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Transcending the Personality Disordered Parent: Psychological and Spiritual Tactics [Paperback]

Randy A. Sansone MD , Michael W. Wiederman PhD

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Book Description

21 Jan 2013
Have you been especially troubled by your relationship with a parent? Have you struggled to understand the difficulties in that relationship? Despite your efforts, has this relationship failed to improve? It may be that your parent has a personality disorder. Personality disorders are long-standing in nature, undergo little change, and end up hurting others, particularly family members. This damage may occur through a self-centered approach to life as well poor decisions (such as addictions, problematic spending, and selecting poor relationship partners). People with personality disorders also harm through their inability to be honest (factually and emotionally), as well as their emotional or physical overreactions to situations. In this book, you'll begin to understand the essential nature of a personality disorder and how it applies to your parent. As examples, the authors describe two in-depth cases. Each case illustrates one of two personality disorder styles that appear to be relatively common: the intrusive personality style and the distant-hostile personality style. The authors offer a number of practical tactics for transcending, both psychologically and spiritually, the problematic past of having been raised by a parent with a personality disorder. This book is designed to offer supportive guidance in the murky terrain of toxic parent-child relationships. It's a must-read for everyone trying to understand and resolve difficulties in their relationships with their parents.

Product details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Mindful Publications, LLC (21 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981853404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981853406
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.3 x 1.2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,397,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

“This is a valuable book. It makes the point that if one or both your parents were to any degree immature and self-serving, or their parenting was deficient and harmful in some way through any other form of ‘personality disorder’, you have a choice: to see this as an obstacle (and risk getting stuck) or see it as an opportunity (and start to grow). It gives you the chance to transcend victimhood and use your painful experiences as the fuel for a kind of pilgrimage of personal and spiritual development. Then the authors tell you how to go about it. I recommend it.” Larry Culliford, author of ‘Love, Healing & Happiness’ (O Books, 2007) and ‘The Psychology of Spirituality: an introduction’ (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2011). Randy A. Sansone, M.D., is a professor of psychiatry and internal medicine at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, OH. Dr. Sansone has published more than 400 articles and book chapters. He co-edited the books "Self-Harm Behavior and Eating Disorders" and "Personality Disorders and Eating Disorders," and co-authored the book "Borderline Personality Disorder in the Medical Setting." Dr. Sansone has maintained an active interest in the treatment and research of personality disorders throughout his career. Michael W. Wiederman, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at Columbia College in Columbia, SC. Dr. Wiederman has published more than 200 articles. He authored the book "Understanding Sexuality Research," co-authored "The Complete Guide to Graduate School Admission: Psychology and Related Fields," and co-edited the "Handbook for Conducting Research on Human Sexuality."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable insight on personality disorder 14 Oct 2013
By Alida - Published on
My uncle who is a professor of psychiatry paid me a visit recently since had some conference in New York, and whilst I realized that our discussion is always around his job, I obviously enjoy those sessions on discovering and learning about the disordered human mind. He would be joking that I am aspiring psychiatrist, however I would rather say that I find fascinating debating and reading about the Psychology and Spirituality. Furthermore, my uncle is often keen to recommend me something he finds as an 'easy' read on the subject, understanding that this may be just a hobby of mine and that there is a line that I don't want to cross. That's how this book came to my hands followed by my uncle's advise that whilst this book may not be written in complicated psychiatric jargon, the same is around pathological personality, which is naturally heavy topic.

The book discovers on personality disorders on the parents alike, whilst providing with an interesting method on transcending such painful experiences of the adult siblings for a further personal and spiritual development. Authors are quite descriptive and knowledgeable around personality disordered parents subject, and provide with the case studies in order to clarify better on how this kind of parenting is affecting children as they grow and develop into adults. I found especially intriguing a Chapter 7 where Authors discuss about the first of the two distinct parenting styles related to personality pathology, the intrusive parenting.

The last three Chapters of the Book continue from the fact that the one is finally aware about his/her parents suffers from a psychological dysfunction that is likely to be a personality disorder and as a result of this awareness, the one may also begin to change their perception and therefore reaction to such parents.

Since I am not professional in this field, I am not able to refer to scientific and psychological methods as a relevant, however this book has completely met my expectations on the relatively easy read on not such easy topic, providing with number of case studies and practical advice for affected adult children on how to cope with their disturbed mothers and fathers. I hope you don't have such issues and reading this book with the same motives as mine are - to study and learn about the same, however, if you have been ignoring the facts on your parents disorder, you may find a material in this book as useful on developing your awareness about this issue, that you should start facing with a different approach.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a true gift to anyone who have a parent(s) with mental health issues. 9 Oct 2013
By Y. Mura - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This will be by far one of my more heartfelt reviews as this book has a special importance. My other was a paranoid schizophrenic. She was a single parent and always did her best but there were still enough problems that my brother and I were eventually placed into the foster care system. Because the issues were in no way her fault we were never allowed to be adopted out but we still were only allowed once a year visits with her until we eventually aged out of the system. She was the sweetest woman you could ever want to know and I know she loved us with every fiber of her being, she just was mentally incapable of taking care of us. Our being taken from her took their toll and she became involved with drugs and eventually, soon after I left the system, my mother overdosed on heroin. I now am married with three beautiful children. I have a nice life and a successful business. I battled constantly with my history and the residual problems left behind by my mother's mental illness and the resulting foster care to get where I am but at the same time it's because of all of that that I am who I am today.

