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Question: As a one who read the book, how do you rate this book?
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Author Topic: I Don't Have To Make Everything All Better - Gary B. Lundberg, MA, MFT  (Read 14886 times)
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we can all evolve into someone beautiful

« on: September 13, 2010, 12:06:44 PM »

I Don't Have To Make Everything All Better
Author: Gary Lundberg
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics) (May 1, 2000)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 0140286438
ISBN-13: 978-0140286434

Book Description
The Lundberg's address an all too common dilemma that arises when others expect us to solve their problems for them, showing readers how they can shed the no-win role of "fixer" and empower people to solve their own problems through validation--a simple yet profound communication tool that is essential to any healthy relationship. Very straightforward, this inspiring and entertaining work is for anyone who wishes to improve relationships with their partner, children, colleagues and friends.

The authors encourage "validation" a  technique for improving one-on-one communication that involves careful, empathetic listening to another person's feelings without judging, criticizing or attempting to solve his or her problems. The authors demonstrate this technique's  effectiveness in a variety of situations and provide readers with valuable coaching and specific responses, cautioning that authentic validation is grounded in respect and honesty, or else it might be seen as manipulation. The book includes many recognizable examples from their workshop practice and from their experience as parents of five. Some sample situations may be resolved a bit too easily for some tastes, but even the most jaded reader is bound to learn from the material, which holds special appeal for parents of young children. Anyone who has been confronted with a spouse or a child who had a bad day, a cranky customer, colleague or demanding relative stands to benefit from the Lundbergs' advice. Six Practical Principles That Empower Others to Solve Their Own Problems While Enriching Your Relationship:

Principle One: Be An Effective Validator

Principle Two: Leave The Responsibility Where It Belongs

Principle Three: Acknowledge Emotions

Principle Four: Develop the Art of Listening

Principle Five: Find the Right Time to Teach

Principle Six: Learn the Effective Validating Phrases and Questions

The examples given in the book have been criticized by some as being overly simplistic, and the book has religious and conservative overtones that may offend some. Nonetheless, the techniques and principles are sound.

About the Authors
Gary B. Lundberg, MA, MFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist. He and his wife, Joy, have co-authored the popular books on improving relationships Married for Better, Not Worse: The 14 Secrets to a Happy Marriage, and I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better: Six Practical Principles that Empower Others to Solve Their Own Problems While Enriching Your Relationships.

Gary formerly served on the behavioral medicine staff of Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. Before entering his marriage and family therapy education and practice, he worked as an account representative for IBM and as CEO of an electronics firm. He also served as a fighter pilot in the  United States Air Force for seven years.  

Gary is a performing vocalist and has recorded an album of song about  family love and faith entitled Heart to Heart.  Performed as one of the leads in a musical stage production for 237 performances, before audiences totaling over 200,000 people.  

Joy Saunders Lundberg is a lyricist and has written nearly 200 published songs with composer Janice Kapp Perry, including  I Walk By Faith.  She has written narratives and lyrics to four choir cantatas and is currently writing an album of songs for an international adoption agency.  She has also written with Dan Truman, keyboard player for the CMA award_winning country singing group Diamond Rio.  She has written two children’s books and co_authors books with her husband, Gary.

For the past seven years Joy has written scripts for the syndicated worldwide radio/TV broadcast "Music and the Spoken Word." She is the author of numerous magazine articles, and has an inspiring series of illustrated poetry on family and religious themes, sold in many bookstores.  She served as a writer and chair of a church curriculum committee for four years, writing lessons for an international audience.

Joy works side by side with Gary presenting workshops, seminars, and keynote addresses, including teaching classes annually at Brigham Young University Campus Education Week.

For the seven years Gary and Joy co-hosted a weekly radio talk show, covering subjects from how to deal with an irate neighbor, to setting effective boundaries with your teens, to putting the magic into your marriage. Due to their desire to put their heart and soul into their work with the World Family Policy Center at Brigham Young University they reluctantly resigned from the radio show. Still they periodically appear as guests on radio and TV shows across the country.

Gary and Joy are the parents of five children and have thirteen grandchildren.  

 BPDd-13 Residential Treatment - keep believing in miracles
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2010, 10:50:42 PM »

Available on amazon.com (used) for a pittance ( I paid less than $5).  As  you can see (below) this book is very detailed, filled with examples, is written simply with each lesson reinforced progressively.  it is written with love, compassion, and hope.  i call it "The Validation Bible".  the authors do a great job of making the combination of validation, problem solving and boundaries clear and why they work.

