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ISBN:0809293307
Author: Samuel Osherson
ISBN13: 978-0809293308
Title: Finding Our Fathers : How a Man's Life Is Shaped by His Relationship with His Father
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ePUB size: 1871 kb
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Language: English
Category: Personal Transformation
Publisher: McGraw-Hill (May 8, 2001)
Pages: 252

Finding Our Fathers : How a Man's Life Is Shaped by His Relationship with His Father by Samuel Osherson



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Finding Our Fathers is a treasure. It is a classic that greatly influenced my thinking. coauthor of Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys. Samuel Osherson, P. Every man need to identify the good in his father, to feel how we are like them, as well as the ways we are different from them. From that, I believe, comes a fuller, trustworthy sense of masculinity, a way of caring and nurturing, of being strong without being destructive. Although nearly thirty years old, this book contains timeless insights into our relationships with our fathers, and the effects is has upon our lives. Anyone looking into this area will be well rewarded by reading this book.

Keifer said: At bottom, healing the wounded father is a process of untangling the myths and fantasies.

My Father Before Me by Michael Diamond This book by Michael Diamond revolves around the fact that how the habits, lifestyles and profession of both a father and a son has influence on each other's life. Fathers and Sons by Ron Jenson and Matt Jenson This book preaches you ten principles of life that helps you in improving your relationship with your father

Author : Samuel Osherson,Samuel Osherton. Publisher : Ballantine Books. THE BOSTON HERALD In this ground-breaking book, Harvard psychologist Samuel Osherson shows how a man's unreconciled childhood images of his father affects his relationships with his wife, children, friends, and boss-and how it can lead to a profound sense of loneliness, vulnerability, and rage. Osherson shows how every man can resolve the inner conflict of the father-son relationship and begin to develop a new sense of strength and purpose in his family life and career.

He offers himself as a case in point. His father, emotionally austere and uncommunicative, is the unwitting villain here; his nurturing mother, the instrument of grace. Cast as victim, the author strives, in his own marriage, fatherhood and career, to pick up the broken pieces of his boyhood and put them together into a man. The theme is important. Though ostensibly a book about fathers and sons, the dominant preoccupation in "Finding Our Fathers" is the helplessness and confusion many men apparently feel today in their relationships, especially sexual, with women. A better title for this book might have been "Male Vulnerability, Dependence and Confusion in the Presence of Contemporary Women. Instead we have a kind of "Daddy Dearest" in which maleness is the criminal and men the victim.

Books By Samuel Osherson. Finding Our Fathers: How a Man's Life Is Shaped by His Relationship with His Father. Wrestling with Love: How Men Struggle with Intimacy with Women, Child. The Passions Of Fatherhood. Finding Our Fathers: The Unfinished Business of Manhood. Similar Authors To Samuel Osherson.

THE BOSTON HERALD In this ground-breaking book, Harvard psychologist Samuel Osherson shows how a man's unreconciled childhood images of his father affects his relationships with his wife, children, friends, and boss-and how it can lead to a profound sense of loneliness, vulnerability, and rage. see all 3 descriptions).

The relationship between a father and his children is a repeating topic in huge numbers of Arthur Miller's plays, including Death of a Salesman, The Price All My Sons and The Man Who Had All the Luck. Being profoundly affected by Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazov and the Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen, and seeing his own particular father to be a disappointment throughout and after the Depression, Miller created a characteristic enthusiasm for and interest with this theme. Shakespeare’s Hamlet provides a close look at a son’s relationship with his parents, particularly the way a man’s bond with his mother changes after his father dies. Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, is haunted by the violence of his father’s death and the unthinking way in which his mother chooses to wed her dead husband’s brother, the new King Claudius.

Rather, the book provides a model of mother-son relationship evolution that will best nurture sons. Summarized, this model includes attachment forming, in which various relationship styles influence the Hero boy in his early physical and emotional development; individuation, which occurs when the adolescent Hero yearns for separation and independence; initiation, through which the Hero gains the rights and privileges of manhood and is thus able to create the roles of lover and warrior; and relationship re-forming, through. Masculinity is inherited from fathers or mentoring adult men and is used to combat the smothering characteristics of femininity that mothers or mentoring adult women project onto their sons.

With a new introduction by the author, this bestselling, compassionate book returns to help men rebuild their relationships

A seminal classic, Finding Our Fathers examines the hidden struggle faced by millions of men: how to reconcile their childhood images of their fathers--and of all men--as silent, stoic breadwinners with the life they want to live now--embracing two-career marriages, closer ties with their children, and greater emotional awareness.

