Mothers Who Can’t Love: A Healing Guide for Daughters

Susan Forward, Ph.D., with Donna Frazier Glynn. HarperCollins, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-220434-9
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In this powerful guide, Forward (Toxic Parents) offers a lifeline for those who have suffered through a dysfunctional relationship with a parent. After defining and describing the five most common types of abusive mothers (overly enmeshed; severely narcissistic; control freak; mothers who need mothering; and those who are physically and/or emotionally abusive) Forward gets to work showing adult daughters how to address the negative beliefs that grew from an unhealthy upbringing. With empathy, she assures those who suffer that the abuse is unequivocally not their fault and offers a series of exercises designed to reveal the truth of the situation, acknowledge the pain, learn to set boundaries, and break self-defeating patterns. In a particularly sensitive area, Forward addresses the issue of incest and mothers who have been complicit in such abuse, urging incest victims to seek professional therapy. While this title is labeled as a guide for women whose mothers are unable to love, its sound advice is applicable to persons of any gender. And while readers may be overwhelmed with painful memories at some junctures—an eventuality Forward expects and addresses—this book should be considered required reading for anyone who had an abusive childhood. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/12/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
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