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Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect Paperback – October 1, 2012

137 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Writing Running on Empty has been one of the most profound experiences of my life. Recognizing, talking about and sharing the concept of Childhood Emotional Neglect has changed not just the way I treat my patients, but also the way I see the world. My goal is to bring this powerful, invisible force out of the darkness, into the light of day. I want us all to have the ability to see it and talk about it, and stop passing it down to one generation after another. I hope you will find Running on Empty readable, enjoyable, and validating, just as I intended it to be.

About the Author

Jonice Webb has a PhD in clinical psychology, and has been licensed to practice since 1991. She has a strong background in research, psychological testing and psychotherapy.  Webb has been the Director of three large outpatient clinics over the course of her career. She currently has a private psychotherapy practice in Lexington, MA, where she specializes in the treatment of couples and adolescents. Webb currently resides in the Boston area with her husband and two children.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan James Publishing (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161448242X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1614482420
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonice Webb grew up in Oklahoma and moved to Boston in 1987. She has been a licensed psychologist since 1991, and has worked in a variety of different settings, including a psychiatric emergency service and substance abuse programs. Dr. Webb has directed several large outpatient clinics over the course of her career. For the past 8 years, she's been running her own private psychology practice in Lexington, MA, where her specialties are couples and families.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 110 people found the following review helpful By MeeShellK on January 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It took me years to finally meet with a therapist. My life was great--right? Plenty of friends, great why this dark, heavy feeling I always carried around? What WAS it? Well my therapist encouraged me to pick up Running on Empty and I finally have the answer.

The book's author, Dr. Jonice Webb, describes and coins the term, "emotional neglect" with such detail and accuracy it's almost scary. Who knew how common this is and that others feel this way too?? I literally laughed and cried throughout the book.

And just when I started to think, "oh goodness, am I repeating this pattern with my own children?" Dr. Webb writes, "The effects of Emotional Neglect can be reversed.  And you're about to learn how to reverse those parental patterns for yourself, and for your children.  Keep reading. No self-blame allowed.".  (How did she KNOW that's where I was going??).

As you can see, I highly recommend this book. The topic resonated with me and the writing style was flowing, kind and easy to understand. Thank you!
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117 of 123 people found the following review helpful By jschaffner on November 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a therapist, I work with clients who feel inadequate or dissatisfied with their lives and often they are confused about how they got where they are. People frequently have trouble seeing the clues to their current difficulties as they look back through their childhoods. Dr Webb's primary insight helps to explain why it's so hard for many people to understand their own emotions - She talks about the concept of emotional neglect as what didn't take place in the interactions between parents and children and how this in turn leads to specific, predictable challenges as people develop. Because it's common for people to consider their childhoods as `normal' - you don't miss what you didn't have- people don't know that something's amiss until these gaps become visible in adulthood.
One of the many strengths of Dr. Webb's book is how she portrays the various worlds that children grow up in, showing with great immediacy and detail, how various kinds of parents (12 well- drawn types ranging from the authoritarian to the workaholic to the well-meaning- but- emotionally- neglected themselves parent) contribute to missed opportunities for healthy development. Her intelligent, empathic explanations of what is happening in the moment and over time will help people recognize how things may have gotten off track in their own lives. Offering a model of healthy parenting and a quick course on what leads to sound emotional development in children, the lapses become that much easier to recognize and emotions become more understandable.
The next part of the book is devoted to identifying practical ways that people can build or strengthen those undeveloped parts of themselves. These strategies are helpful, but Dr. Webb's conceptualization of emotional neglect and its consequences, explained in non-jargony terms, will be what is most empowering for people as they strive to move ahead in their lives.
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65 of 69 people found the following review helpful By N. Lee on December 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is AMAZING. I rarely write book reviews, but I cannot say enough good things about this book. The author succinctly conveys difficult content in a clear, compassionate voice. As a first-generation Asian-American woman, I think this book has tremendous applications for the immigrant community. This book gave me the language to reframe how I saw my childhood and parents. It changed my perception of self and others. It helped me understand what my parents' and my generation never gave or received, and why that can create such pain. It also helped validate many of the choices I've made as a parent, in balancing structure and discipline with unconditional love and nurturing. Without generalizing too much, I can also see emotional neglect as one of many explanations for some of the antisocial behaviors I see among my children's peers. This allows me to not judge or blame people, but rather feel compassion and kindness. I highly recommend this book if you grew up feeling unseen, unheard, unattached, unappreciated, overlooked, or overburdened.
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful By LF on November 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book may be helpful to those who have been racking their brains for some repressed childhood trauma to explain what feels like a lifetime of depression, isolation or anxiety - only to come up empty-handed. While emotional neglect can be vividly evident in certain childhood memories, it's more often hidden in a series of smaller, missed opportunities that accumulate over time to send a message that feelings are not something to be discussed. In accessible and empathetic prose, the author explains how this one unifying theme can connect seemingly disparate symptoms experienced in adulthood, ranging from suicidal thoughts to issues with self-discipline.
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By cbergh on November 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading this book has made me think not only about my own parenting skills and struggles, but also got me to reflect on my childhood and the emotional support I did or did not get. I think others who are introspective and reflective about these areas will appreciate the depths of this book. Dr. Webb speaks to parents, adult children and practitioners in this well researched and honestly written guide to overcoming "emotional neglect." I was hesitant to read it, thinking it might be another "parent bashing and blaming" session. But it is not! Dr. Webb has great empathy for adults as parents and adults who think back to the "white spaces" of their childhood. She has a professional, but personable and caring tone of voice in her writing that makes the reader feel that she truly wants to guide parents/adult children along the path to awareness and also healing from "Emotional Neglect." There is nothing bashing or shaming in her message in this book. I can tell that she enjoys her research and work. How honorable that she dedicated the book to her clients. She really sums it up in her introduction when she says that often it's not "what happened to you as a child, but rather what did NOT happen" What was NOT talked about. What guidance and issues were NOT addressed. What feelings were NOT labelled and honored. She gives a refreshing new way to think about our childhood so that we can have a new perspective and approach to our own parenting. A must read for parents and practitioners !!
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