Synopses & Reviews
What happens when children are more mature than their parents? Growing up with an emotionally unavailable, immature, or selfish parent is painful, but rarely discussed. In this breakthrough book, clinical psychologist Lindsay C. Gibson exposes an often overlooked, yet extremely common syndrome that shapes the lives of so many people.
Are you one of the countless people who grew up with emotionally immature parents? If you suffer from this troubling parent/child dynamic, you may still recall painful moments from your childhood when your emotional needs were not met, when your feelings were dismissed, or when you took on adult levels of maturity in an effort to compensate” for your parents behavior. And while you likely cultivated strengths such as self-reliance and independence along the waystrengths that have served you well as an adulthaving to be the emotionally mature person in your relationship with your parent is confusing and even damaging. If you are ready to gain the insight you need to move on from feelings of loneliness and abandonment and find healthy ways to meet your own emotional needs, this book will help light the way. Youll discover the four main types of emotionally immature parents:
- Emotional parents, who may vacillate between over-involvement and abandonment, leading to frightening instability and unpredictability
- Driven parents, who are often compulsively busy and cant stop trying to perfect everything, including other people
- Passive parents, who may have a laissez-faire mindset and avoid dealing with anything upsetting
- Rejecting parents, who may withdraw from any relationship with their child, showing either detachment or anger as primary responses
All emotionally immature parents have one defining characteristic in common, even if they differ in stylenone of them puts their childs needs first. This book will show you that you are not to blame for your parents behavior. It also offers real skills for handling difficult family situations and moving on from the emotional wounds of your childhood. If you are ready to gain a greater understanding of both your parents and yourself
, this book provides a much-needed guide.
"For those of us who have often suffered the inevitable humiliating regression back to childhood during every holiday with the family…this book offers real help to the reader to develop the self-protective art of indifference, a cloak that can be used at many a holiday gathering…and to understand the subtle yet profound differences between ineffective and effective confrontation, empathy and sympathy, and attaching response and defusing strategy…a completely new cupboard of techniques."
—Joel C. Frost, Ed.D., assistant clinical professor of psychology in the Department of Psychology at Harvard Medical School
"Children of the Self-Absorbed offers practical advice and guidance. The creative techniques and exercises are priceless to both the reader learning how to identify destructive parental behaviors and how to cope with them as well as the reader learning to nurture and protect his or her own developing self."
—Susan Hopper, Ph.D., clinical psychologist in private practice in St. Louis, MO
"Children of narcissistic parents are provided techniques to dig themselves out of impossible relationships with their parents…a thoroughly well thought out, useful manual to help adult children move toward more productive connection to their narcissistic parents, to themselves, and to others."
—Joan Medway, Ph.D., LCSW, psychologist in private practice in Potomac, MD
Wendy Behary has dedicated decades to understanding narcissism, both as a clinician and a scholar. In Disarming the Narcissist
, she distills these hard-won insights into a very readable form. This book is a terrific resource for those looking to better understand narcissism.”
W. Keith Campbell, PhD, professor in the department of psychology at the University of Georgia and author of The Narcissism Epidemic
A well-written, insightful resource offering hope and power to those challenged by the presence of a depressed parent. Children of the Depressed
provides readers with the ability to understand and overcome a difficult period. More importantly, it offers a road map to the healing process.”
Linda O'Connor, freelance writer and host of Parent Talk, a weekly parenting radio show on Timeless FM 102.9 and AM 1230 WECK in Buffalo, NY
As children, few of us understood the lasting impact that living with a depressed parent would have on our lives. Shoshana S. Bennett demystifies this phenomenon in an easy to understand book that provides not only the understanding of what children experience, but practical steps that lead to lifelong healing.”
Patricia de Lambert, RN, BS, MA
Children of the Depressed
should be required reading for everyone! Shoshana S. Bennett has created a concise, clearly written, and inspirational guidebook. I could relate personally, since my father was bipolar and I was also depressed while raising my children. Thank you, Dr. Shosh, for this unique and timely book.”
