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  • Published: 5 July 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241480625
  • Imprint: Penguin Life
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $35.00

Every Family Has A Story

How we inherit love and loss




With her usual warmth and wisdom, bestselling psychotherapist Julia Samuel explores the family: what we inherit and how we can change

Relationships fundamentally influence our health and happiness -- and family is the only relationship that we cannot leave, however much we might like to. But we think too narrowly about the impact of our families on our lives.

Every Family Has A Story sees bestselling psychotherapist Julia Samuel turn from her work with individuals to sessions with a wide variety of families. Diving deep into eight case studies, with her usual storytelling panache and the latest academic research, she analyses a range of common issues including separation, step-relationships, leaving home, trauma and loss. In doing so, she reveals insightfully how deeply we are influenced by our families -- including the often under-appreciated impact of grandparents and siblings -- and offers universally applicable insights into how families can face challenges together. Her twelve touchstones for family wellbeing -- from fighting productively to making time for rituals, and from setting boundaries to allowing difference -- provide us with the tools to ultimately be better family members ourselves.

Revealing forgiveness and learning amidst trauma and hardship, this is an honest and compassionate meditation on what we inherit and how we can create the families we wish for.

  • Published: 5 July 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241480625
  • Imprint: Penguin Life
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $35.00

About the author

Julia Samuel

Julia Samuel, MBE, is a leading British psychotherapist. During the last thirty years, she has worked first for the NHS and then in private practice. She is Founder Patron of Child Bereavement UK. Her previous books are This Too Shall Pass and Grief Works, both of which were Sunday Times bestsellers. She lives in London with her husband, and has four children and six grandchildren.

Also by Julia Samuel

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Praise for Every Family Has A Story

I am a huge admirer of Julia's work

Elizabeth Day

An essential, clever and kind book that reminds us that we can never hope to understand ourselves without deeply understanding our families. A testament to the ongoing relevance of psychotherapy and to Julia Samuel's preeminent skill as an author and therapist

Alain de Botton

Julia Samuel is so wise and compassionate. I love every word she writes and long for every reader - every person - to experience her unique and generous way of being in the world

Cathy Rentzenbrink

Julia Samuel brings her characteristic warmth, compassion and wisdom to the vital matter of how families function. She writes with unfailing grace, tenderness and consummate story-telling. Everyone who reads this will learn something profound - about themselves, their origins and the people they love most dearly

Dr Rachel Clarke

Julia Samuel offers us vivid insights into the way family structure, stories and experience exert their influence across generations. Here is a book for all families, where we can appreciate our own family's strengths and take courage to explore our hurts. The issues are so vibrantly explored that I was utterly drawn in. This is a book about love: a superpower when we use it wisely and well

Kathryn Mannix

Fascinating... Julia Samuel's compassionate work never fails to inform, comfort and make me think

Pandora Sykes

This book is wonderful, wise and empathetic, so useful but also so beautifully written... what I found really interesting is the sense of reciprocity, how Julia is engaged in the process of working with clients, changed by them and their stories, as we are by reading about them. Every family should have one, to consult in times of trouble

Gavanndra Hodge

The families Julia Samuel works with in her moving and fiercely honest book are just like all of us: flawed, paradoxical, difficult and somehow loveable. Her writing is honest, heartfelt and wise... over and over she extracts the extraordinary from people who didn't know they had it in them. I am grateful to have found her writing

Raffaella Barker

A wise and important book, full of insight into the pain and beauty at the heart of family life. Julia Samuel dives deep into familiar themes of loss, parenting, bereavement, divorce, all of which feature so heavily in the make-up of so many of our everyday lives. There is so much to learn in this book about what makes, breaks and mends a family, and I loved it

Clover Stroud

Truly wonderful - wise, compassionate, thoughtful, and always inspiring. A very important book

Justine Picardie

This book felt like therapy. It is enriching, reflective and urges the reader to be better at family. At its core, it is a beautifully written guide to loving better. Anybody who has a family, or is building a family, will benefit from this book's wisdom

Mohsin Zaidi

Engaging, informative and very well written

Philippa Perry

A profoundly important and compassionate book for understanding family relationships much better. Highly recommended

Liz Earle

Absolutely BRILLIANT. Every family should read this. Clever and helpful

Anya Hindmarch

This book is a beautifully compassionate exploration of what family means to each of us -- if you've ever dreamed of greater clarity, connection and communication with your imperfect family, read this book

Zoe Blaskey, Motherkind podcast

This is a wonderful, wonderful book . . . everybody needs to read it

Dr Rangan Chatterjee

Engrossing, generous . . . excellent advice worth a whole shelf of textbooks

Bel Mooney, Daily Mail

Full of nuggets of wisdom

Jackie Annesley, Sunday Times

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