Change & Mindfulness / Dealing With Sociopaths

Hosted byGeorge Noory

Change & Mindfulness / Dealing With Sociopaths

About the show

Donald Altman, MA, LPC, is a psychotherapist, author, and mindfulness expert who has trained over 15,000 mental health clinicians, physicians, nurses, and others. In the first half, he discussed mindfulness techniques and ways to use the power of the mind to make changes, and find peace in this tumultuous world. The average person has about 20,000 thoughts a day, many of which are toxic, habitual, or distressing; if you grab onto them, you can be pulled in unwanted directions, he noted. With mindfulness training, an individual learns to simply witness their thoughts or take an observational point of view. "What you learn really is that your thoughts don't have to define who you are," Altman pointed out.

Mindfulness, he continued, is a way of making friends with your mind, not being so self-critical, and finding acceptance in your life. For those suffering from anxiety and panic, there are methods to help calm the body down, such as diaphragmatic breathing, and becoming aware of how you are holding your body, he detailed. Long slow breathing stimulates the body's parasympathetic system and automatically relaxes a person, and can improve learning, he added. Altman advocated for more civility in society. We could, for instance, listen to other's points of view that we might disagree with, without shutting them down. He also spoke about his new novel, Travelers, which chronicles a mystical journey through time and space, as a psychiatrist enters the mind of his patient, in what he calls the "quantum collective."


Psychologist and journalist Donna Andersen offers webinars to help survivors and professionals identify, escape, and recover from sociopaths and other manipulators. In the latter half, she shared the latest research on psychopaths and sociopaths and how to spot them. She also detailed her personal involvement with a sociopath. Andersen discovered that her first husband turned out to be a manipulative conman and liar, who used charisma and "love bombing" to win her over initially. She estimates that around 12% of the population has some kind of exploitative personality problem. These include clinical diagnoses such as antisocial, borderline, or narcissistic personality disorders. What they all have in common is that such individuals "do not have the ability to authentically love as the rest of us do," she said, as they typically lack empathy.

To identify a sociopath and keep them out of your life, she cited three things. First, you need to be aware that they exist among us, then learn the warning signs, and thirdly trust your intuition, which is designed to protect you from predators. Usually, the traits of a sociopath show up in puberty or their teen years, she said. Other signs to look for: sociopaths tend to blame others if something goes wrong in their life rather than take responsibility; they use "pity" to try and make someone feel sorry for them; and physically, they are often known for maintaining intense eye contact. "If you start to see this whole pattern, then you really need to be careful," Andersen advised.


The first Sunday of every month, George Noory presents emerging artists for some of our Bumper Music selections. Tonight, we'll hear from The Universal Joint, Jimmi Adair, CuyahogaTony GaliotoKastroCary and Steve, and The Dubceks. For more info on how to submit your original music, visit this page.

News segment guests: Charles R. Smith, Sandra Champlain

Bumper Music

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