Jane Honikman, MS, cofounder of Postpartum Education for Parents and founder of Postpartum Support International
Shoshana S. Bennett intimately understands depression and offers other children of depressed parents enlightened ways of getting to a better place. Combine that with insight, practical exercises, and clear therapeutic processes, and you have a book that feels as though it was written while gently holding a child of depressed parents in her loving arms.”
Suzi Snyder, PhD, lifelong learner and educator who looks to transform lives through a combination of life coaching, Eden Energy Medicine, and ancient feng shui principles
Lovingly drawing from her personal and clinical experience, [Bennetts book] is a gift to everyone who has had a depressed parent. Shoshana S. Bennett shows how a depressed parent may affect you and how you can heal. Whether you are sixteen or 106if you think you had or have a depressed parent, this common-sense book can change your life and relationships!”
Bruce Linton, PhD, director of the Fathers Forum and the author of Becoming a Dad: How Fatherhood Changes Men
This book is a must-read for adults who grew up with a depressed parent. Shoshana S. Bennett provides easy-to-understand information and offers realistic hope. The book is filled with practical tools to promote healing.”
Barbara Grelling, PhD, clinical psychologist in private practice specializing in the treatment of women with perinatal depression and anxiety
Children of the Depressed
provides a compassionate, honest, and thoughtful guide for adults who are on a journey of healing the wounds of their childhood. Through stories, clinical research, and experience, Shoshana S. Bennett offers sage advice on how to understand and overcome the consequences of living with a depressed parent. She shines a bright light on the path to living a full and meaningful life. I know many people will be deeply grateful for this book.”
Rona Renner, RN, temperament counselor, parenting coach, and author of Is That Me Yelling?
Brilliantly written by the renowned clinical psychologist, Shoshana S. Bennett, Children of the Depressed
offers help and hope to those who grew up with a depressed parent. Powerful and inspirational, this book provides eye-opening explanations, real-life examples, and concrete solutions on how to achieve a more meaningful and fulfilling life despite the challenges of childhood.”
Svetlana Blitshteyn, MD, director and founder of Amherst Neurology and Dysautonomia Clinic and coauthor of POTS: Together We Stand
“Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents
is written with the wisdom and heart of a seasoned therapist and the mind of a scholar who’s spent decades poring over psychological research and theory. In this book, Lindsay C. Gibson seamlessly blends this impressive body of knowledge with the real-life experiences of her clients to create a user-friendly and highly readable book. … This book is not about blame but rather about understanding oneself on a deep level and learning to heal.”
—Esther Lerman Freeman, PsyD, clinical associate professor at the Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine
“Children cannot choose their parents. Unfortunately, many individuals grow up suffering the life-shaping adversities of having emotionally immature, neglectful parents. With wisdom and compassion, Lindsay C. Gibson enables readers to recognize and better understand these toxic relationships and to create novel, healthy paths of healing. This book provides a powerful opportunity for self-help and is a wonderful resource for therapists to recommend to clients in need.”
—Thomas F. Cash, PhD, Professor Emeritus of psychology at Old Dominion University, and author of The Body Image Workbook
Lindsay C. Gibsons insightful book offers the emotionally lonely a step-by-step journey toward self-awareness and healing. Gibsons revealing anecdotes, enlightening exercises, and honest insight lead the reader to a better understanding of how to connect more fully with oneself and others. This is an excellent book for anyone who feels isolated from family members and seeks to enjoy a more emotionally connected life.”
Peggy Sijswerda, editor and publisher of Tidewater Women (tidewaterwomen.com) and Tidewater Family (tidewaterfamily.com), and author of Still Life with Sierra
Lindsay C. Gibsons Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents
is an insightful and compassionate guide for anyone seeking to understand and overcome the long-term impact of growing up in an emotionally barren family. Here you will find sage advice and simple practices that will help you break free from old patterns, connect more deeply with yourself and others, and, ultimately, be the person you were always meant to be.”
