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The Empathy Trap: Understanding Antisocial Personalities
on 3 September 2013
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.