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Cutting Loose: An Adult's Guide to Coming to Terms with Your Parents
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Cutting Loose: An Adult's Guide to Coming to Terms with Your Parents

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  62 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
With more than 35 years of experience in psychotherapy, Dr. Halpern enables the adult child to understand his or her parent and foster a positive, healthy adult relationship.
Unknown Binding, 241 pages
Published February 13th 1978 by Bantam Books (first published 1976)
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Recognizing the "songs and dances" which entangle us within our families and learning new music and new dances or even to just let go and refuse to dance in order to survive and grow. This is the best of the self-help books I've encoutnered over time -- practical and non-judgemental and very workable solutions.
Sep 22, 2014 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recommend reading this book after reading Susan Forward's "Toxic Parents" to get a nice combination of understanding toxic family dynamics and developing specific strategies to interact with family going forward.
Greg Talbot
Jun 28, 2012 Greg Talbot rated it really liked it
"We're adults. We've got the credentials and scars to show for it." Such beginnings the analysis by Halpern and his no BS conversation with the reader. He uses his metaphor of the dance, the behaviors we exhibit when we're with our family; including dependencies, clownish behavior, feelings of inadequacy and unresolved conflicts. It's a family dance.

Really liked Halpern's tackling the idea that your parents are not always the nurturing guiding forces in our life that we'd like. One of the big ta
Mar 16, 2015 Suzie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
There are some good tips in here for dealing with people who you have been around a lot but get in a certain negative role with on a regular basis. It was written in the 70s, so there are some comments about the origin of people's sexuality that may rub you the wrong way. If anyone tries to give you problems about reading this, you should know it basically counsels being respectful and patient and regards the other people's feelings but also counts in your own need to assert yourself and your ...more
While this wasn't particularly applicable for me, if you have toxic family members and still need/want to maintain some sort of relationship with them, this would probably be a pretty helpful read.

Just a heads up though that it was published in the 1970s so there are some dated ideas re: LGBT individuals, and the author leans a little too much on Freudian concepts.
Evan East
May 06, 2014 Evan East rated it it was amazing
This was an illuminating book that helped me to see the different toxic ways in which my parents relate to me and I to them as well as the price that I'm paying for it. I will read it again as I keep becoming more and more independent from them, emotionally and financially.
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Howard M. Halpern was an American psychotherapist and author who mainly wrote self-help books about severing or realigning burdensome relationships.

Serving as president of the American Academy of Psychotherapists from 1970 to 1972, Halpern was a therapist for over fifty years. He died of leukemia on Christmas Day, 2011 at the age of 82.

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“Narcissistic fathers leave their daughters with deep doubts about whether a man can love them, since the first important man in their life was so in love with himself that he had no love left for them. If you are a daughter of a narcissistic father you may have withdrawn from men and bound yourself to mother, either overtly or emotionally. Or you may be engaged in a self-destructive attempt to be his kind of girl, whatever that is, as you try desperately to extract his love. Perhaps you have transferred this into a masochistic position with other men, finding a narcissistic man incredibly attractive as you try to master the mystery of winning his love. And narcissistic men appeal to you because you wish you could be that way yourself - assertive, not giving a damn, self-important - but you lack the confidence to do it yourself so you identify with the man who has their quality, even if it's at your expense. (I have often seen this revealed in those instances where a woman has suffered through a degradingly submissive and abusing relationship with a man, or a series of men, and then, gaining the strength to break that kind of bondage, violently overturns the tables and abuses that man, or the next man in her life, as degradingly as she was misused. It's not just revenge, but the release of hidden desire to be powerful and to be able to control father and make him beg for her love.)” 1 likes
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