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The Ancestor Syndrome: Transgenerational Psychotherapy and the Hidden Links in the Family Tree [Paperback]

Anne Ancelin Schutzenberger
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 10 1998 0415191874 978-0415191876 1
In The Ancestor Syndrome Anne Ancelin Schutzenberger explains and provides clinical examples of her unique psychogenealogical approach to psychotherapy. She shows how, as mere links in a chain of generations, we may have no choice in having the events and traumas experienced by our ancestors visited upon us in our own lifetime.
The book includes fascinating case studies and examples of 'genosociograms' (family trees) to illustrate how her clients have conquered seemingly irrational fears, psychological and even physical difficulties by discovering and understanding the parallels between their own life and the lives of their forebears. The theory of 'invisible loyalty' owed to previous generations, which may make us unwittingly re-enact their life events, is discussed in the light of ongoing research into transgenerational therapy.
Anne Ancelin Schutzenberger draws on over 20 years of experience as a therapist and analyst and is a well-respected authority, particularly in the field of Group Therapy and Psychodrama. First published as Aie, mes Aieux this fascinating insight into a unique style of clinical work has already sold over 32,000 copies in France and will appeal to anyone working in the psychotherapy profession.

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'I loved reading this book, gained further insight into the complexity of human life, and am inspried by the depth of thought, care and experience the author brings to her work. The book is practical, easy to read, rovesfreely between stories and concepts. The Ancestor Syndrome will appeal to anyne who values therapeutic intervention.' - ANZPA Journal

About the Author

Anne Ancelin Sch$#252tzenberger is Professor Emeritus of the the University of Nice. She is a trained psychoanalyst, psychotherapist and psychodramatist.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leading edge do-it-yourself understand-yourself Jan. 3 1999
Format:Paperback
A very workable translation of the seminal French work by a leading psychoanalyst, specialising in group psychotherapy -- sending AIDS and cancer into remission! by a noted French psychologist (also spent much time in the US and of Russian/Swiss ancestry herself). Oftentimes many of the roots of our current complexes can be explained by an easy but methodical tracing of our family trees, uncovering the FACT that important events have been interred into our genetic structures, only to pop up generations later. In other words, ignorace is bliss until you have to live with the circumstances, in which case knowledge is power. This should not be confused with New Age or Easy Self-Help.
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5.0 out of 5 stars substantial Feb. 23 2002
Format:Paperback
an amazing work that describes the uncanny patterns and systems of occurrences that befall families from generation to generation. Explorations are made into healing and recovering from these often bizarre "psychic strands."
While much of the "theory" in this book would be impossible to duplicate or reproduce scientifically, the reader is spurred to consider the seemingly incredible links between events that occur across passages of time and physical distance.
A note on the design of this book:
The cover is quite attractive and the paper they used is a nice, sturdy grade that makes for good tactility and an overall pleasurable read.
A wise purchase.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves 6 stars April 19 2000
By E. A. Teachworth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I met 81 yr old Anne Ancelin Schutzenberger at a the World Conference of Psychotherapy in Vienna where we both were presenting. I was so excited by her presentation that I immediately bought her book and read the amazing wealth of information that she has gathered over her illustrious career as a psychodramatist. If I had read her book before I wrote mine, WHY WE PICK THE MATES WE DO, mine would have referred to hers constantly. She explains how the anniversary date of or a certain tragedy in the past can be stored in unconscious memory and acted out by following generations. Anniversary reactions appear not only as dramatic coincidences in dates or behaviors, but also in health problems, family secrets and accidents which seem to repeat generation after generation without any plausible explanation. I went to Paris to study with this lady, and now am even more impressed with her work on the hidden links in the family tree and even more certain of the value of using such a thorough transgenerational approach in therapy to explain and work through inherited negative feelngs and imprints. My compliments to her for pioneering the field of transgenerational therapy.
Schutzenberger's research on repititions in one's family and connections to world history is astounding and well worth reading. It will change your logical understanding of why we do the things we do to a genuine wonder that may even get you reading Rupert Sheldrake's books on morphogenetic fields. I am a couples and family counselor and already had 1000 case studies or more of repititious patterns of couple behavior that were imprinted in the unconscious minds of my clients during childhood, but until I read The Ancestor Syndrome, had not met anyone who had researched several generations back in families.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars substantial Feb. 23 2002
By Brian Wallace (Co-author of It's Not Your Hair) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
an amazing work that describes the uncanny patterns and systems of occurrences that befall families from generation to generation. Explorations are made into healing and recovering from these often bizarre "psychic strands."
While much of the "theory" in this book would be impossible to duplicate or reproduce scientifically, the reader is spurred to consider the seemingly incredible links between events that occur across passages of time and physical distance.
A note on the design of this book:
The cover is quite attractive and the paper they used is a nice, sturdy grade that makes for good tactility and an overall pleasurable read.
A wise purchase.
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leading edge do-it-yourself understand-yourself Jan. 3 1999
By Thomas Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A very workable translation of the seminal French work by a leading psychoanalyst, specialising in group psychotherapy -- sending AIDS and cancer into remission! by a noted French psychologist (also spent much time in the US and of Russian/Swiss ancestry herself). Oftentimes many of the roots of our current complexes can be explained by an easy but methodical tracing of our family trees, uncovering the FACT that important events have been interred into our genetic structures, only to pop up generations later. In other words, ignorace is bliss until you have to live with the circumstances, in which case knowledge is power. This should not be confused with New Age or Easy Self-Help.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our ancestors do affect us. June 5 2008
By S. Coleman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The ancestor syndrome is well documented, Anne Schutzenberger painstakingly connects the various researchers and how they contributed to the field. As an alternative therapist I have learned that we are not just a product of our environment, but that our ancestors do pass down to us unresolved issues. Myself and all of my patients have some issues that can be traced to ancestors, even ancestors that died well before their birth.

Personally I believe the book should include more case studies, though the cases included are very interesting and well written. In my personal experience it is true that all one has to do is uncover and speak about the original ancestral trauma and the patient's problem most often is resolved.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant theories! March 16 2013
By Rosy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an extremely interesting perspective for any family therapist. I would recommend it to anyone who knows the Bowenian approach or is aware of family influences.
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