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Breaking the Cycle of Abuse: How to Move Beyond Your Past to Create an Abuse-Free Future Paperback – November 10, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0471740599 ISBN-10: 0471740594 Edition: 1st

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Breaking the Cycle of Abuse: How to Move Beyond Your Past to Create an Abuse-Free Future + Healing Your Emotional Self: A Powerful Program to Help You Raise Your Self-Esteem, Quiet Your Inner Critic, and Overcome Your Shame + The Emotionally Abused Woman: Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself (Fawcett Book)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (November 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471740594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471740599
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #437,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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 anabusive past and are struggling to make a brighter future for themselves and their families. ("Publishers Weekly Annex on-line, November 15, 2004)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By pretty_kitty on 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 By Survivor on 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 By Dely on March 8, 2014
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 By Momotaro on 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 By Dianne M. Thompson on 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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