Author(s): Jenny Brown
To be human is to be in relationships. We can't survive without them but it's in relationships that we can so easily get unravelled. Some relationships just seem to do us in. Either we feel like we lose ourselves or feel burnt out from futile efforts to make things right for another. In our relationships we can experience the very best of ourselves and the very worst. The message of Growing Yourself Up is that you can't separate understanding the individual from understanding relationships. All of life's relationships are integral to increasing self-awareness and maturity. And it's not necessarily the comfortable relationships that promote personal growth. In this 2nd edition of the bestselling book, Jenny examines how to help others without fostering dependency, and how to determine what kind of help you or others want from therapists. This is in response to the many lay and professional people who have found this book valuable personally and want to know how to help others grow.
Drawing from Bowen family systems theory, the book takes you on a journey through each stage of life to see predictable patterns of relationships and to show how to use this knowledge to make purposeful adjustments in yourself; as well as lending a mature helping hand to others. The result is a sturdier self, sturdier relationships and a refreshing new way to view life's challenges and opportunities.
Jenny Brown, PhD, is founder and executive director of the Family Systems Institute and Family Systems Practice in Sydney, Australia, where she has a counselling practice and trains mental health professionals and organizations.
Who's willing to work at growing up?
Part 1: Understanding the relationship foundations of adult maturity
1. Becoming a self in our relationships
2. Real maturity or pretend maturity
3. Family ties that bind
Part 2: Maturity for the first half of adult life
4. Leaving home and growing up
5. The single young adult
6. How marriage can grow people
7. Sex for grown-ups
8. Grown-up parenting
Part 3: Being a grown-up beyond family
9. Off to work we go
10. Developing mature beliefs
Part 4: Nurturing maturity in the face of set backs
11. Separation and divorce
12. Symptoms and setbacks
Part 5: Maturity enhancement in the second half of life
14. Ageing well
15. Old age and facing death
Part 6: Broadening the focus
16. The grown-up helper
17. Society and self
Appendix 1: Summary questions for reflection
Appendix 2: Mature connection and separateness
Appendix 3: What are guiding principles?
Appendix 4: Differentiation of self as a continuum
Appendix 5: How to construct your family diagram
Appendix 6: An overview of human development across the lifespan from a Bowen family systems perspective
Appendix 7: Some Biblical reflections on relationships
Bibliography and further reading