Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents

(126 customer reviews)

Original price was: $ 29,99.Current price is: $ 19,99.

This product is a digital download type PDF that is available for download immediately after purchase.
Guaranteed Safe Checkout

If you grew up with an emotionally immature, unavailable, or selfish parent, you may have lingering feelings of anger, loneliness, betrayal, or abandonment. You may recall your childhood as a time when your emotional needs were not met, when your feelings were dismissed, or when you took on adult levels of responsibility in an effort to compensate for your parent’s behavior. These wounds can be healed, and you can move forward in your life.
In this breakthrough book, clinical psychologist Lindsay Gibson exposes the destructive nature of parents who are emotionally immature or unavailable. You will see how these parents create a sense of neglect, and discover ways to heal from the pain and confusion caused by your childhood. By freeing yourself from your parents’ emotional immaturity, you can recover your true nature, control how you react to them, and avoid disappointment. Finally, you’ll learn how to create positive, new relationships so you can build a better life.
Discover the four types of difficult parents:
The emotional parent instills feelings of instability and anxiety
The driven parent stays busy trying to perfect everything and everyone
The passive parent avoids dealing with anything upsetting
The rejecting parent is withdrawn, dismissive, and derogatory

126 reviews for Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents

  1. Opera Fan13

    If you weren't badly "abused," but still didn't feel like your family really embraced you, this is the book for you.

    There are a few negative reviews that accuse the book of being judgmental and fostering dangerous, exaggerated attitudes toward parents. I actually didn’t see that at all. This book gives a name to the subtle disengagement, distance and neglect kids suffer at the hands of parents who probably do a great job of providing food, clothing, shelter and physical safety.

    I burst into tears reading the chapters on internalizers and how they end up dealing with this; it was like reading my life story. I’m not sure my parents were bad enough to be considered true “narcissists,” and I really do believe they love me. But they fall so clearly into the “emotional parent” (my Mom) and “passive parent” (my Dad) the author describes, and it was a disastrous combo for my sense of worth. It explained their behavior right down to exact words and phrases they use, and it also explained MY behavior and some of the self-sabotaging choices I’ve made as an adult. I was so relieved to hear it wasn’t all in my head, that there were things I could do to find real emotional connection with other people, even in my 40s!

    I didn’t come away judging my folks, but rather with new insight on how to deal with them, and how not to waste another minute of my life trying to get through to family members who have no desire to change. I’ll take my parents as they are and not expect more than they can give, but also begin holding myself accountable for good choices now that I have this new information with which to move forward. I’m so thankful I found this book- it was dead on in its specificity.

    Helpful? 2845 0
  2. R. J. Krzak, Award-Winning Author

    Applause for Lindsay Gibson...

    Thank you Lindsay for being born!!! I’ve read countless self help books by various authors over the last three decades but, still, I never got to the heart of what was causing within me a pervasive sense of sadness, loneliness and not belonging. I’ve lived life mostly on the outside and in a detached way. Seldom did I feel that I fully connected with others. People would say I was a very likable person but I couldn’t understand why. I never knew that I was attractive until a friend told me when I was in my teens. Even then I thought why is she saying that? I often took a backseat because I didn’t have the confidence to stand up and be noticed. I could give countless examples going way back to my early childhood but suffice to say that Lindsay’s book is the story of my live.

    I’m an internalizer. My sister is and externalizer. In many ways my parents weren’t mature enough to deal with my sister’s temper tantrums and her destructiveness. I was always on the receiving end of my sister’s evil doings but my parents blamed me for her s. They would give in to her all the time and at my expense. They had no control of her. My sister and mother were always together and my father adored my sister whilst, I was the pregnancy they didn’t want. Yes, my mother told me that she tried to abort me during the first five months of her pregnancy, but in her words said, I couldn’t get rid of you! So, she said, you were born and we were stuck with you like it or not. I was about seven years old at the time and didn’t fully understand then what she was saying until I grew older.

    Mother’s jealousy, envy and resentment towards me were not recognized at the time but, on reflection, I now realize how damaging it was. I reflect back to when I was 15 and the only emotion that I recall was a deep sense of loneliness which I have carried with me since. Who am I? Where do I fit in? Why do I feel flawed as a human being? Why do I not feel good enough? Never ending questions. In my loneliness I felt an ever ending sorrow that I couldn’t comprehend that, is, until I read Lindsay’s book. I’ve lived most of my life with a multitude of conflicting and confusing emotions that neither I or any therapist I’ve seen or other books I’ve read has touch the spot quite like, ‘Emotionally Immature Parents’. The decades have gone by and I’m now 65… at last I understand the emotional damage done throughout my early childhood and the life long affect it has had on me. However, all the could have’s, would have’s and should have’s won’t change a thing but, there’s one thing for sure and that is, for the rest of my days I’ll have clarity and an inner peace that I’ve never had. My heart is lighter and the anger all spent… what a wonderful place to be! Thank you from the bottom of my heart Lindsay. You are and angel in disguise.

    Helpful? 1051 0
  3. Babsalow

    Gives You Permission

    So many reviews shower praise, rightfully so, on this book that I find it difficult to add anything new. I read this book on the heels of two other excellent books: Dealing With the Unavoidable Narcissist in Your Life by Sydney Koh, and The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment by Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman and Robert Pressman.

    I found that the process of reading these books in this order (the narcissist books first) worked really well for me, as I found it helpful to fully understand narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder which co-exists with emotional immaturity.

    These books together have allowed me to see and now deal with reality–my family and people as they are and not as I wish them to be, and me as I am and not as I think I should be, or as other’s think I should be. And it gave me permission to not apologize for seeing everyone in their true light.

    Lindsay Gibson’s Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents gave me the permission to detach, to assert my sense of self worth, and to affirm that self-worth by taking her excellent recommendations on living my self worth out. It gave me permission to stop all attempts to “reach” my mom and to understand that a person’s emotional immaturity is something that won’t be changed because it can’t be changed without dedicating lots of time to SELF-REFLECTION. I call it “doing the work,” which I can now, at sixty years of age, unequivocally say is paying off in huge dividends of freedom and lightness of being.

    I can now have what I like to describe as an “out of body experience” when I am with my mom and certain siblings–I can be in the room but not of the room (as the Bible verse goes) and be confident of my hard-won and inwardly explored arrival at EMOTIONAL SEPARATION from those whose only motivation is to direct and control my attention and consideration upon THEM. And even better, I am cut loose from the incessant previous need to gain their sincere admiration and affirmation. I don’t need it anymore thanks to these books.

    I filled almost every page of Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents with notes that wound around paragraphs and down the margins. I underlined entire paragraphs, and wrote things like “Yes!” and “So true” and “I need to work on this!” I just noticed there is a workbook, so I think I am a good candidate for that, as others also mentioned they kept a journal as they read.

    It is an unbelievable journey to travel with a person–in this case the person of Lindsay Gibson–who paints an almost exact portrait of one’s parents and certain siblings, and who “gets” and deciphers my previous attachment to the dysfunctional role I grew into with my family. Her final chapters on how to move forward are priceless, and I cannot wait to intentionally incorporate her approaches into the remaining years of my life!

    A huge and grateful Thank You, which doesn’t even begin to cover how much this book has opened up to me!

    Helpful? 247 0
  4. SeattlePerson

    This Book Set Me Free. Seriously.

    I won’t bore you – but I was raised in a very-upper-middle class household with plenty of money and egos to match. For years I thought that the way our family behaved was normal – that all families treated each other horribly and said horrible things to each other. We were an ivy league family – with all the back room trappings of a horror film. In the end, they ended up getting divorced, but the cycle of abuse continued; for decades.

