Nikki 's Reviews > Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life

Toxic Parents by Susan Forward
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's review
Apr 21, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, health
Read in April, 2010

I had my first counselling session today, and mostly she just wanted me to read books, once she'd got some idea of how I'm feeling and why. This was one of them. I've always recognised that my parents were not the best possible parents they could be. While much of this book didn't apply to me, much of it could help me. While it does seem to set out a bit of an only-one-way attitude to it, which I don't think is true, it can definitely be helpful. It includes case studies as examples, some of which are quite upsetting, especially if you identify with them at all. It's easy to read, in the sense that it doesn't use complicated vocabulary, and it's quite matter-of-fact.

I felt quite resistant to parts of it, but that didn't mean it wasn't true on some level. Definitely worth reading, and if you have a counsellor/therapist, talking over your reactions with them.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne I agree with your assessment of the book. I read this when I was in counseling several years ago. It was helpful in that it helped to know I wasn't not alone and there are tools that can help me deal with my parents. The thinking/advice in it can be a little rigid, like always needing to forgive your parents because they did the best they could. I think that's bull-honkey (to put it nicely). True, it's not good to hold on to anger, but some parents didn't do the best they could.

Nikki Well, this book specifically said that you don't have to forgive your parents -- there's a chapter on it -- but then even in that, there's an attitude that forgiveness is always a barrier to healing, which isn't the right response either. Different people are, well, different. We don't always work in the same way.

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