You know the truth. And you know that deep intimacy and self-esteem are impossible without it.

So how did the occasional little white lie become a habit, a strategy?

More importantly, how do you turn it around? How do you stop habitually lying, regain your sense of self-worth, and return to a life of trusting, secure relationships?

The first step in recovery is to understand your lying. To get to the bottom of why you do it.

Why are you addicted to lying?

Compulsive lying usually starts during childhood. Often as a way of coping with difficult feelings of shame or anxiety, and in response to growing up in an emotionally unsafe environment, where certain thoughts and feelings are considered wrong."

Adam Szmerling

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist
Bachelor of Applied Social Science
Master of Social Work

Eventually the lying becomes an attempt to avoid difficulties.

You may even believe, deep down, that your true self is flawed and not good enough. That you need to lie to win the acceptance and approval of people you value.

Or you may lie in order to carve out a certain kind of perceived psychological space between yourself and your partner. This often happens when people feel smothered or controlled.

Over time, the lying becomes addictive. A habit. It feels more comfortable and more normal than telling the truth.

Unfortunately, without treatment, it can last a lifetime.

Why is compulsive lying a problem?

While lying may have seemed to make life easier in the past, you’ve probably already realised it can have a significant negative impact on your work, loved ones, friends and colleagues. Even on strangers! It can ruin your career and destroy relationships.

Deep intimacy requires trust. Friendships require trust. Fruitful working relationships require trust. Without trust, everything you say is called into question and every important person in your life feels constantly betrayed, and unclear about your real intentions, thoughts and feelings.

Just as importantly, your lying habit may also be preventing you from getting what you need from your relationships. Instead of expressing what you want and addressing issues, many people who habitually lie are also chronic people-pleasers who bury resentment. Their partners, friends and colleagues don’t even know they’re unhappy, so there’s virtually no chance of improvement.

Additionally, some evidence indicates that lying creates personal distress, even when you “get away with it”. For example, it can make it difficult for you to have empathy and connect with other people.

Plus there’s the constant anxiety about getting caught in a lie. The pressure to remember your lies, and the snowball effect of covering up lies with more lies. This leads you to feel guilty, fake, worthless and powerless to change.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

How can you stop?

You can stop compulsively lying. The first, very courageous step, is admitting that you have a lying problem. The second step is getting help from an expert.

Compulsive lying therapy (also known as ‘pathological liar treatment’) can overcome habitual lying. Depending on your personality, preferences and circumstances, this treatment might involve online psychotherapy, counselling, couples counselling or hypnotherapy.

All these compulsive lying therapies are designed to help you identify and address the underlying causes of your lying addiction, not just the symptoms. They involve deep, honest self-enquiry, which leads to a transformation of the inner conflicts that give rise to excessive lying in the first place.

As you begin to overcome the causes and resultant habits of compulsive or pathological lying, you may notice an improvement in your relationships and a significant increase in your self-confidence. Not the fake kind of confidence that lying temporarily provides, but an authentic, deep-seated feeling of self-worth.

In other words, you can start to live a more satisfying, fulfilling and authentic life.

What’s involved in compulsive lying therapy?

We treat compulsive lying with online counselling, psychotherapy or virtual hypnotherapy, via Doxy, Skype or Zoom.

Our methods are completely non-judgmental. It’s a safe, supportive, accepting environment, and we don’t force you to endure excessive guilt or embarrassment. It’s not something you should feel ashamed of, or try to hide. It’s merely something that needs treatment from someone who can provide an objective and informed perspective, but who also has empathy for the legitimate difficulties a lying addiction involves.

During your first session, you’ll be able to discuss your problem in confidence, ask any questions, and decide if your psychotherapist is the right fit for you. This initial session will give us an insight into the issues involved in your pathological lying, and help us understand what you want to achieve.

After the first session, we’ll begin tailoring a treatment plan to your individual needs. It’s possible we may be able to manage your patterns by changing your habitual thoughts and responses, through hypnotherapy, but usually longer term treatment involving psychoanalytic psychotherapy is required. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is an insight-oriented, intensive treatment that requires an honest commitment from you to address issues, but it is very effective for resolving the underlying causes of compulsive (pathological) lying.

That doesn’t mean psychoanalytic psychotherapy, alone, is always the answer to chronic lying. Every case is different. Yours may require a combination of psychoanalytic psychotherapy and proven natural treatments like Buddhist psychotherapy, mindfulness therapy and attachment therapy. Our counsellors are qualified in a range of counselling approaches and treatment techniques, so they’re able to tailor a plan to your specific needs and preferences, rather than trying to force an approach that doesn’t quite work for you.

How long will treatment take?

For some people, treatment starts working within the first few sessions. However almost every compulsive liar requires longer-term psychotherapy for meaningful results. Although you may begin to experience change quite quickly, our treatment is not a quick-fix or band-aid solution.

We’re committed to helping you but you need to be committed too. Your progress relies, fundamentally, on your willingness to participate in therapy.

Questions?

Call Bayside Psychotherapy on (03) 9557 9113 or send us an email to find out if we can help you let go of habitual lying. It’s free, completely confidential, and there’s absolutely no obligation.

Book a confidential online therapy session today

As long as you have a private space, you can benefit from online sessions, anywhere, without having to travel or worry about parking. If you’re ready to participate in treatment for lying, you can book an initial session by calling 03 9557 9113 or booking online.

Don’t give up hope. Things may seem pretty bad, right now but, rest assured, your partner does know the truth. And they know that deep intimacy and self-esteem are impossible without it.

More importantly, they can stop their compulsive lying, regain their sense of self-worth, and return to a life of trusting, secure relationships.