    So, I went through decades of therapy, thinking that it was something I did – that somehow I was to be blame for the poor relationships, depression, immaturity, lack of focus, etc. Not that I am blaming them for all of my issues, however you do have to admit that how you were raised has a profound impact on your personality. It took decades for me to slowly begin learning where the issues were really sourced.

    When my father died recently, I was hoping to finally get some closure. That somehow, this highly educated, well read man, who I had exposed to many, many exhaustive conversations about our relationship, would have finally, in an act of decency, have left me a letter, or a video or something – to express his regret over the family and the way things had worked out. Not to assume blame, or to assign blame – and not even in person – but just something to express his love and regret for the lack of love in the family I grew up in.

    No. His death was just another perfunctory event, with documentation, his golfing/skiing friends and his lawyers. No letter. No video, No regret – at all. “Remember the good times!” friends suggested. Huh? When was that? Seriously. Please tell me.

    So, I found this book right after his funeral, and found that my parents were basically ‘dine-and-dashers’ when it came to parenting. They stumbled into it; really had no interest in it, and found their position to be absolutely reasonable to themselves. I thought this might be yet just another book on narcissists – I was wrong.

    This book is very small – but is is powerful. It spoke to me, and described both of my parents (my father, then ‘absent narcissist’ and my mother, the ’emotional narcissist’) to a TEE. It’s very easy to read – I burned it up in a two days with occasional reading and it literately gave me the keys to the rest of my life.

    I have since cut ties with my birth family. After reading this book, I’ve found myself and come to the conclusion that I want/deserve happiness with my own family (of which there is plenty, I assure you) in the time that I have left on this earth (which is not a lot anymore). Not that I hate them, but frankly, as the song goes:

    “I’m not ready to make nice
    I’m not ready to back down
    I’m still mad as hell, and I don’t have time
    To go ’round and ’round and ’round
    It’s too late to make it right
    I probably wouldn’t if I could
    ‘Cause I’m mad as hell
    Can’t bring myself to do what it is
    You think I should”

    If you even -suspect- this book might be helpful for you – I urge you to give it a try. It’s small, inexpensive and easy to read – and IT NAILS IT. COMPLETELY.

    Good luck to you! =)

    Helpful? 115 0
  5. Nita S

    Stepping stone in my healing journey

    For all my life I was unaware that I had high functioning depression. Then during the pandemic my mental health went downhill and I decided to seek therapy. Prior to starting therapy I decided to do a bit of research to get to the roots of my issues only to realize I had childhood trauma. The books that helped me on my healing journey were The Body Keeps A Score, Scattered Minds, and Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents. This book helped me distill down the causes of my issues to help me prepare for therapy. Most importantly it helped me get over self blame and taught me self compassion which are critical in your healing journey. It saved me the cost of therapy sessions for trying to figure out what my issues were. For each of my therapy sessions I walked in with clarity and self awareness about the issues I had. This help my therapist come up with tools to help me tackle my mental health challenges. The problem with being raised in toxic family system is you are often unaware that is the issue. Most recently I gave this book to my brother who was in denial that we were raised in a toxic household. The book was an eye opener for him and a stepping stone on his healing journey.

    Helpful? 60 0
  6. za

    Killing me softly...

    So.. normally I am loath to jump on the ‘narcissistic parents’ trend, as a lot of it seems like venting, and the authors’ qualifications usually seem nil. But THIS book is very different. She described my parents to a T. To be seen is really a relief. This book has been incredibly handy in developing a calmer compassion (unlike other ‘your parents suck’ books/YouTube) as well as stronger boundaries & cooler head to make decisions. It’s also helping me help my siblings who have also been affected, to see a new perspective. I was able to see many things and find the perfect words to describe them after reading this. Prepare to have your mind blown and your soul validated. I recommend checking out some interviews with the author if you’re not sure… she is qualified. How you REACT to the info is up to you, it definitely helps to have professional therapy to process these realizations. Don’t go on YouTube to scream lol.. just take this in, journal, consider it & share it if appropriate. I appreciate this book greatly.
    EDIT: If you are really on fire for more, get “Recovering From EIP” which is pretty actionable and a great follow up. Just go to Chapters 8-9 (or 9-10 in the audio version) of this book to get applicable how-to tips and techniques for working with this information. I wouldn’t bother with her books “Self Care” or “Who You Were Meant to Be” – They ramble a bit.

    This is only your step one, but it’s a big step. Also be aware that there is no accounting for the behavioral quirks of neurodivergence or neuroqueerness… there’s a big pressure in this book to seek only certain personality types to relate to, or to avoid, in life. But in practical terms of healing.. it’s still very helpful. I understand why it leans that way.

    Helpful? 58 0
  7. Aimee E.

    I Finally Feel Visible

    I don’t even know where to begin with this book. It came at the recommendation of my therapist, and wow…

    It perfectly describes how I grew up and the way my parents currently behave while I’m in my late 20s. Having this kind of clarity over their behavior is a gift, truly. Already I’m noticing a difference in my phone calls with them, I’m leaving them with less emotional compromise and more peace. Gibson put together a book that spoke to my adult self and my child self, pulling together threads of my life that I wouldn’t ever have dared to believe were connected.

    For the first time in my life I feel like I am enough, that I am who I’ve been waiting for these almost-30 years… The confidence, the understanding that I feel walking away from this book is staggering. I finished this book not with a roar, not with a shudder, but with a wave of nostalgic sadness that had me hugging my 12 year-old self and murmuring “we will be okay”.

    If you’re even wondering about reading this book, please do it. At worst it doesn’t resonate with you and you still learn about emotional maturity in your relationships (not just your parents!). At best you are handed a perspective that will shift your whole life, allowing you to feel in control and like you’re actually living.

    I could go on for years about this book. I probably will. I want to find the author and just thank them as hard as I can for the doors they just helped me realize I can open.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Helpful? 44 0
  8. V

    A Literal Blueprint to Inner Joy

    This book was like being in a desert and finally stumbling across an oasis! As an astrologer, I’m no stranger to going deep reflection mode to get answers – but this book helped me to turn the lose threads into a full tapestry.

    So much of what Adult Children states I conceptually understood, but the author just makes them make sense and the way she breaks things down not only informs but empowers you as you’re reading. So many behaviors from myself to my parents, grandparents and beyond finally made so much sense – didn’t change what happened, but it changed how I saw us: as traumatized people that deserving of compassion and happiness.

    I especially loved the case studies, because they’re relatable and helped me to see where I would invalidate my own feelings because of what I was taught, or even realize that there was a problem in the first place. But what I truly value from this book is that it’s almost like having a dear friend. Someone that can see you as you are, your pain/blame/shame and help you see that YOU’RE not the problem, AND you have the power to change the results you have in life.

    If you’ve ever felt like/had people tell you that you’re “overly sensitive” or feel dismissed – this book will help you shed so much light on why and what to do. Adult Children helps you to validate yourself regardless of where you’ve been or are – and I cannot recommend it enough! 11/10 would read again!

    Helpful? 37 0
  9. Azriel

    Absolutely life changing book

    If you, like me, had a horrible childhood then this book is for you. Regardless of the relationship you currently have with your parents, this book is for you. If you are a parent yourself, this book is especially for you.

    I’m finally starting to understand why my parents are the way they are and why they aren’t capable of being the parents I needed them to be. It will never excuse the abuse but I do feel less crazy understanding why they are the way they are. It provides critical perspective while navigating the long healing process.