Now that you understand where I am coming from I can now review this book from a point of true understanding and that you can believe what I have to say. The descriptions of the parents with problems and the results thereof are almost disturbingly accurate. This kind of understanding is very rare outside of those who've had personal experience with it. Yes, I am one of those that have been known to scoff at psychologists and their "facts" but these two authors have found the heart of the truth. They've put all of the words and thoughts I have dealt with my entire life into a well written and very impressive book. And the advice? That way of thinking is the only things that has gotten me where I am. I am not "invalidated" by this kind of advice.(this was stated by another reviewer) That kind of advice was what gave the me the strength to fight for a better future. I always swore to people when I was growing up that I was given such a crappy hand because I'm saving up all of the bad stuff now so I could hit the jackpot when I grew up...and I did exactly that. I couldn't be happier with the way my life has turned out had I won a literal multi-million dollar jackpot.

Thank you for putting into words and showing what it's like to live like I did.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Insight, Helpful Advice 9 Oct 2013
By cindyp - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I found this book very helpful. To give some background, I grew up in a challenging home; my father left when I was around 2 years old and my mother was schizophrenic. I was diagnosed as 'manic-depressive' in my early 20's (which I described in my own book about holistic health, in a chapter on mental health). It was not lost on my how fortunate I was to have received a complementary copy for review (and I will give my honest opinion).

First of all, the descriptions and insight on dysfunctional parents is spot-on. I saw myself in this book (from both perspectives) and believe that the beginning of healing. I have always prayed to be a good parent from the time my children were born, and instinctively knew that reading about my own experiences would be part of that. While many of us may not be outright BPD (borderline personality), clinically depressed or narcissistic, we may share traits in our personalities that can be similar. Reading about it can help bring flaws to light so we can work on them.

Secondly, the techniques the author describes for healing in this book are techniques that I have incorporated into my life. While some may feel they are overly spiritual or superficial, I have found that these techniques are paths that take years to master. I have found that, in my life, these have been truly self-transforming paths for healing and spiritual development.

I feel this was a great book that was easily readable (not overly technical or boring), that gave great insight into parents with emotional issues. I think this book would be helpful for many parents and for children (any of us) who are unsure of why there lives may not be on the right path.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good description, bad prescription 11 May 2013
By Maytree - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The best part of this book is the clear and vivid description it presents of what a personality disordered parent is like, how they interact with their children, and what effects this sort of parenting has on the adjustment of the children as they grow into adults. For this part of the book, I can recommend it for someone who wants to understand the fundamental differences between being parented by normal (and normally flawed) human beings and being parented by someone whose internal emotional structure is actively pathological. This particularly applies to people who always knew there was something essential that was broken or missing in their parents' relationship with them and want to put a name to it -- people whose parents were not diagnosed as mentally ill, but who were nevertheless disordered and destructive. You can find answers here.

The worst part of the book is when the authors try to give a program for "transcending" this kind of parenting. Their prescription entails encouraging the children of such parents to tell themselves such things as "Well, I'm sure I learned/gained from this kind of parenting! I should be grateful for that!" They even dip a bit into the well of Eastern mysticism, suggesting that somehow people with disordered parents were "meant" to have them and learn from the experience. This, to me, is far too glib and condescending and utterly trivializes the damage this kind of parenting does, and how difficult it is to make good, solid, lasting repairs as an adult when you were raised this way. I am always leery of advice that amounts to "Learn to be grateful for your unnecessary suffering," as that's very invalidating to a person subjected to this kind of parenting. It's really only one short step away from "Oh, just get over it," which is the ultimate in unhelpful advice.

In short, for a book that claims it will tell you how to "transcend" your personality disordered parent, I found very little here that would actually help a person do that. If you are a person looking for solid information on coping with personality-disordered parenting, I would recommend books such as "Stop Walking On Eggshells," "Will I Ever Be Good Enough?", "Surviving the Borderline Parent," for information you can actually use to make improvements in your life.

But I will repeat: the descriptive parts of the book are very well done and worth reading. You can just stop once you get to the parts that try to tell you what you should do about this, as there's almost nothing of value there.
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