FAMILY MATTERS: Healing in the Heart of the Family by Daniel with Edward Claflin Gottlieb

FAMILY MATTERS: Healing in the Heart of the Family

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Philadelphia psychologist and radio call-in host Gottlieb tackles the usual problems of family life--dealing with one's parents, one's spouse, and one's children--as well as the central matter of coming to terms with one's own identity. There are no startling insights here, but common-sense advice presented (with the help of free-lancer Claflin) in an easy and personal style. This is not a high priest speaking, but a very human being, who reveals his own vulnerabilities as he counsels others to recognize and value theirs. Gottlieb advocates listening, really listening, to one's parents, one's spouse, one's children, and finally one's own heart. Ideally, listening is followed by acceptance, or, as he calls it, ""making peace with"" what is heard, rather than trying to change the speaker or manipulate one's own feelings. Gottlieb has considerable faith in the ability of people to heal themselves, and he sees the role of the therapist as creating a safe environment where this healing can take place. The value of the guidance offered here is heightened by the realization that it's coming from a man who has suffered more than most (he's been a quadriplegic for the past decade), but for some it may be diminished by Gottlieb's revelation midway through the book that he himself is in the midst of a divorce. Standard advice on family living, but with revealing glimpses into the human heart of the advice-giver.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1990
Publisher: Dutton