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My Father Before Me: How Fathers and Sons Influence Each Other Throughout Their Livesby Michael J Diamond
Synopses & Reviews
For decades, mothers were thought to be the only real influence on a child. Now we recognize that the father's involvement also has a profound impact, but how sons affect their fathers is too-often overlooked. In psychoanalyst Michael J. Diamond firmly establishes fatherhood as an essential event for both the son's and the father's development. With chapters analyzing the father/son relationship throughout the life cycle, and demonstrating the powerful influence between them, Diamond calls for a more inclusive notion of masculinity, thus allowing men to access parts of themselves they previously ignored. He argues that sons are largely responsible for helping their fathers embrace this more flexible notion of manhood, making them better partners and better parents. Diamond has written an important book that enables us to make sense of the question: what does it truly mean to be a man.
"Unlike women, says Diamond, to whom mothering ability is natural, men must learn how to be fathers. And as the noted psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott gave us the notion of the 'good enough mother,' clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst Diamond proposes the 'good enough father,' a man who cultivates his own emotional life and becomes fully engaged in his children's inner lives to enhance their growth. While fathers certainly influence their daughters, he continues, the bond between fathers and sons is 'particularly intricate and complex.' Diamond delineates the stages of a father's development, beginning during the wife's pregnancy (the author focuses on traditional families, but says his framework applies to nontraditional families as well). He traces the father-son relationship from the protective 'guardian' phase of the son's infancy through successive stages of letting go as a father allows his son to separate and mature, guides the boy into manhood and, finally, parent and child move closer together again as a father ages and the reality of death must be accepted. Drawing on his own practice and on psychoanalytic theory, Diamond gives a good foundation for beginning to understand the intricacies of the father-son bond." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
A clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst based in Los Angeles, Diamond explores the roles that fathers assume in order to help their sons grow, and how fathers in turn are launched on a process of growth that parallels their sons' journeys. He follows fathers and sons through the life cycle, emphasizing the internal, primarily emotional experience of both as they influence each other through a range of circumstances. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A powerful depiction of the unexplored reciprocal relationship between fathers and sons.
In a powerful depiction of the unexplored reciprocal relationship between fathers and sons, a noted psychoanalyst firmly establishes fatherhood as an essential event for both the son's and the father's development and how their relationships are formed.
About the Author
Michael J. Diamond is a practicing clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst and was recently named Distinguished Psychoanalyst of the Year by the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. He lives in Los Angeles.
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