This book is separated into 3 parts:
The Principles
The Application
The Workbook

Part One:  The Principles
Be An Effective Validator
   Let me feel what i am feeling
   What is validation?
   What about positive mental attitude?
   Validation begins with self
   Validation is not manipulation
   Personal boundaries do not have to change
   The universal need
Leave The Responsibility Where It Belongs
   The underlying principle
   Power and desire
   Offering help
   Making decisions for others
   Responsibility for the problem
   If I offer help am I stuck?
Acknowledge Emotions
   The four basic emotions
   Emotions can affect our physical well-being
   Unintentional teaching
   So what can we do?
   The rules of validation
   To argue or not to argue:  That is the question
   Get out of yourself for a while
   It takes so little time
   Begin today
Develop the Art of Listening
   Listening is an art
   Listen for information
   Relief for the listener
   The art of questioning
   Operative words
   The great invalidator
   The eyes have clues
   Begin today
Find the Right Time to Teach
   When does learning occur
   Why not the heat of the moment?
   Not all questions need immediate answers
   The time to follow up
   Planning teaching times
   Make it happen
   Begin today
Learn the Effective Validating Phrases and Questions
   Validating phrases
   Validating questions
   Begin today

Part Two:  The Application

How Validation Works With Children
  Begin with your baby
  Let them feel what they are feeling
  Give them a chance to solve the problem
  Try their point of view
  Hold onto your boundaries
  Eye to eye contact
  Put yourself in their shoes
  Resist resolving
  When illness strikes
  The universal need
  Begin today
How Validation Works With Teenagers
  It's never too late
  Help them to start talking
  Reinforce values
  Believe in them
  :)iscipline with validation
  Control yourself
  Silence can be validating
  They can make wise choices
  Begin today
How Validation Works With Adult Children
  We cannot control them
  :)on't allow them to control you
  Give up giving advice
  When they blame you
  Boomerang children
  When their lifestyles don't match yours
  The universal need
  Begin today
How Validation Works With a Spouse
  What gets in the way?
  What to do about a no good very bad day
  Handling disappointments
  Stop defending your position
  :)o it over
  The male and female difference
  Setting family values
  Enjoy each other's dreams
  Plan time together
  Sense each other's needs
  Begin today
How Validation Works with Parents and Parents-in-Law
  Let them have their feelings
  :)on't try to change their thinking
  Love, honor, and set your boundaries
  :)ealing with death
  Handling abusive behavior
  When senility sets in
  It's what we all need
  Begin today
How Validation Works with Divorced and Blended Families
  Recognizing the myths
  You are newlyweds
  The parenting challenge
  :)ealing with the loneliness
  Communicating with your ex
  Answering the questions
  The need for boundaries
  You are not my Dad (Mom)
  Setting the rules in a blended family
  Unfulfilled promises
  The more people who love
  Begin today
How Validation Works with Friends
  We all need a friend
  :)on't tell a friend what to do
  Setting boundaries with friends
  When a friend loses a loved one
  Let them enjoy a minicatharsis
  Begin today
How Validation Works on the Job
  Customer relations
  Not all needs can be met
  Caring is the key
  Watch for examples
  The validating teacher
  Validation--a life saver
  Believe in your employees
  Begin today
  :)o it!
  A Song to lean on

Part three:  The Workbook

  Personal exercises in the application of the six principles

 BPDd-13 Residential Treatment - keep believing in miracles
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2010, 12:45:43 PM »

I too just finished ready this book and loved it.  I plan to reread with a highlighter.  It made me understand what validation really is, something I had not previously understood.  My DD20 has been telling me since she began therapy that I do not validate her.  Now, I realize that I probably didn't validate my children properly at all.  Beginning yesterday when I finished the book,  I am now making a conscious effort to validate everyone. 

lbjnitx-you gave a wonderful synopsis of what the book contains.  It was an easy read and they reiterated the following:

Listen to what is being said.

Listen to the feelings being expressed.

Listed to the needs being expressed.

Understand by putting yourself in the other person's shoes as best as you can.

This last statement is something I rarely do. I can see what a huge difference it will make in helping me learn to validate others.

This definitely is a must read book for us.
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2010, 05:36:53 PM »

I took a new look at this book today. Decided I need to read again the key parts. It is hard to put into practice when I am tired - my old robot patterns are powerful  I think I will seriously look at doing  the workbook excercises in the back of the book too.

Important points for me in how they define validation in their "Principle 1":

"Validation begins with Self. Validation is based on a strong belief in yourself and your value system. This means you do not have to receive direction from outside yourself concerning the values, beliefs, and principles that direct your life. In other words, you are comfortable with yourself. ... .It also means if someone behaves differently than you do, you do not need to chanage your beliefs or behaviors to fit theirs."

For me and my DD - hope if I can live this (she would probably no accept the book if I offered it for her to read), she will get the idea and stop trying to change me for her to accept that I am OK as I am and can love her as she is. This is at the heart of many of our conflicts recently, esp. with how dh and I are raising her daughter. This leads into the next heading in the book:

"Validation is not Manipulation -  Each of us must determine our own vieew of humankind. If we believe that people are there for us to control and manipulate at will, then validation will not work for us. If we have a basic faith in the natural goodness of people, then validation will work for us. ... ." What is my motivation for what I do? What is my life paradigm (view) based on? ... .everything comes back to your overall personal motivation, which is based on your value system. A value system is what determines your boundaries."

