If you grew up with an emotionally immature, unavailable, or selfish parent, you may have lingering feelings of anger, loneliness, betrayal, or abandonment. You may recall your childhood as a time when your emotional needs were not met, when your feelings were dismissed, or when you took on adult levels of responsibility in an effort to compensate for your parent’s behavior. These wounds can be healed, and you can move forward in your life.In this breakthrough book, clinical psychologist Lindsay Gibson exposes the destructive nature of parents who are emotionally immature or unavailable. You will see how these parents create a sense of neglect, and discover ways to heal from the pain and confusion caused by your childhood. By freeing yourself from your parents’ emotional immaturity, you can recover your true nature, control how you react to them, and avoid disappointment. Finally, you’ll learn how to create positive, new relationships so you can build a better life.Discover the four types of difficult parents:The emotional parent instills feelings of instability and anxietyThe driven parent stays busy trying to perfect everything and everyoneThe passive parent avoids dealing with anything upsettingThe rejecting parent is withdrawn, dismissive, and derogatory
Lindsay C. Gibson
June 1, 2015
File Size: 88 MB
Available File Formats: PDF AZW3 DOCX EPUB MOBI TXT or Kindle audiobook Audio CD(Several files can be converted to each other)
Language: English, Francais, Italiano, Espanol, Deutsch, chinese
“Lindsay C. Gibson, PsyD, gives practical insight into a prevalent problem…The book is impeccably clear…This utter lack of confusion makes the book quite soothing, despite the heavy subject. The soothing effect is amplified by Gibson’s caring, knowledgeable voice—it’s easy to believe her when she says, ‘I wish the very best for you.’ This book can be a source of healing for adult children of these kinds of parents—particularly for young adults. But it’s also insightful for bosses, therapists, friends, and anyone else who works with, cares for, and supports the people described in this book. Gibson’s professional background allows her to anticipate people’s emotions and reticence—and urge them gently forward.” —Foreword Magazine“Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents is written with the wisdom and heart of a seasoned therapist and the mind of a scholar who’s spent decades poring over psychological research and theory. In this book, Lindsay C. Gibson seamlessly blends this impressive body of knowledge with the real-life experiences of her clients to create a user-friendly and highly readable book. … This book is not about blame but rather about understanding oneself on a deep level and learning to heal.”—Esther Lerman Freeman, PsyD, clinical associate professor at the Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine“Children cannot choose their parents. Unfortunately, many individuals grow up suffering the life-shaping adversities of having emotionally immature, neglectful parents. With wisdom and compassion, Lindsay C. Gibson enables readers to recognize and better understand these toxic relationships and to create novel, healthy paths of healing. This book provides a powerful opportunity for self-help and is a wonderful resource for therapists to recommend to clients in need.”—Thomas F. Cash, PhD, Professor Emeritus of psychology at Old Dominion University, and author of The Body Image Workbook“Lindsay C. Gibson’s insightful book offers the ‘emotionally lonely’ a step-by-step journey toward self-awareness and healing. Gibson’s revealing anecdotes, enlightening exercises, and honest insight lead the reader to a better understanding of how to connect more fully with oneself and others. This is an excellent book for anyone who feels isolated from family members and seeks to enjoy a more emotionally connected life.”—Peggy Sijswerda, editor and publisher of Tidewater Women (tidewaterwomen.com) and Tidewater Family (tidewaterfamily.com), and author of Still Life with Sierra“Lindsay C. Gibson’s Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents is an insightful and compassionate guide for anyone seeking to understand and overcome the long-term impact of growing up in an emotionally barren family. Here you will find sage advice and simple practices that will help you break free from old patterns, connect more deeply with yourself and others, and, ultimately, be the person you were always meant to be.”—Ronald J. Frederick, PhD, psychologist and author of Living Like You Mean It“Lindsay C. Gibson, a very experienced psychotherapist, wrote Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents to provide guidance to adults for self-help in resolving anxiety, depression, and relationship difficulties that result from having emotionally immature parents. It is a thorough and detailed description of immature parents, children’s experience of their parenting, and methods to resolve the resulting problems. There are many useful examples from Gibson’s psychotherapy clients. The book includes helpful exercises for self-understanding. A person can use the book to develop emotional maturity and deeper relationships.”—Neill Watson, PhD, research professor and Professor Emeritus of psychology at the College of William and Mary, and clinical psychologist who does research on anxiety, depression, and psychotherapy“Based on years of reading, research, and working with patients, psychologist Lindsay C. Gibson has written an outstanding book about the multiple ways that emotionally immature parents impact the lives of their adult children. I highly recommend Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents for all readers who want to understand the parent/child dynamic. This is an uplifting book that provides hope and superb coping strategies for those who find it difficult or impossible to bond with parents who lack empathy and sensitivity. … Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents is full of wisdom that will enable you to relate to your family members and friends in the healthiest way possible—no matter what age you are—and possibly even to recognize what’s behind some of the dysfunctional exchanges depicted in the news and in popular culture.”