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Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life Paperback – Jan 2 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life
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  • Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
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  • Mothers Who Can't Love: A Healing Guide for Daughters
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (Jan. 2 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780553381405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553381405
  • ASIN: 0553381407
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

All parents fall short from time to time. But Susan Forward pulls no punches when it comes to those whose deficiencies cripple their children emotionally. Her brisk, unreserved guide to overcoming the stultifying agony of parental manipulation--from power trips to guilt trips and all other killers of self worth--will help deal with the pain of childhood and move beyond the frustrating relationship patterns learned at home. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“A dynamic, powerful, hard-hitting book. It offers tremendous hope as well as understanding. It could truly be a lifesaver.”
— Abigail Van Buren, “Dear Abby”

“I consider Susan Forward to be among the foremost therapists of our age.”
— John Bradshaw, author of Healing the Shame That Binds You and Homecoming


Bantam Books by Susan Forward:

Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them:
When Loving Hurts and You Don’t Know Why

Obsessive Love:
When It Hurts Too Much to Let Go

Toxic Parents:
Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amazing book. I strongly recommend this to anyone who has or has had problems with their parents. The first half of the book is about bad parenting styles and the effects (physically and verbally abusive, neglectful, alcoholic, incest/assault), and the second half focuses on healing and moving on. There are tons of case studies in this book which I found really helpful, as well as a few exercises. The writer also advocates for recognizing your parents' failure, for blaming them rather than the 'forgive and forget' message some other people give to help you move on from blaming yourself, which I found very helpful. Excellent book and easy to read.
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Format: Paperback
I am a professional who never realized that the family chaos I endured was not an isolated incident. I thought I was alone, and the only one who suffered at the hands of my parents. After all, there were no physical scars to show for it. This book changed my life, and saved it. It changed my husband, and has influenced my siblings and helped me prevent sending the same damaging messages to my children. I am a true skeptic that any armchair psychologist could know anything about someone they have never seen or examined. This book was like reading about myself! Frightening, but eventually very emancipating. This has never happened to me. If you feel you suffered as a child, read this book!
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Format: Paperback
If you are a child of a toxic parent you will find Susan Forward's book both validating and empowering. Forward says that healing is most effective when you proceed down the double track of changing self-defeating behaviors and disconnecting from traumas from the past.

The goal of the book is to reverse the balance of power in your relationship with your toxic parents. Forward says all parents are deficient at times but Toxic Parents have consistently harmful effects. Focusing on their own problems Toxic Parents expect kids to take care of them, turning their children into mini-adults. Unable to control their own deep-seated rage, they blame their children. They control their children via guilt and manipulation. They are extraordinarily insensitive to both the pain they inflict and the lasting damage they do. They overtly or subtly abuse their children with constant put-downs and rob them of self-confidence. They may abuse alcohol or drugs and are mired in denial.

If you are a child of a toxic parent you will find Susan Forward's book both validating and empowering. Forward says that healing is most effective when you proceed down the double track of changing self-defeating behaviors and disconnecting from traumas from the past.

The goal of the book is to reverse the balance of power in your relationship with your toxic parents. Forward says all parents are deficient at times but Toxic Parents have consistently harmful effects. Focusing on their own problems Toxic Parents expect kids to take care of them, turning their children into mini-adults. Unable to control their own deep-seated rage, they blame their children. They control their children via guilt and manipulation. They are extraordinarily insensitive to both the pain they inflict and the lasting damage they do. They overtly or subtly abuse their children with constant put-downs and rob them of self-confidence. They may abuse alcohol or drugs and are mired in denial.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While I am still working through this book, I can confidently give it five stars. The storytelling and case study makes it an easy read for the lay person, the battered soul, and those that may have some denial issues. I highly recommend working through this book with your therapist.

It has by no means been a quick fix to all of my issues but Susan has definitely illuminated some very unhealthy behaviours past and present that I can now begin to overcome.

And the permission to not forgive my parents for abuse and neglect, at least until I have healed, is a massive weight off my shoulders. Thank you.
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By A Customer on June 29 2002
Format: Paperback
This book was great for me to read. It helped, and the best part is, I could see myself in the pages. You can't expect your abusive parents to admit what they did. You can't expect your siblings to see them the same as you. And don't expect them to change. The only person you can control is you.
One thing my therapist pointed out, though, was that I was only remembering the upsetting stuff. I don't think that book helps as far as that goes. There were good times when I grew up, but the shadows were too long, so I saw everything in a darkness.
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By A Customer on June 1 2004
Format: Paperback
Leanna Jackson, going to be a survivor,
This is an excellent book and speaks as though it is talking about my own past. It has helped me to understand and learn to deal with the wrongs that i endured, and to learn how to make it right within myself.
Also recommending: Nightmares Echo-because I was a child of sexual/child abuse and it spoke to me plainly. Lost Boy-Because I understood what he went through
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Format: Paperback
When I saw the title of this book, my first reaction was "Gee, that's redundant." For me, "toxic" and "parents" just seemed to go together, and I'm in my forties now so you know I'm not talking about adolescent angst and power struggles. While there are many who obviously did have good parents, it's sad that the "norm" seems to be those who are toxic. This is a very useful book for anyone needing to heal. If you're interested in another great book along this line, try Louise Hay's "You Can Heal Your Life," or if you're interested in fiction, try McCrae's "The Bark of the Dogwood"--one person's journey out of the darkness and into the light. But first buy this book.
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