A renowned psychotherapist has revealed how her abusive father used to give her electric shocks when she was a child to make her "superhuman."

Maude Julien, who works as a therapist specialising in manipulation and psychological control, has opened up about the trauma she endured as a child in her memoir.

In 'The Only Girl in the World', Julien writes that when she was eight-years-old her father Louis Didier would force her to grasp an electric fence for 10 minutes at a time. She was not allowed to show any emotion as she received electric shocks.

"I held on with both hands, and it was most important to show no reaction at the moment of the power surges," Julien, now 60, told The New York Post. "I had to stay impassive."

The horrific ritual was meant to transform Julien into a "superhuman", she writes in her memoir.

Her father would also lock her in their rat-infested cellar once a month where she was told to "meditate about death."

Julien said she suffers from liver damage as her alcoholic father forced her to drink alcohol when she was eight.

"He was most definitely insane and an alcoholic," Julien said about Didier who died in 1981 at the age of 79.

Julien was the only child of Didier and his wife Jeannine, who he adopted when she was six-years-old and groomed to marry him. The three lived in a remote mansion in France for over a decade.

The girl's only companions were the animals living on the estate. "I really think that, without my animals, I wouldn't be alive today," she said. "They gave me physical contact and warmth because nobody [in my family] was allowed to touch each other in the house. I learned love and compassion from them."

She was eventually able to escape at the age of 18 when her father agreed to her marrying music teacher Andre Molin. Didier told her to return home a virgin after six months. Julien seized the opportunity to leave her family and horrific childhood behind for good.

The memoir is dedicated to Julien's mother, who she is estranged from. "She is a victim and I sent the book to her with a note," Julien said. "She didn't react directly but I heard through intermediaries that she was afraid and wasn't happy I wrote it."

Julien said that intensive therapy had helped her to deal with her childhood trauma and motivated her to qualify as a psychotherapist.

She described the memoir as a "book of hope and an escape manual."