Harvard psychologist Samuel Osherson shows you how your "unfinished business" with your father affects your relationships with your wife, your children, friends, and bosses--and how it can lead to a profound sense of loneliness, vulnerability, and rage. Osherson penetrates the shroud of silences that prevents men from coming to terms with their deepest feelings and fears, and shows how you can resolve the inner conflict of the father-son relationship and begin to develop a new sense of strength and purpose in your family life and career.

"A groundbreaking, classic work­­ as timely today as when it was first published­­perhaps more so."

William S. Pollack, author of Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood

Reviews: 7
Frosha
Solid research and fundamentals, but unfortunately a generation outdated and very difficult to relate to in today’s society.
Blackbrand
Very important book for men who aren't afraid to look deeply at themselves.
Shou
In my opinion, the paperback was difficult to follow. It was a very long journey to "find my father". And I am not sure I found him with this book.
Drelahuginn
Tried reading this on the recommendation of another, but found it hard to get not. Not necessarily a bad book, just not helpful for me.
BoberMod
Both the timing for delivery from date order was placed and the condition of the book purchased was more than I bargained. One of the easiest shopping experiences made.
Asher
Samuel Osherson is Professor of Psychology at the Fielding Graduate University; he has also taught at UMass- Boston, MIT, Harvard, and the Harvard Medical School. I am also on the faculty of the Stanley King Counseling Institute. He has also written books such as Wrestling with Love: How Men Struggle with Intimacy with Women, Children. Parents, and Each Other,The Hidden Wisdom of Parents: Real Stories That Will Change the Way You Parent--And Make a Positive Difference in Your Child's Life,The Passions of Fatherhood,Holding on or Letting Go: Men and Career Change at Midlife, etc. [NOTE: page numbers below refer to the 253-page 1986 paperback edition.]

He wrote in the Preface to this 1986 book, “[after] my first direct encounters as an adult with the reality of loss and my human helplessness in the face of it…Writing has always been the way I’ve tried to sort things out… so it’s not surprising that I started keeping a journal… This book really began with that journal… At first I wrote mainly about the present… but then came memories and feelings about the past… When my difficult and conflicted relationship with my father came into focus, I realized that I had found the man I had been searching for, the father who, more by his absence than his presence, was the key to the sense of emptiness and vulnerability in my life… During this time I had the opportunity to hear about the lives of many other men. I was directing a longitudinal study of a large number of Harvard men… My research gave me the opportunity to talk in a relaxed, unhurried manner with … men from around the country… From these talks I began to see how profound and painful were the consequences of the predictable dislocation between fathers and sons… Many of the male-female skirmishes of our times are rooted in the hidden, ongoing struggles sons have with their fathers… So I set out to write a book about men’s unfinished business with their fathers.”

In the Introduction, he explains, “In this book I shall explore how men’s early and ongoing relationships with their fathers shape the intimacy and work dilemmas men coming of age today face. My focus is on the emotional vulnerabilities of normal adult men as we struggle with the demands of work and family in our lives. What I hope to show is that to understand men’s feelings about love and work we need to understand our unfinished business with our fathers… I also draw on other research… plus my clinical experience in counseling men of differing ages and circumstances.” (Pg. 4) Later, he adds, “The interviews I have had with men in their thirties and forties convince me that the psychological or physical absence of fathers from their families is one of the great underestimated tragedies of our times.” (Pg. 6)

He says, “The end result of the boy’s separation-individuation struggle is that men carry around as adults a burden of vulnerability, dependency, or emptiness within themselves, still grieving… When men are put in touch with this pain today, they will respond ambivalently: with rage or shame, attempting to prove their independence, as well as with curiosity and a desire to heal the wound they feel.” (Pg. 10)

He suggests, “It is possible to heal the wounded father within. Men are not passive victims; much of our [activity]… is actually an attempt to heal the wound within ourselves, so that we can become more confident and nurturing as men… Healing the wounded father within is a psychological and social process that unfolds over time and involves exploring a new sense of self, and understanding the complex crosscurrents within our families which affected us as we grew up.” (Pg. 16)

He states, “The wounded father is the internal sense of masculinity that man carry around with them. It is an inner image of father that we experience as judgmental or angry or, depending on our relationship with father, as needy and vulnerable. When a man says he can’t love his children because he wasn’t loved well enough, it is the wounded father he is struggling with… The internalized, wounded father is rooted in the son’s experience of the father, a composite of fantasy and reality, not always corresponding to the reality of what father was really like or exactly what went on within the family. “ (Pg. 27-28)