The first step in recovery is to understand their lying. To get to the bottom of why they do it.

Why are they addicted to lying?

Compulsive lying usually starts during childhood. Often as a way of coping with difficult feelings of shame or anxiety, and in response to growing up in an emotionally unsafe environment, where certain thoughts and feelings are considered wrong.

Adam Szmerling

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist
Bachelor of Applied Social Science
Master of Social Work

Eventually the lying becomes an attempt to avoid difficulties.

They may even believe, deep down, that their true self is flawed and not good enough. That they need to lie to win your acceptance and approval.

Over time, the lying becomes addictive. A habit. It feels more comfortable and more normal than telling the truth.

Unfortunately, without treatment, it can last a lifetime.

Why is compulsive lying a problem?

You already know the hurt and trust issues caused by a partner who lies compulsively. But – serious as that is – it’s just the tip of the iceberg. If they’re lying to you, they’re probably lying to everyone else too, and this can have a significant negative impact on all their other relationships, and on their work and career.

Deep intimacy requires trust. Friendships require trust. Fruitful working relationships require trust. Without trust, everything they say is called into question and every important person in their life feels constantly betrayed, and unclear about their real intentions, thoughts and feelings.

Just as importantly, some evidence suggests that lying may be causing your partner personal distress, even when they “get away with it”. For example, it can make it difficult for them to have empathy and connect with other people.

Plus there’s the constant anxiety about getting caught in a lie. The pressure to remember their lies, and to manage the snowball effect of covering up lies with more lies. This leads them to feel guilty, fake, worthless and powerless to change.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Getting help for your partner’s compulsive lying

Compulsive lying therapy (also known as ‘pathological liar treatment’) can help overcome habitual lying. Depending on your partner’s personality, preferences and circumstances, this treatment might involve online psychotherapy, counselling, couples counselling or hypnotherapy.

All these compulsive lying therapies are designed to help them identify and address the underlying causes of their lying addiction, not just the symptoms. They involve deep, honest self-enquiry, which leads to a transformation of the inner conflicts that give rise to excessive lying in the first place.

As your partner begins to overcome the causes and resultant habits of compulsive or pathological lying, you may notice an improvement in your relationship and a significant increase in your partner’s self-confidence and feeling of self-worth.

In other words, you can both start to live more satisfying, fulfilling and authentic lives.

The first step

For compulsive lying therapy to work, your partner must be completely on board. They have to acknowledge that they have a problem and be committed to overcoming it.

This is often the most challenging hurdle for everyone involved. Many compulsive liars will deny they have a problem, even to themselves. So you probably won’t be able to simply suggest they see someone about it. And you certainly can’t force them to.

Instead, you have a couple of options:

  1. Book a one-on-one session for yourself – We’ll discuss your situation and your partner’s lying, and provide you with some strategies for coping with it. Through this process, we may also uncover ways in which you’re contributing to or enabling your partner’s lying addiction, and this alone can help set them on the path to healing. We’ll also help you find better ways to talk with your partner about their lying, and more constructive ways of responding to it.
  2. Book a couples counselling session for you and your partner – If you ask your partner to participate in couples counselling with you, you’re not pointing the finger. You’re positioning the problem as a relationship problem: a shared problem, with a shared solution. That’s not to say you’re equally responsible, or even responsible at all. But it’s a far less confronting way to introduce your partner to therapy. And from there, with our help, they may start to see their lying for what it is. As a result, they may finally acknowledge that they need help.

What comes after that?

Once your partner has acknowledged they have a problem, and they’re committed to overcoming it, they can participate in some compulsive lying therapy.

This involves a tailored combination of online counselling, psychotherapy or virtual hypnotherapy, via Doxy, Skype or Zoom.

Our methods are completely non-judgmental. It’s a safe, supportive, accepting environment, and we don’t force your partner to endure excessive guilt or embarrassment. It’s not something they should feel ashamed of, or try to hide. It’s merely something that needs treatment from someone who can provide an objective and informed perspective, but who also has empathy for the legitimate difficulties a lying addiction involves.

It’s possible we may be able to manage their patterns by changing their habitual thoughts and responses, through hypnotherapy, but usually longer-term treatment involving psychoanalytic psychotherapy is required. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is an insight-oriented, intensive treatment that requires an honest commitment from your partner to address issues, but it is very effective for resolving the underlying causes of compulsive (pathological) lying.

That doesn’t mean psychoanalytic psychotherapy, alone, is always the answer to chronic lying. Every case is different. Your partner’s may require a combination of psychoanalytic psychotherapy and proven natural treatments like Buddhist psychotherapy, mindfulness therapy and attachment therapy. Our counsellors are qualified in a range of counselling approaches and treatment techniques, so they’re able to tailor a plan to your partner’s specific needs and preferences, rather than trying to force an approach that doesn’t quite fit.

How long will treatment take?

For some people, treatment starts working within the first few sessions. However almost every compulsive liar requires longer-term psychotherapy for meaningful results. Although your partner may begin to experience change quite quickly, our treatment is not a quick-fix or band-aid solution.

We’re committed to helping but your partner needs to be committed too. Their progress relies, fundamentally, on their willingness to participate in therapy.

Questions?

Call Bayside Psychotherapy on (03) 9557 9113 or send us an email to find out if we can help your partner let go of habitual lying. It’s free, completely confidential, and there’s absolutely no obligation.

Book a confidential online therapy session today

As long as you have a private space, you and your partner can benefit from online sessions, anywhere, without having to travel or worry about parking. You can book an initial session by calling 03 9557 9113 or booking online.