Ronald J. Frederick, PhD, psychologist and author of Living Like You Mean It
Lindsay C. Gibson, a very experienced psychotherapist, wrote Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents
to provide guidance to adults for self-help in resolving anxiety, depression, and relationship difficulties that result from having emotionally immature parents. It is a thorough and detailed description of immature parents, childrens experience of their parenting, and methods to resolve the resulting problems. There are many useful examples from Gibsons psychotherapy clients. The book includes helpful exercises for self-understanding. A person can use the book to develop emotional maturity and deeper relationships.”
Neill Watson, PhD, research professor and Professor Emeritus of psychology at the College of William and Mary, and clinical psychologist who does research on anxiety, depression, and psychotherapy
Based on years of reading, research, and working with patients, psychologist Lindsay C. Gibson has written an outstanding book about the multiple ways that emotionally immature parents impact the lives of their adult children. I highly recommend Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents
for all readers who want to understand the parent/child dynamic. This is an uplifting book that provides hope and superb coping strategies for those who find it difficult or impossible to bond with parents who lack empathy and sensitivity.
Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents
is full of wisdom that will enable you to relate to your family members and friends in the healthiest way possibleno matter what age you areand possibly even to recognize whats behind some of the dysfunctional exchanges depicted in the news and in popular culture.”
Robin Cutler, PhD, historian and author of A Soul on Trial
Lindsay C. Gibsons book, Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents
, is filled with clinical vignettes that will resonate with adult children of emotionally immature parents. The book also offers practical advice and exercises for identifying ones true self and avoiding the pitfalls of self-images, relationships, and fantasies that undermine ones psychological well-being. Finally, the book provides solid guidelines for interacting with ones emotionally immature parents in a manner that avoids painful and damaging recreations of the past. Readers will find relief from recognizing that they are not alone and that they are understood by this remarkable clinician.”
B. A. Winstead, PhD, professor of psychology at Old Dominion University and the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology, and coeditor of Psychopathology: Foundations for a Contemporary Understanding, Third Edition
“Children of the Aging Self-Absorbed
fills an important niche in the self-help literature: dealing with aging, difficult, narcissistic parents and grandparents. The book is a guide for adult children of such parents, and offers much wisdom. Brown delineates four types of self-absorbed parents—Clingy, Suspicious-Defensive, Arrogant, and Belligerent—and provides excellent strategies for managing interactions with each type of parent. The book has useful exercises designed to help readers manage their side of these very difficult relationships more effectively. The overriding message is that the adult child must—and can—let go of hoping to change the parent and instead develop self-protective coping behaviors. This book is a good resource for anyone dealing with an aging self-absorbed parent or grandparent, as well as for therapists helping their clients in such situations.”
—Eleanor F. Counselman, EdD, ABPP, CGP, LFAGPA, president-elect of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
“Nina Brown lights the way, helping you navigate the roller coaster of caring for narcissistic, aging parents and grandparents. This groundbreaking book introduces valuable exercises and practical advice to strengthen your resilience and protect you from taking in the negativity of your self-absorbed parents.”
—Ann Steiner, PhD, MFT, CGP, FAGPA, faculty of The Psychotherapy Institute, board member of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, and author of How to Create and Sustain Groups that Thrive
“This new text by Nina Brown makes clear the impact of self-absorbed parents and offers some useful techniques about what to do about them. … Written in an easily accessible and commonsense tone, [Children of the Aging Self-Absorbed
has] something to offer for those with relatively little background in psychology and human development theory, as well as those with considerable experience. … Brown takes the reader through the basics of coping with a problem that is faced by a good deal of the early, middle, and later adult population. … This text is a useful and practical review of the issues involved with parent-child dynamics in the adulthood years and provides some solid structure for describing, categorizing, and responding to these issues in an effective manner.”
