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Families and How to Survive Them

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Robin Skynner will be remembered for his prolific writing; he authored One Flesh: Separate Persons, Principles of Family and Marital Psychotherapy (1976), Explorations with Families: Group-Analysis and Family Therapy (1987), Institutes and How to Survive Them: Mental Health Training and Consultation (1989), Family Matters (1995), Families and How to Survive Them (1975), and Life and How to Survive It. However, it was Skynner himself who in 1977 founded the Institute of Family Therapy and chaired it for the next 2 years. I remember reading this book years ago and finding the discussions of how and why we replicate family relationships and how we are drawn to people hiding the same problems as ourselves fascinating.

As Freud blamed all psychological ailments on penises and patients' poor relationships with their mothers, so "Families and How to Survive Them", tends to, in my view, oversimplify some of the issues. The book gives psychological ideas about why this works but these ideas don't actually help you in themselves.Chapter 2: I'm God, and Let's Leave it Like That – In the extensive further reading section at the end of the book, Skynner acknowledges that this chapter "depends heavily on the ideas of Melanie Klein, founder of The English School of Psychoanalysis".

Ocena byłaby wyższa, bo w porównaniu z następną książką (którą przeczytałam wcześniej) "Żyć na tym świecie i przetrwać" jest bardziej konkretna i więcej tam przystępnie wytłumaczonych mechanizmów dot. He was successively the Director of the Woodberry Down Child Guidance Unit, Physician-in Charge of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children, Senior Tutor in Psychotherapy at the Institute of Psychiatry and Honorary Associate Consultant at the Maudsley Hospital. I really enjoyed this non-fiction book, even though I didn't agree with all of the opinions within it (what makes people homosexual for example).To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. John Cleese (ator, do Monty Python) e o psiquiatra Robin Skynner conversam sobre casamento, filhos, amor, educação, paranoias, tudo aquilo que nos preocupa.

An interesting and different book on psychology which is aimed at the average reader rather than the psychology student or medical expert. He was educated at St Austell County School and at Blundell's School, after which, at the age of 18, he volunteered for the Royal Air Force (RAF), and was selected as a prospective bomber pilot.He was adversely affected by the shared destruction and slaughter he was obliged to carry out, an experience that, for a variety of complex reasons, drew him to psychiatry as an eventual vocation. Skynner was intrigued by Foulkes, and by the early stages of the Therapeutic community movement, which was beginning to gather strength. He became Foulkes's pupil and later his patient in a group; Robin Skynner would readily admit he needed treatment himself.

Some reviews pick up on the old fashioned family roles and strict parenting style advocated by Skynner, who of course argues this just reflects his years of clinical experience, but then again, this is a book from the early 80s, so his experience was from working with couples and families in the 60s and 70s, so the adults will have reached maturity in the 40s and 50s, and only a few in the 60s, so unsurprisingly the feedback from Skynner's practise will seem to the younger reader rather conservative. Skynner opens with a classic folk tale motive - his great uncle relating how Skynner's mother said that her son would either be a genius or end up in the madhouse. Homosexuals are deviants and are the way they are because they missed a stage in childhood, hmm, really? It's unbelievable how common sensical most things seem and how most (if not all) situations described remind one of personal experience or of that of people around them.

But if you ever wanted to know why some families get along and others don't, in broad terms, I'd recommend this book highly. Love, sex and marriage and parenthood, depression and sadness, independence and experience are just a few of the many issues explored in conversation by family therapist Robin Skynner and his former patient and comedian, John Cleese. Then the two men begin to reminisce about how smacking improved their relationships with their children and brought them closer together (I assume they mean non-literally, not just because their hand was coming into sharp contact with the child's backside which is pretty close contact), so it comes as a mild surprise that they are not enthusiastic about sado-masochism. Over several weeks I grew steadily more intrigued, and finally borrowed a copy of 'Families and how to survive them' from the library.

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