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How to Be an Adult: A Handbook for Psychological and Spiritual Integration Paperback – May 1, 1991

4.7 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Richo uses the metaphor of the heroic journey to describe the process toward psychological and spiritual maturity. First he discusses "personal work" and the three challenges to adulthood: fear, anger, and guilt, as well as the self-esteem that comes from meeting those challenges. Then he discusses relationships and the dual problem of maintaining personal boundaries and establishing appropriate intimacy. Finally, he discusses the techniques of integration: flexibility, befriending the shadow, using dreams, and developing spirituality through openness to the self and unconditional love. This guide contains useful quotations, summary reflections, and affirmations, as well as other techniques that give concrete advice on the process of growth. Recommended for seminary and public libraries.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

David Richo is a psychotherapist in private practice in Santa Barbara, CA. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Sierra University in Santa Monica. Dr. Richo has been a teacher at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur. He has also written When Love Meets Fear (Paulist Press).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 122 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press; a edition (May 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809132230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809132232
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Richo, PhD, is a therapist and author who leads popular workshops on personal and spiritual growth.

He received his BA in psychology from Saint John's Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts, in 1962, his MA in counseling psychology from Fairfield University in 1969, and his PhD in clinical psychology from Sierra University in 1984. Since 1976, Richo has been a licensed marriage, family, and child counselor in California. In addition to practicing psychotherapy, Richo teaches courses at Santa Barbara City College and the University of California Berkeley at Berkeley, and has taught at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. He is a clinical supervisor for the Community Counseling Center in Santa Barbara, California.

Known for drawing on Buddhism, poetry, and Jungian perspectives in his work, Richo is the author of How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving and The Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find in Embracing Them. He has also written When the Past Is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds that Sabotage our Relationships, Shadow Dance: Liberating the Power and Creativity of Your Dark Side, The Power of Coincidence: How Life Shows Us What We Need to Know, and Being True to Life: Poetic Paths to Personal Growth.

Richo lives in Santa Barbara and San Francisco.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am a clinical psychologist and am loathe to recommend self-help books as most of them are just ways for the author to make money by tapping into the reader's anxieties about themselves. Most offer superficial and simplistic solutions that offer little more than false hope but will keep the reader "coming back for more" from the self-help industry. NOT SO THIS LITTLE GEM! It is one of the two most solidly written and thought through books on personal growth I know of (the other is The Road Less Travelled, by Scot Peck). It's the kind of book you will need to read slowly and meditatively, perhaps even only a page at a sitting. It's also the kind of book you can expect to benefit from reading through again after a year or two on your shelf.
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Format: Paperback
I bought two books by this author: How to be an adult, and How to be an adult in relationships. Both are excellent.
Even though their titles begin with How to... these are not self-help books.
This is a little book, but it will take you quite some time to read it - I still haven't finished my copy. You will want to read a single page and contemplate what is said there and how you can implement it in your own life.
UPDATE Feb 19, 2006: Read it 3 times so far. I find something new to work on every time. This book describes exactly the person I want to become. The most important book I have ever read!
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Format: Paperback
Our bookshelf has over fifty self-help genre books I am guessing. I just got this one and it stands out. It's highly readable and offers important principles to live by. Much wisdom in here. Get this book for yourself and pass it around to your friends. We can all learn these lessons.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some authors speak too much creating confusion. Others speak too little leaving the audience wanting for more. Here is an author who has spoken the right amount.

The ideal person benefiting from this book is one who has an element of self-awareness, has prior exposure to basic psychology, has made efforts towards emotional well-being and self-development. For such a person, each sentence in this book appears pregnant with meaning.

Any topic such as hurt, guilt, anger or fear can be taken with an attempt to understand its causes and manifestations, followed by ways to resolve it out. "Completing" the book in the traditional sense should therefore not be the objective. Rather, sentences or paragraphs are read and gradually digested like a cow chews the cud. Any part of the book can be read at any time. This book seems like a timeless reference manual.

The author assumes that the word "Adult" in the title means emotionally stable and spiritually growing. Hence the expanded form of the title might be "How to grow into an emotionally stable and spiritually integrated person".

"How to be an Adult" will strengthen your appreciation of the nuances of emotional well-being and increase your commitment for emotional growth.
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Format: Paperback
Deceptively short at only 118 pp (my Paulist Press edition, excluding appendices), this book distills universal truths about self-esteem and love into a volume that is profound in its simplicity. Each time I pick it off my shelf to glance though, I am astounded.
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By A Customer on January 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book provides a logical and helpful outline of stages of growth in behavior, relationships, psychology, and spirituality. Every chapter has fresh ideas and insights (really). Written from a Jungian perspective. Neither pop-psychology B.S. nor self-help mush. Practical, articulate, concise, and wise.
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By A Customer on February 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have read many books on relationships and I have been disappointed many times. This book, however, is not one of those. It helps us put not only our relationships but also our lives in perspective and provides us with extremely useful advice about life and relationships. I think I can honestly say that I am a more mature person after working with this book. If you are interested in this topic, you will also like "The Ever-Transcending Spirit" by Toru Sato because it is a very fascinating theoretical book on human development and relationships! It provides us with a map of where we are and where we are going in our development and our evolution as living beings. Both of these books are just excellent!
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By A Customer on March 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
having read hundreds of psych and spiritual books, this one tops my list. Short, sweet, packed with page after page of nuggets you can contemplate and integrate it offers the best value and wisdom around. read it and re-read it many times. if you truly allow it to sink in and do the work, it will change your life.
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