—Joshua M. Gross, PhD, ABPP, CGP, psychologist and director of group programs at The University Counseling Center at Florida State University, where he practices group and family psychology as well as trains and supervises doctoral and post-doctoral trainees
Being a parent is usually all about giving of yourself to foster your child's growth and development. But what happens when this isn't the case? Some parents dismiss the needs of their children, asserting their own instead, demanding attention and reassurance from even very young children. This may especially be the case when a parent has narcissistic tendencies or narcissistic personality disorder. From the author of Working with the Self-Absorbed and Loving the Self-Absorbed, this major revision of a self-help classic offers a step-by-step approach to resolving conflict and building a meaningful relationship with a narcissistic parent.
Children of the Self-Absorbed offers clear definitions of narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder to help you identify the extent of your parent's problem. You'll learn the different types of destructive narcissism and how to recognize their effects on relationships. With the aid of proven techniques, you'll discover that you're not helpless against your parent's behavior and that you needn't consider giving up on the relationship. Instead, realistic strategies and steps are suggested for learning to set mutually agreed upon behaviors that can help you fulfill your needs and expectations.
A second edition of a self-help classic, Children of the Self-Absorbed offers the adult children of narcissistic parents the means to understand and cope with the behaviors and attitudes of their mothers and/or fathers while still meeting their own needs.
Reading Line] Protecting yourself, letting go of old patterns, and building a new sense of self
Disarming the Narcissist, Second Edition, is a practical, step-by-step communication guide for coping with and confronting a narcissist. In the book, readers learn how to respond with empathy, separate themselves from the narcissist's traps, and gain the respect and validation they deserve. This edition includes new chapters dealing with narcissistic women, aggressive and abusive narcissists, strategies for safety, and the link between narcissism and sex addiction.
Do you know someone who is overly arrogant, shows an extreme lack of empathy, or exhibits an inflated sense of entitlement? Do they exploit others, or engage in magical thinking? These are all traits of narcissistic personality disorder, and when it comes to dealing with narcissists, it can be difficult to get your point across. So how do you handle the narcissistic people in your life? You might interact with them in social or professional settings, and you might even love one—so ignoring them isn’t really a practical solution. They're frustrating, and maybe even intimidating, but ultimately, you need to find a way of communicating effectively with them.
Disarming the Narcissist, Second Edition, will show you how to move past the narcissist's defenses using compassionate, empathetic communication. You'll learn how narcissists view the world, how to navigate their coping styles, and why, oftentimes, it's sad and lonely being a narcissist. By learning to anticipate and avoid certain hot-button issues, you'll be able to relate to narcissists without triggering aggression. By validating some common narcissistic concerns, you'll also find out how to be heard in conversation with a narcissist.
This book will help you learn to meet your own needs while side-stepping unproductive power struggles and senseless arguments with someone who is at the center of his or her own universe. This new edition also includes new chapters on dealing with narcissistic women, aggressive and abusive narcissists, strategies for safety, and the link between narcissism and sex addiction. Finally, you'll learn how to set limits with your narcissist and when it's time to draw the line on unacceptable behavior.
In Children of the Depressed, a depression expert helps adult children understand and overcome common problems that stem from growing up with a depressed parent, such as poor communication skills and negative self-talk. Using skills and practices rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), readers will learn to shed the old dynamics and ways of thinking that have been weighing them down. By identifying and recognizing the feelings they experienced at a young age, readers will start laying the groundwork for a happier and healthier lifesocially, physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
Have you ever wondered, Why am I so negative? or Why is my life so chaotic? Whether or not your parent was ever formally diagnosed with depression, youve probably always known there was something different about your upbringing. And even though youve grown up and moved on, you may still feel the after-effects of living with your parents illness. In Children of the Depressed, a depression expert helps adult children understand and overcome common problems that stem from growing up with a depressed parent, such as poor communication skills and negative self-talk. Using skills and practices rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), you will learn to shed the old dynamics and ways of thinking that have been weighing you down and keeping you from enjoying healthy relationships and the life you deserve.
