- Series: Personal Self-Help Series
- Paperback: 152 pages
- Publisher: Self-Counsel Press; 4 edition (April 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1770400869
- ISBN-13: 978-1770400863
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #379,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Family Ties That Bind: A self-help guide to change through Family of Origin therapy (Personal Self-Help Series) Paperback – April 1, 2011
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From the Back Cover
Most people's lives are complicated by family relationships. Birth order, our parents' relationship, and the rules we were brought up with can affect our self-esteem and relationships with spouses, children, and other family members. Family of Origin therapy and techniques can help you create better relationships.
About the Author
Dr. Ronald W. Richardson, BA, MDiv, DMin, has been a marriage counselor and family therapist since 1976. He retired in 1996. He was formerly the Executive Director and Director of Training at the North Shore Counselling Centre in British Columbia. He was also on the faculty of the Pacific Coast Family Therapy Training Association. He is active as a Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and is a Diplomate of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.
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I found the second half of the book - on how to actually process and deal with these family issues - much less helpful. The author stresses that YOU are the one that needs to change (and I agree) - yet most of the suggestions involve going to your family members and asking questions and interviewing them. It just seemed to contradict itself - YOU have to change so go talk to THEM. When it came to actually making your own independent changes to become a more differentiated person I found there really wasn't any insightful or helpful suggestions.
It's sort of like the author does a good job of saying what's gone wrong and perhaps how it went wrong - however there's not much info on how to actually do something about it. Overall I feel it's severely lacking the information that's needed most.
Richardson goes through how families link on an emotional level in ways that might surprise readers (well, it surprised me, but then I've been neglecting my reading on sociological/psychological/human behaviour). If you're going through some family craziness, this book might be of help.
Toward the end, Richardson recommends a years-long process of interviewing family members in a non-confrontational way so as to help the interviewer (you, presumably) understand how your family functions and how it affects you. The interviews are not an attempt to 'fix' your family, but to fix you. It's a good idea, because you are the only person you can really change. Others might follow suit, but that is up to them.
Would I go through that process? I'm not sure. I come from a geneologically obsessed family, so I already have a good idea of the origins of my quirks, however, I tried out some of this on a family member recently and got some very surprising and frank answers. It helped me understand the dynamics from her end of the family a lot better, and with understanding comes some compassion (instead of fear and annoyance) at the way another family member treats others.
Of particular interest is how our absent family members affect us - whether they are absent because of estrangement, social distancing, death, adoption or abortion. Hey, no one is going to want to admit the aborted baby affects their family dynamic, but believe me, the absence of that nameless person is still felt, possibly more so because it came about by someone's decision, not by the random-ness of accident or disease.
And so, it's a good read, but don't look for a cure-all. Richardson focuses more on your family as a book with un-ending chapters to be read.