The Resilient Self: How Survivors of Troubled Families Rise Above Adversity

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9780394583570: The Resilient Self: How Survivors of Troubled Families Rise Above Adversity

A guide to self-empowerment designed to help adult children of dysfunctional families free themselves from the past discusses characteristics that allow individuals to cope with trauma and forge a healthy life and explains how to develop such traits. 25,000 first printing.

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About the Author:

Steven J. Wolin, MD, is clinical professor of psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical School, a longtime researcher in the department’s Center for Family Research, and director of family therapy training. He also maintains a private practice in psychiatry and with his wife, Sybil Wolin, founded Project Resilience, a program of consultation, training, and treatment in the Challenge Model.

Sybil Wolin, PhD, holds a doctorate in child development. Since 1980, she has been in private practice specializing in children and families experiencing school failure. She has also been the educational consultant to the Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center in Alexandria, Virginia, and has taught English in high school, adult education, and in urban rehabilitation programs. Along with her husband, Steven J. Wolin, she founded Project Resilience, a program of consultation, training, and treatment in the Challenge Model.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A self-help volume for adult children of dysfunctional families that puts the emphasis on rising above adversity rather than on reliving the pain of abusive relationships. Here's a book with as many clich‚s as there are buzzwords in the sentence above, with the authors including dozens of anecdotes about people with no last names--Barbara, Noreen, Alan, Bill; a do- it-yourself ``Damage Inventory''; and terms like ``Damage Model,'' ``Challenge Model,'' and ``Victim's Trap,'' plus a list of seven ``resiliences'' that line up to become chapters in the book--which, however, is not without value. The Wolins (he: Psychiatry/George Washington School of Medicine; she: a child-development specialist) point out to victims and therapists alike that children of troubled families may be more instrumental in their own survival than they realize. Even as preschool youngsters, they may implement one or more of the ``resiliences''--insight, independence, initiative, humor, creativity, or morality--to preserve a core of self. The chapter on relationships is typical, illustrated by stories of one ``Sandra'' 's friendship with an elderly neighbor, and including an interesting reanalysis of the ``sympathetic witness''--a theory, popularized by Alice Miller, that children who overcome histories of abuse do so with the help of an adult who befriends them. But the Wolins suggest that it may be the abused child, shrewdly identifying grown-ups who may be supportive, who seeks out and befriends the adult. Although the authors don't explain fully why some abused children grow up to be healthy adults and some don't, they provide a broader base for thinking about the issue. A positive--if too gimmicky--spin for those who think of themselves as victims. (Diagrams--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Steven J. Wolin M.D.
Published by Villard (1993)
ISBN 10: 0394583574 ISBN 13: 9780394583570
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