The Narcissistic Family by Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman & Robert M. Pressman

Co-Authored by Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman, therapist, clinical director of New England Center for Pediatric Psychology, and internationally recognized expert on family dynamics, The Narcissistic Family addresses an emotionally-difficult topic with warmth and compassion. Stepping beyond situations where a parent is an actual narcissist, the book approaches the concept of a narcissistic family as one where the needs of a parent significantly override the needs of the children. This can happen not only in overtly abusive families where physical violence or drug/alcohol abuse is present, but also if parents have little time available for their children so the children don’t feel heard or don’t grow up with a sense that they are worth. Instead they work around their parents’ mood and never develop the ability to recognize their own needs or create effective strategies for getting them met.

While written for mental health professionals, The Narcissistic Family is equally suitable for and useful to consumers. The writing is clear and the case studies are helpful in illustrating the concepts – offering ways to acknowledge and value one’s feelings as well as specific guidelines for treating individuals raised in a narcissistic or dysfunctional family dynamic.

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