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Families And How To Survive Them (Cedar Books) Paperback – 14 Jan 1993


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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: 12.6 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,424 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

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 64 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Nov. 2000
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 By Ms Anne Lester on 30 Nov. 2004
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 26 Oct. 2009
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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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. B. A. Smith on 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 By Love_Books on 13 Aug. 2005
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 By Lion tamers daughter on 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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