Bonded to the Abuser (inbunden)
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Rowman & Littlefield
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Bonded to the Abuser (inbunden)

Bonded to the Abuser

How Victims Make Sense of Childhood Abuse

Inbunden Engelska, 2015-05-07
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Tens of thousands of children are removed from home each year due to some form of child maltreatment, usually physical neglect, physical abuse, or sexual abuse, although sometimes for emotional abuse as well. An additional significant number of children are victims of child maltreatment but remain in their home. Extensive research reveals the far reaching and long lasting negative impact of maltreatment on child victims, including on their physical, social, emotional, and behavioral functioning. One particularly troubling and complicated aspect is how the child victim forms (and maintains) a "traumatic bond" with his abuser, even becoming protective and defensive of that person despite the pain and suffering they have caused. This book will provide the reader with the essential experience of understanding how children make meaning of being maltreated by a parent, and how these traumatic bonds form and last. Through an examination of published memoirs of abuse, the authors analyze and reveal the commonalities in the stories to uncover the ways in which adult victims of childhood abuse understand and digest the traumatic experiences of their childhoods. This understanding can inform interventions and treatments designed for this vulnerable population and can help family and friends of victims understand more fully the maltreatment experience "from the inside out."
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Baker and Schneiderman are both leaders in research on child abuse and parental alienation. Here they examine published memoirs and stories of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of children, identifying themes from the literature and illustrative narratives. Though the authors do not elaborate on the themes or on how children make sense of maltreatment by parents, the writings Baker and Schneiderman examine reveal children's fear and dread, yearning for approval, and coping strategies as they try to please parents-enabling readers to travel with children through trauma, deprivation, and the quest for parental approval. The book reveals children's need for parental approval and recognition even when parents are not present, do not approve of their children, or do not see children as separate beings. Mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia, substance abuse, personality disorder) often figures in, preventing parents from appreciating children's needs. The authors point out that despite pain, suffering, and/or deprivation, children often yearn for parental love, approval, and recognition; without therapeutic intervention, that yearning can continue into adulthood. This book will be helpful for understanding child abuse and children's bonds with abusers. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates; graduate students; professionals; general readers. * CHOICE * Before I became a therapist, I had a very hard time seeing how one could forgive the abuser of an innocent child. I found it almost excruciating to try to understand the mindset of the person who had harmed an innocent kid, often their own. But once I became a therapist, I recognized that a host of problems in the abuser's life and upbringing often contribute to their violent behavior. Mental illness, their own experience of prior abuse, their own early childhood trauma, and substance issues can be factors. Sometimes, though, we cannot quite identify what the behavior stems from. But as Amy Baker and Mel Schneiderman write in Bonded to the Abuser: How Victims Make Sense of Childhood Abuse, no matter what the cause of the maltreatment, there are children who suffer through unthinkable experiences yet still feel connected to their abuser. . . . When it comes to this difficult but extremely relevant topic, Baker and Schneiderman give us an excellent resource As a therapist, I found their book not only interesting but also necessarily jolting. It can be easy to forget, or to not understand, what happens to the millions of children who are hurt by a disturbed parent. One way to ensure that we contribute to the eradication of child abuse is by educating ourselves and awakening our senses to this very heartbreaking reality. * Psych Central * Bonded to the Abuser is a wise and helpful approach to a painful subject. It gives voice to an often neglected and under-served population. It will be an extremely helpful resource for professionals and for those who are living with the legacy of abuse. -- Joshua Coleman, Ph.D., author of When Parents Hurt: Compassionate Strategies When You and Your Grown Child Get Along Amy J. L. Baker and Mel Schneiderman have synthesized a mountain of qualitative data from the first-hand accounts of individuals who experienced abuse and neglect as children. They reviewed 45 books, which relate in painstaking and heartbreaking detail how the writers lived through and managed to survive physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and neglect. The primary theme of the book is the remarkable and counterintuitive observation that abused children remain attached to their abusive parents, whom they might perceive as charming and charismatic. Children who are physically or emotionally neglected remain loyal to their parents, who rarely acknowledged the children's presense or personhood. Readers of Bonded to the Abuser will learn various mechanisms by which maltreated children fear, love, hate, and long for their moms and dads. -- William Bern

Övrig information

Amy J.L. Baker, PhD, is a nationally recognized leader and expert in the field of parental alienation and loyalty conflicts. She is the author of Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties That Bind (2007) and Working with Alienated Children and Families: A Clinical Guidebook (2012). Baker has published numerous academic articles on the topic of parental alienation and writes a blog for Psychology Today on the topic. She also has an active coaching practice for targeted parents and serves as an expert witness in custody disputes around the country. She is the author of the forthcoming Surviving Parental Alienation. Mel Schneiderman is senior vice president, mental health services at the New York Foundling and is cofounder and senior advisor and chair of the research advisory committee at the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection. Dr. Schneiderman founded the first child sexual abuse treatment program located within a child welfare agency in 1986. Dr. Schneiderman has been a leader in the field of child welfare for the past thirty years. He was one of the founders and first chair of the Committee of Mental Health and Healthcare Professionals in New York City. Dr. Schneiderman introduced the first agency-wide universal mental health screening program for children entering foster care in New York City. He is currently the President of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, New York. He has served on several boards and presented at over fifty conferences and workshops, he is the recipient of numerous grants and has published several articles in peer reviewed journals.


Introduction 1: Stories of Physical Abuse 2: Making Meaning of Physical Abuse 3: Stories of Sexual Abuse 4: Making Meaning of Sexual Abuse 5: Stories of Emotional Abuse 6: Making Meaning of Emotional Abuse 7: Stories of Emotional Neglect 8: Making Meaning of Emotional Neglect 9: Stories of Physical Neglect 10: Making Meaning of Physical Neglect 11: Moving Forward Bibliography