In the Media

ANZJFT Reviews Growing Yourself Up

A few months ago I received this book from a dear friend and like a best seller, I have read it from cover to cover. What an amazing experience it was to read Jenny Brown’s book – Growing Yourself Up: How to bring your best to all of life’s relationships.

This enjoyable book was an inspiring read. The gift in reading this publication has increased my confidence and understanding of Bowen Systems Theory. As a qualified relationship counsellor this book is one that I think students, graduates and working professionals would be grateful to receive. What was most enjoyable was the respectful approach Brown has utilised in conveying the intricacies of relationships at different transition points in our lives.I cared for how the book was divided into parts, then broken down into sub-parts, followed by case studies drawn from Brown’s practice. Following this, an overview of the theoretical concepts draws the reader to be quietly yet respectfully reminiscent of the thoughtful questions to which they have been lead. Because of this I found myself continually in a space of reflection; a reflection on how I have chosen to participate and contribute to the relationships around me. I began to revisit the following questions:

  1. How have I contributed to the way my current relationships are?
  2. Am I adding value and bringing meaning to my life and those around me?
  3. Is my communication style and way of being directed at ‘growing myself up’?

I also appreciated the effortlessness and ease with which it was to read. It is clearly written, well spaced without having too much content in each section, so much so, that I read the book most evenings after a long day at work. I thought the appendix section at the back of the book was a clever way to concentrate and convey the key principles and messages within this book – I can see myself returning to these sections with ease and enjoyment.Whilst working in a helping profession, your focus shifts to those whose vulnerabilities find your door. At times we become so focussed in this serving role that we become preoccupied and stop working at the improvements necessary for our own development. Hence, I had great difficulty putting the book down yet found myself obliged to pause and reflect to honour this time of learning. Although I have read this book, I know that I will continue returning to it and ‘paying the knowledge’ forward.

In closing I’d like to finish with a note to the author – Jenny, thank you for your patience and hard work in preparing this amazing book. It was an honour to read.

Vinny Vedat Erol

Senior Case Manager – Young People Leaving Care
Department of Family and Community Services, New South Wales

This review can be found in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy 2013, 34, 279–280 doi: 10.1002/anzf.1024

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