Sue's Reviews > Families & How To Survive Them

Families & How To Survive Them by Robin Skynner
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Sep 23, 10

bookshelves: read-2010, read-1998
Read from August 27 to September 15, 2010 — I own a copy, read count: 2

Excellent. Written as conversations between John Cleese (of Fawlty Towers fame) and his family therapist, Robin Skynner. This book looks at psychiatry for the layman, in terms of why some people are happy while others aren't; why some people have repressed emotions, and what happens to them; what can cause people to become 'stuck' in their development from babyhood.

I don't agree with every word - the recommendations about strict discipline for children seem over-harsh to me, for instance - but much of what's said is revelatory and fascinating. I first read this about twelve years ago, and found it extremely helpful in understanding my sons better. Even now, as an empty-nester, I can see a lot of value in this for self-help, and figuring out how people tick and why some are easier to get along with than others - quite apart from their different personality preferences.

The humour is decidedly 'British', and a non-British friend once told me that she simply didn't get the cartoons, which she even found mildly offensive in places. Take it with a pinch of salt - but if you ever wanted to know why some families get along and others don't, in broad terms, I'd recommend this book highly.
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