Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Trapped in the Mirror” as Want to Read:
Trapped in the Mirror
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Trapped in the Mirror

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  572 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
In this compelling book, Elan Golomb identifies the crux of the emotional and psychological problems of millions of adults. Simply put, the children of narcissist—offspring of parents whose interest always towered above the most basic needs of their sons and daughters—share a common belief: They believe they do not have the right to exist.

The difficulties experienced by ad
ebook, 272 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by William Morrow (first published 1992)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Trapped in the Mirror, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Trapped in the Mirror

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,487)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 12, 2010 Reese rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"You know you're an idiot!" I'm talking to the face in the mirror. If you haven't already decided that I am indeed an idiot, some of you may now be thinking that a narcissistic parent is responsible for my "powerfully self-hating negative inner parent"(55) -- also known, by those who worship at Our Lady of Jargon, as "negative introject"(55). Well, forget about my poor old mother, who happens to be narcissistic; and accept this explanation for my self-deprecation: I bought Elan Golomb's book; I ...more
Paul King
Mar 21, 2013 Paul King rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would say this is fundamentally the most painful book I've ever read as it hit me so personally about my own upbringing. The truths about the particulars that children of narcissists suffer are a daily struggle for me. What a wonderful gift that Golomb has given - even if not every idea works for you, it gives a group of very lost souls a means to navigate the emotional holocaust that is so often at play.
Ryan Holiday
The idea that this author is in any way justified in writing a book on healing or conquering narcissism is laughable. The book is filled with countless examples of her own insanity--like the time she cracked her skull and insisted on seeing an Eastern meditative healer instead of a doctor. Of course, her parents intervention was proof of their narcissism.

This is a fascinating topic but an awful book. Most of the anecdotes come from group therapy that she ATTENDED instead of led. The book bills i
Linda Robinson
Apr 27, 2010 Linda Robinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another first - I picked this book up before lunch, and read it through my meal, sat in the car reading in my parking lot, and now have finished it in my favorite reading chair, without taking off my coat. There are a couple of reviews I read here that are my reactions as well. The book is cross-eyed hard to get into, but I think this is because the subject matter is difficult, especially for someone who had narcissistic parents. There's not much sense to be had in that brand of childhood. But t ...more
I'm torn between three and four stars. So many of the descriptions of certain emotions/behaviors in this book were so exacting for me that I wanted to pull out a highlighter, just to make the point abundantly clear to myself (people who know me and the way I treat books will be shocked at this urge... and will not be surprised to know that I resisted the highlighter). The confirmation of these emotions and actions and why I experience them is illuminating and gratifying.

On the other hand, many
Apr 09, 2011 Susannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, reviewed
(Recommended to me by my therapist). An excellent treatise on the influence of narcissistic individuals in those for whom abuse and negativity feels more like normal behavior than dysfunction. The author is a well-educated clinical psychologist who herself is the child of two narcissistic parents. Adeptly weaving her experiences with those of her friends, patients, and other individuals, she helps us to recognize the thought patterns and unintentional, automatic reactions to challenges that ever ...more
I'm giving up on this one half way through. What I hoped would be an exploration of adult manifestations of surviving (or trying to survive) a narcissistic family system (or parent), is actually an inarticulate series of caricatures of destructive individuals that, despite the reality of their situations, seem more like titillating psyhco-drama than explanatory case studies. Golomb manages to be both flippant and melodramatic, all the while making sweeping generalizations but failing to present ...more
David Winkler
May 20, 2016 David Winkler added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my family and anyone else who suffers
Recommended to David by: One of my teachers
This is one deep and heavy book which forces one to look into the deep recesses of one's soul in order to wrestle with the damage familial pedagogy causes. In retrospect, we're all innocent and we're all to blame but instead of voicing the blame, shame, and guilt, we should recognize our introjected parents and realize that nobody can make us feel a certain way; we are our own person and we're in charge of our lives.

Before I could reason, I was indoctrinated into a cult, Christian Science, and
Michele Winship
Dec 31, 2012 Michele Winship rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For any child who has grown up in a home with narcissistic parents, this book provides real insight to the family dynamics that can create damage that lasts for a lifetime. Recommended by my therapist,Trapped in the Mirror allowed me to look from the outside in and understand more about my own family dysfunction.
Jessie Marie
Jun 07, 2014 Jessie Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I agree with those that found Trapped in the Mirror difficult going and time consuming to read because of the fact that it hits so close to home. I also agree that Golomb's tangents don't always work and are sometimes cumbersome. She reaches in all directions with her comparisons, to her own dreams, and once to a Mobius strip--it gets a bit sprawling.

But sometimes this manner really works for me, and allows me to remember experiences I've had myself, but through incorporating both intellectual a
May 13, 2016 Marcus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is useful and insightful if you are delving into your self and has a personal history of disfunctional families.
Sep 10, 2011 Cherri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was interesting. I read it because my stepdaughter asked me to. She said that in her opinion, her mother is a narcissist and the book is geared for the adult children of people with this condition. It makes me more compassionate as my stepdaughter has had many life problems which my husband and I have helped her with repeatedly. She is now doing well - holding a job, living on her own. It gives an interesting and a bit disturbing view of what her childhood may have been like and why so ...more
Aug 26, 2008 Ida rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very interesting book. It should be noted that every person is multifaceted, and reading this book gave me glimpses of insight into my own experiences throughout my life. While no one experience listed here fits perfectly into my own pattern growing up, there are shadows of patterns that I learned a tremendous amount from. It took me a little while to get through this book because it was very thought provoking for me. There are occasional swear words, so if you're sensitive to that...m ...more
Amanda M
Nov 23, 2015 Amanda M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This book touched on some good thoughts about growing up as the child of a narcissist. Overall the book increased my self-awareness of my own struggles, particularly with perfectionism. I was struck by many similarities between my own childhood and the experiences depicted in the book.

