I’ve recommended Dr. Robin Stern’s The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life (2018 ed.) as the best general source of information and guidance on the phenomenon of gaslighting, which occurs often in highly manipulative workplace bullying situations.
Now Dr. Stern has moved into a more direct self-help mode with the publication of The Gaslight Effect Recovery Guide (2023). My copy of the book just arrived the other day. It is a practical, informative, workbook-style guide, and I am happy to recommend it. Among other things, it includes a standalone section for workplace-related gaslighting that many readers of this blog may find very useful.
But that’s not all! It turns out that Dr. Stern has been very busy. She has also launched The Gaslight Effect Podcast (link here), and two of the first twelve episodes are expressly about gaslighting at work.
In addition, last year she penned an important Psychology Today piece (link here) that merits a read, “When It’s Gaslighting, and When It Really Isn’t.” Here’s a snippet:
But as the word “gaslighting” gained currency, it began to lose meaning: People often tell me that someone gaslighted them when in fact, what they are describing is mere disagreement.
…It’s worth revisiting what gaslighting is and what it isn’t.
…Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where one person’s psychological manipulation causes another person to question their reality. Gaslighting can happen between two people in any relationship. A gaslighter preserves his or her sense of self and power over the gaslightee, who adopts the gaslighter’s version of reality over their own.
It’s important to distinguish gaslighting from disagreeing and to understand when conflict veers into gaslighting.
I hasten to add that Dr. Stern is hardly an opportunist when it comes to building her body of work about gaslighting. Rather, she has been a pioneer, having authored the first edition of The Gaslight Effect in 2007, a time when gaslighting as we understand it was barely in our vocabulary of interpersonal mistreatment. She has been ahead of this (twisted) curve, and now her expertise has made her a leading authority on this topic.