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Author Topic: An Adult Child's Guide to What's "Normal"  (Read 5626 times)
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« on: July 12, 2010, 12:11:25 AM »

An Adult Child's Guide to What's "Normal"
Author: John Friel and Linda D. Friel
Publisher: Health Communications (September, 1990)
Paperback: 200 pages
ISBN-10: 1558740902
ISBN-13: 9781558740907

Book Description
You have begun to deal with the pain and trauma of being raised in a dysfunctional family and now you are ready to lead a healthy life. But:

  • Do you know what healthy people do?
  • Do you know what is "normal"?
  • Do you know how to ask unwanted guests to leave?

In An Adult Child's Guide to What's "Normal", John and Linda Friel have written a practical guide to living a healthy life. Your parents may not have been able to teach you social skills but it is not too late to learn them now. This book will help the reader to learn how to respond to the challenges, problems and traps that they are faced with daily.

About the Authors
John Friel, Ph.D. is a psychologist in private practice in St. Paul, Minnesota; Director of the St. Paul / Minneapolis Clearlife / Lifeworks Clinic, an intensive, short-term treatment program for Adult Children, Co-dependency, Addiction and compulsivity issues; and adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology at St. Mary's College Graduate Center in Minneapolis.

Linda Friel is known for her therapeutic and training expertise in the areas of family systems, survivors of unhealthy childhoods, depression, anxiety, addictions and personality disorders. She is cofounder and national director of the ClearLife/Lifeworks Clinic, which is a special four-day therapy program to help people move beyond the painful patterns of childhood shortages.

What they call you is one thing.
What you answer to is something else. ~ Lucille Clifton
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Channeling Lorelai...

« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2010, 07:54:14 AM »

Wow!   What a great idea for a book (not to mention a straightforward title).  I have to check this out.  Before I came to bpdfamily.com, I had no idea others struggled with this, too.

Freedom begins with an act of defiance. Pain is part of life, but suffering is a choice.
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) - National Domestic Violence Hotline (USA)
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2010, 12:17:13 PM »

Yes, not knowing what's "normal" is a really common problem for people who grow up in dysfunctional families. This book has actually been around for 20 years, but I only discovered it recently. Wish I had read it earlier. A few things are tiny bit dated (like one reference to a "current TV commercial", but the vast majority of the material is timeless.

I liked the simple chapters that are problem and solution oriented, such as "the pay/owe syndrome" (the way obligation can warp relationships) and then what to do about it. There's even a chapter on the characteristics of a healthy sexual relationship and a couple of sections on what healthy friendships look like. There's also one on "how people fight" in a healthy way, with stories as examples.

Well worth checking out if you've ever wondered how "normal" people do things.  Smiling (click to insert in post)


What they call you is one thing.
What you answer to is something else. ~ Lucille Clifton
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2010, 02:32:41 PM »

I love the idea of this book.  I went ahead and ordered it!   Smiling (click to insert in post) I will post what I think when I am done.  Thanks for another great suggestion. 
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2010, 04:55:03 PM »

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Didn't even know it existed, but will likely add it to my amazon book list.

Now if we could only get one written with the title, "A Child's Guide to What's Normal"

then have it part of elementary school curriculum we'd be a long way toward stopping this behavior dead in its tracks.

Yes, I do realize this is an idealistic and quite impractical suggestion, too.

I can't help but wish I knew (back then) what I know now.
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2010, 07:13:54 PM »

  This is a great idea for a book , and it is not to late for adult children of dysfunction to learn normal behavior it just takes a little more work and consciousness.

   Another resource that has helped me immensely to learn how to act normal is listening to  various topical videos on the cloudtownsend.com



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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2010, 09:09:41 PM »

Maybe a little unrelated here, but I think I know what is normal behavior in terms of how I should act, but I talked to a lot of people my mom's age back in Feb/Mar when everything was just blowing up and I commented to my SIL once "wow, so and so is soo nice" and she said "She's not soo nice.  She's normal."  I was like "oh".

Here is an excerpt from an e-mail from one of my mom's friends to me last week.  "How are you doing these days?    I can't remember if you're going camping this month or next month."

What a concept... .  Instead of "me me me me me"  It's nice when you get "normal" every now and then.

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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2012, 02:45:52 PM »

This book looks awesome! It's definitely next on my reading list Smiling (click to insert in post) I've always wondered what is normal. So many things I do I think might be weird. I mean, when you show up at the office is it cool to just go to your desk and work or should you try to smile and say hi to everyone? I don't know! Maybe I'll get some info on this and other life happenings.

Thank you for putting it up! I'll put a review when I'm done.
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