- Series: The Guilford Family Therapy Series
- Paperback: 319 pages
- Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1 edition (March 2, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1609182367
- ISBN-13: 978-1609182366
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 66 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue (The Guilford Family Therapy Series) 1st Edition
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"Friedman uses his unique position as family therapist and rabbi to explore ways to be an effective agent of change in a group. He shows how ceremonies and rituals, as developmental markers in the lives of families and organizations, can be transformed into systemic interventions that spur healing and growth. In the footsteps of Murray Bowen, Friedman moves seamlessly between a leader's self-differentiation as a person and his or her role within families and other systems, giving each their due. For family therapists, Generation to Generation is a pioneering text that illuminates the relevance of personal spirituality and religious life to the functioning of healthy families."--James L. Griffith, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The George Washington University
"Generation to Generation provides a needed corrective to the general tendency in ministry to focus on the individual. I have found the text to be useful in my Youth Ministry courses to remind Catholic missionaries that the family is the domestic church. While we may see the individual in front of us, Friedman widens our vision so we may see the larger context of the individual at home and in the congregation. Insightful and grounded in reality, Generation to Generation is a valuable resource for those intending to minister to others."--Biff Rocha, MA, Department of Theology, Benedictine College, Atchison, Kansas
"When [this book] was originally written, learning about the emotional side of congregations was not part of the curriculum in most seminaries. Now it is the gold standard in this area, and Generation to Generation is a text many clergy carry with them each day....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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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." Frankly, I think he could have used a good editor, so that the book would be more accessible to people who are new to the concepts of Bowen family systems theory.
But don't miss this book. Read it, slowly. Digest it. Read a few pages at a time, then put it down and process what you have read before trying to proceed further. It took me months to work through the book. But I'm a heck of a lot stronger and wiser than I was when I first started. This book will help you grow.
Then, if you want to keep learning and applying the concepts in this book, read Friedman's unfinished manuscript, A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix (available through the Edwin Friedman Trust), and/or do a Google search on The Center for Family Process in Bethesda, Maryland.