Thursday, April 05, 2007

Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life

Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life

by Susan Forward, Craig Buck

ISBN-10: 0553381407
ISBN-13: 978-0553381405

Editorial Reviews
All parents fall short from time to time. But Susan Forward pulls no punches when it comes to those whose deficiencies cripple their children emotionally. Her brisk, unreserved guide to overcoming the stultifying agony of parental manipulation--from power trips to guilt trips and all other killers of self worth--will help deal with the pain of childhood and move beyond the frustrating relationship patterns learned at home. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

“A dynamic, powerful, hard-hitting book. It offers tremendous hope as well as understanding. It could truly be a lifesaver.”
— Abigail Van Buren, “Dear Abby”

“I consider Susan Forward to be among the foremost therapists of our age.”
— John Bradshaw, author of Healing the Shame That Binds You and Homecoming

Customer Reviews

A book I will NEVER throw away, April 26, 2005
Reviewer: It's me "logitechgirl" (LONG ISLAND CITY, NEW YORK USA)

If sometimes you find yourself feeling depressed or angry for no apparent reason- there may be a reason.

When this happened to me I did everything from self-help books, to meditation techniques, to partying, to listening to music, to rolling up into a ball and laying there- all to no avail. Then one day during one of these moods I decided to try reading something yet again to get my mind off the out of the blue sadness- after reading only the first couple of chapters, something finally clicked in me, and I really knew for the first time what these episodes were about. For the first time ever I actually felt the healing process begin within me and could start taking charge of how I felt. I can't say enough about the excersises in this book! The last few chapters are especially helpful. When you feel up to it, you may want to take out your highlighter because there are some real gems in this text that you'll want to read and re-read for years to come.

An extremely useful book, non-academic and easy to read, August 18, 2000
Reviewer: Simon Jackson (Bradford, West Yorkshire United Kingdom)

Open the front cover to this important book by Dr Susan Forward and almost as an introductory note we are told that toxic parents are the inadequate parents, the controllers, the alcoholics, the verbal abusers, the physical abusers and the sexual abusers. This is not a book about parents who get things wrong. As parents we all get things wrong - I know I do, we all do things that perhaps we regret - this isn't being toxic, it's called being human. These mistakes very rarely do harm. A toxic parent on the other hand is an individual whose behaviour scars and harms their child/ren to such a degree that often it can seem like the there can be no resolution to the damage caused. As a result the children grow into adulthood feeling inadequate, unloved and worthless.

This book is about and at the same time is for those adult children.

As children, our parents give us a script, a way of being that we use to filter all that we experience. If that script is one that says ` you are worthless, to be abused - sexually, physically, emotionally ` then all I do in my life, all my actions, my reactions and interactions will be through the filter of my lack of worth.

This is a book for those adults whose sense of worthlessness underpins all they do.

I work as a counsellor and often those I work with tell me that they are responsible for what their parents did. "If I hadn't cuddled Daddy he wouldn't have got in to bed with me", "If I'd done better at school I wouldn't have got punished". A valuable message in this book is that the child is a child not a mini adult. The real adults are the responsible ones and it is they that are accountable for the abuse inflicted on their children. The abused adult child is however responsible for their actions as an adult no matter their experiences as a child. From this perspective the adult abused as a child has it in his/her control to change the script that has been given to them

If you want to change your unhealthy script or life pattern this book is for you.

There are some aspects of `Toxic Parents' that I have some professional and personal difficulty with. Chapter Seven for example is titled `Confrontation: The Road to Independence'. I wouldn't agree that confrontation is the only road to independence, indeed change, growth, self determination and awareness can all be experienced and lived without the need to confront. This aside, Dr Susan Forward has written an extremely useful book, non-academic and easy to read. As a result it will provide to those who have experienced toxic parents a valuable tool for change.

The journey to change will be difficult, it will be lined with pain and tears but you can get there, `Toxic Parents' will be a useful signpost on that journey.