Top 35 Most Impactful Books to Overcome Emotional Abuse
As recommended by emotional abuse survivors and thrivers
What is emotional abuse? And how do you escape, and recover from, it? Let me open my library to you.
Listed below are the top 5 books recommended by emotional abuse survivors and thrivers…
…and 30 more you really need to know about!
Emotional abuse is one of the most subtle and devastating experiences a person can have.
I meet a lot of other survivors (and thrivers) who have been through emotional abuse.
I meet them in Facebook groups, when speaking to groups of women, guests on my podcast, and in everyday life like churches, malls, and even conversations in parking lots.
I’ve been asking these survivors:
“What’s the best book on emotional abuse that you’ve come across?”
The list below represents the Top 5 (and the next 30) books most recommended. A total of 35 curated resources for emotional abuse escape and recovery. Use these resources to build your understanding and rebuild your life.
Top 5 Most Recommend Books to Escape, and Recover From, Emotional Abuse
These first five books were tops on everyone’s list.
They were mentioned so frequently I had them memorized by the time I checked with the last group.
The first book, Psychopath Free, was the #1 most mentioned book by a long shot.
If you don’t read anything else, read this one.
Psychopath Free by Jackson MacKenzie
Have you ever been in a relationship with a psychopath? Chances are, even if you did, you would never know it. Psychopaths are cunning charmers and master manipulators, to the point where you start to accept the most extreme behaviors as normal…Even if it hurts you. All around us, every single day, human beings devoid of empathy are wreaking havoc and destroying lives in the coldest, most heartless ways imaginable. In constant pursuit of money, sex, influence, or simple entertainment, psychopaths will do whatever it takes to gain power over others. They hide behind a veil of normalcy, arranging their friends and partners like pawns in a game of chess. Using false praise and flattery to get what they want, they can lure any unsuspecting target into a relationship. Once hooked, their charming promises spin into mind games and psychological torture. Victims are left devastated and confused, unable to recognize — or even put into words — the nightmare that just took place. Written from the heart, Psychopath Free is the first guide for survivors written by a survivor, offering hope for healing and thriving after psychopathic abuse. Say goodbye to the chaos, self-doubt, and victimization. You are free.
Pathological mind games. Covert and overt put-downs. Triangulation. Gaslighting. Projection. These are the manipulative tactics survivors of malignant narcissists are unfortunately all too familiar with. As victims of silent crimes where the perpetrators are rarely held accountable, survivors of narcissistic abuse have lived in a war zone of epic proportions, enduring an abuse cycle of love-bombing and devaluation — psychological violence on steroids. In this essay compilation, readers can enjoy some of Shahida’s thought pieces on narcissistic abuse: what therapists have to say about malignant narcissists and how children of narcissistic parents can become trapped in the trauma repetition cycle. Survivors are offered new insights on what it means to be both a survivor and a thriver of covert manipulation and trauma. POWER teaches us that it is important to not only understand the tactics of toxic personalities but also to recognize and combat the effects of narcissistic abuse; it guides the survivor to learning, growing, healing and most importantly of all — owning their agency to rebuild their lives and transform their powerlessness into victory.
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend
If you’ve ever wondered: Can I set limits and still be a loving person? How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money? Why do I feel guilty when I consider setting boundaries? Unpacking the 10 laws of boundaries, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend give you biblically based answers to these and other tough questions, and show you how to set healthy boundaries with your spouse, children, friends, coworkers, and even with yourself. In Boundaries, Drs. Cloud and Townsend show you how to bring new health to your relationships. You’ll discover firsthand how to reclaim your freedom to walk as the loving, giving, fulfilled individual God created you to be.
Is someone else’s problem your problem? If, like so many others, you’ve lost sight of your own life in the drama of tending to someone else’s, you may be codependent — and you may find yourself in this book. The healing touchstone of millions, this modern classic by one of America’s best-loved and most inspirational authors holds the key to understanding codependency and to unlocking its stultifying hold on your life. With instructive life stories, personal reflections, exercises, and self-tests, Codependent No More is a simple, straightforward, readable map of the perplexing world of codependency — charting the path to freedom and a lifetime of healing, hope, and happiness.
Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft
In this groundbreaking bestseller, Lundy Bancroft — a counselor who specializes in working with abusive men — uses his knowledge about how abusers think to help women recognize when they are being controlled or devalued in a relationship, and to find ways to get free of abuse. He says he loves you. So…why does he do that? You’ve asked yourself this question again and again. Now you have the chance to see inside the minds of angry and controlling men — and change your life. You will learn about: The early warning signs of abuse, The nature of abusive thinking, Myths about abusers, Ten abusive personality types, The role of drugs and alcohol, What you can fix, and what you can’t, And how to get out of an abusive relationship safely.
Next 30 Most Recommend Books to Escape, and Recover From, Emotional Abuse:
The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout
The Human Magnet Syndrome: The Codependent Narcissist Trap by Ross A Rosenberg
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk
Healing From Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse by Shannon Thomas, LCSW
Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed by Wendy T. Behary LCSW
Codependency For Dummies by Darlene Lancer
From Charm to Harm And Everything Else In Between With A Narcissist by Gregory Zaffuto
Healing from A Narcissistic Relationship by Margalis Fjelstad
Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder by Bill Eddy and Randi Kreger
Red Flags of Love Fraud: 10 Signs You’re Dating a Sociopath by Donna Anderson
Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield by Tina Swithin
Healing Your Aloneness: Finding Love and Wholeness Through Your Inner Child by Margaret Paul and Erika J. Chopich
Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited by Sam Vankin
Born To Love, Cursed To Feel by Samantha King
Psychopaths and Love by Adelyn Birch
Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About has Borderline Personality Disorder by Paul Mason and Randi Kreger
An Adult Child’s Guide To What’s ‘Normal’ by John and Linda D. Friel
To Be Told: Know Your Story, Shape Your Future by Dr. Dan Allender
Have you read any of these? Are there others that you would recommend? Please share your comments below.
You might also like these articles by Stacy:
She helps smart, outwardly confident women who secretly have low self-esteem issues due to an emotionally abusive partner to take back control and begin to develop the resilience they need to be themselves again. Her free monthly webinar will give you 4 Simple, Proven Methods to Writing the First Chapter of Your Life Story in Just 7 Days.
Life is a story…it’s never too late to start telling yours.