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Healing Your Emotional Self: A Powerful Program to Help You Raise Your Self-Esteem, Quiet Your Inner Critic, and Overcome Your Shame Paperback – May 25, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Parents act as a mirror to show a child who she or he is. Throughout childhood there will be other mirrors, but children inevitably return to the reflection in that original mirror in order to determine their goodness, importance, and self-worth. In Healing Your Emotional Self, Engel offers her highly effective Mirror Therapy program to help you reject the distorted images your parents either intentionally or unintentionally projected onto you. She explores the seven types of emotionally abusive or neglectful parents and the seven most common parental mirrors, providing specific advice and recovery strategies for each one.

Helping you raise your self-esteem and improve your self-image, this innovative step-by-step program provides you with the skills you need to: Create a positive self-image separate from your abusive parents' distorted picture Separate emotionally from your parents and provide for yourself what you missed as a child Discover who you really are-- including your likes, dislikes, values, goals, and dreams-- by creating a word self-portrait and using other Mirror Therapy techniques Overcome your tendency toward self-blame, self-hatred, and self-destructiveness Learn self-nurturing and set effective limits to help you control your tendency to overeat, drink too much, overspend, and/or overwork Become the person you are meant to be by being more accepting of yourself

Learn to love who you see in the mirror with the breakthrough program found in Healing Your Emotional Self.

From the Back Cover

"Emotionally abusive parents are indeed toxic parents, and they cause significant damage to their children's self-esteem, self-image, and body image. In this remarkable book, Beverly Engel shares her powerful Mirror Therapy program for helping adult survivors to overcome their shame and self-criticism, become more compassionate and accepting of themselves, and create a more positive self-image."
—Susan Forward, Ph.D., author of Toxic Parents

"Engel's insightful questionnaires and exercises provide concrete help in the healing process, and her writing style is lively and engaging. This book is destined to positively affect many lives."
—Joyce Catlett, M.A., coauthor of Fear of Intimacy

In Healing Your Emotional Self, Beverly Engel, one of the world's leading experts on emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, explains how to heal the damage to your self-image and self-esteem caused by negative parental messages and offers treatment to help you lead a happier and healthier life. This breakthrough guide is designed to help you reject the distorted images your parents either intentionally or unintentionally projected onto you. Step by step, this innovative method will give you the skills you need to quiet your inner critic, boost your self-esteem, create a positive self-image separate from your abusive parents' distorted picture, discover who you really are, learn self-nurturing, and become the person you are meant to be.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (May 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470127783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470127780
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Beverly Engel is an internationally recognized psychotherapist and an acclaimed advocate for victims of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. She is the author of 21 self-help books, including 4 best selling books on emotional abuse: The Emotionally Abusive Relationship, The Emotionally Abused Woman, and Encouragements for the Emotionally Abused Woman, and Healing Your Emotional Self. Her latest book entitled, It Wasn't Your Fault: Freeing Yourself from the Shame of Childhood Abuse with the Power of Self-Compassion came out in Jan. of 2015. Engel is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and has been practicing psychotherapy for 35 years.

Beverly's books have often been honored for various awards, including being a finalist in the Books for a Better Life award. Many of her books have been chosen for various book clubs, including One Spirit Book Club, Psychology Today Book Club and Behavioral Sciences Book Club. Her books have been translated into many languages, including Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Greek, Turkish and Lithuanian.

In addition to her professional work, Beverly frequently lends her expertise to national television talk shows. She has appeared on Oprah, CNN, and Starting Over, and many other TV programs. She has a blog on the Psychology Today website as well as regularly contributing to the Psychology Today magazine, and has been featured in a number of newspapers and magazines, including: Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, Redbook, Marie Claire, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, and The Denver Post.

She regularly conducts training workshops throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, for both professional and lay audiences. Recently she has been conducting trainings on emotional abuse for the United States Army, in both Texas and Georgia as part of their domestic violence training for staff.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Beverly Engel is quickly becoming one of my favorite self-help book writers. This is her newest book, and a must read for anyone who was abused or who had a difficult childhood. Beverly Engel describes the various negative parental mirrors and how they effect children, and how these negative thoughts and beliefs about the self are carried into adulthood. She also provides are powerful step by step program (including journal writing) to help you move through your feelings, coming out the other side with a renewed sense of hope and with new tools to use for the furture. This may also be good for anyone who is harsh and critical of his/herself and would like some tools to be kinder to him/herself. Very validating and empowering book.
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By E. Levy on August 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
A simply amazing book. I have learned so much about myself and I am only half way thorugh. The book has already helped me to pinpoint the negative images I have and where they came from. This is my second Beverly Engel book and this one hit the nail on the head for me, whereas the other book was good, but not as appropriate for my needs.

I am not only learning to heal myself, but learning how to interact positively with my own children so they will not have the same problems I have. This book definately helps break the cycle.

I read the reviews before I purchased and they helped.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is geared toward abuse survivors of varying kinds. But I think it is a must read for all women...for women who have lost themselves in motherhood, in their job, in their spouses. Her writing style is easy to follow and not condescending. The exercises in the book are thought -provoking and insightful.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this is one of the best self help books out there. It helps you really understand what has affected you when growing up. It is not about "blaming parents", but more about the reality that those who were your most important influence were not perfect either and if they were damaged too from their past, they may have damaged you too. It is good to see what kind of circumstances can have an effect on who you are. The most important thing though is to really look at yourself and correct any damage that may have been done and the only way to do this is to understand how you became damaged. It also helps you to understand how not to treat or damage anyone you live with or are a parent of. Very good good if you want to heal and get on with your life.
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...this is the most help I have received so far. I find Ms. Engel's books to be very helpful and practical.

No kidding, I have had over 20 years of counseling and going to support groups. I wish someone could have told me what she is saying in this book.

I'll be 50 years old August 2009 and I feel sad that I have lived my life with low self-esteem. I have read elsewhere that this is her best book so far (well next to the Nice Girl Syndrome).

I am in the process of studying her book. She offers very helpful techniques.
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By Sam Holcomb on February 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received this wonderful book a few days ago, and I was amazed by it! It has already helped me cope with the old festering feelings that I had with my mother. I had no idea that I had so many negative feelings about our relationship and it helped me heal old wounds. Now I look at our relationship in a more positive light. I will continue to read this book because I was impressed by how fast I was able to uncover my true feelings.
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Format: Paperback
I've bought and read a lot of self-help books over the years. Most of them aren't worth the money or time. I found this book, though painful at times, extremely valuable for enabling personal growth and recovery.
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Fantastic and very, very helpful! She has a way of helping the abused and the abuser understand from where it started and how to get out of it. It is paractical, easy to read and understand. It is very thoughtful and I highly recommend it to anyone trying to escape abuse and prevent reabuse.
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