Contribute to My Book

Authoritarian Wound Questionnaire

I’m currently researching a book with the working title Healing the Authoritarian Wound. I would love to have your contribution to this book. You can help me (and others) by taking the below Authoritarian Wound Questionnaire. Just copy the questions, provide your answers (at whatever length you like), and send them along to me at By providing me with your answers you understand that I may use what you’ve written in a forthcoming book. Just let me know how you’d like to be identified: real first name and last initial or made-up first name and last initial.

I think the extent to which folks have been harmed by contact with an authoritarian parent, other authoritarian family member, authoritarian social or cultural figure (like the leader of the church into which they were born), authoritarian in the workplace, or other “close” authoritarian, has been largely ignored or explored only tangentially in other contexts (as, for example, with regard to an “authoritarian parenting style”). Given research estimates as to the number of authoritarians out there, probably virtually everybody has been harmed by contact with an authoritarian personality. You may be in this very large group.

By “authoritarian wound” I mean the wound created by having been raised by, having to live with, or having to deal with someone with an “authoritarian personality.” There isn’t actually a single “authoritarian personality” (“authoritarian leaders” and “authoritarian followers” differ in important ways) and there’s lots to say on this subject. But I’m going to trust that you have an excellent intuitive grasp of what an authoritarian looks like and what harm he or she can do without me having to paint a specific picture or provide any explanations.

Please send your responses to me directly to There is no pressing deadline on this but of course I’d love to get your answers sooner rather than later. Feel free to skip any questions that don’t move you or that don’t pertain you. Of course, you may not have the time to do this, as there are only a million other things you might be doing. But it may strike you as personally useful and even important to tackle this. So, I hope that you will contribute. Thank you!

Authoritarian Wound Questionnaire

  1. Have you had the experience of having to deal with an “authoritarian personality”: a parent, sibling, mate, adult child, spiritual leader, co-worker, boss, etc.?


  1. What was that experience (or those experiences) like?


  1. Authoritarian personalities are typically described as either “authoritarian leaders” or “authoritarian followers.” What’s your intuition as to whether the authoritarian in your life was more an “authoritarian leader” or more an “authoritarian follower”? Why do you think that?


  1. Sometimes an authoritarian parent is described as “having an authoritarian parenting style.” Which seems truer to you, if the authoritarian you’re discussing is a parent: that he or she had an “authoritarian personality” or an “authoritarian parenting style”? That is, was the person in question more an authoritarian “through and through” or did it seem like he or she was adopting a particular “parenting style”?


  1. What would you say were the personal consequences of having been wounded by an authoritarian? (There are many common consequences but I don’t want to name them, as that will “put ideas in your head.” I’d rather you think through what you believe those consequences to have been.)


  1. What (if anything) has helped you deal with or heal from this “authoritarian wound”?


  1. If you’ve been in therapy or counseling, has the issue of “dealing with an authoritarian personality” come up and been addressed? Has therapy or counseling helped in this regard?


  1. If you’ve received a “mental disorder” diagnosis of any sort, do you see any relationship between having been wounded by an authoritarian and the symptoms that led to that “mental disorder” diagnosis?


  1. If you had to make a complete break with the authoritarian in your life, what effect did that have on you, either positive (e.g., you felt safer and saner) or negative (e.g., feelings of loss and guilt)?


  1. If you are still dealing with an authoritarian, what (if anything) helps you cope?


  1. What advice would you like to share with those individuals who, like yourself, have been wounded in this way?


  1. Please add anything you’d like to include about living with, working with, or dealing with an authoritarian and/or healing (or not healing) from the authoritarian wound.


Thank you!


Please email your responses to me at



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