    Oh, and order some bleed proof highlighters in multiple colors and a small micron pen (01 or 005) because you’ll want to highlight and annotate nearly every page. This is an excellent book to use in therapy and I’ve already bought a copy for my therapist.

    So thankful someone on reddit recommended this book!

    Helpful? 36 0
  10. T K Lawyer<span class="a-icon a-profile-verified-badge"><span class="a-profile-verified-text"></span></span>

    A great book for those wanting to understand and heal

    After being emotionally abused most of my life, I have been trying to move forward with my life. This can be so difficult as an adult and we don’t know why. This book helps you understand why you are the way you are, why your parent(s) were the way they were. I have read several books on emotional abuse trying to get to the point I am today (acceptance, understanding and ready to move forward with what I know). No other book has gotten me to this point in my life where I feel good/better than I did before with what happened. I highly recommend this book for those who have suffered through years of emotional abuse. I can’t wait to get to the last part of the book where I can figure out how to heal. Good luck with your journey!

    Helpful? 35 0
  11. Auroraura

    I wish I had this years ago!

    Years of therapy did not explain to me what this book has. It has even helped me understand the behavior of my ex-husband and his sudden betrayal after saying I was his soulmate for eternity and then suddenly blindsided me with a divorce to be with another woman because I stopped wanting to be his caretaker because he also had emotionally immature parents but he didn’t want to grow up with me. He instead chose to be with another woman who promised to not make him grow up emotionally. Hopefully I can learn to avoid being with a man like that again now that I understand why I chose someone like that.

    Now I have to figure out how to grow up when forced to live with my emotionally immature parents again who thought it was ok to not prepare their daughter to live financially without being dependent on a man. It’s not easy! This book is more helpful than therapy.

    Helpful? 33 0
  12. KH

    Great book for healing self when as children had to give up their own identity to feel loved

    This book gave me very specific strategies of how to support myself and honor my own needs. It helped me understand my mother and have compassion for her. It also had me recognizing that for what I experienced growing up that I am completely NORMAL given my circumstances! And that the coping techniques I learned as a child protected me then, but interfere in healthy relationships now. Any why we are drawn to emotionally immature romantic partners and how to change that pattern. The book explains how to identify healthy relationships and non-healthy ones, and how to show up in each to have the best life!

    Helpful? 31 0
  13. L.M.45

    This book made me feel "understood" for the 1st time

    I’m not a reader but I read this whole book in one sitting. I felt like I had a therapy session reading it and like the book “understands” me better than anyone. The section that covers the anger that stems from a lifetime of being dismissed hit home for me, and that it’s a natural response to that kind of treatment which I always thought it was a “me” problem. I would highly recommend this book.

    Helpful? 21 0
  14. Jennifer

    Incredible aid to therapy - insightful and well written

    I am a psychologist in private practice in Boston, MA. A client recently recommended this book to me, and I said I would read it with him. When I sat down to read Chapter 1 the night before our meeting, I didn’t put it down for another 3 chapters. Since then, I have recommended it to several of my clients. Another client got it and read it cover to cover, crying periodically. I keep it on my desk, and sometimes I will open up to a page and read a paragraph or anecdote to validate something my client is struggling with. Gibson has a clear, accessible style that is not too heavy on clinical language, while including relevant findings from research in the areas of parent-child attachment, family therapy, neuroscience, and child development. She summarizes complex ideas with clear language. For example, she summarizes the difference between “enmeshment” (unhealthy) and “emotional intimacy” (healthy) in half a page. One thing I really appreciate about this book is how it is not framed around diagnoses or clinical problems. In discussing the four types of Emotionally Immature parents, she notes the Emotional parents are the “most infantile of the four types…it doesn’t take much to upset them, and everyone in the family scrambles to soothe them…no wonder everyone in the family feels like they are walking on eggshells”. She then goes on to say “At the severe end of the spectrum, these parents are, quite frankly, mentally ill. They may be psychotic or bipolar, or have narcissistic or borderline personality disorder…Regardless of severity, all such parents have difficulty tolerating stress and emotional arousal.” Basically, we can label and diagnose, but that doesn’t address the underlying issue – that these are parents who lack the capacity to meet their children’s emotional needs through mirroring, empathy and support. It can take different forms, but that’s the common thread. There is much in this book to validate people who grew up trying to turn themselves into people pleasers and emotional pretzels to get that ever elusive positive feedback from a parent. Or for the mature and self contained individuals who had to take on the emotionally difficult tasks their parents are incapable of. And Gibson weaves the threads together deftly to show that any child experiencing the types of inconsistencies and feedback of growing up with a parent like this will have similar experiences. She makes an excellent case, through research illustrated with clinical anecdotes, that the child is not at fault. I’m up to the last chapter on solutions – all about boundaries and objectivity and readjusting expectations. I think anyone who picks up this book will find a useful nugget or much much more. Thank you, Dr. Gibson, for writing this book and helping to accelerate my clients’ healing journeys!

    Helpful? 21 0
  15. Oliver Cheeseball

    Reassurance and clear insights

    Just reading about the idea that parents can be emotionally immature even when—or especially when—they appear to the external world to be successful adults, was an eye-opener. I always wondered why everyone else loved my mother but I always found her cold. I always wondered why my dad seemed to be respected by others, but he never respected anyone he had any intimate relationships with, and we children always had low self-esteem and were full of anxiety. Well, this books explains a lot of the reasons for such things. I only wish it were a little longer and a little more detailed, hence only four stars—most of the chapters are basic outlines and provide one example of each issue. It’s simple and easy to read, which might be one of the reasons I don’t like it as much as I might like another book on the same topic that was more in-depth, but many people like simple and easy, so other people may be more satisfied with this.

    Helpful? 20 0
  16. Natalia Cruz


    Warning: no es un libro para quedarte pegado leyendo. Lees un capítulo, reflexiona y escribe lo que te hizo sentir el libro, que te recordó, y todo. Es un buen libro para dialogar con tu psicóloga(o), abre la mente, te hace recordar de algunos traumas y te hace entender sobre tu forma de ser. He llorado con el libro, lo tengo desde hace un año ya más o menos. Y no lo he terminado, llevo por capítulo 6 porque es intenso. Diría que es un libro para adultos, pero pienso que para los adolescentes lo pueden usar desde ya para que puedan ir aprendiendo y mejorar sus aspectos emocionales y de personalidad. Ya que ayuda a poder estar emocionalmente maduro para cualquier tipo de relación. So de 15 años en adelante.

    Helpful? 19 0
  17. Tony W.

    Necessary, but pulls some punches.

    To take a big picture of life, it seems we are evolving towards a point where doctors and therapists are finally telling people what is up, as opposed to hedging around it and allowing people I guess to come to conclusions on their own after they have been presented with the information. From a Socratic method – I do understand this in that people do learn better when they come to their own conclusions.

    That being said, this book does a pretty good job of spelling things out clearly and concisely. Parents are not often the paragons to whom children must submit because they happened to shoot them out of their penises; instead, parents are often flawed and selfish, and a selfish person – regardless of if they are a parent, thinks of themselves first to the endangerment of their own children.

    It is at this point the book diverges. Yes, it does a very good job of then following what these children from selfish parents are, what they are like, why they do the things they do, and why they continue to make the same mistakes in their lives and in adult relationships through what the author terms as “healing fantasies.”

    However, it pulls punches on the parents in that it does not condemn their behavior, perhaps because it is not in the scope of the book nor the author’s work, but bad parents cannot be good people – even if they are a pillar of the community. Trying to search for good in a selfish, bad parent is what creates the author’s “healing fantasies.”

    That being said, this is still a good book for children of these parents in that identifies their characteristics, from where these come, how to identify selfish parents, and what to do about it.