He observes, “I have the impression that today the wish for forgiveness and reconciliation with father often goes unmet… The rites of passage common to men in adolescence and young adulthood today involve joining such institutions as the army, football teams, medical schools, and large corporations. Those institutions play upon the young man’s wish for an idealized father to love him, offering an exaggeratedly masculine way to live up and be a good son.” (Pg. 46)

He points out, “A greatly overlooked aspect of men’s psyche is their fear of doing harm to or being hurt by those they love. Many men I’ve worked with and talked to carry with them an unexamined feeling, often never verbalized or acknowledged, that they are destructive or violent. A key issue for men in their thirties and forties is what to do with the unconscious rage dredged up by the experiences they are having in the family.” (Pg. 145)

In the chapter on fatherhood, he comments, “The man may wonder if he will become a father for whom the provider identity absorbs all… Yet provider anxiety may have less to do with money than with intimacy. Among many men the fear … is also fear of losing intimacy and family in the process of becoming the traditional father… There is a reality behind that concern. Since we lack images of a truly participatory, emotionally involved father, many men will confront internal and social expectations to the effect that their main and primary task is to get out there and protect and provide for the family… We become fathers not just to our children, not just in the eyes of the outside world, but in the eyes of our wives as well.” (Pg. 190)

He asks, “What does it mean for sons to heal the wounded father, our internal image of father as wounded or angry, which lies at the core of our own sense of masculinity? Healing the wounded father means ‘detoxifying’ that image so that it is no longer dominated by the resentment, sorrow and sense of loss or absence that restrict our own identities as men… We are speaking here of a process of grieving… In trying to understand our fathers, we confront the depths of our neediness and that of our fathers.” (Pg. 206)

He notes, “By the time many men try to work it out with their fathers… they don’t get to work it out because the roles are almost reversed; father may be ill, less productive, less energetic… Healing the wounded father becomes more complex when a father is dead, emotionally inaccessible, or physically unavailable. In such cases one is deprived of the actual emotional healing that comes from reaching common ground with one’s father, hearing and seeing a new bond forged between the generations. And the son is deprived too of feeling that he has been able to give to his father, helping to heal his father’s emotional wounds.” (Pg. 224-225)

He concludes, “At bottom, healing the wounded father is a process of untangling the myths and fantasies sons learn growing up about self, mother, and father, which we act out every day with bosses, wives, and children. It means constructing a satisfying sense of manhood both from our opportunities in a time of changing sex-roles and by ‘diving into the wreck of the past and retrieving a firm, sturdy appreciation of the heroism and failure in our fathers’ lives… Every man need to identify the good in his father, to feel how we are like them, as well as the ways we are different from them. From that, I believe, comes a fuller, trustworthy sense of masculinity, a way of caring and nurturing, of being strong without being destructive.” (Pg. 229)

Although nearly thirty years old, this book contains timeless insights into our relationships with our fathers, and the effects is has upon our lives. Anyone looking into this area will be well rewarded by reading this book.
Gavikelv
Samuel Osherson is Professor of Psychology at the Fielding Graduate University; he has also taught at UMass- Boston, MIT, Harvard, and the Harvard Medical School. I am also on the faculty of the Stanley King Counseling Institute. He has also written books such as Wrestling with Love: How Men Struggle with Intimacy with Women, Children. Parents, and Each Other,The Hidden Wisdom of Parents: Real Stories That Will Change the Way You Parent--And Make a Positive Difference in Your Child's Life,The Passions of Fatherhood,Holding on or Letting Go: Men and Career Change at Midlife, etc. [NOTE: page numbers below refer to the 253-page 1986 paperback edition.]

He wrote in the Preface to this 1986 book, “[after] my first direct encounters as an adult with the reality of loss and my human helplessness in the face of it…Writing has always been the way I’ve tried to sort things out… so it’s not surprising that I started keeping a journal… This book really began with that journal… At first I wrote mainly about the present… but then came memories and feelings about the past… When my difficult and conflicted relationship with my father came into focus, I realized that I had found the man I had been searching for, the father who, more by his absence than his presence, was the key to the sense of emptiness and vulnerability in my life… During this time I had the opportunity to hear about the lives of many other men. I was directing a longitudinal study of a large number of Harvard men… My research gave me the opportunity to talk in a relaxed, unhurried manner with … men from around the country… From these talks I began to see how profound and painful were the consequences of the predictable dislocation between fathers and sons… Many of the male-female skirmishes of our times are rooted in the hidden, ongoing struggles sons have with their fathers… So I set out to write a book about men’s unfinished business with their fathers.”