Most books on depression only focus on getting help for the depressed person. This book is written for you, the adult child of parents with who have struggled with depression. You need emotional healing after a dysfunctional childhood, and most importantlyyou need an opportunity for your voice to be heard. You dont have to become stuck in the past. By identifying and recognizing the feelings you experienced at a young age, you will start laying the groundwork for a happier and healthier lifesocially, physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
What happens when children are more mature than their parents? Growing up with an emotionally unavailable, immature, or selfish parent is painful, but rarely discussed. In this breakthrough book, clinical psychologist Lindsay C. Gibson exposes an often overlooked, yet extremely common syndrome that shapes the lives of so many people. Gibson also provides powerful skills to help the adult children of self-centered parents gain the insight they need to move on from feelings of loneliness and abandonment, and find healthy ways to meet their own emotional needs.
As self-absorbed parents grow older and become more dependent on their adult children, hurtful relationships may resurface and become further strained. In the tradition of the best-selling Children of the Self-Absorbed, author Nina Brown offers the first book for adult children of aging narcissistic or self-absorbed parents. Readers will learn practical yet powerful strategies for navigating the intense negative feelings that these parents can incite, as well as tips to protect their children from the criticism, blame, or hostility that may exist between their parent and grandparents.
Growing up with a parent who is self-absorbed is difficult, and they may become more difficult to deal with as they age. This essential book shows how to cope with your aging parent's narcissistic behavior, and provides tips to help protect yourself and your children from their self-absorbed, destructive actions.
As your self-absorbed parent grows older and becomes more dependent on you, hurtful relationships may resurface and become further strained. In the tradition of Children of the Self-Absorbed, author Nina Brown offers the first book for adult children of aging narcissistic or self-absorbed parents. You will learn practical, powerful strategies for navigating the intense negative feelings that your parents can incite, as well as tips to protect your children from the criticism, blame, or hostility that may exist between you and their grandparent.
In this book, you will gain greater awareness of how and why your parent's self-absorbed behaviors and attitudes get worse, and develop strategies to manage the negative feelings that can arise as a result. You'll also learn to reduce the shame and guilt that may be felt when you feel like you don't want to be a caretaker. Finally, you'll learn to set limits with your parent so you can stay sane during this difficult time.
Having an aging parent can be stressful enough, but dealing with an aging narcissistic or self-absorbed parent is especially challenging. This essential guide will help you through.
If you grew up with an emotionally immature, unavailable, or selfish parent, you may have lingering feelings of anger, loneliness, betrayal, or abandonment. You may recall your childhood as a time when your emotional needs were not met, when your feelings were dismissed, or when you took on adult levels of responsibility in an effort to compensate for your parents behavior. These wounds can be healed, and you can move forward in your life.
In this breakthrough book, clinical psychologist Lindsay Gibson exposes the destructive nature of parents who are emotionally immature or unavailable. You will see how these parents create a sense of neglect, and discover ways to heal from the pain and confusion caused by your childhood. By freeing yourself from your parents emotional immaturity, you can recover your true nature, control how you react to them, and avoid disappointment. Finally, youll learn how to create positive, new relationships so you can build a better life.
Discover the four types of difficult parents:
- The emotional parent instills feelings of instability and anxiety
- The driven parent stays busy trying to perfect everything and everyone
- The passive parent avoids dealing with anything upsetting
- The rejecting parent is withdrawn, dismissive, and derogatory
About the Author
Wendy T. Behary, LCSW, is founder and clinical director of the Cognitive Therapy Center of New Jersey and a faculty member at the Cognitive Therapy Center and Schema Therapy Institute of New York. She is also a distinguished founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. She maintains a private practice, specializing in narcissism and high-conflict couples therapy.Jeffrey Young, PhD, is the author of Schema Therapy: a Practitioner's Guide and founder/director of the Schema Therapy Institute Schema Therapy Institute of New York.Daniel J. Siegel, MD, is executive director of the Mindsight Institute and associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. He is author of The Developing Mind, The Mindful Brain, and other books, and founding editor of the Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology.
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