"A beacon of hope for women and men who fear that they will pass the abuse they have suffered on to their children, partners, or employees. Humane and compassionate but also clear and down to earth, this is a wonderful contribution to the literature on healing."
--Lundy Bancroft, author of When Dad Hurts Mom and Why Does He Do That?
"In this remarkably powerful, wise, and compassionate book, Beverly Engel leads readers step by step through a program that will help survivors of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse in childhood to heal from their wounds so they don't need to re-enact their abusive pasts. She offers expert advice and strategies to help parents and would-be parents avoid doing to their children what was done to them and helps both abusers and victims in emotionally and physically abusive relationships make vitally important changes in their relationships."
--Susan Forward, Ph.D., author of Toxic Parents and Emotional Blackmail
If you were emotionally, physically, or sexually abused as a child or adolescent, or if you experienced neglect or abandonment, it isn't a question of whether you will continue the cycle of abuse but rather a question of how--whether you will become an abuser or continue to be a victim. In this breakthrough book, Beverly Engel, a leading expert on emotional and sexual abuse, explains how to stop the cycle of abuse once and for all. Her step-by-step program provides the necessary skills for gaining control over emotions, changing negative attitudes, learning healthy ways of communicating, healing the damage from prior abuse, and seeking out support.
Throughout, Engel shares many dramatic personal stories including her own experiences with abusive behavior. Breaking the Cycle of Abuse gives you the power to shatter abusive patterns for good and offers a legacy of hope and healing for you and your family.
BEVERLY ENGEL is an internationally recognized expert in emotional and sexual abuse. A licensed marriage and family therapist for twenty-eight years, she is the author of many nonfiction books dealing with emotional and sexual abuse, including The Emotionally Abused Woman and The Right to Innocence: Healing the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Her four most recent books are The Emotionally Abusive Relationship, Honor Your Anger, Loving Him without Losing You, and The Power of Apology, which was a finalist in the Books for a Better Life Awards. Engel conducts workshops and professional training programs throughout the United States and has appeared on many national television shows and networks, including Oprah, Donahue, Ricki Lake, Sally Jessy Rapha?l, CNN, and others.
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. (Publishers Weekly Annex on-line, November 15, 2004)