The Secret Life of Families

The Secret Life of Families : Making Decisions About Secrets: When Keeping Secrets Can Harm You, When Keeping Secrets Can Heal You-And How to Know the Difference

4.28 (39 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 11-14 business days.


Not ordering to the United States? Click here.

Description

A wife keeps a secret bank account.... A husband has an affair.... A teen refuses to say where she goes at night.... A family therapist for twenty-five years, Evan Imber-Black fills her book with compelling real-life stories of people confronting the dilemmas of family secrets. She challenges the popular notion that secrets are always bad and that the best medicine is to tell all; thoughtless "truth-telling" (often modeled by talk shows) can create years of dangerous fallout.

With insight and compassion, "The Secret Life of Families" offers realistic guidance on a range of issues:
-- how to tell when a secret is hurting your family
-- how to handle difficult issues like sexuality, race or religion, adoption and artificial insemination, serious illness, and divorce
-- what to tell -- and not to tell -- young children
-- questions to ask yourself before revealing an important secret
-- what to expect after a secret is opened; and much more
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 19mm | 431g
  • Bantam Dell Publishing Group, Div of Random House, Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0553375520
  • 9780553375527
  • 450,763

Flap copy

Secrets come in all shapes and sizes. And for families as well as individuals, they are built on a complex web of shifting motives and emotions. But today, when personal revelations are posted on the Internet or sensationalized on afternoon talk shows, we risk losing touch with how important secrets are--how they are used and abused, their power to harm and heal.
In this important work, Evan Imber-Black explores the nature of secrets, helping us understand:
The distinction between healthy privacy and toxic secrecy
What to tell--and not to tell--young children
How to safely confront a family "zone of silence"
Why adolescents need to have some secrets--and where to draw the line
The effect of "official" secrets, like sealed adoption records and medical testing
What to consider before revealing an important secret
And much more
Filled with moving first-person stories, The Secret Life of Families provides perspective on some of today's most sensitive personal and social issues. Giving voice to our deepest fears and to our power to overcome them, this is a book that will be talked about for years to come.
show more

Back cover copy

Secrets come in all shapes and sizes. And for families as well as individuals, they are built on a complex web of shifting motives and emotions. But today, when personal revelations are posted on the Internet or sensationalized on afternoon talk shows, we risk losing touch with how important secrets are -- how they are used and abused, their power to harm and heal.

In this important work, Evan Imber-Black explores the nature of secrets, helping us understand:
-- The distinction between healthy privacy and toxic secrecy
-- What to tell -- and not to tell -- young children
-- How to safely confront a family "zone of silence"
-- Why adolescents need to have some secrets -- and where to draw the line
-- The effect of "official" secrets, like sealed adoption records and medical testing
-- What to consider before revealing an important secret
-- And much more

Filled with moving first-person stories, The Secret Life of Families provides perspective on some of today's most sensitive personal and social issues. Giving voice to our deepest fears and to our power to overcome them, this is a book that will be talked about for years to come.
show more

Review quote

"A must-read book--daring, compassionate, timely, and eminently useful."
--Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., author of The Dance of Anger and The Dance of Deception

"What a pleasure!...Wise and discerning."
--Donald A. Bloch, M.D., Past President, American Family Therapy Academy

"[A] powerful, groundbreaking book...Brave, compelling, and important."
--Terrence Real, author of I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression
show more

About Evan Imber-Black

Evan Imber-Black, Ph.D., is Director of Program Development at the Ackerman Institute for the Family in New York City and Professor of Psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She is also immediate past-president of the American Family Therapy Academy. Her previous books include Rituals for Our Times (with Janine Roberts, Ed.D.) and the professional book Secrets in Families and Family Therapy, which she edited. The mother of two grown children, she lives with her husband in Westchester, where she practices family therapy.
show more

Rating details

39 ratings
4.28 out of 5 stars
5 49% (19)
4 31% (12)
3 21% (8)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X