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My Father Before Me: How Fathers and Sons Influence Each Other Throughout Their Lives
     

My Father Before Me: How Fathers and Sons Influence Each Other Throughout Their Lives

by Michael J. Diamond
 

For decades, mothers were thought to be the only real influence on a child. Now we recognize that the father's involvement also has a profound impact, but how sons affect their fathers is too-often overlooked. In "My Father Before Me" psychoanalyst Michael J. Diamond firmly establishes fatherhood as an essential event for both the son's and the

Overview

For decades, mothers were thought to be the only real influence on a child. Now we recognize that the father's involvement also has a profound impact, but how sons affect their fathers is too-often overlooked. In "My Father Before Me" psychoanalyst Michael J. Diamond firmly establishes fatherhood as an essential event for both the son's and the father's development. With chapters analyzing the father/son relationship throughout the life cycle, and demonstrating the powerful influence between them, Diamond calls for a more inclusive notion of masculinity, thus allowing men to access parts of themselves they previously ignored. He argues that sons are largely responsible for helping their fathers embrace this more flexible notion of manhood, making them better partners and better parents. Diamond has written an important book that enables us to make sense of the question: what does it truly mean to be a man.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Unlike women, says Diamond, to whom mothering ability is natural, men must learn how to be fathers. And as the noted psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott gave us the notion of the "good enough mother," clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst Diamond proposes the "good enough father," a man who cultivates his own emotional life and becomes fully engaged in his children's inner lives to enhance their growth. While fathers certainly influence their daughters, he continues, the bond between fathers and sons is "particularly intricate and complex." Diamond delineates the stages of a father's development, beginning during the wife's pregnancy (the author focuses on traditional families, but says his framework applies to nontraditional families as well). He traces the father-son relationship from the protective "guardian" phase of the son's infancy through successive stages of letting go as a father allows his son to separate and mature, guides the boy into manhood and, finally, parent and child move closer together again as a father ages and the reality of death must be accepted. Drawing on his own practice and on psychoanalytic theory, Diamond gives a good foundation for beginning to understand the intricacies of the father-son bond. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393060607
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
02/19/2007
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)

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Meet the Author

Michael J. Diamond is a practicing clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst and was recently named Distinguished Psychoanalyst of the Year by the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. He lives in Los Angeles.

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