    This is important, but it does not go too much in depth how to turn this around – if for no other reason than the relatively short length of the book, and again, as I mentioned in the beginning, this may be because the author feels the reader should be presented with this information and then move on it themselves, which does indeed have some merit…

    Helpful? 19 0
  18. Jennifer McIntyre

    This book helps me every time!

    This book has helped me more than once! Don’t be gaslit by immature narcissistic parents when they give you the silent treatment or play the victim. YOUR feelings are valid and you have a right to stand up for yourself when you are being emotionally abused. No one should ever have to beg or feel guilty for wanting to been seen by a parent.

    Helpful? 17 0
  19. KLennon

    This book also helped me legitimize my own painful memories. No more accepting my parents' excuses or ...

    This book was simultaneously liberating and really hard to read. I’ve struggled with my parents (and grandparents) for years and years. This book helped me see their behavior in a new way, which in turn helped me get a little emotional distance from them, which has eased my pain somewhat. This book also helped me legitimize my own painful memories. No more accepting my parents’ excuses or letting them shift blame onto me-as-the-small-child.

    The best thing this book did was to motivate me to get back into therapy. It was helpful enough that I found hope, but it made me confused enough that I sought help. I’m so glad I did.

    For further reading after this book, I recommend “I’m OK – You’re OK” by Thomas Harris and “The New Rules for Marriage” by Terrence Real. (The latter has insight applicable to all relationships, not just marriage.)

    Helpful? 17 0
  20. Christine Shuck

    It isn't just me...

    I’ll be 53 tomorrow. I’ve spent the last five plus decades feeling an overpowering loneliness that I attributed to being an only child with divorced parents. When this book caught my eye, I sat down with the goal of finding out if one or both of my parents were emotionally immature, whether I was emotionally immature, and what I could/should do about it.

    The internalizer she describes? Me. Well, mostly. When I was younger there was plenty of externalizing mixed in with internalizing. Trying everything to make my parents acknowledge me? Definitely.

    The loneliness, though, realizing how much of it stemmed from how I was raised. Wow. What an eye-opener.

    I’m determined to find a way to be the best mom I can possibly be to my children – ages 34, 16, 7, and 20 months respectively. I realize too, that continuing to have kids (or adopt in the case of the younger two) has been a direct response to my unmet needs as a child. I wanted to be loved and accepted.

    I realize too, in reading this book, how important it is to break this generational cycle.

    My only complaint, if it is one, is that I feel more attention should have been paid to presenting more self-care focus. I know I’m not ready to be around my parents. Societal expectations-wise, that brings me a great deal of guilt, but every time I am around them, I feel them pulling me down again. It lasts for days and affects everything. I guess I really need to give myself permission to walk away from what is for me a toxic relationship, but I wish the book would have given that to me a little more!

    Helpful? 15 0
  21. Literary Omnivore

    Lays the problem out simply

    Anyone who has ever struggled to understand the confusing and hurtful behavior of a parent or other family member would find this book helpful. It pinpoints the problem–emotional immaturity and adjacent personality problems–and lays the whole cloud of multigenerational issues out simply and in black and white. As the author makes clear you probably can’t change the other person but you can change how you deal with them. You can also see what struggling to deal with it has done to you and begin to change how you see yourself. Not easy of course but better than being sucked dry and left miserable by the dysfunctional behavior patterns.

    Helpful? 15 0
  22. Alexandra

    Recommend with a few caveats

    I bought this after a friend recommended it and I read the positive reviews. Overall I’m glad I read it. The author provides an interesting and straightforward description —with clear examples— of emotionally immature parenting and how it can impact the lives of adults throughout the lifetime. It’s an excellent read if you think you’ve experienced this. I could relate to points on nearly every page. The book serves as a solid companion in your healing journey, but to truly process the material I would recommend working with a therapist and particularly one trained in trauma therapy. Ultimately I thought the last third of the book was less useful, and it didn’t provide many tools for helping to overcome and heal from toxic relationships with immature parents.

    Helpful? 14 0
  23. D. Whann

    Insightfully elegant

    I’ve known I was one to self-reflect, but to be able to learn what exactly to reflect about is very new to me. The learning of role-selves and healing fantasies are analytical points of view unknown to me until now. I love that I’ve learned the techniques available in this book, but feel a dislike that I’ve taken so long to learn them; better to know now than never I suppose. For those who believe they have been raised by emotionally immature parents, BUY THIS BOOK! Or even if you don’t you can learn what emotional maturity is, and what exactly to look for in your next, friendship, relationship, etc….. The enlightenment this book brought me is pure empowerment, with anything else being an immature emotional state.

    Helpful? 11 0
  24. Hailey Dawkins

    Healed my inner child

    This book changed so much about the way I think and the way I speak to myself. It is so reassuring to have the feelings you felt be verbalized (especially if you don’t know how to describe them). Short read with interactive exercises, even if you don’t think you need it you probably do!

    Helpful? 11 0
  25. Shirley Wright

    Have you felt like something in your childhood was missing? This book will connect the dots for you.

    I can’t say enough good things about this book. This is not a how-to-steps type therapy book, rather it is an informative book about the ways we got to be where we are now. I have gained a more broad understanding of myself and parents through each chapter. I have never used a highlighter in a book, but i have found myself wanting to highlight lines on every page. Thank you to the author, this book has been life enhancing.

    Helpful? 11 0
  26. Norah

    I’m so grateful I’m finally understanding myself

    I’m only 3 chapters into this book but I just had to write a review already. As a 17 year old girl who’s had a lifelong battle with depression and not knowing why she was feeling this way for so long, I want to thank you so much for helping me understand myself more. I couldn’t put it into words for the longest time and cried and prayed for people who have felt the amount of emotional pain I was feeling at such a young age to speak up and give me something that I can guide myself with.
    This was before my therapist had pointed out the generational trauma i was enduring. It all clicked when she explained and i knew i had to immediately start looking into this more and to give myself a second chance at life; and so here’s my first step forward to the emotionally stable life i have dreamed of since i was a little girl.

    Helpful? 10 0
  27. Bethany


    An excellent and insightful book. Hard to read a lot at once because it’s so much to take in, even if it doesn’t apply to you personally- which some of it inevitably will. A must read for anyone working with those who have experienced trauma – childhood or otherwise. Also, regardless of the age of the children, so whether for you or kids you work with, this book will be helpful.

    Helpful? 10 0
  28. Migraine Girl

    I didn't know what I was fighting against until now.

    I bought this book because I couldn’t find other titles that seemed to deal with my specific issue: Unresolved tension after a huge blowout with my dad several years ago. I figured I would glean from it what I could and continue searching elsewhere for my answers. From the first page, it was apparent to me that the author knows my father personally, because the descriptions of an emotionally immature parent could only be this precise if my father were physically standing before her being evaluated.

    I started highlighting areas that resonated with me, but I was basically highlighting the entire book so… I also feel that the author took a peek into my life, because she was able to pinpoint many characteristics that I’ve inhibited since childhood. Don’t worry, she’s not going to make you feel flawed or inadequate in any way, unless you consider taking care of yourself from an early age or a desire to do things independently a flaw.

    Long story short, I was planning on ending the relationship with my dad, but figured I needed to give him a heads up that I am half way out the door before I called it. And this is huge, coming from a former “Daddy’s Girl”. I recently sent him a very unassuming letter stating I wanted to work on repairing our broken relationship together. Boy am I glad I read this book before our first conversation. I now know what truly caused the “big fight” that I had been solely crediting to his hateful, meddling wife. His fear of true emotional intimacy. I didn’t think my statement was all that unreasonable, after all, all I told him to cause *our biggest fight ever* was how his recent lie made me feel, and asked him to be truthful with me in the future. But I’ve now learned that for parents with EI, that is asking for more than they are able to give. Because dealing with emotion involves a skillset they do not possess.

