Helping Survivors of Authoritarian Parents, Siblings, and Partners
A Guide for Professionals
Helping Survivors of Authoritarian Parents, Siblings, and Partners considers the notion of the authoritarian personality in a family context and examines the extent to which authoritarians traumatize the people closest to them. Building on primary research, Dr. Maisel presents first-person accounts of life with authoritarian family members and provides clinicians and other professionals with tactics and strategies for helping clients who struggle with the impact of these experiences. This unique look at authoritarians at home serves to redefine the authoritarian personality, expand our understanding of family trauma, and give voice to the silent epidemic of authoritarian wounding.
Table of Contents
1. Updating the Concept of the Authoritarian Personality 2. The Aggression Cluster 3. Please Break My Rules! 4. Walking on Eggshells 5. I. Hate. My. Mother. 6. Perfection Was the Minimum 7. Whole Scarred Families 8. The Exploitation Cluster 9. Exploiting Ignorance 10. Exploiting Religion and Religiosity 11. Some Cat Toys and Freedom 12. My Hansel and Gretel Life 13. The Narcissism Cluster 14. Narcissism, Conventionality and Passivity 15. Killing the Family Dog 16. Consequences: Depression 17. Consequences: Anxiety 18. Consequences: Addiction 19. Consequences: Physical Complaints 20. Consequences: Repetition Compulsion 21. What You Can Expect 22. Bringing Up Authoritarian Wounding 23. Trauma-Informed Care 24. Existential Care 25. Interpersonal, Relational and Family Help 26. Tips for Dealing with an Authoritarian Parent 27. Supporting Physical and Emotional Separation 28. My 15 Learnings. Appendix: Authoritarian Wound Questionnaire
Eric Maisel, PhD, is a retired licensed psychotherapist, active creativity coach, and internationally respected expert in the field of mental health reform. He is the author of more than fifty books, writes the "Rethinking Mental Health" blog for Psychology Today, and provides lectures and workshops worldwide.
"This is an extremely important and helpful book for clinicians who work with couples and families, as well as for men and women who have grown up with an authoritarian parent or sibling and are seeking counseling. Based on his research and his own experiences working with individuals, couples, and families for many years, Maisel offers specific tools and techniques for healing. He also uncovers some very interesting findings on why women are more likely to reach out for help and what we can do to treat problems more effectively with our male clients. These issues are particularly timely given the present political climate, which has surfaced the hidden authoritarian tendencies in our culture."
—Jed Diamond, PhD, author of My Distant Dad: Healing the Family Father Wound
"Once again, Dr. Eric Maisel tackles an important and overlooked subject area with an essential and enlightening combination of first-person accounts and application of primary research. We learn what drives the authoritarian parent and how hate and a need to punish lead to the belittling and ridicule of children. The need to control through cruel means combined with a lack of guilt and shame lead to what the author has termed ‘authoritarian wounding,’ a trauma unique to those raised by an authoritarian parent. This book is a useful guide for recognizing the dynamic as well as a compassionate and practical approach to healing authoritarian wounding."
—Lee Jampolsky, PhD, author of Healing the Addictive Personality and Smile for No Good Reason
"This is an indispensable book for mental health practitioners who work with traumatized clients! Dr. Maisel adds to the extant research on authoritarianism by pulling together firsthand accounts of people who have endured the wounds of authoritarian figures in their lives. He has expertly used this information to provide a practical guide for therapists attempting to help heal those traumatic wounds."
—Chuck Ruby, PhD, executive director of the International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry