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Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue Hardcover – July 19, 1985
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"Friedman understood congregational life as no one else did at the time and possibly as no one else has done since....When this book was originally written, clergy flocked to read it, as well as to attend Friedman's lectures and participate in the training program he established. Just as the book's title suggests, Friedman's ideas continue to be passed down to today's generation of leaders."--from the Foreword to the Paperback Edition by Gary Emanuel, PhD, and Mickie Crimone, MS, APRN
"Well written and lively...required reading for pastoral counselors of every persuasion....Any therapist will find here new techniques for bringing about changes and will enlarge his or her conceptual framework of the human dilemma." --Jay Haley
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Top Customer Reviews
I read Generation to Generation because I was looking for ways to become a better pastor. What I found was that it helped me as much or more in my own personal life and my marriage, which in turn made me a more effective pastor. It addresses leadership on every level.
1. the personal multi-generational family system of the leader
2. the organization itself as a system with both functional and dysfunctional elements
3. the family systems of those person within the organization- for a religious congregation this would be the families within the congregation; for a company it would be that of the employees; for a hospital, it would be that of the employees, volunteers and patients who comprise that organization, etc.
Friedman brilliantly shows how these three sets of systems intertwine with one another to make an organization function in a certain way. He asserts that by better understanding the dynamics of these systems and how they affect one another, leaders can move from a transactional style of leadership to one that is more transformational in the way it functions.
In addition, Friedman's book is a tremendously helpful resource in seeking to gain a better understanding of one's own family of origin issues and how these dynamics manifest themselves in our relationships throughout the life cycle.
In this sense, this book will be greatly beneficial, not only for leaders, but also for lay people as well as caregivers.
The book is challenging reading in spots, but well worth the effort- get this book of you have not done so already- it will change your perspective on leadership and life.
I don't think I can summarize this book any better than Friedman himself does on page 1: "It is the thesis of this book that all clergymen and clergywomen, irrespective of faith, are simultaneously involved in three distinct families whose emotional forces interlock: the families within the congregation, our congregations, and our own. Because the emotional process in all of these systems is identical, unresolved issues in any one of them can produce symptoms in the others, and increased understanding of any one creates more effective functioning in all three."
This book will invite you to take a good, hard look at your own functioning. "There is an intrinsic relationship between our capacity to put families together [or, Friedman would also say, to put congregations together] and our ability to put ourselves together" (page 3). Friedman looks at family issues and congregational issues from a systems perspective, arguing that when a member of a family (or a congregation) is demonstrating "symptoms," it is necessary to look at the whole network of relationships that that individual is involved in -- because the root cause of the problem may lie in a completely different part of the system.
Friedman illustrates in detail how clergy can positively effect change in a family system or a congregational system. He also (somewhat indirectly) stresses the critical importance for clergy to resolve their own lingering family-of-origin issues.
The book is heavy reading -- full of terms that may be unfamiliar (and that, unfortunately, he doesn't directly explain, which can be confusing at first), such as "identified patient" and "self-differentiation" and "detriangulating.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lengthy read with lots of information on how family relationships through generations can impact households and congregations.Published 1 month ago by Walt
A wake up call for all religious leaders that care for people.Published 5 months ago by Dr. Gary R. Sweeten
This is a must read for anybody in ministry. It helped me to understand how my own family or origin plays a role in my own family and those I serve.Published 6 months ago by roy inzunza
Great insight on applying family dynamics to congregational life. Keeping relationships linear is so important!Published 9 months ago by Ken Schaeffer
Good book gave me good insight into how family and church dynamics work.Published 11 months ago by David R Alvarez