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Psychotherapist reveals how narcissists lure victims into a false sense of security

The FOUR stages of an abusive relationship: Psychotherapist reveals how narcissists lure victims into a false sense of security with ‘idolatry’ and often try to ‘hoover’ them back 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 from a partner who insulted her


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A psychotherapist has explained the four stages of an abusive relationship – from the idolizing part where you are “lured into a false sense of security” to “sucking up” to “see if you can still be manipulated.”

London-based Stina Sanders appeared on This Morning today to outline the meaning of gaslighting and the stages of the cycle of narcissistic abuse, the pattern many abusers apparently follow.

Stina, who is also a lifestyle blogger, had previously ruined her own “dream relationship” after her partner abused her.

London-based Stina Sanders (pictured) appeared on This Morning today to outline the meaning of gaslighting and the stages of the cycle of narcissistic abuse, the pattern many abusers apparently follow

London-based Stina Sanders (pictured) appeared on This Morning today to outline the meaning of gaslighting and the stages of the cycle of narcissistic abuse, the pattern many abusers apparently follow

Stina explained some of the signs of an abusive relationship from her book Not The One: A Woman’s Guide To Identifying Red Flags: “So if you end up in an abusive relationship, it’s very unlikely that the abuse will start right away, so there’s actually a pattern.” that abusers follow is called the cycle of narcissistic abuse.

“So the first phase is the idolization phase, that’s when they like to bomb you, they put you on a pedestal, you feel great. You essentially fall in love very quickly, you are seduced into a false sense of security.

“Once they get you, that moves on to the devaluation phase, where the belittling, gaslighting, emotional, verbal and sometimes physical abuse will happen.

“They tear yourself down, you become a shadow of your former self,” said Stina.

Stina (pictured), who is also a lifestyle blogger, had previously soured her own 'dream relationship' after her partner insulted her

Stina (pictured), who is also a lifestyle blogger, had previously soured her own 'dream relationship' after her partner insulted her

Stina (pictured), who is also a lifestyle blogger, had previously soured her own ‘dream relationship’ after her partner insulted her

‘Then the third phase is the discard phase. Once they are done with you and have found someone else to manipulate, they leave you, very upset and very confused.

And the last phase is the hoover phase. Doesn’t always happen, but this is when the abuser comes back for more to vacuum 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 make you doubt yourself.”

Stina (pictured) also explained that gaslighting is a “manipulation tactic” that “abusers use to basically make you doubt yourself”

She added: “So, for example, if you find that your abuser, or you have evidence that your abuser lied to you, and you say, “I 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 gaslight.

‘You start to doubt your sense of reality,’ the psychotherapist explained.

Stina dated her abusive boyfriend for a year and a half, whom she previously refused to name but called “Adam,” initially thinking she’d found her perfect man after meeting him on Valentine’s Day.

But he soon turned violent and Stina eventually left him after hearing rumors that he had been unfaithful.

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