Monday, October 24, 2016

Book Review: Take Your Life Back by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop

This is a book for people to help take their lives back when they have been hijacked by control and many other issues. It talks about dependency, codependency, shame, guilt, etc. and how to break free from those patterns. It touches on different areas of trauma and how some people that have experienced trauma feel and the behaviors they sometimes exhibit. It also explains how some people can lose themselves through dependency and other issues and how to help get them on a path to discovering their real selves. It also goes through the twelve steps to recovery that are used in various healing groups.

I loved the introduction of this book, which went kind of deep into the story of the Prodigal Son and the other son in the story which hasn't been as focused on as much in the teachings I have come across, so I had thought a little bit about it in the past but not as deep as this book brought me into it. It also helped me to understand how a father (or maybe even a congregation leader) should treat a son or daughter (or past congregant) that comes back after being gone for awhile to try to discover who they are (or aren't).

I learned what "gaslighting" means for the first time that I remember since reading this book, which is a way some people act to control a relationship to distort and define reality, to try to make reality look different than it really is (Page 103). I have been through the wringer what that type of thing before so it was a relief to me to put a word to that.

Although I respect the twelve steps to recovery and that all of them seem like they are Bible-based, I had a hard time in a twelve step group once because one of the statements we were supposed to say in the group which focused on making something other than God our higher power if we didn't believe in Him. I believe in God as my higher power but I couldn't say that statement with the other words so I asked that they skip me.  I had a hard time applying the twelve steps to my learning from this book because of that experience, although I do think they are a supplement to this book.

I did also like how this book taught about responding appropriately instead of reacting. I feel like I do a good job of responding to situations I consider important most of the time, but after I hear nothing but silence for awhile after my response and nobody will help me figure out the right answers, I start reacting. The more I am like this, the more I will not have a good impact, so I'm glad this book has helped shine a light on that area that I have a hard time with sometimes.

I followed the book pretty well with it being coauthored. Sometimes when I read a book written by two authors I wonder a lot who wrote which part, which didn't bother me very much with this book. There were some parts of the book which revealed who wrote them, so that might be why I didn't wonder who wrote which parts very much.

In my opinion, the teachings in this book uncover various different unhealthy areas in relationships (and with their own lives outside of relationships) that people may have lost their lives to and will give some people the strength to get on the path to getting their lives back.

My review= 4.5 out of 5 stars

I received this book free for this review.

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