The Resilient Self: How Survivors of Troubled Families Rise Above Adversity

The Resilient Self: How Survivors of Troubled Families Rise Above Adversity

by Steven J. Wolin M.D., Jon Goodell, Sybil Wolin

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Recent media reports on adult children of dysfunctional families have presented them as victims of their pasts, observe the husband-and-wife authors of this useful self-help guide, who call such a presentation the Damage Model. Instead, they propose the Challenge Model, which is based on seven types of ``resiliencies''--aspects of the survivor that provide some measure of strength. These are insight, independence, relationships, initiative, creativity, humor and morality. The Wolins allege that these areas are particularly well developed in people from troubled homes--for example, families headed by alcoholic, abusive, uncommunicative or mentally ill parents. Case studies analyze the various types of resiliency, while the reader is also instructed on how to use them to ``reframe'' and overcome painful experiences. A Damage Inventory helps readers to ``evaluate how badly their self-esteem was hurt by the experience of growing up in a troubled family.'' Steven Wolin is a clinical professor of psychiatry and medicine at the George Washington School of Medicine; Sybil Wolin is an educational specialist who practices in Washington, D.C. Author tour. (Apr.)
Library Journal
This book, directed at people who claim to have been raised in troubled families, provides methods for overcoming the handicaps created by a dysfunctional upbringing. The authors cast a broad net in defining a dysfunctional family. Among the examples of childhood adversity is a woman who is haunted by her parents' refusal to allow her to attend the circus with her classmates and a person who is shattered by once being denied money for an ice cream cone. Virtually all survivors of negative childhood experiences can boost their self-image by adapting the seven ``resiliencies'' prescribed by the authors. The resiliencies include insight, humor, independence, initiative, and creativity. Pseudo-psychological jargon abounds: e.g., discard the ``damage model,'' adapt the ``challenge model,'' and develop your ``resiliency mandala.'' Suitable for the self-perceived walking wounded; for large public libraries.-- Carol R. Glatt, VA Medical Ctr. Lib., Philadelphia

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.41(w) x 9.52(h) x 0.88(d)

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