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Question: As one who has read the book, how would you rate it?
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Author Topic: The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment - Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman  (Read 463 times)
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
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« on: December 27, 2009, 10:22:45 AM »

The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment
Author: Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman, Robert M. Pressman
Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (July 9, 1997)
Paperback: 181 pages
ISBN-10: 0787908703
ISBN-13: 9780787908706

Book Description
The authors present an innovative therapeutic model for understanding and treating adults from emotionally abusive or neglectful families--families the authors call narcissistic. Narcissistic families have a parental system that is, for whatever reason (job stress, alcoholism, drug abuse, mental illness, physical disability, lack of parenting skills, self-centered immaturity), primarily involved in getting its own needs met. The children in such narcissistic family systems try to earn love, attention and approval by satisfying their parents' needs, thus never developing the ability to recognize their own needs or create strategies for getting them met. By outlining the theoretical framework of their model and using dozens of illustrative clinical examples, the authors clearly illuminate specific practice guidelines for treating these individuals.

About the Author
Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman is a therapist, consultant, and trainer. She is known for her work with dysfunctional families, particularly with survivors of incest. Robert M. Pressman is the editor-in-chief and president of the Joint Commission for the Development of the Treatment and Statistical Manual for Behavioral and Mental Disorders.

What they call you is one thing.
What you answer to is something else. ~ Lucille Clifton
formerly "Grainne", "JohannaB"
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2010, 10:19:34 AM »

I'm about a third of the way through this book and so far I'd recommend it. Especially for those in a relationship with a pwBPD who are wondering how they ended up there. I had thought my FOO was completely normal, I know it appeared that way from the outside. I was wrong!
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2011, 03:08:23 PM »

This book helped me to understand my situation more, specially points such as at this point in recovery the adullt child may think/do x,y,z. the transcript of a T session at the back illustrates well concepts. Not a book to dive into if you havent read anything else, but i'd recommend it otherwise
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2013, 11:45:59 PM »

I recently read this book and found it excellent. I wish it had been longer, but I believe I gained unique insights from it. I think the authors' formulation of a 'narcissistic family' is an excellent one. For example, I doubt if either of my parents would fully qualify for an NPD or BPD diagnosis, but they both had some of those traits, and together they operated as a unit that was fully dysfunctional. The example descriptions of how this worked were told very well, and at several points I recognized patterns that were the same in my own family. Their essential point that the narcissistic family put the feelings and needs of the parents ahead of those of the children was developed well.

I read this book along with several others that I ordered together, and it was of equal worth, in my opinion, to Lawsons' "Understanding The Borderline Mother" and Young and Klosko's "Reinventing Your Life"; each of these three had a unique contribution that was not provided by the other. 

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