Psychotherapist reveals how narcissists lure victims in

The FOUR stages of an abusive relationship: Psychotherapist reveals how narcissists lure victims into a false sense of security with ‘idolisation’ and often try to ‘hoover’ them back in after breaking up

  • London-based psychotherapist Stina Sanders appeared on This Morning today 
  • Stina, who is also a blogger, explained the four stages of an abusive relationship
  • She previously suffered through a partner becoming abusive towards her 

A psychotherapist has explained the four stages an abusive relationship – from the idolisation part where you’re ‘lured into a false sense of security’ to ‘hoovering’ you to ‘see if you can still be manipulated’.

London-based Stina Sanders appeared on This Morning today to break down the meaning of gaslighting and the stages of the Narcissistic Abuse Cycle, the pattern which many abusers apparently follow.

Stina, who is also a lifestyle blogger, previously had her own ‘dream relationship’ turn sour after her partner became abusive towards her. 

London -based Stina Sanders (pictured) appeared on This Morning today to break down the meaning of gaslighting and the stages of the Narcissistic Abuse Cycle, the pattern which many abusers apparently follow

Explaining some of the signs of an abusive relationship from her book Not The One: A Woman’s Guide To Identifying Red Flags, Stina said: ‘So when you get into an abusive relationship, it’s very unlikely that the abuse starts straight away, so there’s actually a pattern that abusers follow, it’s called the Narcissistic Abuse Cycle. 

‘So the first stage is the idolisation stage, that’s when they love bomb you, they put you on a pedestal, you feel amazing. You essentially fall in love very quickly, you’re lured into a false sense of security. 

‘Once they have you, that then moves on to the devalue stage, which is where the belittling, the gaslighting, the emotional, the verbal and sometimes the physical abuse will start to happen. 

‘They chip away at yourself, you become a shell of your former self,’ said Stina. 

Stina (pictured), who is also a lifestyle blogger, previously had her own ‘dream relationship’ turn sour after her partner became abusive towards her

‘Then the third stage is the discard stage. Once they’re done with you and found someone else to manipulate they then leave you, feeling very upset and very confused. 

‘And the last stage is the hoover stage. Doesn’t always happen, but this is when the abuser comes back for more to hoover you, they see if they can still manipulate you and essentially they do that to stop you from moving on.’

Stina also explained that gaslighting is a ‘manipulation tactic’ that ‘abusers use to basically get you to doubt yourself’.

 Stina (pictured) also explained that gaslighting is a ‘manipulation tactic’ that ‘abusers use to basically get you to doubt yourself’

She added: ‘So for example, if you notice that your abuser, or you have evidence that your abuser has been lying to you, and you say “I’ve caught you lying”, and they say “no, I didn’t. I never said that, you’re crazy, it’s all in your head.” That’s gaslighting. 

‘It makes you doubt your sense of reality,’ explained the psychotherapist.

Stina dated her abusive boyfriend, who she previously refused to name but referred to as ‘Adam’, for a year-and-a-half and initially thought she’d found her perfect man after meeting him on Valentine’s Day.

But he soon became violent, and Stina eventually left him after hearing rumours that he had been unfaithful.

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