Books: Nonfiction

Toxic Nursing – Dr. Cheryl Dellasega and Rebecca L. Volpe

Twice as many nurses as other working Americans have experienced bullying in the workplace.
Toxic Nursing, written by Cheryl Dellasega and Rebecca Volpe used vignettes to ask expert nurse managers how they would address issues related to bullying and relational aggression. The results offer individual nurses, nurse managers and administrators the tools they need to defuse conflict and create a positive work environment.

“Toxic Nursing is a must-read for nurse managers, nurse preceptors, and new nurses,” said Anita J. Tarzian, PhD, RN, associate professor and program coordinator at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. “Dellasega and Volpe provide a comprehensive toolkit of approaches to address destructive workplace behaviors among nurses. The combination of vignettes based on cases gleaned from blog postings and thorough literature review is novel and effective. It will broaden the reader’s view of bullying, how it harms nurses and those they serve, and what to do about it.”


When Nurses Hurt Nurses – Sigma Theta Tau International 2011

When Nurses Hurt Nurses: Recognizing and Overcoming the Cycle of Nurse Bullying confronts this problem by examining the causes and providing ways to diffuse a confrontational situation. Written by Surviving Ophelia author Cheryl Dellasega, PhD, RN, CRNP, When Nurses Hurt Nurses is at the forefront of addressing the issue of bullying within the nursing profession.


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Forced to Be Family – Wiley, 2007

Taking my work on understanding and dealing with relational aggression among female family members (Mean Girls Grow Up, below) one step further, my new book examines the even harsher reality of female family feuds- sisters who sabotage, ex-wives who wage subtle warfare, and other family situations where women emotionally wound each other. This book uses clinical insights and real-life stories to explain why these female family antagonisms have a special power to hurt and offers practical strategies to help restore relationships and reclaim lives.

Good Morning America


Mean Girls Grown Up – Wiley Paperback, 2007

Whenever I spoke about the phenomenon of relational aggression, it seemed one person in the audience would ask: What happens to these girls when they grow up? It made me curious, too, but when I looked for any books or studies on the topic, there werent any. Once more, the words of real women who have lived through RA are at the core of this book, along with helpful steps to take if you are an adult target, aggressor, or in-betweener.

“This is an insightful, practical guide to recognizing and responding to the Queen Bee syndrome.”
– Diana J. Mason, RN, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Nursing

“The stories in Cheryl Dellasegas powerful new book about grown-up mean girls will chill you. Luckily, Dellasega offers strategies for us to protect ourselves from the sting of adult queen bees and their minions.”
– Marla Paul, Author of The Friendship Crisis


Girl Grudges – YouthLight, 2007

Some girls may find it extremely difficult to forgive and forget when relationship hurts are deep and friendships fractured. Our country has witnessed too many extreme examples of inner conflicts that begin in childhood and explode into violence years later. Girl Grudges: Learning How to Forgive and Live, is written by two experts with many years of experience helping address deep-seated conflicts that cause ongoing pain for all involved.

This book offers a variety of experiential and educational activities to help girls in middle and high school either one-on-one or in groups. It is based on the ERA model (Educate, Relate, and Integrate) that first exposes girls to new information, then helps them apply this to their own situations, and finally, encourages internalization of healthier relationship alternatives.


Girl Wars – Fireside, 2003; with Charisse Nixon

Halfway through the writing of my first book, I realized relationships were one of the key issues girls struggled with during adolescence. At the same time, my work with young women had opened my eyes to the concept of relational aggression (RA) which is sometimes called female bullying. To examine how RA impacts on the lives of tweens and teens, I obtained stories from across the country, and then, with my coauthor Charisse Nixon, wrote a guide that provides concrete strategies for helping girls cope.

“Illustrated by compelling true stories from mothers and girls, the book offers effective, easy-to-implement strategies that range from preventive to prescriptive.”
Boys Town Press Review


Surviving Ophelia – Perseus, 2001; Ballantine, 2002

If you’re the mom of a teen girl in turmoil youll understand why I wrote this book. In it, I share both my story and those of many other women who labored to keep their daughters healthy and sane. If you’re someone who cares about the mom of a teen girl in turmoil, this book will help you support and appreciate your wife, friend, sister, or other. And if you’re one of those feisty teen girls who battled her way through a turbulent adolescence and survived, buy a copy of this for yourself, and then pass it on to your mother.

Surviving Ophelia brings to life the other side of female adolescencethat of a mothers confusion and pain at her daughters struggling development.”
– Terri Apter, Author of The Myth of Maturity

“This courageous book offers clear insight and direction to mothers struggling with how to help their daughters restore their future while they reclaim their own lives.”
– Carol Maxym, Co-author of Teens in Turmoil


The Starving Family – The Champion Press, 2006

What started as a simple project at work became a book when I realized that parents had so much to say and share about the impact of eating disorders on the entire family system. Both mothers and fathers talked to me at length about what it is like to caregive for a son or daughter with anorexia, bulimia, or EDNOS. A companion workbook provides many tools that can help parents assess, monitor, and support their ill child. All my proceeds from this book benefit the Penn State Eating Disorder Unit.

“Dellasega is a midwife for stories of struggle and hope that can nurture every person touched by the crisis of eating disorders.”
– Joe Kelly, President of Dads&; Author of Dads and Daughters and The Body Myth

“This rich, deeply feeling book is a nourishment of connectedness. Thank you, Cheryl Dellasega.”
– Laura Collins, Author of Eating with Your Anorexic