Inside the Manipulator’s Mind: The Insider’s Guide to Ending Emotional Exploitation

Constructive Strategies for Countering Emotional Manipulation From guilt trips to gaslighting, emotional manipulation takes many forms, and it's often so c...
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Alan Godwin
5 Hours 15 Minutes
Audio and Video
Dec 12, 2014


Constructive Strategies for Countering Emotional Manipulation

From guilt trips to gaslighting, emotional manipulation takes many forms, and it's often so covert that clients have difficulty articulating how and when it's happening.

This recording explores the manipulator's motivations for relating to others through drama, offering an in–depth analysis of the manipulation process. Discover effective strategies your clients can use immediately to recognize and counter manipulation in any setting while establishing healthy relational boundaries. Combining decades of clinical practice and the latest behavioral research, Dr. Alan Godwin offers comprehensive solutions you will be ready to use the next day to engage and empower your clients.



The Manipulator’s Mind

  • Defining emotional manipulation
  • Five reasoning deficiencies at the heart of emotional manipulation
    • Humility
    • Awareness
    • Responsibility
    • Empathy
    • Reliability
  • Drama, schemata, and overcompensation
    • The master
    • The martyr
    • The messiah
  • Methodologies of
    • Grooming
    • Manipulation
    • Maintaining the toxic status quo
  • Elements of manipulation associated with disordered and non-disordered individuals
    • Behavioral variations according to context (business, family, romance)
  • Short- and long-term psychological damage
  • When attempts to manipulate don’t succeed

Manipulative Relationship Dynamics

  • Healthy vs. manipulative relationships
  • Characteristics of attraction, dependency, and role participation
  • Codependency and addiction
  • Commonly-exploited vulnerabilities
    • Naïve expectations
    • Unwarranted benefit of the doubt
    • Attempting to reason with the unreasonable
  • Who stays, who leaves, and why?

Countering Manipulation & Ending Destructive Cycles

  • Discern the report’s accuracy
  • Teach counterintuitive behavior
    • Outline and recognize the manipulation process
    • Understand the antagonist
    • Disarm buttons
    • Respond vs. react
    • Set boundaries 
    • Lean on connections
    • Acknowledge relational limitations
  • Identify risk factors
  • Minimize fallout
  • Measure recovery
  • Strategies for overcoming resistance to change
  • Resources for ongoing support


  • Example #1:  Set up to fail in the workplace
  • Example #2:  Love under lock and key
  • Example #3:  The guilt-tripping parent
  • Example #4:  The God’s-gift-to-the-world relative


Alan Godwin, PsyD Related seminars and products: 5

Alan Godwin, PsyD, is a licensed psychologist in private practice with nearly 30 years of experience. Certified in Alternative Dispute Resolution, he has dedicated himself to helping individuals, couples, churches, and businesses develop better ways of handling conflict. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Godwin serves on the adjunct faculty of the Graduate Counseling Department of Trevecca University in Nashville, TN, where he teaches a class for doctoral students entitled "Psychodynamic Psychotherapies." He has also taught undergraduates and has guest lectured in the Marriage and Family department.

Additionally, he has penned a regular quarterly feature entitled "Ask Dr. Alan" for Deacon magazine, writes a weekly email called “The Drama Review: In Relationships and Culture,” and has been a guest on numerous radio and television programs across the U.S. and Canada. Dr. Godwin's book, How to Solve Your People Problems: Dealing with Your Difficult Relationships, explains how and why conflict goes badly and how to make it go well with two types of people: reasonable and unreasonable.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Alan Godwin maintains a private practice. He receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Alan Godwin has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.