This article introduces three psychology self help books by John Bradshaw that have been very important to me on my journey to live meaningfully with severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
The books reviews in this article are for the following books:
If you go to my bookshops you will see other psychology books that greatly informed my life on this subject as well as on spirituality, abundance and healing.
When I got ill, I started reading books on psychology and spirituality and applied various spiritual and psychology self help techniques to my life.
I really needed insights to help me cope at a time when my life seemed to be falling apart. It would be true to say that I studied the psychology books.
I thought the more I could find peace within myself, the more likely I was to heal.
I still think this is true, even though for myself I went onto become severely disabled.
Reading psychology books gave me insights that allowed me to better accept my relationships and myself as a person.
Without psychological understanding I might not have found the strength and peace of mind to choose life and survive.
I am truly grateful to all the authors who helped me.
Bradshaw on The Family introduces the idea of family systems - the family acts as a system in such a way that we take on different roles. We can become stuck in these roles and find it difficult to change.
When we are seeking to learn new patterns of behaviour it can be powerful to look at
Among much insightful information, John Bradshaw includes a list of the 8 of dysfunctional families:
I summarise them below.
The self acceptance exercises (The It's OK to... statements)
are my addition.
By reading these simple and powerful self
acceptance exercises you can work on releasing these dysfunctional
family patterns whilst you read.
A free ebook on the link above explains more about these exercises.
I think for a lot of people these 8 rules of dysfunctional families are just accepted as the way things are!
As someone running a website about spirituality and personal development, rules 3 and 6 are particularly interesting.
Many times when we think we are taking responsibility for our growth, we are still engaging in a form of blaming ourselves to maintain a sense of control.
I am someone who believes that Nothing is impossible to God and that God can always work through us. Yet, I still need to practices just allowing things to be the way they are without trying to find someone to blame!
Sometimes when we engage in the practice of gratitude, we are continuing in a practice of myth-making. It is an important part of the psycho-spiritual journey to also allow ourselves to see when we are having a hard time.
I highly recommend Bradshaw on The Family.
If you want to
learn how to free yourself from past patterns of behaviour and how to be
kind to yourself and others, this psychology book has so much to offer.
I came across the idea of family systems roles when reading John Bradshaw books in 1993 – the year I became too ill to work and became pretty much housebound.
To write this article I looked up in Bradshaw's books the dysfunctional family roles that we can take on.
Interestingly, I found that Bradshaw’s books don't neatly list the family roles. I do so here.
Bradshaw does however refer to the family roles and explain the problems they can cause in Healing The Shame, Chapter 2: The Sources of Toxic Shame.
You can click through to find another psychology book that lists the family roles more simply, though I have never felt the need to buy another book on this subject.
I recommend John Bradshaw's psychology self help books very highly, for their use of family systems roles and theory and for many other reasons. His books are accessible, yet share with great generosity his knowledge acquired through over 20 years of working as a counsellor.
Bradshaw also draws on the wisdom acquired on his own journey as a recovering alcoholic.
John Bradshaw’s work includes the subject of toxic shame. He talks about how we learn to feel ashamed as a child and learn patterns of behaviour that allow us to manage the shame.
A key to recovery from these patterns of shame is to learn to give ourselves the love we need. Read about Bradshaw's psychology self help book, Homecoming, below.
At the time I first read John Bradshaw's books, I was focussing more on psychology books than spirituality books.
It was interesting to me though that John Bradshaw had previously trained as a Catholic priest.
His books are not spiritual, but they include a spiritual perspective. Bradshaw is someone who has questioned his religion and had to heal from some religious teachings. This makes his work even more relevant to someone on the journey of allowing themselves to do the same.
Follow the links higher on this page to see or buy my other favourite Psychology Self Help Books from either the USA or UK.
Homecoming is the third John Bradshaw book I own and recommend if you are on a journey of psychology self help.
This is quite a different book to the other two, and is an easier book to read.
The books above answer the questions:
Why am I reacting like this?
Why are they reacting like this?
This book answers:
How can I learn to love myself?
How can I let go of bitterness about the past?
How can I parent myself?
John Bradshaw's book Homecoming is the book which introduced me to how to do Inner Child work, including instructions on writing a letter to your self.
Inner child work became an important tool in my journey to love myself.
This is a truly wonderful heart-full book that guides you in a practical way through the steps on how to parent yourself.
As the title implies, you can make a home for yourself by being at home with yourself.
Click on the icon or here to buy Homecoming from USA
Psychology Self Help Books
To buy Homecoming from UK Psychology Self Help Books
Move from Book Reviews For Psychology Self Help Books to the home page - Practical Spirituality and Healing
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