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Family Ties That Bind: A Self-Help Guide to Change Through Family of Origin Therapy
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Family Ties That Bind: A Self-Help Guide to Change Through Family of Origin Therapy

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  92 ratings  ·  13 reviews
This title examines family relationships and considers how birth order, our parents' relationship, and the rules we were brought up with can affect our self-esteem and relationships with spouses, children and other family members.
Paperback, 142 pages
Published May 16th 2011 by Self-Counsel Press (first published October 1st 1984)
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Rachel Nazareth
Probably one of the best books I've ever read. It was course reading for my Pastoral Counselling course in my Masters of Divinity.

Completely changed my way of viewing and interacting with my immediete family.

I highly recommend it to anyone that feels they are constantly playing out the same old patterns in their relationships with parents, siblings, other in-laws etc.

A short book, but so so insightful.
Robyn Goodwin
A brief and very easy to read introduction to principles of Family Systems Therapy. It's even written in the style of a self help book so not only is it informative, but practical as well (in terms of understanding yourself and your own family). If you don't know anything about family systems I promise you will obtain incredibly powerful insights from this book. Not only that, but you will see people, their problems, and their proclivities in a helpful new light.
Loriann Oberlin
Our family of origin is our first "relationship lab" as I often tell clients and those wanting to learn more about how their childhood and how they were parented affects their current, everyday lives.

I like this book because it's short and Richardson does a great job helping readers to understand:

• how families function
• how triangles operate
• how we deal with differences
• how coalitions crop into families
• how to understand a family genogram
• how to make sense of birth order in your family

Why l
The author gives some basic theory on how birth order, sex, events in the family and personality traits among family members affect who you came out to be, and it was done in a clear manner, but I thought he was too rigid with it (e.g. saying that the oldest sibling in a family has strong leadership skills, but that is often enough not the case). But I think he suspects the reader to realize that these are basic principles that don't always apply but are given for the sake of clarity.

The target
Over all a good book, but (disclosure: I am NOT an expert) from my perspective this book was very "black and white" - very rigid. It seems to suggest that traits are generally influenced by family of origin, i.e. birth order and relational patterns within families. This quick work would benefit from a disclaimer like: This book does not explain or predict all traits/behaviors! Just because you were a male only child, you are not doomed to a life of misery and pain.” … or something like that.
I just read this book for my Family Systems class, and had to critique the book. It was very informative and some parts are enjoyable. The Author knew how to bring about the topic, express himself, give helpful insight into discovering our family history, and used good examples. Overall, this was a good read.
This book easily brings out just how screwed up your family is. It doesn't matter who you are, this book is talking about you. The challenge questions after the chapters force you to look further into your own family ties to assess your level of damage. It's awesome and horrific at the same time. Read it!
Wow, all sorts of issues that I had never thought of before! This talks about all sorts of stuff from: what the prototype for different birth order positions are, to how different members relate and interact, to how to draw up and research a family tree and your history.
Forced to read this book for CPE. I learned about myself, from page 80 on the youngest sister of brothers, "men are easily tempted by her good looks and compatibility. They tend to flock around her. She, in turn, is often very fond of men."
This is a great book of exercises and descriptive chapters that helps people work through the difficulties of their families of origin. I have read it once and am reading it and doing the exercises again.
This was pretty much just a review of my Master's Degree (hahaha), but a great simple tool for therapists who would like to explore family of origin stuff as a therapeutic intervention.
Aaron K
Some interesting information on family dynamics. The process it lays out is daunting.
Reading for my retreat for school.
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