Family Mirrors: What Our Children's Lives Reveal about Ourselves

Elizabeth Fishel, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $21 (295p) ISBN 978-0-395-44261-6
The mirrors of the title suggest the ways that families carry on modes of interaction through generations, parents repeating with their offspring variations of their own experiences as children. In her examination of parent-child relationships, Fishel ( Sisters ) adheres to family systems theory, searching multigenerational diagrams (genograms) of family characteristics and difficulties for clues to current family problems. The wisdom of such eminent psychologists as D. W. Winnicott, Margaret Mahler, Selma Fraiberg and Bruno Bettelheim is interwoven with observations by current family therapy practitioners and anecdotes culled from parental support groups in this accessibly organized, fluidly written study. Warmly positive although occasionally reductive, Fishel's close look at complex family ties includes concrete suggestions for parents to discern and take charge of often unconscious--and frequently unwanted--behaviors with their offspring that are their own parents' legacies. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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