    I honestly thought I wouldn’t relate to this book too much. Emotion? My dad shows plenty of emotion! He’s all across the board! He has no problem with emotions… or so I thought. I will refer to this book often, as I navigate the minefield that is conveying my needs to my dad. Desires? No. Needs, yeah, I think he’ll be able to handle that pragmatically. If not, I know what I’ll need to do. If you’re hoping to wave this book over their head and magically make your parent(s) understand why you’re so insanely frustrated with them, sorry. I was hoping for that too. But this book will show you why your parent acts like an overgrown toddler sometimes- because they are- and it will teach you how to communicate with this toddler in a way they understand. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I loved this book and I think you should read it.

    Helpful? 10 0
  29. Deborah Friedel


    The instant I started reading this book, my jaw dropped in recognition of my own life being spelled out on these pages! I wish I knew this author in person. if you can’t necessarily afford talk therapy, PLEASE get this book! I am 50 yrs old and I have been in therapy for 1 year; this book is the summation of all that I learned but yet this book was my primary healer!!

    I have never come across any book even close to this insofar as describing the psychological consequences of being raised by emotionally immature parents. One of the most poignant facts of my life is that my parents never wanted to “know me.“ I was never asked about my thoughts or feelings. In addition to that, I felt responsible for managing my mother’s emotions because she couldn’t regulate them herself. And what I mean by managing my mothers emotions, is I had to act in accordance with her beliefs to avoid her wrath.

    I also resonated with the content addressing why “we” often have trouble with guilt and can be hyper-grateful for what we DID and DO have. My parents provided me with safe shelter and good schools and I’m grateful for that. I’m currently in therapy and I’m just now realizing why I’m always saying how grateful for all that I DO have in my life and asking the question “so why don’t I feel happy” to my therapist. Wow, I know have insight into the origins of this feeling.

    The author also writes in a factual at nonjudgmental method. She’s does not encounter hate for your parents but gives the plain facts to understand them and why they came to be emotionally immature parents.

    If I had the power to make this required reading, I would!

    Helpful? 9 0
  30. GBH_Kansas

    Hard content but if you're one of these Adult Children...

    I highly recommend this book. It’s written in clear language so there isn’t a lot of clinical or medical language. I do find that when you read a part that hits really close to home, it’s best to set the book aside and process whatever comes up for you. I would also recommend you read this with a friend that experienced the same thing or a therapist

    Helpful? 8 0
  31. allison

    this book has given me a deeper understanding

    I do not with to have a relationship with my parents. That being said i found this book extremely fascinating. I would have easily finished it in one sitting if i didn’t have other obligations. I used it as a tool for self reflection and getting a deeper unstanding of my own self. This book was recommended to me and i would highly recommend it as well.

    Helpful? 8 0
  32. A. K.

    A useful introduction

    It’s a good book that did shed some light on my family dynamics from the past. I would really have liked to see more on the transformation towards the emotional maturity, but this book is a useful introduction in its own right.

    Helpful? 8 0
  33. Bug

    Helped me understand myself more

    I initially, within the first few chapters, was not very impressed with this book since it has the problem of repeating the same thing over and over, many paragraphs that try to illustrate an identical point– but I guess if this is your first exposure to this subject, it needs to be hammered into your head. So, that aside, the book didn’t really speak to me until it got into the meat: the four types of EI parents, and what I found most interesting– internalizers vs externalizers. I immediately could recognize myself and how I became the way I did with those two types of children spelled out. I thought the role-self vs true self sections were fair, but I think what the author fails to address is if you’re that involved with your role-self, you are undoubtedly mentally ill. I just felt taken aback by how the author made it seem like every neglected child has this self-consuming role-self and that acting that way isn’t a marker for mental illness. I personally felt invalidated. I’m very aware of my mental illnesses and I think she missed a key point in not pointing out that if you’re that severely ingrained in this role, you are not merely playing a role, but that the role is now your actual identity.

    She did specify that severe cases of internalizers and externalizers are clear signs for certain types of mental illnesses. The fantasy expectation notes were also well done. Putting it in that perspective is something different to me.

    Overall, the book offers new insight to something I’m relatively new to trying to understand. I would find it very hard to stomach if I was attached to my parents; you’re more likely to retain it if there’s a level of separation.

    Helpful? 7 0
  34. Turpui Tozay

    It’s deep

    Just received this book yesterday and I can’t put it down. I wasn’t expecting to be exactly what I was seeking. It’s really good and I’m already beginning to feel more confident in myself .

    Definitely read ♥️

    Helpful? 6 0
  35. Jnord

    Over simplifies some things, but is an OK starting point

    Author oversimplifies personality into a sort of binary, which is not entirely helpful or accurate. However, the book contains some useful information. It could be a decent starting point if one feels they need permission to find fault with their upbringing while not being sure if that upbringing was bad or not. I highly recommend also reading Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker

    Helpful? 6 0
  36. inlori Customer

    Exactly what I needed to hear!

    At 45, I finally figured out where my anxiety came from every time I walked into my parents home. I am now 59 and I find that I need to be reminded from time to timethat I am ok and I can feel good about myself and not feel guilty. This was a great refresher course.

    Helpful? 6 0
  37. inlori Customer

    Good starting point

    This book is intended for someone who likely has never been in therapy and is looking for an understanding of their upbringing. This is a great place to start if you dont have your own MH treatment provider and want to make sense of the craziness you grew up with.

    Helpful? 6 0
  38. W. Custance

    This is helpful to gain some insight into why your parent behaves like they do.

    Self involved parent, overly enmeshed family. I had no clue as a child. Not allowed to have any kind of healthy discussion. I can see it as a 65 year old who broke off from it. Not all parents are like this, I know, but if it has been that way for others, they understand. The dynamics in my birth family, I never understood. Not for decades. This gives the reader clues and profiles to help gain insight. It doesn’t improve as that immature parent gets older either.

    Helpful? 6 0
  39. yclever

    A book that I needed, more than I can, or am physically permitted, to express here in this space

    This book left me feeling lighter, providing the language to all that I experienced growing up. Now, I am better suited to deal with the past, address the present problems with my family, and look forward to a healthier future. Dr. Gibson, many thanks.

    A Satisfied Reader

    Helpful? 5 0
  40. Ashley

    Life Changing, transformative

    This book is amazing. I was raised by a Narcissistic mother and an emotionally void father. I’m 34 now, and have struggled with relationships my entire life. This books explains why, and gives you the tools to reclaim yourself and your adult life, while nurturing your inner child. Huge thanks to the writer for this book. 🙌🏼

    Helpful? 5 0
  41. RachMadLove

    Life changing, for real

    My husband got this book after seeing it recommended in various places… and subsequently enrolled everyone he knows to read it. Such simple but incredibly useful insights about the nature of emotional maturity, and how more sensitive children tend to respond to it. This book is literally changing the landscape of our family from the inside out. 10/10 recommend.

    Helpful? 5 0
  42. iheartnazareth

    This book changed my life

    This was recommended by my therapist. It literally changed my life because for the first time in five decades I can set healthy boundaries without the guilt! I ordered a copy for both of my sisters.

    Helpful? 5 0
  43. BS

    Answers the question- I had "everything".. so why do I feel so dissatisfied with my childhood?

