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If You Had Controlling Parents: How to Make Peace with Your Past and Take Your Place in the World Paperback – Dolby, September 8, 1999


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If You Had Controlling Parents: How to Make Peace with Your Past and Take Your Place in the World + Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life + Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 8.9.1999 edition (September 8, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060929324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060929329
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Controlling parents can leave lasting scars on your psyche and negatively influence all aspects of your adult life, especially the ways you parent your own children. Understanding and rising above these problems is the subject of If You Had Controlling Parents, read by the author, clinical psychologist Dan Neuharth. Moving slowly and carefully through the material, Dr. Neuharth gives you time to process and reflect upon topics such as why parents overcontrol and how you can gain autonomy in your life. Specific exercises at the end of the tape will help you to change the patterns set by controlling parents and deal with situations like family holidays, maintaining relationships with your parents, and developing your own parenting style. (Running time: three hours, two cassettes) --Sharon Griggins --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Although the term "controlling parent" most often brings to mind a domineering parent, there are actually several ways in which a parent may use control. Labeling the types as smothering, cultlike, abusing, using, depriving, perfectionistic, chaotic, and childlike, Neuharth describes the characteristics of each, giving examples. The emphasis is on understanding parenting behaviors and their effects, as the author asserts that understanding is the key to future therapeutic success. The final section describes some steps, e.g., emotionally leaving home and writing down one's experiences, as coping techniques. These ideas are not innovative, but, as self-help materials are always in demand, this would be a beneficial purchase for most public libraries.?Susan McCaffrey, Haslett H.S., MI
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Dan Neuharth PhD is a marriage and family therapist and best-selling author. He has more than 20 years' experience counseling couples, families, and individuals. Dr. Neuharth is a frequent presenter and facilitator and has been featured extensively on national media including Oprah, Good Morning America, and CNN.

His books, If You Had Controlling Parents: How to Make Peace with Your Past and Take Your Place in the World (HarperCollins Publishers) and Secrets You Keep From Yourself: How to Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness (St. Martin's Press) have been published in English, French, Japanese, Korean, and Danish.

Dr. Neuharth has a psychotherapy practice in the San Francisco Bay area and offers worldwide consultations by email or webcam. His website is http://www.drdanmftcounseling.com. He is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (CA Lic. #MFC29178) and clinical member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and the Marin Chapter, California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

Customer Reviews

It was hard to read yet hard to put down.
jbrn
I read this book, started seeing a therapist and confronted my parents and let me tell you how much freedom I feel for the first time in life.
Amazon Customer
This book helped me make peace with my parents and self-solve issues that I've had since childhood.
Stephen K. Moss

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

111 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Carol Huston, Ph.D. on November 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am a fifty-one year old single parent and college professor who, on the outside, appears to have a successful life. My career goals have been met--twice--and my appearance is one of a confident female in her field. My two children are in college and doing well in this age of disconnectedness between parents and children,
What my friends and colleagues do not see is my inner life of poorly chosen relationships, broken dreams, self-hate, and fear of failure. After years of therapy, I knew that there was something not right in my original family--sibling agression, phobias, etc.--that I feared confronting. Through Dr. Neuharth's book, I targeted the problem and now know I am not unique in being a child of controlling parents, and that my siblings are struggling with their own self-doubt and fear. This book takes a simple approach to understanding a complex problem by explaining why so many of us are still struggling with just trying to grow up. What a revelation!
I recommend this book to anyone who feels there is a problem with themselves but are not able to put their finger on the reason and who would like to finally do so. The format of checklists with dialog cuts to the chase without having to read through volumes of related literature.
I have sent copies to my brothers and sisters and can now feel 'okay' about my decision to put space between my parents and me while I learn to deal with the situation. This was the best book I have ever read to sort out the "whys" of my feelings: a definite 'MUST-READ'!
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99 of 105 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book was written for those of us who grew up in an unhealthy environment, and had parents who controlled us in unhealthy ways. The author emphasizes working through our issues as adults, not playing "blame games." Interviews with people from all walks of life are liberally quoted throughout each chapter.
What makes this book exceptional is that the author is advocating education and change, not revenge. He shows how examining your parents' history in detail can help you heal and move forward as a fully functioning adult free to make decisions based on something else than what your parents' would say.
Controlling parents don't have to be outwardly abusive nor do they always have malevolent intentions towards their children. However, trauma stays with a person and its after-effects can be passed on to the next generation.
The author clearly contrasts unhealthy with healthy parenting and offers checklists to help the reader. He explores why people overcontrol, and he provides exercises to help the reader work through his or her feelings. Most helpfully, he reiterates that it was not the reader's fault, and it is not required that the reader change - but if he or she begins to explore that possibility, it can lead to great rewards.
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128 of 139 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 7, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is one of the best self help books I have read in a long time. It dealt more with the emotional than the physical abuse in childhood. I have always had a hard time because to me emotional abuse specially when mixed with religion can be so easily justified in your mind. You can feel like "something is really wrong here", but then in the same breath say "well they love me so much and are just obeying God and what he requires of parents". I have been eaten up with guilt for the rebellion against my parents that I displayed as a teenager. Now though I realize I rebelled against their control, not against them inorder to hurt them or make them miserable. I read this book, started seeing a therapist and confronted my parents and let me tell you how much freedom I feel for the first time in life. I actually feel happy, and a great sense of hope. What do I owe my parents? Why am I so fearful of hurting their feelings? Why can't I just do what is healthy for me? The book answered these questions and the exercises were wonderful. We need more books like this one because obviously there is a problem in parenting that needs to be looked at and changed fast! Kids are becoming more violent, less respectful of authority, and completely losing any conscience what-so-ever. So if I can break the generation sin that has been passed down for generations, then I am thankful I was put in the home I was put in and strong enough to SURVIVE!
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By J. fountain on July 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was so hard to put down in the beginning. During the middle it brought up alot of truth about my childhood and I stopped reading it for a few days while I analyzed situations that relate to childhood and my life now. At first I thought, wow this book is going to take such a long time to read because it's so in depth. The next thing you know there were no more pages to click (kindle version). There was plenty of info on how I was raised affected my life but no steps on how to fix it only a brief reference to an employee assistance program and alcoholics anonymous. At the end it basically says you need therapy. Of course there is only so much a book can do for your life but I expected some information on how to recover from my upbringing to match the in depth information about childhood.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is perfect for those who are ready to understand how their parents controlled them so that they may regain control of their own lives. This book is the only book I have read that led me to discover who I really am and want to be. It also helped me to reconsider how I might parent my own children since I have obviously learned unhealthy methods. This book provides practical, therapeutic exercises for those who are ready and willing to go through the pain and joy of discovering life and themselves from a new perspective and helps you understand why you are the way you are. I have recommended this book to therapists for their clients as well as to my friends and family members who had controlling, dysfunctional parents. This book literally changed my life, made me feel lighter as I allowed myself to release the anger and sadness, and showed me a new world I had never seen before.
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