I can often see that I allow my DD to manipulate me when I am unsure of myself, questioning every decision I need to make for myself and the others in the family.

"Personal Boundaries Do Not Have To Change When you Use Validation - ... .They are statements of what you will or won't do, what you like and don't like, how far you will or won't go, how close someone can get to you or how close you will get to another person. ... .they are our value system in action... .When your are conmfortabel with your value system, you can state your boundaries without having to defend or justify them. I believe boundaries need to have four attributes.

1. Be Kind.

2. Be Gentle

3. Be respectful

4. Be Firm

lbjlntx, I can clearly see you come from a place of strength in yourself. Thanks for sharing this book with us.



The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better. (Dom Helder)
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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2010, 10:35:30 AM »

This book has made validation and boundaries so much more clear than anything else I have read. It is easy to understand and though changing how I think and respond is very very hard, this book offers so many practical ways to go about it. I have re-read some sections several times and can go back and easily refer to a specific part when struggling with a situation. I found something in each section that applies somewhere in my daily life. I love there focus - "Begin Today".

I want my dh to read this - it will help in our raising our gd5 and dealing with our BPDDD24 as well as each other and both our work situations. It is hard for him to pick up a book - so the authors' suggest become a living example of the skills as the best way to teach them. It really works when I can put these principles into action.

You won't get it perfect, but can keep going back and trying again. That is the part the renews my hope - both for myself and for those I care about in my life. I got a used copy for a couple $$ at Amazon.com.

qcr  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better. (Dom Helder)
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2010, 02:54:18 PM »

just found out today authors Gary and Joy Lundberg are going to be the guest speakers at the residential treatment center where my daughter is currently.

they are scheduled to be there in march of 2011... .God willing that will also be the parent weekend that my daughter graduates from the program!



 BPDd-13 Residential Treatment - keep believing in miracles
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2010, 07:25:28 PM »

Thanks. The idea & the promises sound great. I will read the book.Hopefully it will help me put this into practice better, particularly with regard validating myself.
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2010, 10:29:01 AM »

This is one of the first books I bought and LOVE IT!  It showed me how we communicate with people is usually a way that represents that we are not hearing what they want us to hear and then it shows us how we should be 'listening' and hearing what people are saying.

We usually say something back that makes the situation worse, especially when its a close family member that we are comfortable with.

So thank you for this book being highlighted.  I shows how to talk to people in a way that will make 'them' take responsibility and not have it fall back on us 'anymore'. Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2010, 10:40:35 PM »

This book was recommended to me by the parent coach I worked with while my dd25 was in an RTC. 

Validation was an unknown concept to me, as I grew up in a non-validating environment and certainly didn't learn this powerful and simple tool growing up.

This book is also about setting boundaries, and how to enforce them in a gentle, but firm manner.

Mostly it is about really listening - and how to listen - another skill I sorely needed.

The most important parenting book I ever read, but the Lundberg's show how useful validation is in all relationships.  When I am able to put this in practice, I feel calmer and in control in potentially stressful conversations.  Everyone in my family has benefited from my attempts.  I say attempts because I'm due to reread this book and need to brush up on my skills.  Even if I am not validating in my responses, and slip into old patterns, I quickly realize it and correct myself.

What is it about the title of this book?  Whenever I recommend it to someone they take one look at the title and they're not interested.  I haven't had much luck getting others interested - though it is such a valuable book that makes me want to share it. 

I had already put my vote up on the poll.

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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2010, 12:29:04 AM »

I also rated the book as excellent & agree with what the others have written.  It was quite a bit of material for me to learn (still learning, but I did fill out the little workbook in the back  ) 

Something I will put into practice today:  the right time to use PMA (positive mental attitudes)

Many times I find myself trying desperately to cheer a parent up.  Today, when confronted with the expected negative comments I'll be hearing (while visiting my very depressed parent,) I will let him/her express the problem, feelings & needs & THEN reply with a positive statement (if appropriate.)

As the title says:  I Don't Have to Make Everything All Better  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2010, 02:51:25 PM »

I used this book a LOT when I was writing The Essential Family Guide: New Tools and Techniques to Stop Walking on Eggshells. My copy is now very battered. Randi Kreger

I had a borderline mother and narcissistic father. Author of stop walking on eggshells, The stop walking on eggshells workbook, the essential family guide to borderline personality disorder, and the upcoming book stop walking on egg shells for partners
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2013, 12:59:10 PM »

Excellent book. Highly recommend it for all here. I read it about 18 months ago and was able to start using the principles within minutes with my entire very complex family as well as in my work place.

Makes a great companion book to many others here that deal directly with BPD or co-morbid disorders. Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2015, 10:44:58 AM »

I just finished this book and it is fantastic! So easy to read and understand with real scenarios to help you understand the concepts. Learning about validation has really helped my r/s with my s10 and after reading the book I am practising using these tools in my other r/ss and exchanges.

Having a validating T and validating friends has helped my healing so much since my BU with my uBPDexh. It has made a world of difference in me feeling safe and worthy. I highly recommend this book!
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