book review by Anne Ku
What you don't know can hurt you
copyright 1995, 297 pages paperback
My friend Sue had ordered
many books on psychology, gardening, and child development from Amazon.
Before shipping them to her, I thought I'd take a peek. This one I read
continuously over the course of three days. Fascinating!
author is obviously an experienced therapist - ex-alcoholic - who counselled many
people. Like most of the therapy-based books (i.e. with stories from therapy
sessions), this one contained many accounts of adults who "rehabilitated"
afterwards. What is unique about this book, however, is that the author
focusses on family secrets - of which he categorises into four levels (most dangerous
and dark - to the least harmful, in fact, some secrets are good.) He also
groups secrets by content, e.g. sacred, birth-related, death-related, ... possession-related,
etc. It is basically a do-it-yourself book. The author takes you
step-by-step to get you to find out your family secrets by visiting your family
members and others close to the family. The family relationships, going
as far back as great-grandparents, are then diagrammed into so-called GENOGRAMS.
While the passing down of family
traits and diseases is generally accepted, what was new to me (but referenced
in this book) was the passing down of dispositions and vulnerabilities - which
often are hidden in family secrets, not questioned or discussed. Thus while
parents of smart and talented children believe in genetics - so too, adults with
problems ought to believe in genetics. By probing, uncovering, and understanding
family secrets, one may finally understand why he/she is having certain problems
or behaving in certain ways.
it's no secret that my grandfather wrote and published several text books.
His son, my father, wrote and translated twenty four on English grammar and literature
during his time as a teacher/lecturer. My sister has written and published
two books (on cartoons). Why haven't I published a single book yet?