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Stalking the Soul Paperback – April 1, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
Claiming that emotionally abusive relationships are widespread in marriages, families and the workplace, French psychotherapist Hirigoyen illuminates the subtle, insidious relationship that "emotional abusers" and their "victims" evolve. While recognizing that the "clean violence" of an emotional abuserAwho as a "natural manipulator" often attracts others with a dynamic, winning styleAis hard to prove, she aims to enable those who are being abused to recognize what's going on and get help, and to alert her fellow therapists to the danger signs. Often, emotional abuse builds over a long period of time until it becomes so unbearable that victims lash out in frustration and anger, only to appear unstable and aggressive themselves. This, according to Hirigoyen, is the intent of many abusers: to systematically "destabilize" and confuse their victims (with irrational, threatening behavior that preys on the victim's fears and self-doubts), to isolate and control them and ultimately to destroy their identity. These relentless "predators" are also incapable of compassion or empathy, always blame the victim and never see their actions as wrong. Already a bestseller in France, this clearly written and compassionate book offers sensible advice (get support and leave the relationship if the abuse is personal; take legal action if it is professional), though it may not be easy to execute in every case. A smooth translation, combined with a foreword by Thomas Moore and a jacket blurb from Alice Miller, should help this book find a niche readership of thoughtful self-help readers and therapists. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Already a bestseller in France, this clearly written and compassionate book offers sensible advice
-Cornell University -- Publisher's Weekly, October 16, 2000
Hirigoyens book has sold 360,000 copies and been translated into 17 languages. -Bruce Crumley -- Time Magazine, July 24, 2000 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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I read it over and over in parts, mostly when I awoke in the middle of the night with the suppressed and muddled cognitions of a battered woman.
Batterers can and mostly are able to turn on the charm and give the illusion that all is normal, nothing is out of line here. Don't believe it, read the book and any other good book on the subject. It's a hard pill to swallow, but better to swallow the knowledge & get on with what you have to do than continue to choke on this bitter pill. Because the batterer will NEVER allow you to spit that bitter pill out. He'll always have his hand over your mouth to shut you up and shut you down.
I think this book was interpreted from original French and there are times when it seemed that interpreting such subtle matters could be challenging. Moreover, there was a tendency for the writer to go off and meander around (which is understandable given the content). In this respect, the writing could have been tighter and less redundant, but I gave it four stars anyway because its insights were so profound.
If the legal system in Europe has not failed in these cases, in Canada where psychopath expert Dr Robert Hare is, the Canadian system has totally failed in my case. The psychopath manipulated the entire Canadian judicial system against ME, the victim! The psychological evaluations by 5 psychologists were totally disregarded by the court...the speech of the pathological liar was much more fascinating than what the all psy had to say!
Nadine Thomas Rosenberg
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