Out of the Mirror: A Workbook of Healing for Adult Children of Covert Narcissists

This paper explores the relationship between covertly narcissistic parents and their adult children. Adult children of covert narcissists share many of the same behavioral characteristics, namely codependency, that adult children of alcoholics display, without a history of physical, sexual, or substance abuse in their family of origin. There is very little research about narcissistic parenting, narcissistic family systems, or the effects that this disorder may have on children. Of further concern is the fact that adult children who do seek therapy are often misdiagnosed with a variety of personality disorders or clinical syndromes. This paper examines the personality traits of covert narcissism and codependency in adult children who grew up in narcissistic family systems. A case is also made for the development of a workbook specifically written and designed to apply this information, through a series of assessments and exercises, which will assist individuals struggling to heal from this subtle form of child abuse.
Keywords: adult children of narcissists, covert narcissism, narcissistic family systems

Beth K. McDonald
Year Completed: 
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