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Bradshaw On: The Family: A New Way of Creating Solid Self-Esteem Paperback


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Bradshaw On: The Family: A New Way of Creating Solid Self-Esteem + Healing the Shame that Binds You (Recovery Classics) + Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: HCI; Revised edition (April 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558744274
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558744271
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Bradshaw (Family Secrets, LJ 1/95), a well-known speaker and author on such topics as addiction, recovery, and spirituality, has released a revised version of John Bradshaw: On Family, which first accompanied his 1984 television series. In this edition, he speaks out on the need for democracy within the family, as opposed to a patriarchal model of family relations. Throughout, Bradshaw refers to earlier models of child rearing as "poisonous pedagogy," and he is deeply committed to changing parenting within today's families and helping adults damaged by the parenting they received to rebuild their self-esteem. He uses many of the techniques of Adult Children of Alcoholics and similar groups in helping the reader identify problems and repair damage. Earlier editions of this book have sold more than a million copies, so public libraries will certainly have a demand for this title.
Kay L. Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills., Md.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

John Bradshaw has been at the forefront of the self-development and recovery field for more than ten years. He has helped million of people improve their lives through his ongoing lecture series, his nationally broadcast public television series and his bestselling books.

More About the Author

John Bradshaw was educated for the Roman Catholic priesthood and took advanced degrees in psychology, philosophy, and theology before becoming a professional counselor. He is the author of such major bestsellers as Family Secrets, Healing the Shame That Binds You, Homecoming, and Creating Love. He lives in Houston, Texas, and gives lectures and workshops nationwide.

Customer Reviews

I just hand them a copy of this book...
Skyy Mckendry
Very helpful book for those raised in dysfunctional families.
M. W. Tompkins
It is insightful and very easy to read and understand.
George Garduno

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Skyy Mckendry on September 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book saved my life! After years of counseling with therapists who were just counter-transferring their own unresolved issues onto me, Bradshaw helped me see the roots of my "mental illness" were from my upbringing in a patriarchal, totalitarian, authoritarin, rigid family & religious system. I was always made to feel by these systems that there was something defective about ME when, in actuallity, THEY were highly dysfunctional. In turn, that led me to seek therapy by therapists indoctrinated in these same systems. After realizing that going to my church for counseling was actually the antithesis of psycological & spiritual growth, I discovered the tools in Bradshaw's important work to heal myself. As a theologian, Bradshaw beautifully discerns the difference between spirituality & religion - that the more religious a person is, the less spiritual they are. That mature, spiritual people accept others just as they are & that religious people & systems narcissistically strive to create cookie-cutter people who act, think & believe that same way they do. I've come to the conclusion that every therapist I hired chose counseling as a way to avoid looking at their own issues. Receiving a different diagnosis from each therapist proves this to me. This comes without blame directed toward my primary caregivers as I realize that they were "mystified" by the same family & religious systems. I will never again look outside myself for approval. I honestly feel that Bradshaw's work (and the other psychologists he gives praise & credit to) is the most profound psychological & spiritual work of the 20th century. If you read this amazing book your life will never be the same. You will be unable to live your life the way you always have & it will change the way you see yourself & others forever.Read more ›
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Hefele on September 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
The central idea of Bradshaw's book is an interesting one: that in recent decades, psychological research has begun to focus on seeing the family as an emotional system, and that one can't just study an individual's psychological difficulties without seeing his or her role in the family & the family's interactions. Families each have their own unique culture which creates an emotional environment that children learn from & absorb. People growing up in healthy families become mature healthy people, who have their own identity & have a healthy separation from their family; they have learned that they are free to feel what they feel and express it even if it goes against the family "script," roles, or views. If there are disagreements, then people fight fairly, with nobody is trying to manipulate each other or use each other to satisfy unmet emotional needs.
Bradshaw then looks at the dynamics in dysfunctional families. He examines, in turn, families with alcoholics, families who are physically or emotionally abusive, and those that are co-dependent. These families may have problems with enmeshment, guilt, control, shame, family secrets, continuous fighting or no fighting because "wrong" emotions are forbidden. He highlights the fact that dysfunctional families often have dysfunctional kids, who then seek out, find, and marry other dysfunctional people (since they act in a familiar, though dysfunctional, way). In this way, certain family problems such as alcoholism, violence, and so on can be handed down across generations. Because of this, one should examine one's problems in the context of one's family, and always look for the "problem behind the problem" (i.e. ask what drives one to drink? Rather than just address alcoholism as an addiction).
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
This books has been incredibly helpful for me, an adult child of an alcoholic. I read it several years ago when a friend told me that my Dad was an alcoholic. My family always denied the truth, but after reading this book, I could no longer pretend that all was well in my family of origin. This book is very insightful and describes the intricacies of the relationships that exist in both functional and dysfunctional families. It's a great first step in discovering the underlying motivations for compulsive/obsessive behaviors that many of us exhibit.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Peggy on October 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a book that will change your life, if you work it, are open to it, and are ready to "look" at yourself. I have read many of Bradshaw's as well as others, and the first time I picked this up, I thought, "yeah, I know what he's going to say". But when my therapist suggested I re-read it, because I was already journaling, doing dream interpretations, etc... it held a new facsination for me. I could relate in a way I never did the first time. Everything in time, I guess. Give it a try, if you already know that life isn't perfect, parent's aren't perfect, and you can give yourself a big break, and start living the life you deserve! Happy searching!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
Bradshaw presents the information in a very logical, non-threatening way. It was easy to read and understand. It makes so much sense. He gives concrete, workable solutions. I felt very relieved and hopeful after reading the book.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Ms Diva on September 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
In this book, which is based on a TV series for PBS, brought Bradshaw into the public eye. The book essentially describes the impact of growing up in a dysfunctional family. It is an attempt to explain family systems theory in layman's terms. He links our cultural values about children and parenting to the issues of shame, child abuse, eating disorders, and alcoholism.
The book has some clear strengths. Bradshaw succeeds in giving a relatively accurate (if somewhat simplistic) description of family systems theory. If you want to understand your own experiences in growing up in a troubled home, this book might help. If you are a student, however, and are trying to learn about family systems theory, this book could confuse you. Bradshaw tries to blend together the work of a variety of theorists, and in doing so he loses the meaning of the individual's work. His own theories are merely a reworking of other great theorists. The biggest problem with that is that he links people together that would actively disagree with one another if they were on a stage together. And some of them would really disagree with the way Bradshaw has reinterpreted their work. Satir is not interchangeable with Bowen. The average reader will not notice this, however, nor do they necessarily need to.
Bradshaw also talks alot about 12 step programs, and seems to believe that everyone can and will benefit in participating in such a group. He completely dismisses or ignores the writers who would argue that 12 step programs are ineffective for many. He draws on his own experiences, which is fine, but he generalizes these experiences to such an extent that he seems to believe that everyone must be just like him.
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