—Robin Cutler, PhD, historian and author of A Soul on Trial“Lindsay C. Gibson’s book, Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents, is filled with clinical vignettes that will resonate with adult children of emotionally immature parents. The book also offers practical advice and exercises for identifying one’s true self and avoiding the pitfalls of self-images, relationships, and fantasies that undermine one’s psychological well-being. Finally, the book provides solid guidelines for interacting with one’s emotionally immature parents in a manner that avoids painful and damaging recreations of the past. Readers will find relief from recognizing that they are not alone and that they are understood by this remarkable clinician.”—B. A. Winstead, PhD, professor of psychology at Old Dominion University and the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology, and coeditor of Psychopathology: Foundations for a Contemporary Understanding, Third Edition About the Author Lindsay C. Gibson, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice who specializes in individual psychotherapy with adult children of emotionally immature parents. She is author of Who You Were Meant to Be and writes a monthly column on well-being for Tidewater Women magazine. In the past she has served as an adjunct assistant professor of graduate psychology for the College of William and Mary, as well as for Old Dominion University. Gibson lives and practices in Virginia Beach, Virginia. <div id="
As a 73-year-old man who, as a much younger man, underwent 12 years of life-saving psychoanalysis, I can vouch for the fact that anyone whose parents did not love him or her, despite all attempts to heal, will most likely live their entire life with a hole in their heart that never quite heals. The condition can be coped with, but never quite eradicated. I’m not a reader of “self-help” books, but was attracted to this one by its title, having no idea that a category like this existed in therapeutic literature. I’m glad I bought it. With nothing more than daily dipping into its pages I have found much that has brought me comfort, a deeper self-knowledge, and a broadened awareness of the ways that my early life still inserts itself into my present behavior. This is powerful, helpful knowledge not only to me but for the ones with whom I live, love and work with. For one thing,Dr. Gibson is spot-on in her observation that certain people, due to their upbringing by rejecting parents, have a hunger for contact with people who think about them in kindly ways. Just having this pointed out to me helps me to see how, in the past, I have occasionally gone overboard, so to speak, with certain friends and acquaintances in my need for emotional support. This kind of information (and this book has plenty more of it) is emotional pay dirt and well worth the investment.
There are a few negative reviews that accuse the book of being judgmental and fostering dangerous, exaggerated attitudes toward parents. I actually didn’t see that at all. This book gives a name to the subtle disengagement, distance and neglect kids suffer at the hands of parents who probably do a great job of providing food, clothing, shelter and physical safety.I burst into tears reading the chapters on internalizers and how they end up dealing with this; it was like reading my life story. I’m not sure my parents were bad enough to be considered true “narcissists,” and I really do believe they love me. But they fall so clearly into the “emotional parent” (my Mom) and “passive parent” (my Dad) the author describes, and it was a disastrous combo for my sense of worth. It explained their behavior right down to exact words and phrases they use, and it also explained MY behavior and some of the self-sabotaging choices I’ve made as an adult. I was so relieved to hear it wasn’t all in my head, that there were things I could do to find real emotional connection with other people, even in my 40s!I didn’t come away judging my folks, but rather with new insight on how to deal with them, and how not to waste another minute of my life trying to get through to family members who have no desire to change. I’ll take my parents as they are and not expect more than they can give, but also begin holding myself accountable for good choices now that I have this new information with which to move forward. I’m so thankful I found this book- it was dead on in its specificity.
Recently, I read 3-4 books on children of narcissistic or self-absorbed parents. Each one was valuable in its own way, helping me untangle my thoughts and feelings.What I like about this book, in particular, is that is reveals the systematic nature of emotionally immature thinking, which underlies the behavior of parents, lovers, friends, and public figures. By revealing the pattern and then explaining the cause (self-protection), it allows the reader to depersonalize the behavior and the damage it has done.For the first time, I can feel “It wasn’t me. It was never me. And, it’s still not me.” And, for the first time, I truly understand that it’s a fools errand to try to make someone more emotionally mature. It’s their path. I need to accept them as they are and decide how I want them in my life, if at all.Lastly, this book is very good for people whose parents weren’t excessively narcissistic, who weren’t controlling or grandiose in an exaggerated fashion. One’s parents can be stable and kind but still deny a deep connection with their children because they can’t tolerate negative feelings. This book reveals these more subtle dynamics while explaining that the fallout is anything but subtle to a child’s emotional development.
