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283 of 288 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Turning Point in My Life
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...
Published on March 10, 2000

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113 of 126 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Other books are better
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...
Published on September 19, 2005 by M. LaB


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283 of 288 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Turning Point in My Life, March 10, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families (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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231 of 237 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST READ for spiritually abused adult children!!!, June 21, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families (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.
He then describes the steps of healing; no step can be skipped in order to reach true "Genesis (Spirituality)":
Begin to deal with core issues, identify and re-experience our feelings, go through the process of grieving, integrating, and finally, spirituality.
If you have experienced spiritual abuse in your life (as a child or adult), or aren't sure whether you have, but relate to these issues, then this book is a MUST READ!!!!
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69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding Support on the Path to Healling From Abuse, March 9, 2007
This review is from: Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families (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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71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening Book, May 26, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families (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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113 of 126 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Other books are better, September 19, 2005
This review is from: Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families (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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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative, November 6, 2001
By 
quinny "quinny" (Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families (Paperback)
I purchased a glut of books on child abuse and this was by far one of the bright stars. I knew the moment I started reading it that I was reading a book underpinned by a lot of experience. Dr. Whitfield writes qualitatively with practicality and compassion and authority. It's a very helpful sourcebook to quantify feelings, effects, causes, and -- something I haven't seen in the others -- a description of important required stages in healthy child development. It's not one of those stuffy books full of jargon and psyche-speak, but a well-formatted and readable book. It doesn't pretend to provide all the healing and all the answers, but if you want a good starting point in your recovery, this is it. His methodical lists and questionnaires, though not many, are thorough and name the issues in the abuse victim's life, which is as much a healing in itself. Coincidentally, this book is the source for quotes in a good number of the other books that I purchased, suggesting that it carries some authority in this field. It's not a recovery workbook, but does give some useful detail about recovery processes, stages and methods.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real eye opener!, June 1, 1998
This review is from: Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families (Paperback)
My husband and I both read this book and we both found it very helpful in helping to understand why we do somethings that we do. I had a very troubled family life and this book helped me to understand how to help myself heal things that effect the way I function in everyday life. This is a great book for anyone who had a less than normal life growing up.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Was very helpful to me!, February 6, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families (Paperback)
Until a close friend pointed this out to me, I never realized how empty I felt about my life and how bitter I have become toward the world. I noticed that there was defensiveness in everything I did and was spitting out sarcastic, critical, and sometimes even very angry and hurtful remarks at people left, right, and center. Then I realized. Where did it all go? The moments when I truly felt how beautiful some things, music, and people are. The trust and care I had for other people. The utter appreciation of life that I felt when I was little. Where did it all go? "Healing the Child within" was a book that helped me figure this out. I looked back at my life, my history, and my childhood and realized that although I was never abused and never had any serious trauma, life keeps chipping away at us from a very early age. As this happens, our hearts begin to close little by little. It even learns to attack in order to protect itself from potential danger. Even though I still have lots of psychological work to do, I have been learning to open my heart again. It is scary but I can assure you that it is worthwhile. I started with this book and I think it is a great place to start. It is highly recommended. I now have another fantastic book I really like regarding this topic. It is called the "Ever-Transcending Spirit" by Toru Sato. It explains all of these things in a more simple way and places this process in the larger context of human development and evolution. It is absolutely awesome! I would highly recommend this one by Sato as well.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Very TRUE!, May 9, 2006
This review is from: Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families (Paperback)
My husband and I both endured shame and guilt based rearing in our youth. Faced with the birth of our second child due this fall, we felt the need to close some old issues that continue to reoccour in our own parenting. We picked up this book and read it in one night. We cried because this book spoke to the very core of our issues and gave us great ideas into healing our past. I would HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who had a difficult childhood.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally some tools to work with, March 7, 2006
This review is from: Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families (Paperback)
I am so grateful for this book as it has already given me so many insights. Somehow I thought that I was bad or defective, that there was something inherently wrong with me. Having read this book I realise I am the person years and my parents have made me into. A child whose family was dysfunctional and whose parents leaned heavily on alcohol as years went by, how could I have grown into a healthy young woman? Instead, I am an intelligent perfectionist, an over-responsible workaholic who tolerates being treated badly and neglects her own needs. However, I have been able to see that I can change - that I do have the right to learn to live a balanced and happy life. I also bought the work book that goes with this text book, and am thoroughly enjoying filling it in. My mind is working overtime making new connections and trying to make sense of my life, but I wouldn't change it for anything.
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Healing The Child Within:  Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families
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