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Adult Children of Abusive Parents: A Healing Program for Those Who Have Been Physically, Sexually, or Emotionally Abused Paperback – April 14, 1990

4.1 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The violent forms of child abuse that make headlines are not the only ones that leave lifelong scars. A child who grows up in an unstable environment where empathy, clear boundaries and trust are lacking, can end up living a ravaged adulthood. Children can be crippled by mixed messages, family secrets and reversed parent-child roles. Many victims of these practices are not even sure their childhood was abusive. This balanced, practical guide delineates traits of abusive families. Narrative vignettes in each section illustrate and personalize critical issues. Most valuable is the step-by-step self-help program that includes exercises and journal work for recovery.

From the Inside Flap

A history of a childhood abuse is not a life sentence. Here is hope, healing, and a chance to recover the self lost in childhood. Drawing on his extensive work with Adult Children, and on his own experience as a survivor of emotional neglect, therapist Steven Farmer demonstrates that through exercises and journal work, his program can help lead you through grieving your lost childhood, to become your own parent, and integrate the healing aspects of spiritual, physical, and emotional recovery into your adult life.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (April 14, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345363884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345363886
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By fruitloop VINE VOICE on September 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
Thank you, Mr. Farmer, for recognizing that the hurt doesn't stop once the abuse does; for me, coping with it as an adult was more difficult than as a child because I now realize with an adult's intelligence and insight, exactly what was being done to me and how horrible it was. So much abuse is undetected until the child grows up and realizes that no, this isn't normal (I didn't realize all families weren't like this) and it WAS wrong. Too many well-meaning people minimize the adult survivor's pain or dismiss it as meaningless: "that was years ago and it's over" "get over it and move on" or the worst, "Just don't dwell on it anymore." If you haven't been abused, you don't get it and never will. thank you, Mr. Farmer, for not only understanding, but for showing us a way out. The focus on child abuse is on children, not the survivors, and we need help too.
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I found that this book, although promising a fresh look at the age old problems of adult children of abuse, falls short in the long run. Adults who experienced abuse as children are usually well aware of that abuse. This book deals with uncovering the abuse, and then takes, in my opinion, controversial steps at therapy. Those steps include a "reconstruction of the past" in essence fabricating lies and letting those lies replace the truths of the abuse. I, for one, was looking for a way to defeat the anger I feel, not reconstruct my past into some idyllic existence. For me, living a lie where I remember parents who never existed would only be compounding the problem.

So, I cannot recommend this book as part of an affective regimen of therapy.
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Format: Paperback
I remember reading this book over and over again at one point of life, but in retrospect, this book traumatized me in a realization of the issues I was dealing with at the time. I would call this type of book "pathology book" in stead of calling it "recovery book." It helps to understand why certain issues arise, but in life, what you do about it is more important than understanding it. This book left me so sad without a lead to a hope of living. The solution suggested in this book was not effective to me. It would have been better if a book had pathology part and EFFECTIVE treatment part.

I believe readers should note that the book was written 15 years ago, and there has been much improvement in psychology and psychotherapy. I would have given five stars if this were to be written ten years ago, but due to the gap in time and situation, I had to reduce it to four stars. It is still a great book as far as understanding your association with your care takers.
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By A Customer on April 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book for anyone who had a painful childhood. It helps you to realize how much your childhood and the patterns you learned from it affect your adult life. Even if you think you have dealt with the issues, reading this book will help you to find the ones you did not even know were there and fix them.
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I get the idea that most of the people writing reviews of these books are Psychologists and aren't people who were actually abused.. I thought there were a few good ideas. It was good at showing what characteristics people who were abused have, but most people who were abused already know they have all these characteristics. They are trying to figure out what "normal" is and how to get from point A to point B, and to be honest if they are buying this book, they're buying this book to get help and not to come up with all the theories and all. That said, it's still better than most of the other books I've read, and it still has good ideas that are worth getting the book for. There's a section on listening to what's around you.. I had been going to the swimming pool several times a week for the past few years, and I never really heard the sounds of the water splashing, or the kids playing, or the lifeguard, or the parents sitting there, I just tuned it all out, like everything and everyone else.

but it's still not a lot of help to a person who has been abused. It's really more for therapists to be honest, and that does me little good, to be honest. but I'm still glad I got the book,a nd I don't regret getting it. Some of them are a waste.
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Format: Paperback
The first section, "Growing up abused", is a non-technical yet thoroughly informative. It provides a clear picture of how abuse effects a child and how this afflicts your adult life. A must read, even if only while browsing through your book store.
The second section, "Your Recovery", contains an expansive collection of physical and emotional exercises. Each is accompanied with an outline of healthy behaviour. I guess each person has their own recovery schedule and prefered methods so the the exerecises may not suit everyone. Most of them didn't suit me but at least this section acted more like a compass needle to what is strived for in recovering.
This book is a definite stop on the road to recovery and a good reference companion after you move on.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a step by step instruction, by a licensed psychologist who himself is a vitim of a child abuse. Written in an easy-to read and informative fashion is provides you with specific set of exercises to heal the emotinal wounds and see things from healthier perspective. It's a must-read for anybody seeking healing and help in that difficult area.
I highly recommend it.
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