You Can Go Home Again

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"Monica McGoldrick is one of the most extraordinary voices among us. Her splendid new book is a gift, a rich source of hope, information, and insight that will teach readers to reconnect with our past and invent a new future." —Harriet Lerner, Ph.D. author of The Dance of Anger, The Dance of Intimacy, and The Dance of Deception
In this revelatory book, esteemed family therapist Monica McGoldrick explores why families behave as they do, using genograms (family trees) to illustrate family patterns. Mapped out over a three-generation span, repeated estrangements, alliances, even divorces and suicides, prove more than coincidental. McGoldrick uses the genograms of famous families - including the Kennedys, Hepburns, Beethovens and Brontes - the discuss the influence of birth order and sibling rivalry, family myths and secrets, cultural differences, couple relationships and the pivotal role of loss. Relevant questions to ask appear at the end of each chapter, helping the reader become researcher, uncovering information previously withheld, misunderstood or overlooked.

"...examines the repetition of family patterns through such famous clans as the Kennedys and Brontes, explaining why generational patterns occur and why they don't have to be repeated."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Beginning with the premise that understanding personal family history is essential for making informed choices, McGoldrick, director of the Family Institute of New Jersey, offers an innovative method of combining genealogical research with self-awareness. An exploration of family history, according to the author, is done by plotting a ``genogram,'' which is a family tree spanning three generations. Genograms of famous families provided here-Roosevelts, Brontes, Freuds and others-illustrate McGoldrick's thesis that all families have repetitive patterns such as illegitimacy or suicide that have been hidden from descendants. Understanding one's family patterns makes it possible, McGoldrick claims, to connect with one's ancestors and to recreate better family relationships for oneself. Included are many suggestions for obtaining and interpreting the information necessary to plot your own genogram. Illustration. (Mar.)
Library Journal
"Learning about your family heritage can free you to change your future," according to family therapist McGoldrick (Genograms in Family Assessment, Norton, 1985). Here she explores family patterns of birth order, sibling rivalry, family myths and secrets, couple relationships, class, cultural differences, suicide, and loss. McGoldrick believes that, when viewed properly, these patterns suggest that many repeated family experiences are not entirely coincidental. The key tool used is the genogram-a sort of annotated family tree that maps out family information, which she illustrates by mapping the genograms of several famous families. Questions at the end of each chapter prove to be extremely useful in aiding the reader to uncover family information that was previously clandestine, seemingly irrelevant, or simply overlooked. Although the writing is a bit dry at times-apparently targeting the educated lay reader and professional-general readers will find that this book is very helpful in researching and understanding family information and patterns of behavior. Recommended for marriage and family studies collections in academic as well as public libraries.-Dana L. Brumbelow, Auburn P.L., Ala.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393034943
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/1995
  • Pages: 332
  • Sales rank: 1,486,489
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Monica McGoldrick, M.A., M.S.W., Ph.D., is co-founder and director of the Multicultural Family Institute in Highland Park, New Jersey, and adjunct faculty at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Her books include Ethnicity and Family Therapy, Third Edition, Genograms: Assessment and Intervention, Second Edition, The Expanded Family Life Cycle, Third Edition and The Genogram Journey.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations 9
Preface 13
1 Why Go Home Again? 21
2 Your Family Tree: The Past as Prologue 34
3 Family Stories, Myths, and Secrets 58
4 Family Ties and Binds 85
5 Loss: The Pivotal Human Experience 126
6 Where Do We Come From? Parents and Children 172
7 Sisters and Brothers 196
8 Couple Relationships 232
9 Class, Culture, and Family Relationships 261
10 Reconnecting 276
Notes 289
Bibliography 297
Acknowledgments 317
Index 319
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