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Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship Paperback – Jul 1 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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  • Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood Wounds and Build Trust, Boundaries, and Self-Esteem
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Jason Aronson, Inc.; 1 edition (July 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765703319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765703316
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.6 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #37,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

This wonderfully readable book is totally devoid of jargon and pedantry. The writing is concise and simple, although the subject is complex and weighty. With picturesque nosology, Dr. Lawson writes about the waif, hermit, queen, and witch mothers. Her unique examination of borderline mothers and how they relate to their children culminates in a discussion of what can be done for both from an interpersonal perspective. Replete with clinical vignettes, this book is entertaining as well as informative. (Peter L. Giovacchini)

This well-researched and beautifully written book presents in graphic, specific, clinical detail overwhelming evidence to resolve any ambiguity about the relationship of the borderline mother to her children. The many faces of the borderline mother are nicely differentiated and described. Dr. Lawson also provides guidelines on how to manage a relationship with a borderline mother constructively. A helpful read for all therapists who work with borderline patients. (James F. Masterson)

Masked by a smile, behind the pinafore of maternal attachment, lurks a borderline mother. Dr. Lawson offers a compelling portrait of mothers who project massive states of confusion and terror into their children. She presents a variety of mothers, including the make-believe mother, the fairy tale mother, the queen and witch mother, along with specific clinical suggestions for dealing with each type. This spellbinding contribution to the literature provides effective treatment procedures for therapists working within the spectrum of borderline phenomenology. (Joan Lachkar)

Childhood lived with a borderline mother results in an unspeakable tragedy. Few of the child's developmental needs are met because the mother cannot be a parent. Consequently, the child is programmed for a lifelong struggle against failure. For over twenty years, people have shared their own agonizing stories with me, looking to my journey for a sense of hope. The compassionate understanding and professional assistance in this book are a road map out of failure. (Christina Crawford)

From the Back Cover

"Childhood lived with a borderline mother results in an unspeakable tragedy, few of the child's developmental needs are met because the mother cannot be a parent. Consequently, the child is programmed for a lifelong struggle against failure. For over twenty years, people have shared their own agonizing stories with me, looking to my journey for a sense of hope. The compassionate understanding and professional assistance in this book are a road map out of failure." -Christina Crawford, M.A. -Author, Mommie Dearest

"This wonderfully readable book is totally devoid of jargon and pedantry. The writing is concise and simple, although the subject is complex and weighty. With picturesque nosology, Dr. Lawson writes about the waif, hermit, queen, and witch mothers. Her unique examination of borderline mothers and how they relate to their children culminates in a discussion of what can be done for both from an interpersonal perspective. Replete with clinical vignettes, this book is entertaining as well as informative." - Peter L. Giovacchini, M.D. - Author, Impact of Narcissism

"This well-researched and beautifully written book presents in graphic, specific, clinical detail overwhelming evidence to resolve any ambiguity about the relationship of the borderline mother to her children. The many faces of the borderline mother are nicely differentiated and described. Dr. Lawson also provides guidelines on how to manage a relationship with a borderline mother constructively. A helpful read for all therapists who work with borderline patients." -James F. Masterson, M.D. - Author, Psychotherapy of the Borderline Adult: A Developmental Approach

