Nina W. Brown, EdD, LPC, is a professor and eminent scholar of counseling at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. She received her doctorate from The College of William and Mary, is a past president of the Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy, and a current commissioner for the American Psychological Association's Commission on Accreditation. Brown is the author of 27 books on group therapy and narcissism.
"Children of the Aging Self-Absorbed fills an important
niche in the self-help literature: dealing with aging, difficult,
narcissistic parents and grandparents. The book is a guide for
adult children of such parents, and offers much wisdom. Brown
delineates four types of self-absorbed parents--Clingy,
Suspicious-Defensive, Arrogant, and Belligerent--and provides
excellent strategies for managing interactions with each type of
parent. The book has useful exercises designed to help readers
manage their side of these very difficult relationships more
effectively. The overriding message is that the adult child
must--and can--let go of hoping to change the parent and instead
develop self-protective coping behaviors. This book is a good
resource for anyone dealing with an aging self-absorbed parent or
grandparent, as well as for therapists helping their clients in
--Eleanor F. Counselman, EdD, ABPP, CGP, LFAGPA, president-elect of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
"Narcissism expert Brown (Children of the Self-Absorbed) delves into the challenges of interacting with family members whose difficult personalities are exacerbated by age. She outlines changes brought on by advanced age, from physical to existential, and lists the four most common types of self-absorbed parents: clingy, suspicious/defensive, arrogant, and belligerent. ... A section on protecting the feelings of spouses and children while around the parent in question is particularly helpful, with strategies for anticipating conflict and intervening when necessary. Additional exercises will help readers release negative feelings, visualize a safe space to retreat to, and build up self-esteem with positive affirmations. ... Brown's tactics may help keep the peace."
"Nina Brown lights the way, helping you navigate the roller coaster of caring for narcissistic, aging parents and grandparents. This groundbreaking book introduces valuable exercises and practical advice to strengthen your resilience and protect you from taking in the negativity of your self-absorbed parents."
--Ann Steiner, PhD, MFT, CGP, FAGPA, faculty of The Psychotherapy Institute, board member of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, and author of How to Create and Sustain Groups that Thrive
"This new text by Nina Brown makes clear the impact of self-absorbed parents and offers some useful techniques about what to do about them. ... Written in an easily accessible and commonsense tone, [Children of the Aging Self-Absorbed has] something to offer for those with relatively little background in psychology and human development theory, as well as those with considerable experience. ... Brown takes the reader through the basics of coping with a problem that is faced by a good deal of the early, middle, and later adult population. ... This text is a useful and practical review of the issues involved with parent-child dynamics in the adulthood years and provides some solid structure for describing, categorizing, and responding to these issues in an effective manner."
--Joshua M. Gross, PhD, ABPP, CGP, psychologist and director of group programs at The University Counseling Center at Florida State University, where he practices group and family psychology as well as trains and supervises doctoral and post-doctoral trainees