Seriously, I was afraid of getting this book because I didn’t know if it’ll help me or become yet another way to ruminate on my anxieties surrounding my parents, especially my mother. I’m glad to say that isn’t the case.I laughed, I cried, but most importantly, I felt heard. Dr. Gibson really and truly “gets it.” Every page I turned to resonated with me on some level.Not only do I feel immense validation in my experience by reading this book. Her words have jump started my process of freeing myself from the burden of trying to “fix” my parents in a way that other forms of media have thus far failed.While other authorities on the subject framed my parents as these supervillians, whome I had to “outsmart”, this book decides to frame them as basically emotionally underdeveloped children. When I started to look at them in that way everything really started to click. It disarmed their abuse in ways I never thought possible.They aren’t intentionally doing these things to hurt me, rather they don’t know any other way. That doesn’t make what they did/do okay by any means but, for me at least, it removed the fear I always had when I was confronted with their tantrums. Listening to my mom fly into a childish rage because of a simple inconvenience is almost funny now.I’m so glad this book exsists. Thank you. I really mean it.
Most of us we’ll come across books that literally changes lives. This is that book. Emotional immature parents sounds harmless; it is far from that. For those of us that have survived, it is brutality and ugliness. After 60 yrs. I can say life feels like worn comfortable jeans. Sounds weird,I know. Life doesn’t hurt. Imagine that. Dr. Gibson talks about having a second life after healing, trust me it’s doable. Wish I had found this book 30 years ago.
I actually used this book like a manual at a family reunion recently. It helped me navigate a totally different relationship with my dad that saw me finally letting go of my unrealistic expectations and all the pain that that had caused over the decades. Now I understand my dad will never be able to be what I would consider a real father — he’s more like a cousin, someone I’ve learned to stop asking for any help from and also have learned to set my boundaries with so I no longer feel hurt every time we meet. I can’t tell you how immensely freeing this has been!This book helped me understand at long last why my childhood felt like one long nightmare even though there was no obvious trauma. And that’s because of emotional neglect. Neither of my parents were able to care emotionally for me and now I know why and what to do about it.I’m so grateful for this book and I urge anyone who wonders why they felt so lonely as a child to check it out and see if they too might have had an emotionally immature parent. Then the healing can really begin and life will be so much better.
In some ways, I wish I’d read this book years ago – but I like to think all books arrive when we are ready to take in their message. Taken to heart – this book has the potential to take the reader into more freedom. Just after the first chapter, I felt for myself – for what I had gone through and experienced as a child and how it affected me well into my adulthood. However, the author skillfully guides us through the tough terrain and shows the path towards healthier relationships – with ourselves, with our difficult parents and with emotionally immature others. A really unique and excellent book in my opinion; especially as it ends with identifying emotionally healthy relationships.
If your parents are baby-boomers, if you feel like you can’t connect with them, you need this book. I bought it after a breakup, when I realized I couldn’t depend on my parents for the emotional support I had previously gotten from my ex; that I had to take charge of my own self-care.And I probably highlighted half of this book. It completely resonated with me, and gave a name to my parents’ limitations. They are otherwise nice people, but I just can’t be open with them; I can’t trust them with things that really matter to me, because they don’t have the emotional maturity to handle it with care.If your childhood feels like a distant blur, if you are inclined to make apologies for your parents, but honestly can’t remember having an open relationship with them, if you feel empty or alone in your family, you OWE IT TO YOURSELF to read this book. You do. You deserve to heal.
I have been trying to make sense of my childhood experiences and my Mother for most of my life – I am now in my 50’s. I did psychology A level, trained as a mental health nurse, had counselling & therapy and read numerous books attempting to comprehend a difficult upbringing. I cannot express my thanks enough to Lindsay for writing this. I now have a deeper understanding of my Mother’s ways of being and know it was not about me – it was never about me – it was not my fault – there was nothing I could have done and nothing I can do to make it any different. There is much healing and insight to be gained from this book.I am estranged from my Mother and although I do not feel reconciling is an option, it is incredibly helpful to have read this for my own well being.
Superb,so clear in terms of taking complex psychodynamic ideas and putting them into three dimensional practical examples and language. I am both daughter and mother, and this book has both helped me take responsibility for some of my own poorer parenting and at the same time, give responsibility back to people I have felt wrongly responsible for. More than anything it has shown me the importance of acceptance of reality, not hopes dreams and expectations, and that this is the starting point for moving forward. I highly recommend.
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