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Leaving Home
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The Building Blocks of Our Personality How Our Defenses Play "Hide and Seek" with Reality Staying Home Preparing for Change Leaving Home

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Relinquishing family attachments that failed to meet childhood needs is the most difficult task individuals can undertake as they grow into adulthood. Leaving Home not only emphasizes the life-saving benefits of separating from toxic parents but also offers a viable program for personal emancipation. David P. Celani centers his program on Object Relations Theory, a branch of psychoanalysis developed by Scottish analyst Ronald Fairbairn. The human personality, Fairbairn argued, is not the result of inherited (and thus immutable) instincts. Rather, the developing child builds internal relational templates rooted in conscious and unconscious memories he internalized in childhood, and these guide his future interactions with others. While an attachment to neglectful or even abusive parents is not uncommon, there is a way out. Eloquent, relatable, and filled with rich examples taken from more than two decades of clinical practice, Leaving Home outlines the practical steps necessary to become a healthy adult.

About the Author

David P. Celani is a licensed psychologist who practiced for more than twenty-five years in Burlington, Vermont. In treatment, he focused on his patients' "attachment to bad objects," which manifested through their inability to separate from parents, friends, or marital partners who demeaned, criticized, or abused them. Celani now presents workshops throughout the United States on Object Relations theory. His books with Columbia University Press include Fairbairn's Object Relations Theory in the Clinical Setting and The Illusion of Love: Why the Battered Woman Returns to Her Abuser.

Reviews

Dr. David Celani meaningfully, forcefully, and poignantly confronts one of the most common pschyo-social issues of our time and of times past: the plight of the dysfunctional family and the attendant paradox of their offspring being unable to separate from them in adulthood to live their own lives. Dr. Celani beautifully addresses this problem and offers valuable guidelines for its sufferers. This work is highly recommended for all mental health professionals. -- James Grotstein, M.D. Full of compassion encouragement, this book will prepare readers to leave home and to live a life free of interpersonal failures. Library Journal Ambitious... The writing is straightforward and agreeable. -- Harriette Kaley PsycCRITIQUES Sophisticated and challenging... This book offers guidance and encouragement without the watered-down platitudes found elsewhere. -- Paul Efthim New England Psychologist

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