Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship

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Jason Aronson, Incorporated, Sep 1, 2000 - Psychology - 350 pages
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The first love in our lives is our mother. Recognizing her face, her voice, the meaning of her moods, and her facial expressions is crucial to survival. Dr. Christine Ann Lawson vividly describes how mothers who suffer from borderline personality disorder produce children who may flounder in life even as adults, futilely struggling to reach the safety of a parental harbor, unable to recognize that their borderline parent lacks a pier, or even a discernible shore. Four character profiles describe different symptom clusters that include the waif mother, the hermit mother, the queen mother, and the witch. Children of borderlines are at risk for developing this complex and devastating personality disorder themselves. Dr. Lawson's recommendations for prevention include empathic understanding of the borderline mother and early intervention with her children to ground them in reality and counteract the often dangerous effects of living with a 'make-believe' mother. Some readers may recognize their mothers as well as themselves in this book. They will also find specific suggestions for creating healthier relationships. Addressing the adult children of borderlines and the therapists who work with them, Dr. Lawson shows how to care for the waif without rescuing her, to attend to the hermit without feeding her fear, to love the queen without becoming her subject, and to live with the witch without becoming her victim. A Jason Aronson Book

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This book was helpful in many ways. It discusses four types of borderline mothers the waif the witch the queen and the hermit. It helps you understand why you feel the way you do & how to stop the ... Read full review


2 The Darkness Within
3 The Waif Mother
4 The Hermit Mother
5 The Queen Mother
6 The Witch Mother
7 MakeBelieve Children
8 FairyTale Fathers
9 Loving the Waif without Rescuing Her
10 Loving the Hermit without Feeding her Fear
11 Loving the Queen without becoming her Subject
12 Living with the Witch without becoming her Victim
13 Living Backwards

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About the author (2000)

Christine Ann Lawson, Ph.D., is a clinical social worker in private practice in Indianapolis, Indiana. She has previously served as adjunct faculty at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, and Butler University.

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