Toxic Relationships and How to Change Them: Health and Holiness in Everyday Life

Clinton W. McLemore, Author Jossey-Bass $19.95 (286p) ISBN 978-0-7879-6877-9
Approaching modern psychology from a Christian point of view, McLemore (who taught clinical psychology and theology at Fuller Seminary and authored the Clergyman's Psychological Handbook) considers""the intersection of health and holiness at the crossroads of relationships"" in this guide to understanding and improving interpersonal interactions. Recognizing the basic drives behind human interactions can improve intimacy with others and also help mend emotionally unhealthy relationships. After all, McElmore says,""loving our neighbors does not mean automatically allowing them to abuse, manipulate or oppress us."" The author cites Scripture to illuminate relationships as God meant them to be--filled with joy, intimacy and respect--and explores eight toxic modes of interaction: controlling, drifting, intruding, freeloading, humiliating, scurrying, victimizing and avoiding. These behavior styles may not be desirable, but they can be adaptive, McLemore notes, explaining, for example, that Controllers and Drifters are often compatible. The author provides""antidotes to toxicity"" to help the reader pinpoint dysfunction and change for the better. Referencing Scripture throughout--the usually bold Peter, who denied he knew Jesus three times, proves that even saints are guilty of scurrying--McLemore illustrates how toxic relationships have played out in the Bible. Straightforward guidance combined with real-life examples explaining the complexities of human interaction make this a clear and concise guide for believers looking for an alternative to secular self-help.
Reviewed on: 08/01/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-470-43369-0
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