Bradshaw On: The Family: A New Way of Creating Solid Self-Esteem
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Based on the public television series of the same name, Bradshaw On: The Family is John Bradshaw's seminal work on the dynamics of families that has sold more than a million copies since its original publication in 1988. Within its pages, you will discover the cause of emotionally impaired families. You will learn how unhealthy rules of behavior are passed down from parents to children, and the destructive effect this process has on our society.
Using the latest family research and recovery material in this new edition, Bradshaw also explores the individual in both a family and societal setting. He shows you ways to escape the tyranny of family-reinforced behavior traps--from addiction and co-dependency to loss of will and denial--and demonstrates how to make conscious choices that will transform your life and the lives of your loved ones. He helps you heal yourself and then, using what you have learned helps you heal your family.
Finally, Bradshaw extends this idea to our society: by returning yourself and your family to emotional health, you can heal the world in which you live. He helps you reenvision societal conflicts from the perspective of a global family, and shares with you the power of deep democracy: how the choices you make every day can affect--and improve--your world.
healthy functioning relationship is based on equality, the equality of two self-actualizing spiritual beings who connect at the level of their beingness. Each is in the process of becoming a whole person. Each grows because of love for the other. Both partners in a healthy functional marriage know that in the final analysis, they are responsible for their own wounds, actions and happiness. Happiness cannot be the fruition of a maturation process if it is dependent on something outside itself.
of not seeing that I play the game. R. D. LAING Dysfunctional families are primarily created by high levels of anxiety due to some form of stress. Our ability to deal with stress is a mark of our maturity level, which is partly measured by our ability to cope with the stressor effectively. When two people with high levels of de-selfment and low self-esteem marry, the marriage is often characterized by the inability to cope with the stresses and strains of marriage and family life. Think of
an alcoholic. I cried myself to sleep many a night because of my father’s drinking and his abandonment. Frozen with fear in my bed at night, I waited for him to come home, never knowing exactly what was going to happen. I hated alcoholism and all it stood for. I obsessed about his drinking day in and day out. At 30 years old, I wound up in Austin State Hospital on a voluntary commitment for the treatment of alcoholism. As paradoxical as it seems, many children of alcoholics become alcoholics.
forms of psychological abuse are shaming: yelling, name-calling, labeling, criticizing, judging, ridiculing, humiliating, comparing and contempting are all sources of shame. Shame-based parents are models of shame. How could shame-based parents possibly teach their children self-love? The most destructive aspect of shame is the process whereby shame moves from being a feeling to a state of being, an identity. (For a full discussion of this process, see my book Healing the Shame That Binds You.)
become a closed system. Like the individual families we have examined, when society becomes a closed system, it dictates the roles (sex roles) and behaviors the individual can choose from. Society as a closed system calls forth certain characteristic behaviors and processes in the individuals who make it up. Our current society encourages co-dependence. Many of the traits that have emerged as components of co-dependency are traits that in one way or another are culturally normal. Sociologists