    On paper, my parents did everything “right”.. private schools, nightly family dinners, church on Sundays, paid for college etc. As a woman in my 30’s with young children of my own now, I have struggled immensely with why I continue to feel stress and anxiety when I think about my childhood to young adulthood. But this book shed light on the fact that having an emotionally immature parent means there is no safe place to talk, to be heard, no one to problem solve with you as a child.. the parent is so poorly equipped at handling conflict and/or uncomfortable feelings that you are essentially left alone to figure it out. I realized the profound loneliness I felt as a child, which I was never aware of until now.

    I really enjoyed the stories she shares throughout the book, and many were so spot on with how my parents are.. even some of the quotes are things my mom has said before when she has been confronted by myself or siblings.

    And while the author doesn’t address religion directly, I can see how an emotionally immature parent + strong religious beliefs can be an extremely manipulative combination. My mom used religion to “control” our behavior, and continues to try to do so, even though we are all adults. She also uses it to judge people who are not doing the “right” thing by her standards. I want my children to have a religious affiliation, but it is extremely difficult for me to separate the manipulation and judgment I felt from her emotional immaturity. Hoping one day I can be more at peace with it.

    But I am certainly more at peace with my feelings towards my childhood now. It is interesting to analyze my “internalizer” behavior now, even with my interactions with my husband. I think this knowledge will help me know myself on a much deeper and constructive level.

    And while I have had deep fear of recreating this dynamic I had with my parents with my own children, I now realize that if I am able to create a safe space for my children to talk to me, without judgment, without deciding who they are “supposed to be” then I can create a meaningful, positive and empowering relationship with them. This is not only beneficial for our parent/child relationship, but to equip them with the life skills to handle conflict, acknowledge emotions, and build meaningful relationships with those around them.

    Highly recommend this book to anyone!

    Helpful? 5 0
  44. Kriss

    Good, enlightening read.

    So I purchased this after my therapist introduced me to the idea of parentification of a child. Parentification is the process of role reversal whereby a child is obliged to act as parent to their own parent. Or could be to sibling.

    Some background: My parents did this to me because my mother was emotionally distant and often physically not present due to medical issues and my father spent all his time working. That left me to look after my little brother and the house. And when I got my driver’s license, my mother completely left the role of parent and put her obligations as the parent on me.

    This book does a pretty good job of explaining this concept and hammering home that I should not have been put into this position. It also makes it clear that my parents, while not necessarily bad people, were not emotionally well enough to meet the emotional needs of a child. It gave me words to explain the nebulous and vague hurts that being figuratively left in the cold has caused.

    It’s a good pick if you’re one of those people who didn’t experience solidly defined abuse or neglect and are struggling to articulate what was wrong with their parents and family dynamic.

    I took off a star because there are a lot of concepts in the book that are repeated over and over to (I think) pad the book and increase the length of it. But between the stuff the book has already told you 12 times will be the really useful, epiphany inducing bits.

    Helpful? 5 0
  45. bal

    Bought this for my kids after a long, difficult ...

    Bought this for my kids after a long, difficult marriage ended. They are in their early 20s but needed to know it wasn’t their fault why their father treated them the way he did and why he did the illegal and immoral things he did. This book had him pegged and definitely fostered understanding into the mind of a narcissist. It’s just scary to think there’s so many of them out there!

    Helpful? 5 0
  46. windharp

    Good review

    Obsessing over parents’ treatment of adult children, this is not. I initially resisted reading it, but glad I did. Stay with Ms. Gibson’s thesis- it proves right. No one can change their parents- but a person can change how they interact with them.

    Helpful? 4 0
  47. Lauren

    Fantastic read, excellent practical solutions, but I wish there was more on personal healing...

    This is an excellent book for identifying your emotionally immature parent and validating many troubling feelings related to child-parents relationships. While this does include helpful tools for managing an emotionally immature parent, I wish it had more suggestions for your own healing. This was great for practical solutions, but I think healing requires more than effective management. That said, I’ve recommended this book to at least 3 other people and plan to purchase more copies. I’d love for Gibson to author a follow-up that focuses on personal growth and overcoming the pain of dealing with an emotionally immature parent.

    Helpful? 4 0
  48. inlori Customer

    An Informative Read

    I have related to a great deal in this book regarding immature parenting. My mother was one of these people and I am married to a similar character. The insight I have gained about them and about myself is priceless! I highly recommend.

    Helpful? 4 0
  49. Us Moore

    Not a perfect fit for me but definitely a helpful book

    I got this to help deal with my mom. My situation is a little different, my problems started once I was an adult. So most of the child stuff doesn’t quite fit, but there are tie ins. However, keep an open mind it definitely still applies to an emotionally immature parent even if the problems only started in adulthood.

    The book provides you a lot of insight and gives you a lot of ah-ha moments things you never really put together. But keep in mind we’re never going to change the other people even if that person read the book they’re never going to see themselves in it. But it’s not about trying to change that person it’s about figuring out how to set reasonable expectations for yourself so you’re not constantly vulnerable and disappointed and hurt by your parent.

    So long story short not a perfect fit with my particular problem but definitely a lot of valuable information that I hope I can use to reduce my stress when dealing with my mother.

    Update. I was able to stop expecting thing to be different, and apply my limits to the relationship. So my last visit was not disappointing and hurt feelings. And the verbal and emotional abuse is something I fully realize I do not deserve, nor do I have to tolorate.

    Helpful? 4 0
  50. inlori Customer

    Connecting Dots

    A clear and useful framework for integrating various separate things I’ve been somewhat aware of, but in a fragmentary way.A practical, solution-oriented work.

    Helpful? 4 0
  51. Tipp


    This was full of insights and information that I am already using. I highly recommend this for anyone who is working to understand their own emotions and repair/understand relationships from the past and what to look for in the future.

    Helpful? 3 0
  52. Victoria

    This book will change your life.

    This book not only helped me understand my childhood in a whole new way, it also helped me heal. I cannot recommend this book enough. I have several copies on hand to give to people when I meet them. It is that powerful.

    Helpful? 3 0
  53. Sura

    It's Worth it!!!

    This book is one of the deepest most meaningful books I’ve had. it is very easy to read, and very interesting as well! I recommend it to EVERYONE alive!!!!!

    Helpful? 3 0
  54. Miss Sue

    Readable if a bit repetitive

    Any reader who has had psychotherapy will recognize many of these concepts and wonder why the author uses so many similar terms, which she goes to great lengths to micro-differentiate. Even so, it’s a worthwhile book. The discussion of time was new to me and very helpful in explaining why family members get so angry when challenged about acting exactly as the author describes. This explained why trying to have an authentic relationship with somebody who does not want that produces such rage, and in a switch-flip nanosecond. Thanks.

    Helpful? 3 0
  55. Janet Farber

    I think this was a great book. Anyone who has been neglected

    I think this was a great book. Anyone who has been neglected, ignored, abandoned,
    used as a scapegoat, verbally abused will surely relate to this book. The book really offers
    some good insights into the effects of emotional abuse from immature parents.

    Helpful? 3 0
  56. SH

    When there wasn’t abuse but you know something was dysfunctional

    I appreciate this book because it recognizes how we can be affected by emotionally immature parents yet not have been abused. Those of us who thankfully did not suffer abuse can really be puzzled by our adult insecurities and anxieties/depression because we can’t find any obvious reason for it. I easily saw myself and my parents in this.
    I also appreciate that much of the book is devoted to moving forward and making interactions with parents manageable. It’s not about blaming or cutting people off as “toxic” but how to change your response, how you can better interpret their behaviors (hint: it’s about them, not you), and how to become and identify an emotionally mature person so you don’t repeat patterns in your adult relationships.
    I do feel there could be a little more detail on repairing yourself and growing more emotionally in your own life, not just dealing better with immature parents. But the book covers a lot and is well worth it.