In the Introduction, he explains, “In this book I shall explore how men’s early and ongoing relationships with their fathers shape the intimacy and work dilemmas men coming of age today face. My focus is on the emotional vulnerabilities of normal adult men as we struggle with the demands of work and family in our lives. What I hope to show is that to understand men’s feelings about love and work we need to understand our unfinished business with our fathers… I also draw on other research… plus my clinical experience in counseling men of differing ages and circumstances.” (Pg. 4) Later, he adds, “The interviews I have had with men in their thirties and forties convince me that the psychological or physical absence of fathers from their families is one of the great underestimated tragedies of our times.” (Pg. 6)

He says, “The end result of the boy’s separation-individuation struggle is that men carry around as adults a burden of vulnerability, dependency, or emptiness within themselves, still grieving… When men are put in touch with this pain today, they will respond ambivalently: with rage or shame, attempting to prove their independence, as well as with curiosity and a desire to heal the wound they feel.” (Pg. 10)

He suggests, “It is possible to heal the wounded father within. Men are not passive victims; much of our [activity]… is actually an attempt to heal the wound within ourselves, so that we can become more confident and nurturing as men… Healing the wounded father within is a psychological and social process that unfolds over time and involves exploring a new sense of self, and understanding the complex crosscurrents within our families which affected us as we grew up.” (Pg. 16)

He states, “The wounded father is the internal sense of masculinity that man carry around with them. It is an inner image of father that we experience as judgmental or angry or, depending on our relationship with father, as needy and vulnerable. When a man says he can’t love his children because he wasn’t loved well enough, it is the wounded father he is struggling with… The internalized, wounded father is rooted in the son’s experience of the father, a composite of fantasy and reality, not always corresponding to the reality of what father was really like or exactly what went on within the family. “ (Pg. 27-28)

He observes, “I have the impression that today the wish for forgiveness and reconciliation with father often goes unmet… The rites of passage common to men in adolescence and young adulthood today involve joining such institutions as the army, football teams, medical schools, and large corporations. Those institutions play upon the young man’s wish for an idealized father to love him, offering an exaggeratedly masculine way to live up and be a good son.” (Pg. 46)

He points out, “A greatly overlooked aspect of men’s psyche is their fear of doing harm to or being hurt by those they love. Many men I’ve worked with and talked to carry with them an unexamined feeling, often never verbalized or acknowledged, that they are destructive or violent. A key issue for men in their thirties and forties is what to do with the unconscious rage dredged up by the experiences they are having in the family.” (Pg. 145)

In the chapter on fatherhood, he comments, “The man may wonder if he will become a father for whom the provider identity absorbs all… Yet provider anxiety may have less to do with money than with intimacy. Among many men the fear … is also fear of losing intimacy and family in the process of becoming the traditional father… There is a reality behind that concern. Since we lack images of a truly participatory, emotionally involved father, many men will confront internal and social expectations to the effect that their main and primary task is to get out there and protect and provide for the family… We become fathers not just to our children, not just in the eyes of the outside world, but in the eyes of our wives as well.” (Pg. 190)

He asks, “What does it mean for sons to heal the wounded father, our internal image of father as wounded or angry, which lies at the core of our own sense of masculinity? Healing the wounded father means ‘detoxifying’ that image so that it is no longer dominated by the resentment, sorrow and sense of loss or absence that restrict our own identities as men… We are speaking here of a process of grieving… In trying to understand our fathers, we confront the depths of our neediness and that of our fathers.” (Pg. 206)

He notes, “By the time many men try to work it out with their fathers… they don’t get to work it out because the roles are almost reversed; father may be ill, less productive, less energetic… Healing the wounded father becomes more complex when a father is dead, emotionally inaccessible, or physically unavailable. In such cases one is deprived of the actual emotional healing that comes from reaching common ground with one’s father, hearing and seeing a new bond forged between the generations. And the son is deprived too of feeling that he has been able to give to his father, helping to heal his father’s emotional wounds.” (Pg. 224-225)

He concludes, “At bottom, healing the wounded father is a process of untangling the myths and fantasies sons learn growing up about self, mother, and father, which we act out every day with bosses, wives, and children. It means constructing a satisfying sense of manhood both from our opportunities in a time of changing sex-roles and by ‘diving into the wreck of the past and retrieving a firm, sturdy appreciation of the heroism and failure in our fathers’ lives… Every man need to identify the good in his father, to feel how we are like them, as well as the ways we are different from them. From that, I believe, comes a fuller, trustworthy sense of masculinity, a way of caring and nurturing, of being strong without being destructive.” (Pg. 229)

Although nearly thirty years old, this book contains timeless insights into our relationships with our fathers, and the effects is has upon our lives. Anyone looking into this area will be well rewarded by reading this book.