Building a Healthy Support Network: Insights from a Therapist​

Interview with Heather Kent About Healthy Support Networks

Identifying Your Supporters: A Quick Checklist

Rate each item on a scale from 0 to 2, where:

  • 0 points: The statement doesn’t apply to the person (No)
  • 1 point: The statement sometimes applies to the person (Sometimes)
  • 2 points: The statement always applies to the person (Yes)


  • Listen Actively: Do they attentively listen, making you feel understood and valued?
  • Validate Your Experiences: Do they acknowledge and accept your experiences as valid, helping you trust your feelings and perceptions?
  • Educate You About Narcissistic Abuse: Do they offer valuable information about narcissistic abuse patterns, helping you understand that you’re not to blame for the abuser’s actions?
  • Encourage Self-Care: Do they promote self-care and stress management, enabling you to regain control over your physical and emotional health?
  • Help Set Healthy Boundaries: Are they supportive in helping you establish personal boundaries, contributing to your autonomy and self-worth?
  • Offer Practical Support: Do they provide tangible assistance, offering you stability and showing that they’re willing to support you in real ways?
  • Provide a Safe Space: Do they create a non-judgmental environment where you can freely express your thoughts and feelings?
  • Help Rebuild Your Self-Esteem: Are they instrumental in helping you rebuild your self-esteem, enabling you to develop a healthy self-image?
  • Help Build a Support System: Do they encourage you to establish a wider network of support consisting of therapists, support groups, and trustworthy friends and family members?
  • Remind You of Your Value: Do they consistently affirm your worth, counteracting the negative messages from your abusive relationship and reinforcing your self-esteem?

After you’ve scored each item, add up your scores for a total of 20. A higher score suggests the individual is more supportive:

  • 16-20: This person is extremely supportive.
  • 11-15: This person is moderately supportive.
  • 6-10: This person is somewhat supportive, but there may be room for improvement.
  • 0-5: This person may need to be more supportive in your current situation.

Remember, this isn’t science. It’s just a checklist. So please take the scores you get with a grain of salt.