    Helpful? 3 0
  57. Kevin

    Pretty good introduction to how the relationship between parents and ...

    Pretty good introduction to how the relationship between parents and children affects all future relationships and your own self image. Did not have much in the way of recommendations for what to do to overcome these issues.

    Helpful? 3 0
  58. Alora


    The information really helped me to reevaluate my relationship with my parent and I hope that it’ll ultimately improve it. Grateful that it was written.

    Helpful? 2 0
  59. Jessica_B14

    Amazing Read

    Amazing read, don’t regret reading. Helped give me more insight on my child hood and my emotionally distant father. This book has definitely made a difference in life and will continue to. I can tell by the reviews it has impacted many other people positively, also.

    Helpful? 2 0
  60. JC

    Solid book

    Solid with interesting anecdotes. Gives some good insight and offers a path forward. I like how the books explains that siblings can react differently to an emotionally immature parent and that in turn can drive how the parent treats that sibling causing externalizing vs internalizing behaviors. It’s eye opening to read some of the anecdotes and realize how little some people care about the emotional well being of their children.

    Helpful? 2 0
  61. toto

    Good book if you are improving your genealogy

    This book is good and I recommend it to people struggling with the subject or do not want to repeat patterns with their kids.

    Helpful? 2 0
  62. inlori Customer

    Great help!

    This provided a lot of helpful information, but the narrator’s voice was a little irritating and dramatic.

    Helpful? 2 0
  63. John Brown

    Very helpful in figuring out why you feel so confused ...

    Very helpful in figuring out why you feel so confused about actions you take and reactions you exhibit because of being raised by emotionally immature parents. We are not supposed to be taking care of their needs. They are supposed to be loving and nurturing us.

    Helpful? 2 0
  64. Dillon Gerde

    A decent overview of emotional intelligence applied to family troubles

    This book kinda applies to both flavors of self help. One being “life sucks, let’s talk about it” and the other being practical advice about what to do and what to work on.
    The truth is, if you had to deal with immature parents, your parents also likely did. The writer does a great job of not pointing this out so obviously, but also implies that the reader may or may not have some immature qualities too (but it’s not all their fault).

    The first half of the book focuses mostly on how hard stuff can be, and identifying what immature behavior is, and other various terminology and how to identify it. It also gets you to actively diagnose yourself and your parents on certain behavioral qualities.

    The last half of the book is more about the practical advice and moving forward, and talks about the qualities of emotionally mature adults, and how to let go and separate from feelings when required.

    The writing isn’t Leo Tolstoy or Sheryl Strayed, but it’s not bad either. The research and work isn’t really ground breaking, however very applicable to people who deal with crappy parents and poor treatment. It helped me sort through a few things and where I may have picked up on a few of their bad habits.

    Overall, it’s a good book for the topic, but not out of this world amazing.

    Helpful? 2 0
  65. steven K.

    It's good, but focussed too much on the problem and ...

    It’s good,but focussed too much on the problem and I wanted more solution. But helpful.

    Helpful? 2 0
  66. inlori Customer

    Very helpful especially if you are an adult child. ...

    Very helpful especially if you are an adult child. Gives another insight into generations of dysfunction as it is handed down.

    Helpful? 2 0
  67. Kayla

    Very good book!

    This book has helped me tremendously!! Reading other people’s stories and being able to relate to most of them helps..

    Helpful? 0 0
  68. miranda434

    Provides understanding without resentment

    This book was wonderful and really informational. The personal stories in there are sure to resonate with you.

    Helpful? 0 0
  69. Destiny


    So the reason I got this book was because my therapist recommended it to me, he thought it best fit what I am going through and would help give some insight. OH. MY. GOSH. I love this book, I currently had to take a break from it due to other things in my life but my therapist said it was alright and to maybe look into it a few weeks out after I have gotten all my other issues settled. Anyway, this book is such an eye opener, I never would have known the things I do now were it not for this book. I think after this one, I will get the Recovering book because I definitely need to know how to recover from what I have been through. It was also amazing to learn that I’m not alone when it comes to what is in this book.

    Helpful? 0 0
  70. Scott J Pearson

    Good for those of us with parents too emotionally young

    Viewing one’s parents objectively is hard, even sometimes for those of us later along in decades. This book helps us see through immature behaviors into their root emotional fears – and to quit blaming ourselves for their shortcomings.

    Helpful? 0 0
  71. Judy

    Very informative

    I am very interested in self-help and psychology books. There is a lot of valuable information in this book.

    Helpful? 0 0
  72. inlori Customer

    Practical and effective strategies

    A must read, with simple strategies for immediate application. I recommend reading this book for anyone who feels the need to change how they interact with family.

    Helpful? 0 0
  73. thriftpunk

    Great book to help you if you had an emoionally/mentally abusive parent

    I am halfway through this book and I have found a lot of good explanation and suggestions to understand and cope with my childhood trauma. I have cPTSD from a narcissistic and misogynist father, and I have been in therapy for 1.5 years, and I am using this book to further my treatment and understanding. My therapist whom I love, approves.

    Helpful? 0 0
  74. Janelle

    Great Book

    This is one of the best books I’ve purchased in a while! It’s helped me in so many ways! I’ve recommended and bought this books for others!

    Helpful? 0 0
  75. troveana


    Literally could not put it down. This book gave me the words to explain what I’d always felt, but could never express. So validating and very much needed.

    Helpful? 0 0
  76. Melissa

    thought this would be cliche

    But it was weirdly accurate to my life. Very helpful. Have already recommended it to 3 ppl. Glad I read this.

    Helpful? 0 0
  77. Ashley b.

    Yep get it

    I read it in 3 days. Filled it with sticky tabs to mark pages and tons of highlighting. Literally like a kid in a candy store reading this book, my entire life explained to me. Click add to cart

    Helpful? 0 0
  78. Emma

    Bought this for my husband. Heard it’s a great book.

    Bought this for my husband. Heard it’s a great book.

    Helpful? 0 0
  79. Roquel Bryce

    Such a good read.

    I recommend this to anyone.

    Helpful? 0 0
  80. inlori Customer

    So helpful!

    This book helped me through one of the more difficult changes in my family relationships. It taught me the importance of boundaries and finding your most authentic self. Incredible read!

    Helpful? 0 0
  81. Maggie Thiele

    Love this book!

    My parents are narcissistic, and I got a lot out of this book.

    Helpful? 0 0
  82. Somya


    I love love love this book! I went through every emotion LOL. BUY ITT!!!

    Helpful? 0 0
  83. Mary Sandoval

    Very healing

    Really allows you to step back and view things from a different angle. Takes the responsibility and guilt off of the child in the relationship and makes you self reflect to see your own emotional immaturity.

    Helpful? 0 0
  84. Alec Campbell

    Amazing read

    Reading this felt like a massive weight being lifted off of my shoulders. Great read, I totally recommend it. Awesome.

    Helpful? 0 0
  85. Fuzzy Cat

    I’ve never felt so validated

    My only regret is not getting this book decades ago, lol. It explains so much!

    Helpful? 0 0
  86. ewitskiwi

    Amazing book!

    Such a helpful book. Definitely recommend.

    Helpful? 0 0
  87. Clarissa

    Life changing

    Thank you Lindsay Gibson for this beautiful book, that changed my life. I am me.

    Helpful? 0 0
  88. catherine1358

    Good book.

    I was favorably impressed that the easy read, the clear explanation and the summaries at the end of the chapter.

