Cain's Legacy: Liberating Siblings from a Lifetime of Rage, Shame, Secrecy, and Regret

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Basic Books, Jan 3, 2012 - Psychology - 288 pages
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Bonds between brothers and sisters are among the longest lasting and most emotionally significant of human relationships. But while 45 percent of adults struggle with serious sibling strife, few discuss it openly. Even fewer resolve it to their satisfaction. In Cain’s Legacy, psychotherapist Jeanne Safer, a recognized authority on sibling psychology (and an estranged sister herself) illuminates this pervasive but hidden phenomenon. She explores the roots of inter-sibling woes, from siblicide in the book of Genesis to tensions in Freud’s family history. Drawing on sixty in-depth interviews with adult siblings struggling with conflicts over money, family businesses, aging parents, contentious wills, unhealed childhood wounds, and blocked communication, Safer provides compassionate guidance to brothers and sisters whose relationship is broken. She helps siblings overcome their paralysis and pain, revealing how they can come to terms with the one peer relationship they can never sever—even if they never see each other again. A heartfelt look at a too-often avoided topic, Cain’s Legacy is a sympathetic and clear-eyed guide to navigating the darkness separating us from our brothers and sisters.
 

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Contents

Also by Jeanne Safer
ANIMOSITY BEGINS AT HOME
THE BANK OF BRO AND
A BROTHER IN THE BUSINESS
FIVE VARIETIES OF SIBLING STRIFE
FOR THE SAKE OF THE PARENTS
IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES
FRIENDS AT LAST
She SaidShe Said
Found in Translation
Seven Rules for Sibling Reengagement
THINKING NEW THOUGHTS ABOUT SIBLINGS 1 Face the problem
Realize that difficult siblings follow you everywhere 3 Understand your parents role 4 Resisting change is natural
Accept that you dont really know your sibling 6 Abolish Sibspeak 7 Use every resource
Think about your motives and goals 9 Siblings can surprise
There is no onesizefitsall solution to sibling strife

Deeds Not Words
Death Opens His Eyes
Death Opens Her Eyes

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About the author (2012)

Jeanne Safer, Ph.D., has been a psychotherapist for thirty-eight years. She is the author of The Normal One, Death Benefits, Beyond Motherhood, and Forgiving and Not Forgiving. She appears frequently on television and radio and lectures widely. She has written for O: The Oprah Magazine, More, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, among other publications. She lives in New York City.

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