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Toxic Parents; Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life [Paperback]

Susan Forward , Craig Buck
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
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Book Description

1 May 2002

Millions of lives are damaged by the legacy of parental abuse. Parents who ignored their children's needs or overburdened them with guilt. Parents who were alcoholic or addicted to drugs. Parents who were exploitative and cruel, or simply indifferent and inadequate. When these children reach adulthood the damage done by their toxic parents manifests itself in depression, or difficulties with relationships, careers and decision-making.

This landmark book, by bestselling author and psychologist Dr Susan Forward, confronts this painful legacy and shows why it is so difficult to put the past behind you. She offers effective alternatives for achieving inner peace and for freeing yourself from the frustrating patterns of your relationships with your parents. Filled with vivid case histories and testimony from adult children of toxic parents, this remarkable book also offers the self-help techniques Dr Forward has developed to change the lives of her patients. With this book as your guide, you will discover an exciting new world of self-confidence, inner strength and emotional independence.

Frequently Bought Together

Toxic Parents; Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life + The Emotionally Absent Mother: A Guide to Self-Healing and Getting the Love You Missed + Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
Price For All Three: 27.20

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 2nd Revised edition (1 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553814826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553814828
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"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)

Book Description

Overcoming the legacy of Parental Abuse.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
112 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars life changing. 24 July 2003
By kathryn
If you had bullying or controlling or abusive parents this is a MUST!!! It will help you understand the root of every issue or problem or personality trait which has eluded you. YOU MUST BE PREPARED to get angry, cry out loud. Try to give yourself time to read and come to terms with what you learn. I read it on holiday! It will force you to address issues with your parents in order to move on and be a real whole person. Reading this book has been the best and most life changing thing I have ever done-also the most painful.(therapy with someone familiar with the text is to be recommended post read!!!!) All I can say is thankyou Susan !!!!!
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extremely helpful book, a real eye opener. 21 Jan 2002
I found this book very easy to read - no technical jargon to wade through, very helpful and informative. A number of case studies of those who have been suffering because of the way their parents treated them. Also practical help on how to deal with feelings of anger, resentment and bitterness resulting from ill treatment of a variety of natures, if and when to confront and how best to do it. A must for anyone in the counselling business or anyone just needing guidance in this area.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars desperate to get control of my life 17 Jun 2008
By Mumof2
I ordered this book when i reached breaking point. Unlike other self-help books it wasn't too Americanized and gave plenty of examples of men and women who couldn't cope due to family disputes and manipulation.
This book gave me the courage to face up to my difficult mother and deal with other painful memories. I also saw a therapist so the two things meant i could move on and start living MY life. Hurrah. A great book.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book may really help you... 24 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Mine was not a tale of incest or alcoholism, but just about every other "toxic" thing parents could do happened in my family. This book has already made a difference to me by clearly affirming what I feel is true about the "toxic" behavior (and that's very reassuring when denial is a big factor.) I realize what I have been seeking all these years is the parental approval and love I missed but that I should stop looking for what will never be there. The book offers great suggestions on how to disengage from a destructive parental relationship by NOT REACTING to the "toxic" behavior. I'm writing this review in the hope that others may find this book helpful, too.
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life saver 18 May 2009
If the title says it to you - then you know why you should read it.
This book hits the nail on the head. Sometimes it feels too plain, and like a heavy hammer - but that is exactly what it is, it hits right home. We spend so much time trying to find answers, struggling emotionally, blaming ourselves and still hoping that our parents will change. We feel if we could just get things just right, just the way they want them, they'll become that loving parent our inner child longs for. But they won't. And we're not children anymore. We need to raise ourselves up, so we can live our lives and not crumble - in fact, do what they failed to do as parents, and then move on. And here is how.
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145 of 151 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Susan takes you through the process of accepting and trusting what you feel and remember about your childhood to be real, accepting the incredible impact your parents still have on your actions and decision making capabilities, and also urges you to let go of the fantasy that your parents will change and make you all better again. Instead, she shows you specific ways of gaining control of your life and choosing how far your parents will remain the dictating influence in your thought process. I read it cover to cover in 48 hours - just to make sure there were no 'traps' or things I am too afraid to do. There aren't. You are in control, you set the pace, and you don't need to move on to the next stage until you are ready. A must for anyone who feels like they don't know how to be themselves, or even just "be". I'm about to go through it again and sort my life out. No more burying my head, now I'm in control!
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible life-changing read 21 May 2006
This book is just incredible. For the first time I felt valued and acknowledged. I have read this book twice now and the impact was greater the second time because I finally got really honest about things that had happened. What is great is the hope it offers, the continual reminder that you can unmesh yourself from the hurt of your childhood and your parents and claim a life of your own. Susan Forward uses real life examples to back up her professional advice. Some of the things you are led to think of are painful but it is very accessible and you are taken on your journey step by step. Be brave and rediscover the the real you. I thoroughly recommend it. This is not just another self-help book..
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68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toxic Parents, Susan Forward - Just brilliant. 26 Aug 2004
This is just a superb book, which is separated in to two parts. Every chapter is brilliantly written, dealing with a range of issues (physical, emotional and sexual abuse) and the wealth of emotions - and questions - that accompany them. The second part of the book is about reclaiming your life; the chapter on 'forgiveness' is one not to be missed. Susan Forward asks why SHOULD someone forgive parents that have abused, who fail to acknowledge that abuse and even continue to abuse; she argues that self-healing starts by working through the feelings of anger and grief and placing the responsibility for those feelings at the Toxic Parents' door. She also tackles the subject of confronting Toxic Parents, how to do this and what to expect as an outcome. As well as a book for those who feel they have Toxic Parents, this book is ideal for someone thinking about a career in Counselling/Psychotherapy - in this book, Susan Forward outlines scenarios where abuse has been prevalent, giving an idea of the thought processes clients may have.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight
The title says it all. Loved it so much that I bought it for others going through the same. Highly recommended if you need something to help you start understanding why & how you... Read more
Published 11 hours ago by Raspberry Sorbet
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
I am really looking forward to the studies put forward in this book and seeing how this will impact on others.
Published 7 days ago by Ms. C. J. Connolly
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and insightful
I found Toxic Parents to be a well structured, practical and insightful piece of work, incredibly helpful to me in a very meaningful way. Read more
Published 12 days ago by SE1Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Toxic parents
Eye opening and at times horrible to see the things we adults do to our children with out realising the harm....
Published 20 days ago by N. Wazir
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic enlightening book
Would highly recommend you read this if you have over bearing or just, unreasonable parents. It gives great insight into showing you how bad your situation might have been, or... Read more
Published 22 days ago by F. Green
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Book
Interesting book to show us how our parents affect our life and the ongoing effect. It is good to realize that, what formed today's me and what from my parents are still bothering... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Mrs. X. Li
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time.
Just a collection of people's therapy sessions Not really objective therapist praises herself in an indirect way. Well intentioned though
Published 1 month ago by Colin Crone
5.0 out of 5 stars Parents Making You Feel Like Hell? Buy This Now!!
Even if you had a mostly happy childhood, all parents leave some kind of a mark on their children, be it emotional, physical, mental or whatever. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Vikki
4.0 out of 5 stars Liberating.
I gained a lot from this book. Susan writes this book with a lot of experience and wisdom. A liberating read, but not enough advice. Great book though.
Published 2 months ago by E. Benjamin
5.0 out of 5 stars A painful read
I was developing a character for a story who was an abusive parent, so I bought this book. It was a painful read, but very insightful.
Published 2 months ago by Ms L L Crassus
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