Book review

"The Beheaded Goddess: Daughters of Narcissistic Fathers" is an archetypal, mythological, and transferential analysis of the loss of healthy aggression in an adolescent daughter. The specific family researched consists of a narcissistic father, an emotionally unavailable mother, and an adolescent daughter.
Paternal narcissism consists of entitlement, grandiosity, and a lack of empathy. Its characterological defensive structure wavers between insecure poles of inflation and deflation in the father, and simultaneous elevation and devaluation of the daughter. The emotionally unavailable mother's mind is disavowed, and her power given over to enthrone the male. Involuntarily participating in the abuse, she acts in accordance with the paternal myth believing men superior to women.
The daughter observes the inequality, resenting the mother for allowing the debasement. She learns that to be female is to be mindless while maleness is to have and be a-head. The daughter aligns with the father. It is a double betrayal: we lose our mothers and our internal trust of the feminine.
The Beheaded Goddess is an ancient but until now unnamed archetype. Her powerful image appears in Neolithic cave paintings, Renaissance art, medieval or early Christian legend, and contemporary women's dreams. What is her story? Why is she beheaded and by whom? This work explicates a specific type of beheading, a narcissistic father decapitating his daughter when she becomes sexual.
It is an incest motif, whereby the narcissistic father devours the loving body or mind of the daughter to fill his own emptiness. The abuse begins in childhood, but this work will explore the reappearance of the incest motif during the daughter's adolescence.
The etiology of abuse symptoms, severance of the head from the body, and repetitive consequences to the daughter are examined, as well as the reclamation of her head, including vision, voice, and action. The transformation of the Beheaded Goddess is a therapeutic journey of depth. The daughter circumambulates through the labyrinth of her soul until she comes to the core of her complex, the face of her own aggression. Without this work, she remains victim to externalizing forces and the persecutory inner animus--she beheads the inner negative father to free her own mind, voice, and power.

The Beheaded Goddess: Daughters of  Narcissistic Fathers by Selma Nemer

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Selma Nemer
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The Beheaded Goddess: Daughters of Narcissistic Fathers

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