However, the author's tone was at some points discouraging and unnecessarily gloomy. I disagreed with many of her opinions, and I don't feel that recovery is as difficult as she would make it out to be. I also dis
Aug 03, 2014 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was given to me by a friend who thought it was great. It didn't live up to my expectations at all. This is not a thoughtful piece of academic literature written by an expert in the field. It's definitely not a clear, thoughtful path to self-healing. It's a psychologically damaged woman writing about her scarring childhood and exposing the problems of her friends and relations as supporting evidence of her own personal theories. Some of the conclusions are just incredulous. A narcissist ...more
Sep 12, 2011 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology-books
Insightful, personal, scientific, and deeply relatable delving into the reasons, motivations, consequences, and recovery related to being the child of a narcissistic parent. I'm stunned this author has not written more! She's shockingly personal while maintaining scientific fervor.
Finding a book that clearly and concisely helps the child of a narcissistic parent understand their experience is a daunting task. I have read many; this book is another. Writing one must be challenging. There are flaws in the structure of the book--I'm not sure that it was the most effective way to organize the information by blending clinical observations with the author's own personal history, making the conclusions weaker from the perspective that the reader might doubt the authors ability t ...more
Robin Adler
Disarming the Narcissist was more useful in terms of what to do when you have identified a narcissist in your life. Trapped in the mirror seemed like it was just a series of stories about narcissists.
Written by a psychologist who had a narcissistic father. Helpful information and insight into how to recover from living with one or more narcissistic parents.
This book was very healing to read. I admire the author a lot for her generosity (on so many levels) in the writing of this book.
Aug 22, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sickened
I saw this book recommended on Psychology Today so I had high hopes. Well a few chapters at the beginning were helpful and well organized. I found that the second half of the book seemed like emotional purging and less instructive. I found her to be judgmental of her friends in the very same way she claimed her parents were of others. This book needed tighter editing. I wanted to finish it but didn't see the point. The chapter "How to find and heal yourself" was more about how the author tried t ...more
Aug 15, 2012 Paulette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous....really fabulous book on such a difficult subject. Helped me a lot.
May 11, 2016 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For anyone new to the concept of narcissists and the possibility that you have one or more in your life this is a good place to find out. Golomb does a great job at introducing us to a few different types and the analogy of the mirror is dead on in a way like nothing else. There are times she goes on about her own life a bit much which at points makes you feel like you a reading a biography but once you get around that everything else in the book will give you an everlasting education on the top ...more
Aug 17, 2009 Gail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helpful information if you've ever lived with a narcissist person.
Joni Watling
Apr 06, 2014 Joni Watling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a difficult read, partially because of the style of the writer and partially because sections of it felt like a kick in the gut. I saw myself mirrored in many stories and patterns, which was uncomfortable and sometimes made me quite nauseous. At times, the author comes across as a whiner stuck in a loop of negative story telling. I imagine the process of writing and revisiting the topic from her own life to write this book served as a healing balm so I had to get to a point of just lett ...more
Michelle Renee
Jan 08, 2015 Michelle Renee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I went to this book on recommendation that it had actual scientific merit. I was very disappointed. It's more like a journey through one woman's blind spots, hypocritical judgments of her friends and patients, and self-pity. It's not what you're looking for if you're into philosophy or science, but it would be beneficial for a hackneyed psychologist needing something nonthreatening to pawn off on narcissistic clients. I rarely give one star, but this was so useless.
This was insightful but I found the author to ramble quite a bit. I liked the stories but felt they included too much detail. Also not very practical. Maybe I am channeling my inner narcissist and being too critical, as this book seems to have helped many people. And I do think it will help me.
Apr 16, 2014 Sophia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting to see the wide range of responses to this book--and the virulence of some of the negative reviews. Sounds like people were taking it personally.

This book gave me a lot to think about, though I did find the author obtrusive and kind of meandering at times. I didn't come out of it with clear takeaways, except that I would like to read some less personal books on the subject. A good introduction, though.
Aj Mcguire
Apr 27, 2014 Aj Mcguire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the book helpful, basic information, but the personal stories went on too long. More helpful in realizing what it means to be in a relationship with a Narcissist but not very in depth as to what to do about it.
A very good follow-up to Will I Ever Be Good Enough; if you have a narcissistic parent and need help understanding and overcoming the problems associated with it, these are very helpful books.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 49 50 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Great Read 2 4 Jun 03, 2015 12:41AM  
  • Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents
  • The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family
  • The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
  • When You and Your Mother Can't Be Friends: Resolving the Most Complicated Relationship of Your Life
  • Narcissism: Denial of the True Self
  • The Emotional Incest Syndrome: What to do When a Parent's Love Rules Your Life
  • Secret Survivors
  • Political Ponerology
  • Why Is It Always About You? : The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism
  • The Myth of Sanity: Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness
  • Toxic In-Laws: Loving Strategies for Protecting Your Marriage
  • Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, And Other Sex Offenders
  • Bradshaw on the Family: A New Way of Creating Solid Self-Esteem
  • Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship
  • Adult Children of Abusive Parents
  • In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People
  • Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood Wounds and Build Trust, Boundaries, and Self-Esteem

Share This Book