Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed: Understanding Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA)


To recover from something, we need to understand what we are recovering from

Rebecca C. Mandeville, MA, MFT

PLEASE NOTE: This website is for my FSA Recovery Coaching services. If you reside in the state of California and are interested in my licensed Psychotherapy services, visit this website.
My book on what I named Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA) is available on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback formats. You can also purchase it at these online Book Retailers
Prefer to download from Google Play Books? CLICK HERE to Access the 40% Off Google Play Books Promotion Code for Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed

Understanding What Happened to You Is the First Step in Healing…

What Is Family Scapegoating?

Welcome to my website! I’m Rebecca C. Mandeville. As a childhood trauma-specialized licensed psychotherapist, recovery coach, researcher, educator, and author, I’ve spent the last 20 years helping people both understand and heal from the psycho-emotional pain of growing up in dysfunctional, alcoholic, narcissistic, or abusive family systems. I also research, write, and teach on the subjects of family scapegoating, complex trauma (C-PTSD), and betrayal trauma.


My book, Rejected. Shamed, and Blamed: Help and Hope for Adults in the Family Scapegoat Role, is an introductory guide 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.

What is Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA)?

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.

Readers of my internationally published articles on child and adult psycho-emotional abuse began writing to tell me that they found the term Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA) extremely helpful, as it gave them a name for the often covert and insidious forms of abuse they had been experiencing with some family members that they had difficulty explaining to others.

I therefore decided to release an introductory, educational guide on what I named Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA) in advance of publishing a research-based book I am currently working on that addresses this form of systemic abuse in more detail. I’m pleased to share that this book, Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed: Help and Hope for Adults in the Family Scapegoat Role, is now available in both paperback and eBook form at most major online retailers, including Amazon (you can preview the book, below).

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

Help and Hope for Adults in the Family Scapegoat Role…

unrecognizable upset lady embracing knees sitting on chair
Photo by Liza Summer on

Rejected. Shamed, and Blamed is an introductory guide on understanding the devastating impact of family scapegoating dynamics in your dysfunctional family-of-origin.

It’s difficult to recover from something if we don’t fully understand what we are trying to recover from. In my introductory guide on family scapegoating abuse (FSA), you’ll learn about the traumatizing aspects of being in the ‘family scapegoat’ role, and why engaging in trauma-informed recovery pathways is critical to the adult survivor’s successful healing process.

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

Tomorrow can be better than today…

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

I finally know the core of my problem – the relation between scapegoating and trauma is key, too.

– Amazon Reviewer

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My approach to FSA Recovery

My FSA Recovery Coaching™️ practice is informed by my experience as a licensed Psychotherapist specializing in childhood trauma. As a 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.

To learn more about my international online FSA Recovery Coaching services, including my session and package rates, visit


Rebecca C. Mandeville (licensed Marriage, Family Therapist, MFC #43860) is a Psychotherapist, Recovery Coach, and 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.

You may write Rebecca at or visit to learn more about her FSA Recovery Coaching services.

If you are feeling suicidal, please click on the link below for help:

International Suicide Hotlines

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