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Families And How To Survive Them (Cedar Books) [Paperback]

Dr Robin Skynner , John Cleese
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

14 Jan 1993 Cedar Books
What makes a family happy? Why do some marriages 'succeed' and others end in divorce? How can we free ourselves from the legacy of past mistakes and bring about positive change? Love, sex and marriage and parenthood, depression and sadness, independence and experience are just a few of the many issues explored in conversation by family therapist Robin Skynner and his former patient and comedian, John Cleese. Guiding us through the daily issues that confront us all, FAMILIES AND HOW TO SURVIVE THEM offers vital advice in helping each of us to maintain a happy, healthy family life. Looking candidly at everything from our relationships with our parents to why and how we choose our partners, no emotional stone is left unturned: jealousy, rage, fear, envy, love, obsession, hope and despair - all are featured-with practical advice on how to turn round a negative situation and bring about change for the better.

Frequently Bought Together

Families And How To Survive Them (Cedar Books) + Life And How To Survive It + They F*** You Up: How to Survive Family Life
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Cedar Books; New Ed edition (14 Jan 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749314109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749314101
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 12.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

The super-selling book on surviving family life: FAMILIES AND HOW TO SURVIVE THEM, by psychiatrist Robin Skynner and comedian John Cleese, has sold over a quarter of a million copies worldwide.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 63 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
John Cleese got together with the skilled family therapist Robin Skynner to try and explain what is meant by therapy and psychotherapy, and why so many of us need it - but equally deny it in ourselves.
Written as a conversational chat between the two, it's an fascinating description of how and why we fall in love, and how we develop from babies to adolescents to adults, and how during this development we so often become "stuck" in child-like behaviour.
I must admit I found myself and more importantly my relationships here in this book again and again, and almost everyone I've known who's bought the book has gone out and bought a dozen other copies for friends.
As a parent, it's a well written roadmap of your childs development, and as an adult, udoubtedly, required reading in order to graduate from "The University of Life".
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book should be given out in senior schools to pupils, PRE marital relationships and child rearing. It is a complete eye opener and it explains relationships and how these are effected by past generations. It discusses dependency and defines boundaries, their purpose and how essential these are. This book provides one with essential clarity that assists via ownership and self development, towards the realisation of choices, individuality, change, health and empowerment. I would say that before reading this book, I had no clear understanding of just how important Fathers are, to the entire health of the family and that every Father MUST read this book! You are certainly NOT redundant!!! Written in easy to read, simple conversation format between John Cleese and his family therapist of (I believe) some 10 years. My thanks to both.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I avoided reading this for ages because of the title - I don't have any kids so I thought it wasn't for me. Fortunately a few friends recommended it as one of the best layman books around on psychotherapy and I'm glad I got round to buying it, because its easily one of the most comprehensive and readable books on the subject I've seen.

Its a lot less cringe-inducing than the majority of self help books on the market. If you can't bear the idea of daily affirmations or unleashing the giant within, this may be the book for you - its informative without being prescriptive, and some of the ideas in it are intellectually challenging without reading like a textbook.

Skynner sees people as elements in a family system, and there are patterns in how people relate to each other which can be identified and replicated (even with monkeys, which is humbling). Behaviours and coping strategies get passed from generation to generation, and because its what we grew up with, we don't realise we're acting out the same family dramas until someone outside the system points it out. As we tend to choose friends and partners who fit with our received world view, it can be a long time, and perhaps a personal crisis, before we encounter these insights. I found the chapters I had the most resistance to initially were the most pertinent to me.

A word of warning for parents - these insights may cause guilt when you realise how you might have ruined your children's lives already. The authors do try to mitigate this, but if it is a sensitive area for you, it might be worth exploring with a therapist present.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting your life Back 27 Jan 2004
Format:Paperback
Most people don't get to middle age without looking back over their life and wondering just where everything went wrong. This book gives us the information we need to drive out some of those demons we harbour but it is wriitten in such a way that anyone and everyone can understand it and get something positive from it. John Cleese comes across as whitty but with the understanding of someone who has been there. I would recomend this book to everyone and i will definately be buying it for one or two very close friends. Read and enjoy.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
As a psychologist I would say that this definitely is one of the best book on family relationships and child social development for non-professionals. Although the book is in a format of self-help easy-read, the content is very well well-grounded in author's professional experience and scientific ideas. The authors using the dialogue between experiences psychotherapist and an layperson explain how families influence children and what problems might arise and how to avoid them. While reading, I got several exciting insights about my own life and definitely a better understanding (and some helpful tips) about how to bring up happy children. Especially interesting were chapters on homosexuality as scuffing on the bridge between females and males and politicians whose childhood problems lead them to the wars. Finally, the list of further reading is very useful, if you wish to explore family relationships further. This definitely is a good value for money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marmite for the soul 23 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Oh my God it's all in here, my whole life spelt out
I love this book, it explains in simple conversational way how families repeat patterns and behaviours through generations.
Interesting in both a self help and an abstract way.
Some unpopular conclusions but for me it was like a light going on.
Love it or hate it but do read it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Quick delivery, very interesting read!
Published 16 days ago by L Cuypers
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent analysis of relationships written fluidly and clearly
Brilliant study, valuable and useful. I have re-read it many times.
Published 20 days ago by Mrs. C. J. Poore
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read.
Good read. Entertaining.
Published 24 days ago by KTDRR
5.0 out of 5 stars It was recommended to me and I am really glad I bought ...
If you have trouble with your family relationships then read this book. It is entertaining and informative. It was recommended to me and I am really glad I bought it.
Published 1 month ago by Robert J Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars would recommend everyone to read it
Have bought a few copies of this book over the years to give as gifts, would recommend everyone to read it.
Published 1 month ago by JoeJoe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you
Published 1 month ago by Sheila Driver
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very pleased
Published 1 month ago by jennt stanford
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
Brought this on recommendation but do not quite follow the book as I suffer with depression and I cant relate to the book
Published 1 month ago by Tracey Yates
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Just the right amount of humour to keep the theme of the book real very insightful, well written, delivered on time to spec
Published 5 months ago by Antoinette Byrne
1.0 out of 5 stars Cleese used to be funny
I read this book (in more or less one sitting - it seemed so important and interesting) some thirty years ago, and the takeaway was that we are attracted to people like ourselves... Read more
Published 6 months ago by opus
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