Help and Hope for Adults in the Family Scapegoat Role

“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.”

– Rebecca C. Mandeville

Editorial Reviews

A much needed adjunct to the Family Systems model. Validating for those who have been impacted by family scapegoating dynamics. Mandeville gives a solid pathway for recovering from this kind of abuse. Recommended for professional and laypeople.” –

Shellie Krick, MSW


This much-needed work by Rebecca C. Mandeville provides a comprehensive introduction to the subject of family scapegoating and serves as a starting point for survivor awareness and further research for professionals if they want to begin filling in the gaps for this misunderstood and underserved community. It is dense and informative, but with a writing style that makes it easy to read.  I found myself re-reading paragraphs that had flowed by to capture Rebecca’s insights and innovative nomenclature, which are too profound to breeze through. Because it lacks fluff and stories, it serves as both a reference and a guide, with links to outside sources for further reading.

The scapegoat role has always been with us, but the phenomenon has not been adequately or directly addressed within Mental Health literature.  For this reason, many adults in the family scapegoat role have great difficulty getting a proper diagnosis (which is often Complex PTSD, as addressed in this book), and difficulty finding adequate support and therapy.  Family systems information can help, but the additional layers of grief cannot be addressed or fully healed without greater understanding.  

This book also serves an important niche within Family Systems literature, as it was written for those who were assigned the role of ‘family scapegoat’ within their dysfunctional family system.  It adeptly addresses with specificity the abuses and emotional injuries scapegoated adults experience, which are distinct, and often more damaging than those associated with other dysfunctional family roles. The author also offers steps to healing with a great measure of compassion.

– Lisa Marie Campagnoli, Certified Trauma Recovery Coach, RYT-200

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BOOK DESCRIPTION

Were you bullied or rejected by a parent, sibling, or other relative growing up? Have you ever been the target of a ‘smear’ campaign by immediate or extended family and been left feeling frustrated and confused? Have you tried to reach out for help and support and been told, “Just get over it, it’s your family, it can’t be that bad”?

In Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed, Psychotherapist Rebecca C. Mandeville provides a means of understanding why dysfunctional families scapegoat one of their own and helps you to release the painful, damaging ‘scapegoat story’ for good.

An internationally recognized Family Systems expert, the author explores the roots of family scapegoat dynamics and how the scapegoated adult survivor can free themselves from ‘false family narratives‘ and become the author of their own lives. Via psycho-education, self-assessment tools, and practical steps and strategies, she describes a way out of the ‘scapegoat trap‘ for those who are ready to leave it for good. In these pages you’ll discover:

  • How to determine if you’re the ‘family scapegoat’
  • Why scapegoated individuals have difficulty finding help
  • How complex trauma (C-PTSD), and ‘toxic shame’ impede recovery
  • Why the family ‘Empath’ can end up scapegoated
  • How to establish boundaries if your trauma response is ‘fawning’
  • How to recognize false family narratives
  • How to recover and realign with your ‘true self’

This life is the only one you’ll have, and your story is precious and unique. If you’re struggling to understand family scapegoat dynamics and want to recover and reclaim your ‘true self’ identity, this book’s for you.

– FSA Self-Assessment is included.

– Clinicians and Coaches may also find this introductory eBook helpful.

The FSA Educational Community is available to those who have read my book, Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed. As the community is based on concepts outlined in this book, reading it is a requirement to access the free membership areas. You can find the link to join the FSA Educational Community in the book’s ‘Afterward’. 

About the Author: Rebecca C. Mandeville was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has been serving clients in her Psychotherapy and Recovery Coaching practices for the past twenty years. She served as Core Faculty at the world-renowned ‘Institute of Transpersonal Psychology‘, where she first began to identify, describe, and define what she later named ‘Family Scapegoating Abuse’ (FSA). A recognized expert in her field, Rebecca writes regularly on her international blog about recovering from dysfunctional family systems and scapegoating’s effects on individuals, organizations, and institutions.