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Taming Your Outer Child: A Revolutionary Program to Overcome Self-Defeating Patterns Hardcover – January 25, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With more than 30 years experience working with victims of trauma, abandonment, grief, and loss, psychotherapist Anderson (Black Swan: The Twelve Lessons of Abandonment Recovery) continues her private practice in Manhattan and on Long Island. A decade ago, she introduced her Outer Child concept, which, as she defines it, is an outward manifestation of your emotional self. Since fear of abandonment is "the crux of the human condition," she explains how to redirect "fear and insecurity seeping out of your oldest wounds." "Abandoholism," she notes, "wins the hit parade on my website." With a program designed to undo primal fears, she tackles such topics as lowered self-esteem, lovesick feelings, food urges, diet, chronic depression, procrastination, heartache, and a primary source of conflict with relationships, "enormous emotional suction cups." She also examines brain activity and factors preventing the body's production of such "yummy neurochemicals" as oxytocin and vasopressin. While readers under stress who are desperate for help will view this book as a valuable tool for healing, others may be put off by some of the jargon-filled passages. (Jan. 25)
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"This book will be an enormous help to anyone looking to let go of past disappointments and self-recrimination and get on with the essential work of healing, building boundaries, and acquiring the skills to reach your goals. I hope you will read it and do the exercises it provides." –John Bradshaw, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Homecoming

"Groundbreaking…" –PsychologyToday.com

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (January 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345514483
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345514486
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Solomon on June 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm almost done reading this book and realize it's the book I've been looking for most of my life. The healing I've done reading this book has been more effective than decades of therapy (and I have a good therapist but she couldn't get to the depth of recovery that I've gotten to using this book as a tool). And wonderfully, the book covers all my "vices", from self-sabotage like issues with self-care (not exercising, not eating properly etc.) to relationship-related ones (and we all have them to one extent or another) etc. Everything I'm struggling with can be fit within her paradigm. I've restarted journaling while reading her book and have covered more ground in recent weeks than in years prior.

What I like the most about the book is how the author explains emotional topics in a way that makes sense, and uses examples but doesn't let the examples overwhelm the underlying discussion, and most importantly how she asks the reader to do exercises throughout the book while not making it a "workbook". So getting through the book has taken a lot of time as I stop, put down the book and check in with myself. But I think that's the point. Taking action (even like journaling) is a path to real change. And she explains WHY journaling is so important, that it's like physical therapy for the mind. That really helped me step up and do it, in real time.

I'd read Black Swan recently and liked it so looked up any other books Susan Anderson wrote, but didn't realize that this was the book I needed. I hadn't heard of her before. The bad news for this author is that I can't imagine reading her earlier books now - this was the one I needed, so until she writes something new I will be re-working through this one for awhile.

Obviously I recommend this book highly.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I keep telling everyone who notices my weight loss, "I had to get my head right before I could get my diet right." This book has overhauled my relationship with my husband, my kids, but most importantly myself. After reading just the first few chapters, I was ready to take on the "beast" that had become my weight issue and I've never looked back (though I did finish the book!)

Before reading this, I had an idea that I had abandonment issues as my father died when I was 5, but I had no idea how to heal this important part of myself until this ground-breaking work. I saw the review in Psychology Today calling it the most important work done in this area in decades and I am here to attest to what it has done for me. I have downloaded it AND bought copies for loved ones as you will see not only your own self-defeating behaviors in this book, but have a new compassion for others dealing with similar issues stemming from divorce, alcoholism and other separations in their lives.

If you can heal your own issues within just a few hours, why would you ever say no? Read the book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been in therapy at various junctures in my life, and I'm seeing a therapist now.I've never been able to understand why I sabotage my relationships (friends and loved ones), why I indulge in the habits I do and why I react to certain comments and situations in an odd and unhealthy way. This book uncovers all the answers. Susan helps the reader to learn more about the impact of one's childhood experiences and the neurological effects of traumatic experiences. We carry these imprints into adulthood and it continues to play itself out until we tame the Outer Child and allow our Adult Self to take over (set boundaries and nurture our Inner Child). This book not only allows us to better understand who we are, but provides tools to overcome the emotional challenges that hold us back from self-love, self-nurture and self-confidence. This book enables all to understand who they truly are by healing from the pain abandonment has inflicted upon them. I continue to recommend this book to all who have the outer child syndrome (even though they don't see it).
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Format: Hardcover
I was strolling borders and picked this book up on a whim, flipped through it a bit, determined the author wasn't simply full of herself, and had some legitamit arguments, so i purchased it. Every other reviewer is right: this book is awesome. I feel like a normal human being now, i feel like I could have a family and not turn out like my father. I can love others while also loving myself... pretty profound, really. It's just this new level of enlightenment, and you see friends and family acting out these patterns and it's just overwhelming to want to be able to help them too, but not everyone is ready to listen.

If you don't love yourself as you would love another, or hope another would love you, you should give this book a read. New parents should also give it a go to understand how their minds work and in turn their children's, to allow them to raise happy, healthy kids.

This book is a kick in the right direction and I can't imagine what the world would be like if everyone read it. It's changed my life more than philosophy ever did (krishnamurti, to be specific) and I am amazed at what it means for me.

This book should be required reading for every human being. It teaches you about yourself and how you work,something school nor your parents ever could.
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