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Rituals for Our Times: Celebrating, Healing, and Changing Our Lives and Our Relationships (Master Work Series) Paperback – February 1, 1998

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The coauthors of Rituals in Families and Family Therapy , both of whom head family therapy programs--Imber-Black at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, Roberts at the University of Massachusetts--contend that rituals are essential to social growth, as they help individuals to develop personal identities and provide families with frameworks through which to maintain and strengthen their relationships. While leaving room for adapting or creating new rituals in accord with differing family compositions, customs and cultural heritages, the authors of this notably jargon-free psychological study offer practical advice on how to best use words and symbols to create special events through which to celebrate life's continuity, rhythmic cycles and changes from birth to death. They also explain how such everyday rituals as meals and bedtimes "shape, capture, and express relationships." Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

A wonderful book that helps put people in touch with what is most central in their lives, and offers new and inspiring ways of looking at ourselves and our relationships. (Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D., author of The Dance of Anger and The Dance of Intimacy)

[The authors] brilliantly demonstrate how we can, and indeed, must reanimate old rituals and create new ones. With masterful clinical and cultural sensitivity and inspiring inventiveness, they show us how, through ritual, we can give to our lives, to our loves, to our comings and goings, the experience of meaning that we need to feel healed, whole, and connected―coherent within ourselves, in union with others, in continuity with time past and future. (Richard Chasin, M.D., codirector, Family Institute of Cambridge; associate clinical professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School)
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Product Details

  • Series: Master Work Series
  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Jason Aronson, Inc. (February 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765701561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765701565
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Joan Mazza on March 26, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a review from the author of DREAMING YOUR REAL SELF: A PERSONAL APPROACH TO DREAM INTERPRETATION; and DREAM BACK YOUR LIFE: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO DREAMS, DAYDREAMS, AND FANTASIES.
RITUALS FOR OUR TIMES is a well-written and lucid description of the importance of rituals in our lives, regardless of one's spiritual beliefs. In modern, Western, secular culture, many of us have forgotten the value of marking life passages in ways that speak to our individual needs. Well-organized and well-written, with helpful questions to guide us through planning a ritual and whom to include, RITUALS FOR OUR TIMES brings us back to the power and pleasure of even everyday rituals. Through their suggestions, we learn how we can plan rituals with forethought and conscious choice and without rigidity to old ways that no longer work. With touching stories, authors Imber-Black and Roberts demonstrate the potency of ritual to facilitate growth and resolve conflicts--old and new.
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Format: Paperback
I was just recommending this book on a forum today and came here to provide a link. When I saw only two reviews I knew I had to add to the list. This is a book that should be reprinted but find it used if that's the only way you can buy it. I wrote: As a young mom I bought this book years ago called Rituals For Our Times by Evan Imber-Black and Janine Roberts. The subtitle is Celebrating, Healing and Changing Our Lives and Our Relationships. I can't recommend this book enough for people blending traditions from families or going through changes in their lives. I've read it many times and used the very sensible advice to create or change my own family traditions over the years. It's enabled me to be flexible and really think about the meaning and purpose behind the rituals. The examples in the book are very relevant to our multi-cultural society. There are even some good rituals for those who are divorced or blending new families together and advice about how to deal with changes when a family member passes away, especially if they were the driving force behind the gathering.

Evan and Janine (I feel I almost know them I've read this so often) have really covered every base from holidays to birthdays to life transitions to ritualizing things like divorce and welcoming new people into the family. They talk about ritual meanings, symbols, and styles. I can't imagine any part of ritual they left out! This book added immeasurably to the positive experiences of my own nuclear family and helped me blend my own rituals with my husband's when we married. I can't recommend it enough and have loaned it out many times over the years.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An approachable and down-to-earth look at some of the baggage (good and bad) we carry around about holidays, celebrations and traditions. While it can get very repetitive in some places and some of the examples are dated, it is good material for facilitating discussion. So many of us go through the motions mindlessly or, worse, with some resentment. This offers options for how to look at changing what isn't working anymore into something that has meaning. Despite it's publication date, there is still much relevant material in the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This easily read book is filled with wonderful stories which remind us of how powerful even very simple rituals can be for families.

Although the word "healing" is in the title this is not a self help book. It is really a description of many of the daily activities that we may not think of as rituals, and how to make them memorable.
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Format: Paperback
I rate Evan Imber Black highly, having participated in a professional seminar she presented to. I ordered the book to learn more. I wasn't disappointed by the book in any way. I found it easy to read, thought-provoking, moving, and informative. It is full of illustrative case studies and has questions and exercises for the reader to use at looking at the role of ritual in your life. You can read the book without completing the exercises though. I'm going to keep it as a personal reference book when issues arise for me around ritual.
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