Personality Disorders
Resources

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
A Bright Red ScreamAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAs Your Desire MeBorderline Personality DisorderBorderline Personality DisorderBorderline Personality Disorder and the Conversational ModelChildren of the Self-AbsorbedCoping with BPDCoping with Infuriating, Mean, Critical PeopleDangerous and Severe Personality DisorderDealing with a NarcissistDissociative ChildrenDistancingEnough About YouEvidence-Based Treatment of Personality DysfunctionFatal FlawsFirst Person PluralGet Me Out of HereGirl in Need of a TourniquetGirl, InterruptedHandbook of Personality DisordersHandbook of PsychopathyHidden SelvesHigh RiskI Hate You-Don't Leave MeLet Me Make It GoodLiving with Our GenesLost in the MirrorLoving Someone with Borderline Personality DisorderLyingMapping the Edges and the In-betweenPassionate DeliberationPersonality Disorder: Temperament or Trauma?Personality Disorders in Modern LifePractical Management of Personality DisorderPractical Management of Personality DisorderProzac NationPsychopathyPsychotherapy for Personality DisordersSilencing the VoicesSkin GameStop Caretaking the Borderline or NarcissistStop Walking on EggshellsStop Walking on EggshellsSurviving a Borderline ParentThe Angry HeartThe Buddha & The BorderlineThe Clinical and Forensic Assessment of PsychopathyThe PsychopathThe Psychopath TestThe Siren's DanceThe Sociopath Next DoorThe Survivor PersonalityThrough the Looking GlassUnderstanding and Treating Borderline Personality DisorderUnderstanding the Borderline MotherWhy Is It Always About You?Without ConscienceWomen and Borderline Personality DisorderWomen Living with Self-InjuryWomen Who Hurt Themselves

Related Topics
Children of the Self-AbsorbedReview - Children of the Self-Absorbed
A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents
by Nina W. Brown
New Harbinger Publications, 2001
Review by Elizabeth Batt
May 8th 2002 (Volume 6, Issue 19)

There are varying degrees of narcissism and although most can be viewed as healthy, there is a type of narcissism that when present in a parent can have far-reaching unhealthy consequences for the children of that parent. Nina W. Brown's Children of the Self-Absorbed:  A Grownup's Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents introduces us to the persona as well as the hardship of having to cope with the destructive narcissistic parent or DNP.

While the book's emphasis rests with coping strategies and self-help for dealing with the DNP, its aim is also to break the cycle of narcissism that can penetrate and impede the emotional stability of an adult who has grown within a DNP environment.  The author achieves this by examining the actions of the parent as well as evaluating your attitude towards your parent and how that attitude might have influenced your life to date.

The key issue of the book is determining whether your parent can indeed be classed as a destructive narcissistic parent.  This is easier said than done, as it can be difficult to maintain objectivity when such high emotions are involved and when many years of conflict with a parent have left the grownup child somewhat embittered.  However, the author manages to successfully promote a series of identifying causes to differentiate between a DNP and the likely case of a parental/child misunderstanding that has merely festered.

The author clearly recognizes the difficult role a parent sometimes has to face and throughout the book she carefully urges caution about labeling your parent too easily with destructive narcissism.  Once it has been determined that your parent does indeed have destructive narcissistic tendencies, then you are free to pursue the many excellent and practical exercises designed to assist and protect you in your dealings with the DNP.

The exercises are extremely flexible.  Not needing to be followed one step at a time, they can be adapted to suit individual needs.  The author merely gives you a starting point to build upon and offers strategies for developing your sense of self-worth as well as accommodating the DNP without incurring the emotional trauma that dealing with a destructive narcissistic parent can bring.

One thing this book will not tell you is how to change your parents.  Brown freely admits that to focus on this route is to court disaster – "You can't make your parents change, but you can effect personal changes." (page 42.) 

The author is extremely adamant about this issue and acknowledges that it can be a bitter pill to swallow.  However she urges that if we can understand why our parents act the way they do, this could be a major factor in winning the battle.

This book will certainly help those grownups that have to cope with a DNP, however it isn't and shouldn't be seen as an entire solution.  There is a certain amount of strength required on your part because quite often in the book, we're urged to indifference.  Not easy to achieve with heavy emotional involvement, we're also attempting to change a habitual process that has been present for years.

The author does skillfully recognize the many problems and emotional efforts that you'll have to face and certainly she'll steer you towards the solutions.  While the book might not have the physical presence of therapy to urge you towards success, it is an excellent start for advocating change while nurturing the self, and if it were coupled with external therapy, the end result could and probably would be a remarkable success.  

 

 

ã 2002 Elizabeth Batt

 

Elizabeth Batt, Managing Editor Ancient & European History, Suite101.com
 


Share

Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology. We feature over 7900 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than thirty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Can't remember our URL? Access our reviews directly via 'metapsychology.net'


Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from Amazon.com for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your Amazon.com purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!


Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers for books in fiction, self-help and popular psychology. To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716