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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound and insightful reading
This book was such a revelation. The authors explain in a clear way how adults who have grown up in a narcissistic family lack some essential skills that when absent cause a lot of trouble in their adult life. This manifest as behavioral traits that include:

"a chronic need to please, an inability to identify feelings, wants, and needs; and a need for constant...
Published on 17 July 2007 by Aeneas

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Warning - Wonderful book but don't buy it on the Kindle
This book is superb - I was almost put off purchasing it by the reviewer who said that it was oversimplistic but mighty glad that I did because it's been a revelation. The poor rating is not for the book but for the publisher - most of my notes on this invaluable text were lost due to a low clipping limit. This completely invalidates the Kindle format for me. If you find...
Published 23 months ago by Marie E.


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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound and insightful reading, 17 July 2007
This review is from: The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment (Psychology) (Paperback)
This book was such a revelation. The authors explain in a clear way how adults who have grown up in a narcissistic family lack some essential skills that when absent cause a lot of trouble in their adult life. This manifest as behavioral traits that include:

"a chronic need to please, an inability to identify feelings, wants, and needs; and a need for constant validation."
and
"In the narcissistic family, children are recruited in the process of satisfying the parents' needs."

The good news is that it is possible to change these behavior traits and the book outlines the way forward with the different steps explained with many good examples.

It feels like a relief that someone could actually explain why one is behaving as one is, especially when one considers oneself to come from a 'normal' family without specific abuse problems.

A highly recommended book if you think you come from a narcissistic family or just want to understand human nature better.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 3 July 2007
This review is from: The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment (Psychology) (Paperback)
By examining case studies, the authors of The Narcissistic Family demonstrate that some families, that might be considered normal functioning from the outside, are in fact, operating narcissistically, and can have a disabling emotional impact on a child - showing that it isn't only overt emotional or physical abuse that causes long term dissociation and harmful behaviour.

The reader gets a close up and revealing look at the formation of narcissistic behaviour and tendencies, and the negative thought loops associated with them that can lead to depression.

Highly recommended.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential book for EVERY family member to read!, 28 Oct 2007
This review is from: The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment (Psychology) (Paperback)
This is a very accessible text that offers great insight in to ALL family relationships. It explains clearly that our society is generating narcissism as the norm and how each individual in a family strives to meet their own needs. By using the techniques outlined in the book it is possible to reduce conflict and resolve issues that each of us maybe unaware we have. Of particular use are real-life case studies and dialogue that show clearly issues that we all have encountered at some stage or other. The method of compartmentalizing is particularly useful in dissolving conflict. Thoroughly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing, 3 April 2013
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This review is from: The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment (Psychology) (Paperback)
Alot of break through advice in here, and I wish I had bought it years ago. I did not know when I bought it that it was designed for therapists in mind, however you can apply the strategies to yourself particularly when changing your outlook in a contructive way with respect to your own family. Knowing how to hold onto, and accept the fact that the family, and parents, can be both good and bad simultaneously, I found very healing.
It also gives permission not to pursue negative relationships and the destructive effect that this gives. I know other books do this, but this book is especially helpful.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Worthwhile Read!, 18 Mar 2013
This review is from: The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment (Psychology) (Paperback)
Having read this book from a friend who passed it on to me, this book describes my grandmother to a tee. Whilst she was alive, she used to regularly make my brother and I compete for her attention and love, as well as doing the same too my mother and her sister! In any family get-together, she had to be the centre of attention and was quite verbally aggressive if she felt the spot light was drifting away from her onto someone else.

The one part of this book which I found rather interesting was in regards to the setting up of boundaries, something I wish I knew about back when she was alive. Yet having come across a few other narcissists since then, the tools in this book have become of valuable use, including the section on judging yourself by what you have done, not what the narcissists say you are.

A well-worth read and strongly recommend it to anyone who has a narcissist in their family (or friends).

