DARVO and Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA): When the Abused Are Revictimized by Their Abuser

man in blue and brown plaid dress shirt touching his hair

One of the more baffling and incomprehensible aspects of being scapegoated by family is being the target of mentally and emotionally abusive behaviors; reacting to the abuse appropriately (e.g., expressing hurt, confusion, anger, setting boundaries, etc), and then discovering that the person who committed the harmful or abusive acts views themselves as the victim – not the one they harmed.

The Healing Power of a ‘Victim Impact Statement’ for FSA Survivors


As you consider how being the victim of family scapegoating abuse has changed your life, you may use the following suggestions and questions to guide you. Do be aware that thinking and writing about something so painful may be difficult for you. Pace yourself and don’t feel that you need to complete your FSA Victim Impact Statement in one sitting…

When Your Family Invalidates Your Experiences of Abuse and Complex Trauma

red haired girl standing near plant

It is difficult enough to bear the burden of traumatic childhood experiences and its long-term physical, emotional, and mental effects. For adult survivors of family scapegoating abuse (FSA), this difficulty is magnified by the fact that their reports of abuse or trauma are typically denied, dismissed, and invalidated by their family due to their being in the ‘identified patient’ role…

Your Input Needed for My Next Book on FSA…

selective focus photo of magnifying glass

As some of you know, I have been busy ‘crunching’ a tremendous amount of data related to qualitative research I have been conducting on what I named family scapegoating abuse (FSA) for over ten years now. I plan to publish a book with my research results in 2022, but also thought this would be a […]

10 Strategies for Navigating Holiday Family Gatherings as FSA Survivors

top view of a family praying before christmas dinner

It is common to have high expectations when thinking of reuniting with family you haven’t seen for a long time. Alternatively, you might fear that your worst expectations will be realized if you get together with nuclear and/or extended family members for a holiday celebration.

Radical Acceptance and Family Scapegoating Abuse Recovery

woman standing on grassy hill

Many people are familiar with Kubler-Ross’s ‘Five Stages of Grief’, which are Denial; Anger; Bargaining; Depression; Acceptance. In my model for family scapegoating abuse (FSA) recovery  (which I will expand upon in an upcoming book), I use the term ‘radical acceptance’ versus ‘acceptance’ to describe a late-stage healing concept that is critical to the FSA adult survivor’s full recovery from systemic family abuse.

FSA Newsletter and Updates

family scapegoat newsletter

Over 100 people subscribed to this blog in the past few weeks, so I wanted to get a quick post out reminding each of you that I also offer a free monthly newsletter, which includes my latest articles; news about my upcoming books; and special offers on my book about family scapegoating abuse, Rejected, Shamed, […]

10 Self-Care Tips for Adult Survivors of Family Scapegoating

woman looking at a laptop and taking notes

If you’re in the ‘family scapegoat’ role and in contact with family members who continue to subject you to mental and emotional abuse, manipulation, gaslighting, and narcissistic behaviors, this checklist will aid you in protecting your emotional and mental health.

Recognizing Narcissistic Family Abuse

young gorgeous woman standing behind iron grate

In the narcissistic family system, the needs of the disordered parent take precedence over the needs of the dependent child, resulting in narcissistic abuse. Family members are not cherished individuals to be loved; they are instead ‘narcissistic supply’ whose only purpose is to serve the infantile, primitive psycho-emotional needs of the narcissistic parent.

Are You the ‘Family Scapegoat’? (10 Question Quiz)

Family Scapegoat Quiz FSA

It would be nice to believe that when children turn into adults they are somehow magically released from the ‘family scapegoat’ role. However, this is not at all the case. In fact, many individuals who come to me for therapy suffer from Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) due to continued family abuse that has resulted in them feeling psycho-emotionally paralyzed and worthless – even suicidal.

Recognizing C-PTSD as a Legitimate Diagnosis

complex trauma and family scapegoating

[Note: This article originally written for The C-PTSD Foundation in November 2020] Complex PTSD ( which is sometimes interchanged with terms such as complex relational trauma, developmental trauma, and interpersonal trauma) is a relatively recent concept. With the recognition of complex PTSD (C-PTSD) by the World Health Organization (WHO), healthcare providers around the world are […]

5 Critical Things to Know About Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA)

family scapegoat

Because family scapegoating processes can be insidious and subtle, many adult survivors do not realize that they are suffering from a most egregious (and often chronic) form of systemically-driven psycho-emotional bullying and abuse, with all of the painful consequences to body, mind, and spirit…

3-Day Sale: Kindle Version of ‘Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed’

Just a quick note to let my blog followers know that the Kindle version of ‘Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed’ will be on sale today through Monday (1-24-22). It is currently 60% off of the paperback price, allowing you to purchase it for just $5.99 USD via Amazon. This is a United States sale only. Purchase […]