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Our healing begins when our pain is acknowledged and validated. As the true self of the FSA adult survivor is reclaimed, the false self that developed as a consequence of a non-nurturing, rejecting, and emotionally threatening family environment will drop away, creating space and energy for the cultivation of a joyful and purposeful life, unburdened by self-doubt, self-blame, and toxic shame.Rebecca C. Mandeville, author of ‘Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed’
Thank you for stopping by to learn more about family scapegoating. By naming the abusive aspects associated with family scapegoating processes family scapegoating abuse (FSA) during the course of my research on dysfunctional family systems and the family ‘identified patient’ (IP), the experiences of scapegoated adult survivors have been validated and legitimized.
My original research on family scapegoating abuse (a non-DSM term) confirms the relationship between family scapegoating abuse (as fueled by the family projective identification process); attachment trauma; betrayal trauma; toxic shame; and complex trauma (C-PTSD), allowing FSA adult survivors to seek out appropriate treatment from trauma-informed Mental Health providers.
I have greatly appreciated the many emails and blog comments I’ve received from readers all around the world thanking me for giving this particular form of psycho-emotional abuse a distinct and descriptive name – one that distinguishes it from ‘narcissistic abuse’ – as not every family member who scapegoats is a narcissist, nor are all families that scapegoat narcissistic family systems. I’m heartened to know that so many of you have found it helpful to have a clinical (non-DSM) term to describe your painful and confusing family experiences.
To learn more about family scapegoating abuse (FSA), you may purchase my introductory book, Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed, via the links on this website. Thank you to all my readers who helped make this a best-seller at various popular online book retailers since its release in 2020. I no longer advertise or promote this book so if you find value in it and know someone who might benefit from reading it, please consider linking them to this website.
I enjoy engaging with readers here on my blog via the comment section on my articles and am in the process of developing new ways to connect with my audience. To learn about new offerings related to FSA Education, you may subscribe to my mailing list.Rebecca C. Mandeville, LMFT, CCTP
IMPORTANT: Regarding Deleted Blog Posts: Due to my publishing agreement with Amazon, I regret that I am no longer able to share free chapters of my book Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed on this website.
So, push on lovely people. Work hard to remove the obstacles to who you really are. Your true self is just waiting to get out there and drink in this wonderful experience of life to the full, in all its happiness and sorrows, to keenly feel the rainbow of all the emotions, and truly be.Andrew L,. Blog Subscriber
About Rejected Shamed, and Blamed – The Book: Understanding What Happened to You Is the First Step in Healing…
Family scapegoating is an insidious form of “invisible” abuse that is difficult to recognize. It is therefore critical that adult survivors understand what type of abuse they are trying to recover from. In Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed, Psychotherapist and Family Systems expert Rebecca C. Mandeville uses her research findings on what she named family scapegoating abuse (FSA) to help survivors recognize and release the damaging ‘scapegoat’ narrative. This 2nd revision includes additional recovery suggestions and resources, as well as updated links (Kindle version).
This is an excellent book for patients or practitioners. The author shares her extensive experience working with and studying toxic families and how to recover from the experience. This book is a must have for anyone treating those from dysfunctional families or family members themselves.Melissa Petty, LMSW
What Is Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA)?
My book, Rejected. Shamed, and Blamed: Help and Hope for Adults in the Family Scapegoat Role, is recognized as a pioneering work in the field of Family Systems. This best-selling introductory guide focuses on understanding the traumatizing aspects of family scapegoating dynamics in your dysfunctional family-of-origin.
Despite the devastating consequences to adult survivors, family scapegoating remains an under-researched, poorly understood dysfunctional family process. If you’ve experienced any of the below, you may be the ‘identified patient’ or ‘scapegoat’ in your family:
- You’ve been the victim of a family ‘smear’ campaign designed to discredit you, defame you, or destroy your reputation.
- You’ve been called a “liar”; a “faker”; or “crazy” by one or more members of your family.
- Your accomplishments and successes are ignored and go unacknowledged by your family.
- You feel frustrated, angry, or confused due to feeling scapegoated by your family-of-origin.
- You have considered cutting ties with one or more members of your family to protect your mental and emotional health.
- You suffer from anxiety, depression, or complex trauma (C-PTSD) symptoms.
When neither resistance or escape is possible, the human system of self-defense becomes overwhelmed and disorganized. Each component of the ordinary response to danger, having lost its utility, tends to persist in an altered and exaggerated state long after the actual danger is over.Judith Herman, 1992
FSA Can Lead to Complex Trauma Symptoms (C-PTSD)
During my research on family scapegoating dynamics while serving as Core Faculty at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now called Sofia University), I observed certain patterns of individual and systemic behavior specifically affecting those who were in the role of scapegoat child or identified patient in their dysfunctional family system. l later named the harmful (even traumatizing) phenomena such children and adults are subjected to in relation to family scapegoating dynamics and processes Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA). More recently, I began to identify the overlapping symptoms of FSA and complex trauma (C-PTSD), as well as betrayal trauma.
Family scapegoating processes are insidious. Those who are the target of family scapegoating behaviors often have difficulty describing what is happening to them to others. Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed validates the experiences of adult survivors who are suffering in the ‘family scapegoat’ role. Topics covered include:
- Intergenerational Trauma
- Distorted Family Narratives
- Betrayal Trauma
- Disenfranchised Grief
- Toxic Shame and the False Self
- Complex Trauma (C-PTSD) Symptoms
A survival strategy is a way of getting out of childhood alive.– Frank Jones Sulloway
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You may not be able to stop people in your family from scapegoating you, but you can stop identifying with the ‘scapegoat story’ and the dysfunctional and damaging family narrative.From Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed: Help and Hope for Adults in the Family Scapegoat Role
My approach to FSA Recovery
My FSA Recovery Coaching services are informed by my experience as a licensed Psychotherapist specializing in childhood trauma. As a trauma-informed coach, I am committed to meeting the standards, ethics and guidelines set forth by SAMSHA and follow their recommended six key principles of a trauma-informed approach. At this time my there is a waiting list for my services.
Rebecca C. Mandeville is a licensed Psychotherapist (MFT), Certified Complex Trauma Professional (CCTP), and internationally recognized Family Systems expert who has been serving clients in clinics and in private practice for over 20 years. She served as Core Faculty at the world-renowned Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, where she first began identifying, defining, describing, and bringing attention to what she named (for research purposes) Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA).
Rebecca is also the creator of the Family Scapegoating Abuse Recovery Coaching™ process, which was designed to help those seeking relief from the psycho-emotional distress caused by being in the ‘family scapegoat’ role. She writes regularly on her ‘Scapegoat Recovery’ blog and is a guest author for various online Mental Health organizations, including Psych Central, Paces Connection, and the C-PTSD Foundation. When not serving clients, Rebecca enjoys spending time with her partner and animals at her home on the Oregon Coast, where she finds inspiration for compassion-based, integral living.