"Reclaiming Your Self" A group for
Adult Daughters of
What defines a narcissistic parent?
Narcissistic parents are over-bearing, possessive, threatened by their child's naturally growing independence. Children learn that their needs are secondary to their parents' needs. Criticism and judgement are the overt tactics some narcissistic parents use to mold their children into the perfect child. Other narcissistic parents use covert or less obvious strategies, such as manipulation by withholding love and affection. Both of these types result in a child growing up with a critical and negative sense of self.
Narcissistic wounds are painful and run deep, influencing the understanding we have of ourselves and others. Dr. Susan Forward wrote that, unconsciously, narcissistic parents' 'you are' attacks become the daughters "I am" core beliefs. Because the programming is so entrenched in who we think we are, we carry the weight of that hurt our whole lives. By sharing our stories, we diminish their power. Through the group process, we gain strength and validation from the other members. It is healing to hear others' stories. Listening to others' similar experiences affirms our experience, letting us know that we are not alone.
What are the goals of a therapy group for adult daughters of narcissistic parents? One goal is to challenge the negative self-image that's been built over years of relentless demands from our parents to change. Because of this, the child struggles to develop a sense of self. This disconnection with the self can make things like boundaries and needs seem selfish and unnecessary. Questions like, 'did I give enough' or 'do I deserve to take time off from work"? will arise. The group can be of help with these questions. Members of the group who share similar experiences can provide an uncritical perspective, in which is acceptance in lieu of critical judgements.
The adult daughter of narcissistic parents deserves a place where their authentic self, their dreams, and their accomplishments are encouraged and celebrated. When we share our story, we reclaim our story, and begin to reclaim ourselves. As Dr. Lindsay Gibson writes, "awakening to one's true self can initially feel like breaking down... when people wake up to their strengths, they gain the confidence to start living from their true self."
Leader: Scarlet Gonzalez MA LMFT
When: Wednesday evenings