The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life Hardcover – May 1 2007
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“…Offers a socially intelligent method to spot and counter emotional abuse. … lights a way out of a dark side of relationships.”
–Daniel Goleman, author of Social Intelligence
“…like a sturdy, truth-telling friend in difficult times. Stern will show you you’re not alone in your toxic relationship...”
–Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls
“…a powerful guide and manual that fully articulates and explains the repercussions of underhanded manipulation in personal and professional relationships.”
–Sylvia Ann Hewlett, economist, author, and president of the Center for Work-Life Policy
“…eloquently shine[s] a light on an often missed … emotional abuse… I have no doubt this book will positively change lives.”
–Linda Lantieri, Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL)
“Dr. Robin Stern is one of the world’s wisest women. There’s much to learn from her.”
“…therapist Robin Stern takes her readers on a journey that will help them take control of their lives and destinies.”
–Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D., author of Women and Madness and Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman
“Her strategies for “turning off the gas,” … are practical and sound, emphasizing improving self-esteem and visualizing out-comes. … strongly recommended.”
Library Journal, 4/1/07
About the Author
, has been a therapist for more than twenty years, specializing in issues of emotional abuse and psychological manipulation. She has been a keynote speaker at universities, and consults to schools, corporations, and nonprofit organizations. She teaches at Hunter College, Teachers College, and Columbia University and is also a leadership coach for faculty. She is a founding member of the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership. She currently maintains a psychotherapy practice in New York City, where she lives with her husband and two children.See all Product Description
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This book does a good job in identifying the nuances of the problem, describing the stages of seduction/invalidation, and providing ways for one to re-orient, rejuvenate and find solutions out of the problem.
I think the biggest destructive message you get when you are gaslighted is that somehow the victim can change the behavior of the abuser by changing the victim's behavior.
In other words - the victim, by her behavior is causing herself to be gaslighted.
This is dangerous thinking. It is the typical blame the victim thinking that is espoused by mental health professionals again and again and again.
Why? Because the mental health professionals are making money off the victims - not the abusers. How many abusers do you think bought this book? But how many victims. Follow the money.
I commend this author for attempting to address this psychological abuse in her book, because there is little written about it anywhere. Yet, it can drive victims to suicide.
But the author fails by not addressing the severity of this abuse - in fact she fails to even call it abuse, nor does she talk about the effect on the victim. The book is too cutsey for me. There is nothing cute about being gaslighted. It is deadly serious.
Someday I hope that mental health professionals understand that they are making money off suffering and it is irresponsible to publish a cutsey book about psychological abuse that can drive someone to kill themselves.
The only place I saw the word 'abuse' was on the cover of the book, from a reviewer. This is serious business folks. I would rather have my ribs broken than my mind.
Unfortunately the author skips around issues that she should have hit head on.
With physical abuse, someone kills you. With psychological abuse you kill yourself. How much cleaner is that? Your abuser then gets away with psychological abuse and is vindicated - YOU ARE CRAZY - crazy enough to slit your wrists!
Be very careful folks. This book is just the tip of the iceberg. You cannot change someone who is setting out to use psychological abuse (gaslighting) to control you. You need to get away or you could die.
You do not play a part in any way whatsoever. By trying to explain yourself, you are being a NORMAL human being in an abnormal situation. You are not engaging in a tango. You are being NORMAL, believing that you are interacting with a human being - not a predator.
But you are dealing with a predator, who preys on his own kind. The normal rules of engagement do not apply here. You cannot change a predator by ignoring what he is trying to do - drive you insane.
That is not cutsey. There is no tango involved. It doesn't take two. It takes one predator who preys on your goodness and willingness to change behaviors that you think are hurting him because you care. There is nothing wrong with caring. Empathy. Keep those qualities for someone who isn't preying on you. Changing the way you react to the predator will not change a thing. It is exactly what he wants you to do.
Your anger and protests are your demonstrations of your self-worth. Keep them. Don't silence yourself as this author suggests. But do get away.
If you are "in denial" because you don't agree with how someone else (the gaslighter) sees you, read this book. If you are constantly trying to figure out the "why" of their behavior, read this book. It answers so many questions. It helps you to see that you are a person of value. It also explains how this relationship occurs, and how to end it, or, if you choose, to live with it.
I wish that this book had been available a few years ago, it would have saved me a lot of tears and heartache. It has helped me to come to peace with myself and to not blame myself for something that wasn't my fault. Reading this book for the third time, I believe that I won't be caught up in a relationship like that again. Gaslighters are abusers (see also the work of Patricia Evans), and you don't have to take it anymore!
I highly recommend this book...it could save you years of therapy and save you thousands of dollars!
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