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The Empathy Trap: Understanding Antisocial Personalities
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Written in clear and simple language, "The Empathy Trap" encapsulates and renders accessible what are usually very complicated psychological terms and relational paradigms. Dr. Jayne McGregor and Tim McGregor, together, have put their clinical practice to work for those in the wider community, by offering this brief, but valuable guide to understanding, identifying, and healing from "sociopathic" or otherwise anti-social personalities.

Whether such types are found in your work place, social circle or family, there are ways of detecting what their specific pathological and unusual behaviours are, how they tend to operate outwardly and inwardly, and how their behaviours and beliefs complicate and pollute communications and triangulate relationships between immediate and extended family members as well as between their "targets" and social contacts.

This guide includes moving testimony by survivors of sociopathic abuse, as well as sober recommendations on how to establish healthy boundaries with abusers, and approaches to recovery from long-entrenched connection to them. It also offers a very helpful EQ (Emotional Quotient) test as well as a list of British and international organisations and mental health resources for those who need further assistance.

Overall, this is a must read for anyone in an abusive relationship, those interested in psychology and/or needing practical advice on removing the sociopath from his or her life and protecting children from harm and generational pain.

I have found that this work differs from other books on the subject of narcissism and personality disorders, in addressing, specifically, the role of the "apath", or apathetic members of a family or society, who enable and protect the sociopath and his/her abuse of the victim(s) (i.e. the "truth-tellers") either unknowingly, by relying on heresay, or by turning a blind eye to controlling, deceptive or manipulative behaviours. This is one insidious pattern, in the paradigm of emotional and mental abuse, that many books on personality disorders fail to address clearly or as thoroughly, and which most people need to understand, on a grand scale.

I highly recommend this work both for its practical benefit and its sensitive and pellucid style.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2013
This book is a must read. You may not think you know or have known someone with sociopathic traits but once you have read this your eyes will be opened to the truth. Not only will this book help identify the truth about an ex, a current partner, a family member etc it helps you to work through you life, during and after meeting a sociopath. The case studies within this book are varied and helps to compare to ones experience. A truly amazing book, well written a should be read by all to either help prepare for an event with a sociopath or to help with the aftermath.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2015
Having had years of heartache with my 24 year old daughter for one reason or another(many stated in this book) this made me see how i have been a victim myself from years of abuse.. It has really helped me let go and stop thinking I can fix her.. She has to take her own path in life not the one I think will suit her better and make her "fit in".. Very sensitive and companionate read for families going through similar situations..
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2015
Have just finished this and of all the books I've been reading following a relationship with a psycho/sociopath this gave me the eureka moment. Whilst beginning to understand the traits, I was finding it difficult to get to grips with the interactions. There's a chapter in here I think 4 where the dynamic of sociopath/apath/empath is explained. All of a sudden it fell into place after 6 months. I'd have given the five stars but the case studies of fictionally named victims can be a bit of a yawn. Nonetheless a very good and enlightening read for me. Many thanks
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 12 April 2014
This book has given me a lightbulb moment and helped me understand what has been going on. Read it, it is well worth the money.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2013
I found this book a very interesting read. However, I thought it rather simplistic and everything was dealt with in a cursory manner. I would have preferred to see things dealt with in more depth. But as it went, it was a good read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2014
If you have a child drawn to disasterous relationships, please buy this book for them. I have had all my suspiscions about my childs poor choices confirmed, it may not give you answers, but it may help you understand their behaviour. More empathy!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2014
Ok, muddled in parts. The chapters on surviving living,working with sociopaths most interesting.The case studies especially of belligerent parents, both mothers and fathers are ones we all know or suspect but never express. So that was refreshing.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2014
All your nagging doubts, your confusion, your 'it must be me' thoughts will be washed away by this book. It will become your go to book, the friend you so desperately need to tell you you aren't crazy. It is a must. I cried tears of relief and joy reading this. Recovery is no walk in the park, but with this book you will have a friend to hold your hand every step of the way. Thank you Jane & Tim McGregor for saving my sanity and validating my heart.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2013
I was initially drawn to this book by its title as this was how I was starting to feel - trapped by my empathetic nature and increasingly becoming burdened with it. I started to realise that I could be easily manipulated by people and that anyone could take advantage of this aspect of my personality; from strangers to close family and good friends. This wasn't good for my mental health but luckily, for me, I did seem to have some insight that this was happening. This book certainly makes you aware of the techniques some people will use to get you to do what they want you to do and undermine your belief in yourself and your instincts. These people do exist and the book certainly opens your eyes to recognising the potential sociopaths in your life. It has useful advice on what you can do to help yourself including self-help exercises and addresses of organisation to contact, which can offer assistance and support. It so well written that it is easy to understand for the layperson as well as the professional. I hope there is more to come, from these authors, on the subject of empathy.
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