"Masked by a smile, behind the pinafore of maternal attachment lurks a borderline mother. Dr. Lawson offers a compelling portrait of mothers who project massive states of confusion and terror into their children. She presents a variety of mothers, including the make-believe mother, the fairy tale mother, the queen and witch mother, along with specific clinical suggestions for dealing with each type. This spellbinding contribution to the literature provides effective treatment procedures for therapists working within the spectrum of borderline phenomenology." -Joan Lachkar, Ph.D. -Author, The Many Faces of Abuse and The Narcissistic/Borderline Couple --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on Dec 31 2003
Format: Paperback
As the daughter of a borderline mother, I have spent the last 46 years struggling to understand why our relationship was so contentious, why I was always the 'bad' child and why I never felt comfortable expressing my own feelings to her. The book was given to me by a friend after my mother, a diabetic, self-induced a coma when I wanted to have Christmas dinner at my house rather than hers. Page after page was filled with experiences of other BPD children that were strikingly similar to my own-there were more than a dozen "Oh my God-that's her!" moments. This book brought everything into crystal clear focus and enabled me to deal fairly and lovingly with my mother-and help to keep me from using those same cruel weapons on my daughter.
This book is a life saver!
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By A Customer on March 10 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is intense, especially if you happen to be the child of a mother with Borderline Personality Disorder. The author breaks types of Borderline mothering into categories, recognizing that often times categories overlap. Well described and I would have liked to have seen more suggestions for healing at the end. In any case, approach this with care, it is perhaps best read under the care of a therapist or psychiatrist.
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By A Customer on April 3 2004
Format: Paperback
As the "no good" child of a borderline mother, this book was very helpful as well as frightening. If you are the child of a borderline, I would highly recommend that you read it in the context of therapy. It is clearly written, easily understood and to the point. However, it spends far more time defining and diagnosing than explaining how to transcend BPD challenges. Perhaps this was not the purpose. Regardless, there were a few statements about how often anxiety and depression are lifelong battles for children of borderline mothers. I haven't found this to be true on a personal level and hope others understand that the anxiety or depression felt from growing up with a borderline mother can be controlled and eradicated almost entirely. Overall a very good book, comprehensive and very accurate. I found it very helpful but had to take it in small doses.
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Format: Paperback
this is the only book i have ever read that completely validates my existence. the horror of living with a somewhat psychotic parent is indescribible. the abuse, the taunts, the shaming, the being laughed at, the physical hitting and pulling of hair, the ostracism in ones own family the splitting the being the no-good child and watching the all-good child get all the love and affection, the pathetic father, and the terrible urge to do it all again once one is an adult. after having a series of horribly abusive relationships and after being alone and isolated i finally have been able to determine why what when and how these things happened to me. anytime i feel it is all my fault i read this book and i know i am not the only one who is crazy out there, my name is legion. how wonderful to have someone put this into words for me. christine lawson thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. interestingly enough i can see how much the abusive people i have been attracted to resemble my mother!! thank you for making sense of all this chaos and confusion. i wish more people knew about this book, it would help them like it helped me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Requires some knowledge of psychology to fully understand terms used in book.
Would have appreciated a lengthier discussion on how BPD develops in these mothers and in all people who have BPD. There was some discussion about brain damage as a cause; the damage likely being a result of stressful childhood experiences which altered brain functioning and structure. This is an area that really interests me. I think there are other books that go into the neuroscience of BPD.
This book validates the "unbelievable" things that children of BPD mothers experienced. I found it interesting to see my own mother fully described by one of the types.
Above anything, the book's approach of categorizing BPD mothers into sub-types is helpful. The literature around BPD usually presents BPD as a whole, and is voluminous. This book will help adult children who are starting out on their journey to understand a BPD mother and her impact on their lives. It certainly provided that for me. Even though I've read many books about BPD as a whole, I was still searching for a book that could really touch me personally. This is definitely that book. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
As a child of a bordeline mother and a borderline mother myself, I found this book invaluable. Determined not to make the same mistakes my mother made, although I have been in therapy for nearly 5 years, and making good progress, I was poorly equipped to understand everything that I was doing, and I was able to see in the mirror, so to speak, by reading this book. I have tried to get my 15 year old daughter to read it without success. Perhaps later when she is more receptive to the fact that her mother is flawed and can accept my apologies for my behaviors she will read it. As soon as I was diagnosed I sent her to therapy, which has been invaluable to her.
One of the things I like about this book are the references to Lewis Carrol's "Alice in WOnderland". Carroll (Charles Dodgson) was hypothesized to be a boderline in the book "The Agony of Lewis Carroll", which is an excellent treatment of his work, I believe, although it has been shot down by Caroll scholars.
BPD is a terrible illness. I'd rather have anything else, as the self-loathing, rigidity and delusions are so irrational and so difficult to rid oneself of. The AVERAGE length of therapy for BPD for a patient going twice a week used to be four years. Most insurance plans don't support that type of therapy, and many victims don't have insurance. Many give up because they dont have the community networks to support them.
BPD replicates itself in families and is growing in numbers. It knows no income level, no race or nationality. It has existed for centuries, and its dimensions are just being understood.
Encourage your library to put this book on their shelf as it is a great mental health resource.
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