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Books - Toxic Parents by Dr Susan Forward

toxic parents by Susan ForwardWHAT ARE TOXIC PARENTS?

They are parents who caused us emotional or physical pain. Parents who ignored our needs or overburdened us with guilt. Parents who were alcoholic or abused drugs. Parents who were indifferent and inadequate, or exploitative and cruel. All toxic parents cause damage to their children - damage that manifests itself in adulthood as difficulties with relationships, careers, decision making, and depression. Millions of adults suffer from the hurtful legacy of toxic parents, often without knowing it.

IT WASN'T YOUR FAULT

In this landmark book, bestselling author and psychologist Dr. Susan Forward confronts the legacy of toxic parents - and shows why it is so difficult to leave behind. In both her private psychotherapy practice and on her national radio call-in program (in the USA), Dr. Forward has encountered thousands of men and women who have suffered the severe emotional aftereffects of toxic parents - and yet have made little, if any, conscious connection between how their parents treated them and their current problems. Like most of us they idealized their parents and believed that everything bad in their childhood was somehow their fault, They were still struggling to win the parental love and aprroval they had always yearned for but never received. At the core of every adult child of toxic parents - no matter how strong or successful he or she may appear - is a blameless child whose trust has been betrayed.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO FORGIVE

In a powerful and controversial new approch, Dr Forward shows why the standard advice to "forgive and forget" can often do more harm than good. Instead she offers effective alternatives for achieving inner peace and for freeing yourself from the frustrating patterns of your relationship with your parents - whether you are in open conflict with them or maintain civil but strained contact. She also shows you how to overcome the pain if one or both parents are dead.

ARE YOU THE CHILD OF TOXIC PARENTS?

Parental abuse and the effects it can have on usWhen You Were a Child..........

    1. Did your parents tell you, you were bad or worthless? Did they call you insulting names?
    2. Did your parents use physicial pain to discipline you?
    3. Did you have to take care of your parents because of their problems?
    4. Were you frightened of your parents a great deal of the time? Did they do anything to you that had to be kept secret?
    5. Were you afraid to express anger at your parents?

Now That You Are an Adult.........

    1. Do your parents still treat you as if you were an inadequate child?
    2. Do you have intense emotional or physical reactions after you spend or anticipate spending time with your parents?
    3. Do your parents control you with threats or guilt? Do they manipulate you with money?
    4. Do you believe that no matter what you do, its never good enough for your parents?
    5. Do you believe that someday, somehow your parents are going to change for the better?

If you have answered yes to even one third of these questions, you probably are a child of toxic parents.

Parental effects that leave us needing therapyAll of the content on this page has been taken from the book Toxic Parents, it may paint a picture of gloom and doom, and lets be honest, anyone who has experienced toxic people much less toxic parents can recount stories of woe and deep sadness. This book is a valuable piece of work; it is a good book for someone to read who is contemplating entering formal therapy. It will be especially illuminating for someone who thinks his or her parents were perfect while he or she perhaps tries to justify the treatment they recieved. If this book opens a person up to the possibility that the parenting they received was less than it should be then it will have served a useful purpose. I recommend it as a doorway towards the truth. Dr. Forward suggests we do not need to forgive; she slightly rows back on this in later chapters, in that the forgiveness should not come at the start but at the end of the process. I feel that the most important forgiveness should be directed inwards as we invariably blame ourselves, forgiving ourselves is undoubtedly one of the most powerful aspects of any therapy and moves us "forward" no pun intended towards the good doctor.

 

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