-sociopathic partner's belief) that a non-abusive honest relationship can possibly evolve with a sociopathic partner.2) It is inherently humiliating for the non-sociopathic partner to make him or herself vulnerable to a partner whose only response to that vulnerability is exploitative. The therapist does not want to collude in this process.3) There is the risk that the sociopathic partner, who is probably blaming and possibly vengeful, will use the partner's complaints during the session as a basis, after the session, to punish him or her for having had the audacity to expose the sociopathic behavior. This risk of abuse after therapy sessions is a dangerous dynamic.
Be aware of who the victim is. Psychopaths often give the impression that it is they who are suffering and that the victims are to blame for their misery. Don't waste your sympathy on them.Recognize that you are not alone. Most psychopaths have lots of victims. It is certain that a psychopath who is causing you grief is also causing grief to others.Be careful about power struggles. Keep in mind that psychopaths have a strong need for psychological and physical control over others. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't stand up for your rights, but it will probably be difficult to do so without risking serious emotional or physical trauma.Set firm ground rules. Although power struggles with a psychopath are risky, you may be able to set up some clear rules- both for yourself and for the psychopath- to make your life easier and begin the difficult transition from victim to a person looking out for yourself.Don't expect dramatic changes. To a large extent, the personality of psychopaths is "carved in stone." There is little likelihood that anything you do will produce fundamental, sustained changes in how they see themselves or others.Cut your losses. Most victims of psychopaths end up feeling confused and hopeless, and convinced that they are largely to blame for the problem. The more you give in the more you will be taken advantage of by the psychopath's insatiable appetite for power and control.Use support groups. By the time your suspicions have lead you to seek a diagnosis, you already know that you're in for a very long and bumpy ride. Make sure you have all the emotional support you can muster (Hare, 1994, page 61).