Family myths: Living our roles, betraying ourselves
Block J. (1994). Family myths: Living our roles, betraying ourselves. New York: Fireside Books/Simon & Schuster, 288 pp., $11.00.
Family Myths attempts to apply fairy tales and classical myths to the stories of patients, friends, family, and self. If you are interested in seeing yourself or your patient in the role of Pinocchio, then this is the book for you. Block claims that many of us are transformed into distorted images of ourselves (imposed by parental needs). She suggests that intolerance of ambiguity traps families into creating underlying, mythical structures. Within these structures, family members become rigid, diametric archetypes.
Saturated with quotations and thoughts from Yeats to Mother Goose, the book is marred at times by trite formulations. In an effort to help people through the muddle of their families, this work weakly explores the roots of our identities and offers some solutions for breaking “magical spells.” But ultimately it is reductionistic and simplistic, underestimating the demands and understanding of the general public.
Jon Sullivan, MSSW Northeast Psychological Association Salem, MA
Copyright American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Jan 1997
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