The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment (Anglais) Broché – 25 juin 1997
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Revue de presse
?So readable and chock full of understandable case examples that it demands to be shared with patients. It focuses on the conduct of parents and their children trying to make sense out of their chaotic lifestyles in search of love, self–esteem, acceptance, and inner peace. Its valuable insights can be potent reinforcers of the therapeutic experience.? (Jack G. Wiggins, Ph.D., past president, American Psychological Association)
?Such a find. The concept is an artful and practical synthesis that bears effective witness to the authors′ depth of knowledge of contemporary psychotherapeutic literature.? (Joseph R. McCool, Ph.D., past president, Academy of Family Psychology)
?I believe that this book should be required reading for every family physician. It is a real eye opener for those physicians who routinely prescribe psychotropic medications without psychiatric input and without insisting on the patient′s participation in therapy.? (Laurence Bouchard, D.O., past president, American Association of Doctors of Osteopathy)
Présentation de l'éditeur
Stephanie Donaldson–Pressman is a therapist, consultant, and trainer. She is known for her work with dysfunctional families, particularly with survivors of incest. Robert M. Pressman is the editor–in–chief and president of the Joint Commission for the Development of the Treatment and Statistical Manual for Behavioral and Mental Disorders.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
But, the "perfect family" label never felt quite right to me. Even though I was told I was loved, I was also told that I "needed more attention" as a child, was a "difficult" teenager, and more recently that I have "emotional problems" (for daring to speak up about a glaring boundary issue). For years I even believed that I WAS a difficult kid until I started to remember my childhood. I remember my perfect father was an alcoholic who was largely absent and almost totally unavailable emotionally. I remember my mom insisted that we never express "negative" feelings. We were expected to always be positive and happy and if we weren't then we were chided for being selfish and ungrateful. If we were sad or disappointed, we were expected to "walk it off" and told that we should "stop crying" or they would "give us something to cry about". We were told that other (less well-adjusted and unhappy) people "just didn't get it" and we were instructed to pity those people.
How is it that a kid who gets good grades, is compliant and respectful, doesn't smoke, do drugs or have sex, and whose only goal is to go to college a difficult teenager? The answer is found in this book - that she lives in a dysfunctional family system that defines any small statement of independence as an act of disrespect.
In the book, the author defines the narcissistic family system - the "parent system" takes precedence over the "child system". Children raised in these families grow up to believe that they are wrong to experience fear, anger, sadness and frustration because their feelings are never validated. Instead, they are made to feel guilt and shame if they express any needs that conflict with the needs of the parents or are simply inconvenient for the parents. Speaking of my own situation, I even feel guilty writing this down because even mentioning it seems like a betrayal!
I have found out the hard way what happens if you threaten or disrupt the family myth. Not only do the parents punish you, but other family members are enlisted to keep you in line. Heaven help you if you stand up for yourself and decide to define yourself on your own terms. Heaven help you if you create reasonable boundaries to protect your husband and your children from their intrusive behavior, lies and abusive manipulations. In the narcissistic family open and respectful communication is never an option.
The authors of this book describe so many important aspects of this family dynamic. The case examples are an integral part of understanding how the family myth is enforced and how compliance is ensured. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has been made to feel selfish, disrespectful, ungrateful, or "emotionally unstable" in their family. These should be red flags to you that there is something wrong with the "perfect" picture. Another great book that I would like to recommend is "Emotional Blackmail" by Susan Forward - which explains in detail the tools that the narcissistic family members use to manipulate and control.
I want to thank the authors from the bottom of my heart for helping me understand my family and ultimately myself better. I'm struggling with losing the myth (it was beautiful). But I'm grateful that at least I had enough foresight to marry a normal, kind, loving man who is also the best father I know.
My only criticism of the book is that I wish there was more specific advice about how to deal with common interactions during holidays or birthdays (if one chooses to maintain some minimal contact). Now that we know what the problem is, what can we do about it?
Thank you again for this wonderful book!
The book is very detailed in (1) describing the consequences of growing up in a narcissistic family, and (2) providing specific techniques for addressing these problems. Although the book is written by clinical psychologists for clinical psychologists (and would obviously be very useful in that regard), I also think it would be very, very helpful for just about anyone struggling with these issues.
This is the only book I have ever reviewed on Amazon. I was motivated to do so because this book can be life changing.
The book is written (and priced) for professionals, but is very readable and user friendly. I wish I had come across it sooner. It would have saved me agonizing hours spent trying to pigeonhole my family's particular dysfunction(s). the Narcissistic family is the one with the parental system that for what ever reason - job streee, alcoholism, mental illness, sel-centered immaturity - centers around meeting the needs of the adults. It is the family that to some degree or another most of us grew up in. By reading Pressman's book and following the exercises, you can begin to fill the holes whether great or small in your own childhoood experience and begin to enjoy a fulfilling adult life.
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