Birth of a Self in Adulthood


Publisher: Jason Aronson, Inc.

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This book is about the treatment of a large clinical group termed borderline, referred to here as impinged upon adults. She clarifies the underlying pathological commands given without conscious destructive intent by parents to their children. The author describes the step-by-step changes necessary for the birth of a self that can occur as a result of psychotherapy. (329 pages)


“Dr. McArthur succinctly and cogently pulls together and explains the variety of depersonifying messages (commands) that disturbed parents, themselves victims of identity-distorting depersonifications within their own families, direct toward their children. Her book fills an important niche in the psychodynamic literature devoted to personality disorder, family dysfunctionality, and their treatment. It richly deserves, and will undoubtedly achieve, a wide lay and professional readership.”
—Donald B. Rinsley M.D.

“Birth of a Self in Adulthood sensitively captures the drama of how implicit, unconscious messages sent by parents bind us to them, to fulfill their unmet needs and wishes. Dr. McArthur clearly describes the unconscious character of these message that become internalized as if they were commandments, which we must not break.”
—Donald R. Fridley Ph.D.

“Birth of a Self in Adulthood is a very readable work, rich in clinical examples and free of psychological jargon. The book concisely describes how some parents, due to their own feelings of profound psychological incompleteness, use members of their families to achieve a sense of personal wholeness, and the emotional damage this causes to everyone involved.”
—Charlotte Fletcher Ph.D.

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