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Breaking the Cycle of Abuse: How to Move Beyond Your Past to Create an Abuse-Free Future [Kindle Edition]

Beverly Engel
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"A beacon of hope for women and men who fear that they will pass the abuse they have suffered on to their children, partners, or employees. Humane and compassionate but also clear and down to earth, this is a wonderful contribution to the literature on healing."
--Lundy Bancroft, author of When Dad Hurts Mom and Why Does He Do That?

"In this remarkably powerful, wise, and compassionate book, Beverly Engel leads readers step by step through a program that will help survivors of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse in childhood to heal from their wounds so they don't need to re-enact their abusive pasts. She offers expert advice and strategies to help parents and would-be parents avoid doing to their children what was done to them and helps both abusers and victims in emotionally and physically abusive relationships make vitally important changes in their relationships."
--Susan Forward, Ph.D., author of Toxic Parents and Emotional Blackmail

If you were emotionally, physically, or sexually abused as a child or adolescent, or if you experienced neglect or abandonment, it isn't a question of whether you will continue the cycle of abuse but rather a question of how--whether you will become an abuser or continue to be a victim. In this breakthrough book, Beverly Engel, a leading expert on emotional and sexual abuse, explains how to stop the cycle of abuse once and for all. Her step-by-step program provides the necessary skills for gaining control over emotions, changing negative attitudes, learning healthy ways of communicating, healing the damage from prior abuse, and seeking out support.

Throughout, Engel shares many dramatic personal stories including her own experiences with abusive behavior. Breaking the Cycle of Abuse gives you the power to shatter abusive patterns for good and offers a legacy of hope and healing for you and your family.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

According to Engel, "in the past twenty-five years studies on abuse and family assaults strongly suggest that abused children become abusers themselves," yet victims often don’t receive any treatment until their repetition of the abuse is already underway. In this clear, empathetic self-help book, Engel aims to stop that cycle by teaching readers to remember the past truthfully, to identify and manage their emotions, and to recognize the characteristics of abusive relationships. An experienced psychotherapist and prolific author (The Emotionally Abused Woman; Loving Him without Losing You, etc.), Engel is also an abuse survivor herself. Her attitude towards her readers is gentle and understanding; she clearly knows firsthand how difficult victim and abuser patterns are to break. Readers are expected to perform a good deal of homework aiming at self-discovery: answering simple questions, writing down their memories, tracing family patterns, etc. Some may argue that Engel presents the most crucial advice—what to do if you’ve already become abusive—too late in volume, by which point an abuser may have dropped the book. But the middle chapters—on shame and its manifestations, on anger, sorrow and fear—are some of the best, especially when Engel delves into the effects of physical, sexual and emotional abuse on children. Though she deals thoroughly with the psychology of victims, Engel concentrates far more than in her earlier books on trying to reach violent and sexual offenders. Violation begets violation, she says. Parental attitudes and behavior, be they cruel, indifferent or supportive, are passed on to later generations. This book is an excellent choice for readers who come from an abusive past and are struggling to make a brighter future for themselves and their families.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

According to Engel, "in the past twenty-five years studies on abuse and family assaults strongly suggest that abused children become abusers themselves," yet victims often don't receive any treatment until their repetition of the abuse is already underway. In this clear, empathetic self-help book, Engel aims to stop that cycle by teaching readers to remember the past truthfully, to identify and manage their emotions, and to recognize the characteristics of abusive relationships. An experienced psychotherapist and prolific author (The Emotionally Abused Woman; Loving Him without Losing You, etc.), Engel is also an abuse survivor herself. Her attitude towards her readers is gentle and understanding; she clearly knows firsthand how difficult victim and abuser patterns are to break. Readers are expected to perform a good deal of homework aiming at self-discovery: answering simple questions, writing down their memories, tracing family patterns, etc. Some may argue that Engel presents the most crucial advice--what to do if you've already become abusive--too late in volume, by which point an abuser may have dropped the book. But the middle chapters--on shame and its manifestations, on anger, sorrow and fear--are some of the best, especially when Engel delves into the effects of physical, sexual and emotional abuse on children. Though she deals thoroughly with the psychology of victims, Engel concentrates far more than in her earlier books on trying to reach violent and sexual offenders. Violation begets violation, she says. Parental attitudes and behavior, be they cruel, indifferent or supportive, are passed on to later generations. This book is an excellent choice for readers who come from an abusive past and are struggling to make a brighter future for themselves and their families. (Publishers Weekly Annex on-line, November 15, 2004)

Product Details

  • File Size: 2300 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (November 1, 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000PY4FW0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,595 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
(9)
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read for anyone who was abused September 8, 2007
Format:Paperback
This book very thoroughly explains what constitues abuse, the effects and what to do about it once you are an adult. Beverly Engel has a way of presenting the truth without glossing it over but without leaving the reader feeling like he or she is powerless to change the future. This book explains how the cycle of abuse continues from generation to generation and gives concrete things that you can do to get off the victim/aggressor merry-go-round. Extremely insightful and thorough.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read from both sides July 12, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Unfortunately, the abusers are so busy with denial they won't even consider reading this book.

It is a good book for our older children. They will most likely become either an abuser or a target of abuse. That's the way this insidious problem works. After reading this book which I thought was very good, I passed it along to my daughter. Hopefully when she's finished, my second daughter will read it... then (with a prayer) my son may read it also. They are all young adults.

If any one thing about abuse can devastate a woman beyond all others, it is the fact that her children are likely to follow the pattern of one or both parents, or vacillate between the two. Perhaps if they are aware of it, they may stop the denial long enough to see and understand the hell their abusive parent has brought upon the whole family -- and break the cycle of abuse. It's not a "daddy bashing" book and it is for adults. But maybe, just maybe it will help everyone be aware that they must set and enforce boundaries and respect other people's boundaries.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful Companion book March 8, 2014
By Dely
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good companion book after reading "Toxic Parents" and "Mothers Who Can't Love" both by Dr. Susan Forward first. The reason why I am recommending these books first is because Dr. Forward's books are more IMHO compassionate. They help you acknowledge the abuse, get out of denial, and teach you how to deal with the rightful anger, pain and grief that occurred due to childhood abuse etc. Once you've done these things, then you are ready for the next step which is this book. This is more advanced whereas "Toxic Parents" and "Mothers Who Can't Love"are for building the foundation desperately needed in the first place and to break the ice and to begin breaking the chains of abuse and to break the cycle of abuse.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful August 28, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent resource for anyone who is struggling with a legacy of childhood abuse. It provides useful, step-by-step advice on identifying abuse and changing in-grained behaviors. It is also useful in conjunction with therpay to help focus sessions and provide a framework to follow in order to make progress between sessions.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intergenerational Abuse August 13, 2007
Format:Paperback
Even at age 60 I continue to learn about the impact of intergenerational abuse infecting my family. Engel, a survivor of abuse herself, describes the various abuses and abusers, the impact on the victim, and suggests methods to counter the negative. Abusers are all around us, even the US Missile Defense Department. My unfortunate newphew's father describes him as a "bum who did nothing and emotionally abused her (girlfriend)" and is mystified by the adult child's behavior. The book unveils the secrets that perpetuate this behavior and how it goes unchecked.
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