NEVER AGAIN - moving on from narcissistic abuse & other toxic relationships
This self-help book was written by Dr. Sarah Davies in order to share the experience, insights and expertise gained from her personal experience as well as clinical work in treating and addressing narcissistic abuse. This book was written in response to the need for clear information about narcissistic abuse and more importantly to offer practical steps about what you can do about it.
At the time of writing, information was becoming increasingly available. Just recently there has been more and more discussion in the mainstream about narcissism, about what narcissism is and about the narcissist. However, there was still very little about narcissistic abuse and even less in terms of recovery. Fortunately there has been a shift in awareness over just the last few years and now there is much more information available about narcissistic abuse and pointers for recovery. The more this is discussed, the more we can share and gain awareness of this, the better. It can help by identifying it and seeing this abuse for what it is.
Narcissistic abuse is a modern day issue of codependency - and importantly one that can be addressed and put to an end. Gaining more information about narcissism and narcissistic abuse is certainly helpful in the first instance to raise awareness. You can help arm yourself with information.
However, too much focus on the narcissist is exactly part of the issue in the first place, so any recovery needs to involve a shift towards yourself - and away from the narcissist.
Dr. Sarah Davies comments: "Following my own personal experience of narcissistic abuse (which was absolutely horrific at the time) and then my subsequent journey of recovery - I have found I was then able to use my insight and experience to recognise this in the clients I work with in my clinical practice as a Practitioner Psychologist. This is one of the reasons I am deeply grateful for the pain and trauma of my own experiences of narcissistic abuse and the recovery process that it propelled me to go through. That is something I certainly never thought I would ever say at the time!
When I first started to specialise in this area, I would often meet people seeking therapy because of low self-esteem, stress or burnout or struggling with a range of maladaptive coping strategies such as problems with alcohol or drugs, workaholism or issues with food. Part of my training and interests means I always aim to ensure I take a full and holistic view of a persons issues and what is going on for them. It's important I understand as much as I can. This includes their psychology, way of thinking, their background, life experiences, lifestyle, preferences, relationships and so on. This then allows me to help that person identify what the deeper, underlying issues are, rather than get side-tracked by symptoms. This is important when it comes to treatment and then providing the most suitable or most helpful type of therapy intervention. By utilising this approach, it is easier to identify narcissistic abuse. This again, is important, because people who are subjected to narcissistic abuse almost certainly feel on some level "it's me and my fault" or "I'm not good enough", "There's something wrong with me'". Seeking therapy and then working on the wrong issues - ones that still do not appease the narcissistic partner - can be potentially further traumatising as the lack of 'success' then reinforces the sense of 'it's my fault' or 'there's something wrong with me'. Recognising narcissistic abuse completely changes this perspective.
Since just the last year or two, I have witnessed a big shift in awareness of narcissistic abuse. Where as clients would come forward with issues of self-esteem a few years back, now many people contact me because they already suspect or have identified possible narcissistic abuse. The other shift I have seen is that a few years ago I would largely be working with mostly females in relation to narcissistic abuse. However, currently, male clients account for about 50% of the people I see. This is certainly not just a female issue. Narcissists come in all different shapes and sizes, genders and ages and anybody can be affected by this."
This book focuses on practical information and pointers regarding dealing with and moving on from narcissistic abuse. Ideas and suggestions are pulled from a range of psychological theories, therapies and techniques. There are a range of practical exercises and questions for consideration and reflection. The approach outlined follows a protocol Dr. Sarah Davies uses with individuals in her Harley Street private practice in London, England. Areas of discussion include learning about narcissism and narcissistic abuse in order to be clear about what it is and how to spot it in the future. The focus then also covers self-esteem, self-care, boundaries, communication, grief and loss, compassion & forgiveness and trauma recovery.