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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Family Secrets - The Path from Shame to Healing Paperback – April 1, 1996

4.2 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Family Secrets - The Path from Shame to Healing
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  • Healing the Shame that Binds You (Recovery Classics)
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  • Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child
Total price: $39.47
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Recovery specialist Bradshaw offers his insights into coming to grips with skeletons in the familial closet.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

All families have secrets. Some secrets are healthy. But others--those John Bradshaw calls "dark secrets"--limit the wholeness and freedom of every member of the family, often generation after generation.
John Bradshaw's compelling new book takes us into the heart of the family's mysterious power to impact our lives. It ex-plores how secrets are created, how they influence us (even if we don't know they exist), and the risks we take in exploring them.
At the core of "Family Secrets is a step-by-step guide to uncovering the secrets of the past and present, using a tool called the genogram to chart key relationships. Through many fascinating examples, this unique book shows how to recognize crucial gaps and silences, reconstruct missing information, and decipher partial memories.
It also offers readers vital advice on how to deal with the truths revealed, plus ways to stay safely and honestly connected with our families.
John Bradshaw's six-part PBS television series, "Family Secrets," first aired in summer 1995, and will remain in syndication in the United States and Canada through 1997. A second new series, "John Bradshaw on Eating Disorders," is also in circulation.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (April 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553374982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553374988
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I first read this book when the subtitle was "What you don't know can hurt you." Bradshaw and others have finally done research to prove his thesis that generations repeat patterns, events, behaviors--not just personality types and genetic diseases. Reluctantly I had to agree because my observations, although unscientific, confirm what he explains.
Understanding Bradshaw's book altered my life and the abbreviated life of my brother, as indicated in the book "Gossip Kills (The 9th/8th? Commandment). The story therein is a case study of what Bradshaw posits in Family Secrets. A "must read" for anyone who understands or suspects that we're only as sick as our secrets.
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Family Secrets provides powerful tools for understanding the dynamics of families, and understanding how you may have become unknowingly enmeshed in patterns that can persist for generations.

The most valuable parts of the book are the techniques for uncovering family secrets, and the method for bringing all the information together in such a way that it makes sense. These techniques are practical and really work. I made several major discoveries about families I am involved with as a result of this book.

Bradshaw includes many new insights about how families work throughout the book.

Overall, highly recommended.
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It's so hard to get family members to truthfully and completely reveal buried secrets even when you specifically ask them for answers to the past. People who live in shame of the past will try to dismiss your inquiry as "that's in the past" and "get over it". As a person trying to learn about or cope with a secret, you will discover the truth behind a secret at a different time from when the secret was created. Asking someone to revisit and share the past is asking them to relive the shame. Not everyone has the courage to confess or face a secret. But this book helps you heal by understanding the shame behind burying secrets and how to get the information out of them...and out of yourself. It's helpful to see the chart in Chapter 10 outlining secret severity levels, which discusses the types of secrets that should be exposed and ones that are safe to remain personal/unexposed. I also like his book entitled, Healing the Shame that Binds You, but this book about Family Secrets is an easier read.
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I like the non-judgmental perspective of this book. Although I happen to believe that holding secrets may cause dis-ease or subtle health issues because we are not fully living in our TRUTH, I do respect the dilemma of holding back information for the sake of harmony and well-being of others. This book presents the choices we have, and suggestions for how to assess when to reveal, and when to keep hidden. I recommend this book simply because it opens up important dialog over the issues of family secrets and how they affect us.

In the end, I have to say it is always best to check with one's conscience, and follow the path to the greatest peace, no matter if you face rejection or abandonment. Our personal health - physical, mental, emotional, spiritual - trumps any other criteria. When we are TRUE to our deepest sense, then we are in a position to give the best help to others. This book is an oldie, but a goodie.
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I agree with the premise that our family secrets have a direct bearing on who we are today as people. I am not sure it is necessary to go back and try to figure out what the actual secret was to heal. It has been my experience that trying to figure your parents out may be a task in futility. Clients can become fixated on why their parents did what they did and this can again put their healing in the hands of their parents. It is however important to recognize that children often do select mates that attempt to met those unmet needs of our childhood. Often our mates have the exact issues that we need to work out with our parents. It is brought out in the book that we choose what is familiar and therefore choose poorly if we have unresolved issues from our past. The book does a good job of helping the reader to understand the power of family secrets.
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Excellent companion book to the other series by John Bradshaw. This goes into the intricate details of family dynamics showing the many relationships that exists below the surface (secrets) of consciousness knowledge. Highly recommended for those who want to study destructive family dynamics and destructive relationship problems within the family. Offers proven solutions and answers to a lot of difficult and familiar problems.
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Was given this book during last two years of my father's life.
it helped me see the role I played in my family's dysfunction-
which I never realized.
so transformative for me in terms of recognizing that each generation
was a child of the one before them...and certain family systems were
well established without any of us realizing it by the time I was
raised and chose my mate and had a child.
offers hope in understanding and awareness. Most just see the person; maybe their
parents...not all their predecessors.
book is now "older" but still quite timely
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