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Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families Paperback – April 1, 1987


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Healing The Child Within:  Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families + A Gift to Myself: A Personal Workbook and Guide to "Healing the Child Within" + Boundaries and Relationships: Knowing, Protecting and Enjoying the Self
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 151 pages
  • Publisher: Health Communications, Inc. (April 1, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0932194400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0932194404
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Cardwell C. Nuckols, Ph.D., is an expert on brain development and recovery who has been described as "one of the most influential clinical trainers in America." His many publications include the national best-seller, Cocaine: Dependency to Recovery. His recent DVD, "The Science Based Treatment of Addictive Disorders," provides a scientific basis for many of the ideas first addressed in Healing the Child Within.

Charles L. Whitfield, M.D., is a physician, psychotherapist, and internationally recognized expert on mental illness, behavioral problems, and recovery. He has been on the faculty of the Rutgers University Summer Institute of Alcohol and Drug Studies from 1978 to 2003, and in private practice of medicine and psychotherapy since 1976. He has been voted by his peers as one of the Best Doctors in America every year since 1994. He lives in Atlanta, GA.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1
Discovering Our Child Within


The concept of the Child Within has been a part of our world culture for at least two thousand years. Carl Jung called it the 'Divine Child' and Emmet Fox called it the 'Wonder Child.' Psychotherapists Alice Miller and Donald Winnicott refer to it as the 'true self.' Many in the field of alcoholism and other chemical dependence call it the 'inner child.'

The Child Within refers to that part of each of us which is ultimately alive, energetic, creative and fulfilled; it is our Real Self—who we truly are.
With our parents' unknowing help and society's assistance, most of us deny our Inner Child. When this Child Within is not nurtured or allowed freedom of expression, a false or co-dependent self emerges. We begin to live our lives from a victim stance, and experience difficulties in resolving emotional traumas. The gradual accumulation of unfinished mental and emotional business can lead to chronic anxiety, fear, confusion, emptiness and unhappiness.

Denial of the Child Within and the subsequent emergence of a false self or negative ego are particularly common among children and adults who grew up in troubled families, such as those where chronic physical or mental illness, rigidity, coldness or lack of nurturing were common.

Yet, there is a way out. There is a way to discover and to heal our Child Within and to break free of the bondage and suffering from relying on our false self. That is what this book is about.


©2008. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Healing the Child Within by Charles L. Whitfield. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street , Deerfield Beach , FL 33442.


More About the Author

Charles L. Whitfield, M.D., is a physician, psychotherapist, author and internationally recognized expert on mental illness, behavioral problems, and recovery from addiction and trauma. He was on the faculty of the Rutgers University Summer Institute of Alcohol and Drug Studies from 1978 through 2003, and in private practice of addiction medicine and psychotherapy since 1976. He has also been a consultant and collaborator at the CDC in Atlanta since 1998. He has been voted by his peers as one of the Best Doctors in America every year since 1993. He lives in Atlanta, GA, and is in private practice with his wife, author and therapist, Barbara Harris Whitfield.

For the most up-to-date information about Dr. Whitfield and his work, please visit:
Barbara-Whitfield.Blogspot.com

Customer Reviews

We picked up this book and read it in one night.
Lanenshea
This book has been a gift to me, helping me to understand myself and others much more, which is what I always really wanted.
Sabine Froehlich
This book is also informative for those who have NOT came from Alcoholic or Drug Abused/Troubled homes.
S. Henry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

273 of 278 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
After a tumultuous adolescence and early adulthood I found myself in therapy. My therapist recommended that I attend a self-help group for adult children of dysfunctional families. The therapist also suggested that I read "Healing the Child Within". I didn't think I needed any self help group -at least not badly enough to go through the trouble of actually finding such a group in my area. After being in therapy for one year I read "Healing the Child Within".
I was not physically or sexually abused as a child. What I did not understand was how pervasive and harmful the emotional NEGLECT was and how it still affected me as an adult. What I learned from this book was how much I had been deprived of as a child. How feelings of fear and anxiety as an adult could be the result of childhood experience. After reading this book I was left with a very strong desire to attend a self help group. I attended my first ACoA group in October 1988 and my life has gotten better in ways I cannot put into words. This book for me was not the answer but a trigger to seek further help. But if I had not had this trigger I would not be where I am today. In the context of a trigger, I can honestly say that this book changed my life in a very profound way.
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223 of 229 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
Most books on disfunctional families assume alcoholism and/or drug abuse. There isn't much literature that addresses the problem of family disfunction recognising that symptoms/causes can manifest in other ways.
The parental conditions he lists that tend to stifle the child within are: chemical dependence; co-dependence; chronic mental illness or disabling physical illness; extreme rigidity, punitiveness, judgementalness, non-loving, perfectionism, or inadequacy; child abuse--physical, sexual, mental-emotional and/or spiritual; denial of feelings of reality.
Spiritually abused adult children, even if no physical abuse ever occurred in conjunction, tend to have experienced co-dependence (boundaries are crossed and roles are mixed up in unhealthy ways), rigidity, judgementalness, perfectionism, and denial of feelings of reality, in addition to the description he gives for mental/emotional/spiritual abuse.
He develops heirarchical list of 20 human needs, drawing from Maslov, Miller, Weil, and Glasser, and develops the concept that in order for a human being to be whole and healthy and ready to follow a truly spiritual path, these needs must first be met, in order of most basic to highest potential. Most basic, of course, survival and safety; highest potential is unconditional love (including connection with a Higher Power.)
He explains the cycle of shame and low self esteem, and maps how healthy boundaries are crossed by all in a shame based family.
He describes the role of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and it's treatment.
Read more ›
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Karen Mary Morrissey on March 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
Along with other books by Charles Whitfield, this book provides a sensitive, supportive path and permission to release your hidden child within, the child that guards your freedom and your soul, the child that guards the blossoms of your virtues and gifts that are waiting to grow you into the full person you were meant to be. It allows you to say, "I was an abused child. I grieve for the stunted paths I've followed because I could not find the way to say this soon enough and release the gifts that belong to me, and to STOP asking WHY (since a dead person can't answer), but to speak outloud: 'You did this to me and I did not deserve it. It was not my fault. And I am furious. I am finally furious for the crippled life I was left to lead, and the sick pain and depression that have been my struggle.' " Then you can bring forth that hurt child and weep with, rage wih, and comfort that child. You feel like a split personality for a little while but you will heal. You will find joy. You will never be sorry. I am 69.
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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
Prior to reading this book, I didn't consider that I was an abused child. Dr. Whitfield explores all forms of abuse with the reader. I considered my family Dysfunctional, but not to the extent of abuse. I now realize that emotional abuse is as real as physical abuse and can deal with it and get on with a more emotionally healthy life. Dr. Whitfield does a marvelous job assisting the reader in discovering their pain and themselves. Thank you Dr. Whitfield, I can now stop making excuses for my parents, deal with my pain, forgive my parents, heal, and discover my child within.
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102 of 113 people found the following review helpful By M. LaBardi on September 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is geared towards people who are unaware that they came from disfunctional families (with emphasis on alcohol abuse). If you have already come to the conclusion that your family was disfunctional and begun the healing process this book is remedial. There is a large emphasis on alcohol dependancy and abuse which I could not relate to. The book should be retitled "Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Alcoholic and Dysfunctional Families" I felt that the book "Getting The Love You Want" by Harville Hendrix was more interesting and provided additional opportunities for discovery and growth.
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