SUCKED IN: Emotional vampires drain you of energy, much like mythical vampires.
SUCKED IN: Emotional vampires drain you of energy, much like mythical vampires. Andrew Cooper

Course to help women ID emotional vampires

AN EMOTIONAL vampire is someone who drains the emotional energy of the people around them.

The term was defined by Albert J. Bernstein in a 2012 book. A counsellor at Gladstone Women's Health Centre thinks it's a concept some local women could benefit from learning about.

The counsellor, who could not be named for safety reasons, said many clients who came to the centre were experiencing relationships with very controlling partners.

The Women's Health Centre provides support to clients experiencing domestic violence.

The centre will run a course titled Emotional Vampires later this month.

I'm seeing a lot of clients with depleted self-esteem, depression, anxiety and they're emotionally drained, the counsellor said.

"Clients describe being in relationships with people who have negative personality traits.

"Just listening to clients' stories I heard a lot of personality traits that may be personality disorders or may just be traits - narcissism, controlling personality, et cetera and it prompted me to think maybe this program could raise a bit of awareness.

"Sometimes clients don't even realise certain behaviours are controlling."

The course will give women who attend tips on how to protect themselves from emotionally draining relationships.

The course will cover some of the common personality disorders that can make a person more likely to be considered an emotional vampire.

This includes borderline personality disorder and anti-social personality disorder.

The counsellor was quick to stress the Women's Health Centre was not suggesting the course could diagnose someone - only a psychologist could do this.

But the course aims to raise awareness and, hopefully, offer the women who attend better insight into destructive relationships, whether that be with their partner, friend or parent.

The Emotional Vampire course will be held on June 19, from 9.30-11am. Contact the Women's Health Centre to register. It's free.