Review: Brian Joss
What happens to us in childhood often has an impact on our adult lives. This is the focus of Klipin’s book Recover From Your Childhood, subtitled, Life lessons for the adult child. If among others, your childhood was unpredictable or inconsistent and you have to do things perfectly; or you can’t trust others; or have a horror of asking for help; or if you behaved responsibly as a child, but you often feel childlike and vulnerable in stressful situations, you are in all likelihood an adult child.
In her introduction, Klipin openly writes about her own troubled childhood with a lot of baggage she carried over into her life as an adult. She came from a wealthy family who had the Persian carpet pulled from under them; nothing Klipin did at school was ever good enough and with one or two exceptions none of her teachers gave her credit; in her student days she was an anti-apartheid activist, detained and questioned for a “crime”, helping to organise an anti-apartheid meeting of other student activists.
As with her Recover From Burnout Klipin speaks from experience. She was an adult child but with the help of her mentor, life coach Martha Beck, she successfully overcame thesyndrome.
Klipin’s work brings her into contact with many clients and there are various reasons why they are adult children: financial worries; addiction or substance abuse by parents or siblings; a special needs child in the family; or, being sent to boarding school, to list some. Many of the clients did not have consistent adult role models. But it’s not all gloom and doom, however. Often they are insightful, dependable, empathetic, intuitive and creative, among others.
“It is possible to harness their strengths and ameliorate their weaknesses to allow them to fulfil the enormous potential they have,” writes Klipin, and there is a useful exercise you can do to understand yourself. Klipin also explains in detail what makes an adult child. Another exercise is the Tree of Life where you record the highs and lows which will show you where the good times and the bad have led you. And in her own Tree of Life which is made up of light and dark circles she records the events of her own life which is quite revealing. There are some case histories including one about Amy, an adult child who was taught how to forgive remembering the pain of her childhood experiences with her father who drank too much. “Forgiveness is a process that moves us from pain to growth,” Klipin notes. In the final chapter, Moving Forward, Klipin, h gives byte-size pieces of advice: don’t forget but do forgive; so how do you forgive?, making lemonade, out of the dark and self -rescue.
Recover From Your Childhood is refreshingly free of jargon and is packed with sage advice. Recover From Burnout and Recover From Your Childhood deserve space on your bookshelf.