GOOD MOTHER, BAD DAUGHTER?
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Warning - Wonderful book but don't buy it on the Kindle, 25 Aug 2012
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This book is superb - I was almost put off purchasing it by the reviewer who said that it was oversimplistic but mighty glad that I did because it's been a revelation. The poor rating is not for the book but for the publisher - most of my notes on this invaluable text were lost due to a low clipping limit. This completely invalidates the Kindle format for me. If you find this book as life-changing as I did, you will want to buy the print version instead.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really helpful, 11 Aug 2011
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This review is from: The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment (Psychology) (Paperback)
The main premise of this book is that in narcissistic families the needs of the whole family system come before the needs of the individual.Feelings don't count. The family exists to take care of the needs of the parents- who are immature and self-absorbed in their parenting because they have never been taught to love/relate to people properly. Since reading this I have delved further into the subject of narcissism and actually found that most parents in narcissistic families are narcissists themselves- including my own parents. The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists by Eleanor Payson is a good book for this.

After reading this book and other books on narcissism I don't think I need to read any more books about dysfunctional families. I began by reading Harriet Learner's the Dance of Intimacy; Victoria Secunda's When you and your Mother Can't Be Friends; Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse; Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families and a whole host of others. But this is the ultimate because any type of family dysfunctional can be traced back to the notion of a narcissistic family system and narcissistic parents. Because any other family issue can be dealt with by empathy and flexibility however difficult the conditions are, which narcissists lack. This book has been extremely validating. Even just seemingly minor examples in the book completely correspond to my experience. Before I read this book, I had the idea to frame a picture of myself as a child- as a tribute to overcoming my dysfunctional past. I waited a long time to find a really nice expensive frame. Lo and behold- in one of the chapters they advise that you should frame a picture of yourself as a child (and I think- even went as far to say- choose a really nice frame!) so you can see just how innocent and vulnerable and undeserving of the abuse you were. So now I don't feel crazy anymore- which is one of the most positive benefits of reading this book. Many thanks to the authors for sitting down to write it. I gave it 4 stars because it could have been longer. But that didn't really affect the quality of the material.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Worthwhile Read, 20 Nov 2007
This review is from: The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment (Psychology) (Paperback)
This book takes you on a journey through your past, and most people will find at least some information in the book that will ring true in their own lives. Narcissism is rampant in our society, and many of us have been affected by this in one way or another. It's the kind of book made for people who are seriously looking to understand their family of origin issues and how to move forward in a healthy way. It does take some work to get through but it's well worth the effort.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars life changing, 17 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment (Psychology) (Paperback)
This book is absolutely life changing for anyone who has realised that their childhood could be the reason behind some of their issues as an adult. I have realised recently that I suffer from anxiety and am constantly trying to please everyone and never put my feelings before those of others. I also have parents who are very concerned about their reputation and image and my mother rarely said a positive word to me as a child. This book gives the definitive diagnosis for why I exhibit the behaviour traits that I do, an extremely practical and effective step by step guide to dealing with the issues associated with narcissism and all in all an extremely thorough, logical and informative account of narcissistic behaviour. This book has put my mind at rest and given me the knowledge and understanding that I have been looking for to live a happier and more contented life. A huge thank you to the authors - I am extremely grateful for your insight and expert guidance in how to deal with a narcissistic upbringing.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Did I Miss Something?, 12 Mar 2012
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This review is from: The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment (Psychology) (Paperback)
I've read all reviews and I have to ask, 'Did I miss something?'

I rate this book average because I've read other books on this subject that are far more informative and enlightening. However, I felt no such thing when I finished this book. The only way I can describe the content of The Narcissist Family, would be to liken it to an artist who does a preliminary sketch and leaves it at that. Throughout the book I wanted more that just a scant look at a seriously wounding subject; therefore, I felt that the book lacked substance. Also, the analogies seemed somewhat trite and the exercises patronising considering the book is aimed at adult readership.
I also feel that the cost is too high for what you get.

However, I would recommend this book to those who have no knowledge on the subject of narcissism because it's so basic. Perhaps the title would be more accurate if it was called a 'Primer on the Narcissistic Family.'
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The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment (Psychology)
The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment (Psychology) by Robert M. Pressman (Paperback - 25 Jun 1997)
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