    Helpful? 0 0
  89. Dr Morris Setudegan


    this book is for every one!

    Helpful? 0 0
  90. Zachary Smith


    Lindsay puts so much into words that I couldn’t express for 28 long years. Cannot recommend enough. Total gamechanger. Thank you!!!

    Helpful? 0 0
  91. Bama Beach Forever


    A brilliant and astonishing piece of work! Thank you, Lindsay, for sharing your incredible talent and time!

    Helpful? 0 0
  92. inlori Customer

    So helpful

    This book has changed my relationship with my parent and totally helped clear up feelings within myself. Self tests awesome help.

    Helpful? 0 0
  93. sdahl13

    Insightful Parent-Child Relationship Research

    The contents of this book are eye opening and truly help give reason and understanding to why parents or other significant people are unable to emotionally relate with you.

    Helpful? 0 0
  94. Melissa fernandez

    Very interesting book

    If you a parent this book its a most!

    Helpful? 0 0
  95. Alexis A.

    Love it!

    Truly one of the best books I’ve read. I enjoyed the exercises and how relatable it was.

    Helpful? 0 0
  96. AB

    Still Reading

    Good for working through parental issues- therapist applauded me for getting it before she recommended it haha

    Helpful? 0 0
  97. Deborah L Thomases

    Wow. This book is exactly what I needed!

    This book reads like my biography. It offers explanation, validation and a path toward healing. My partner and I have been turns reading it aloud. After a page or two, we end up putting the book down and having the most wonderful, deep discussions. Outstanding, readable and healing.

    Helpful? 0 0
  98. La

    emotional maturity can be learned - start with you

    It has wise advice especially in the last few chapters.

    Helpful? 0 0
  99. Elizabeth

    Very well written

    We’re only through the intro and half of the first chapter and there’s already been a lot of head nodding due to the relate-ability. Recommended by someone on TT. It’s been a great recommendation and we have now recommended it to others.

    Helpful? 0 0
  100. Jessica Rice

    Beyond helpful!

    If you are considering reading this book in the slightest, please take a chance and do it. This book is so insightful and offers real-life stories to help the reader understand how to implement the concepts/ideas. You deserve to find some peace of mind – this book will help you find it.

    Helpful? 0 0
  101. Barbara Black

    Trying it out

    It came highly recommended by a mother and daughter who are doing “the work” to heal what’s broken.

    Helpful? 0 0
  102. Will Beaudoin

    the truth sets you free

    sat down and read it cover to cover, if you think this book applies to you even a little its a necessity

    Helpful? 0 0
  103. Voleris

    must read

    this book helps you understand your parents so much. i would recommend this yo all my friends with trouble relations with oarents is them not you

    Helpful? 0 0
  104. Serena

    spot on

    Wow…. Eye opening! Picked this up bc the title sounded right. My brother read it also and we can’t agree more that it’s so helpful.

    Helpful? 0 0
  105. Bill Phillips

    Helpful for children.

    To paraphrase the promotional leading sentence for this book I would put it this way: If you grew up with an emotionally immature, unavailable, or selfish parent, (my words follow) you are probably also an emotionally immature, unavailable, or selfish parent. Well, “me too,” to put a fine point on the matter. This book is told from the point of view of the child (or adult child) not the parent. As a parent who vowed to do everything different from his parents, I have discovered that I made an entirely different set of mistakes in parenting. “Physician, heal thyself,” I say to author Lindsay Gibson, who tells nothing of herself in this story, as if she, in her infinite wisdom, is above the fray. Her book is full of non-sequiturs such as don’t confront your parents, but understand them as the sole cause of your misery. She categorizes human behavior in a way that is too easy to comprehend as if it were written with no other goal than selling books. On the other hand, her analytical list of dysfunctional parental behavior is so accurate, that it was almost a carbon copy checklist of my mother’s personality. Thus, Gibson’s analysis is a valuable contribution to understanding human behavior, but a vast oversimplification of life on earth. She maintains that you can come from a horrid family environment but still become a completely well-adjusted person… if you really want to. Still the book is worth reading, but don’t stop there. Also read Alice Miller’s Drama of the Gifted Child. And don’t even stop there.

    Helpful? 0 0
  106. BookLoverFromCO

    4 stars

    Insightful — I had a few aha! moments and bookmarked some statements — but overall felt a bit too harsh and not actionable enough.

    Helpful? 0 0
  107. Madison B.

    Book came damaged

    My book unfortunately came damaged.

    Helpful? 0 0
  108. Fr. Nicholas

    a very handy text

    Just an excellent guide for self-reflection. I greatly appreciated the author’s concise definition of critical terms while coupling them with real-life examples. These two aspects helped to get me a bit deeper into her thoughts on the topics of her many different sections in the book.

    Helpful? 0 0
  109. inlori Customer

    An insightful read

    Great book, informative, supportive with excellent suggestions on healing. The only downfall for me were grammatical mistakes. Sentences do not start with “because.”

    Helpful? 0 0
  110. Carla

    the first part is great, second 1/2: not so much

    the first part is great, second 1/2: not so much

    Helpful? 0 0
  111. JRoc

    It’s an easy read

    This book is an easy read but difficult to digest. Once you read it for a second time things will Make more sense or At least it did for me. Not a typical self help book. If you really want to see change in your life within your self and with others I recommend this book and her other series of books.

    Helpful? 0 0
  112. Robin Nyberg

    Awesome book!

    Learning alot from this book! Thank you!

    Helpful? 0 0
  113. Tsatsral

    Not as expected

    I was expecting better. Not I think.

    Helpful? 0 0
  114. Prayzin_Him

    Very enlightening

    I got a lot of emotional clarity and it explained so much of what I have experienced in my life.

    Helpful? 0 0
  115. M.Butler

    An ok ready

    My therapist recommended this book. It has some relatable things.

    Helpful? 0 0
  116. Dris

    Easy read with great examples

    Loved the book and learned many different perspectives that I was able to apply immediately! The author explains things well and shows many examples

    Helpful? 0 0
  117. Kayla Crawford

    Fast shipping

    Thank you

    Helpful? 0 0
  118. Dean

    Very eye opening

    Very eye opening. Brought a new understanding of why and who I am. I would recommend to others to read.

    Helpful? 0 0
  119. Angela J.

    Learned a lot

    Just everything she said rang true. I learned a lot about my parents and myself. I was able to find words for goals I had for myself. It really helped to open my eyes to the sort of person I was and how I could change it. I recommend this book.

    Helpful? 0 0
  120. Gary

    Helpful stuff

    This was a good overview of how the ones who bore you may have been immature, how it may have affected you and your relationships and how to correct the effect of that immaturity.

    Helpful? 0 0
  121. Ann

    Good to understand how parenting can affect you

    A good read to understand in a different way, some if the traumas of childhood

    Helpful? 0 0
  122. rachel hayes



    Helpful? 0 0
  123. Terra Moore

    Sometimes parents make mistakes too...

    Very interesting read. It was like reading about my own childhood. I’m still reading and will update further.

    Helpful? 0 0
  124. Luigi616

    Very insightful

    Great book, easy read. It helped elucidate a lot of things for me, even though I don’t have emotionally immature parents myself.

    Helpful? 0 0
  125. Mel B

    Excellent book

    Great book – my therapist recommended it to me. Being an avid reader, I hate seeing typos and grammar problems which there were a few of. Other than that, the message and research was great.

    Helpful? 0 0
  126. Jen


    me to weite a review this is so annoying i cant finish the book – i didnt pay for it to have to reciew it

    Helpful? 0 0
Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Open chat
Scan the code
Can we help you?