About the Book

book-how's your family really doing?Current and comprehensive, How’s Your Family? is a guidebook that helps readers build strong, loving, and happy families for the new millennium. Weaving together contributions from psychology, neurobiology, systems theory and spirituality, it also draws from extensive new brain research to highlight 10 essential keys that define successful families.

“Debra and Don have spent enormous time and effort to separate myth from fact.”

-Ron Taffel, Ph.D. Author of Childhood Unbound and Breaking Through to Teens

After completing a 50-point questionnaire, parents receive feedback about their family’s strengths and areas for improvement. Providing dozens of practical tools for families in any stage of the life cycle, it is concise, engaging, and designed to capture the interest of working parents from all walks of life who are often too busy to pore through lengthier books.

“Excellent, informative, helpful, and well written.”

-Robert Brooks, Ph.D. Co-author of Raising Resilient Children

As a society, we have been inundated with “how to books,” typically focused on symptoms that one or more family members are experiencing such as anxiety, depression, school problems, out of control behaviors, addictions, etc. But parents buying books about specific symptoms or challenges are often frustrated when trying new techniques without success. That’s because these books fail to include what else may be going on in the family that can create or maintain problem behaviors. In contrast, How’s Your Family? provides the reader with a checklist of the most important, underlying “family factors” that can add to their efforts at change.

“…an ingenious and original idea immediately accessible to parents and professionals alike.”

-Ron Taffel, Ph.D. Author of Childhood Unbound and Breaking Through to Teens

How’s Your Family Really Doing? can help you to:

  • Learn about healthy families and ways to bring out the best in one other.
  • Identify family strengths and areas needing improvement.
  • Facilitate conversations about desired changes.
  • Create a working set of goals to focus efforts at improvement.
  • Find specific ways to strengthen skills for each of the 10 Keys.
  • Examine the similarities and differences between your family of origin and current family.

“I loved it. Finally, here is a book that will really make a difference in your life…”

-Dr. Jordan Paul, Co-author of Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?

The inspiration for this book came from the thousands of families that reached out for help over the last 35 years. The authors were asked the same question over and over: “Why didn’t we learn this information in school?” How’s Your Family? uncovers and synthesizes the essential characteristics of healthy families as they emerged from the authors’ therapy practice, teaching, training of therapists, and in their own family. This is the course that we all wish had been offered in high school or college. Imagine the mistakes that could have been avoided had anyone taught us the essentials of healthy relating…

“…a wonderful resource that reflects the insights of two skilled and experienced family clinicians.”

-Robert Brooks, Ph.D. Co-author of Raising Resilient Children and of The Power of Resilience

The book was conceptualized and written to be more than just a parenting book. It can be used as a reference—like an encyclopedia of family relationships that can be turned to at pivotal moments in the family life cycle. The tips and tools can help family members regardless of whether the kids are still growing up or have left the nest. Equally appropriate for families with toddlers, teens or grandparents, evaluation and change in families is aided by the input of as many participants and generations as possible. It can be used as a pre-marital tool, as preparation for the birth of a child, at a time when a child is symptomatic and the family wants to know why, at the blending of two new families, or at a break-up or a geographical move.

“…a resource that will be of lasting value to parents, prospective parents, grandparents, and clinicians. It is welcoming, warm, and wise.”

-Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D. Author, Emotionally Intelligent Parenting

As psychotherapists co-directing a training institute for the past 30 years, the authors had the privilege of hand-picking and sponsoring dozens of workshops that featured internationally-renowned clinicians, researchers and experts on families. The book synthesizes a tremendous amount of information from a wide range of sources. As supervisors responsible for overseeing the well being of literally thousands of families, the book was the culmination of the authors’ quest to understand how best to be of help.

“An excellent book. Read it and you and your family will certainly grow together.”

-Charles Fishman, M.D. Author, Intensive Structural Therapy and Treating Troubled Adolescents


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