The Unconscious Script
The loss of a child is one of the most devastating events that can occur in a family. Unresolved grief of parents in turmoil can manifest in the lives of subsequent children, or in an older child whose life is redirected as a result of the loss of a sibling. “Replacement Children” refers to the experience of individuals who are enmeshed in an unconscious script to fill a void left by a child in the family who has died or become incapacitated. This underexplored phenomenon may even affect an adopted child if the parents cannot let go of the loss of the “ideal child” they were unable to have. It may also be apparent in one who has lost their twin. Unresolved parental grief may even include grief over the loss of an ideal, or of unfulfilled hopes and dreams, such as in loss from a miscarriage, abortion or stillbirth. With a poignant forward by Katie Couric, this groundbreaking book provides a new understanding of how the replacement child experience can be the underlying, and often missed, root of a host of emotional issues. Replacement Children: The Unconscious Script is filled with personal stories from adult replacement children who shed light on the various aspects of the syndrome, as well as comments and insights from psychiatrist Dr. Abigail Brenner.
From the foreword by Katie Couric: “But as difficult as any significant loss may be, the death of a child at any age, so unnatural in the order of life, is unimaginable and deserves special attention…..Enter the replacement child – one born to take a deceased sibling’s place or an older child whose life is “redirected” to fill the should of a dead sibling..”
Stories of Transiton, Healing, and Hope
No matter how difficult it might seem, change is always positive. Life Matters: Stories of Transition, Healing, and Hope, by psychiatrist and interfaith minister Abigail Brenner tackles the transitions in our lives and shows how they can empower us. Brenner moves through all cycles of life, letting the people going through these transitions tell their own stories. From the stress of moving from a familiar place to an unfamiliar one, to finding the job that feeds your soul as well as your wallet, Life Matters shows you how you can get through these changes and come out on the other side a better person. Learn to chart your feelings, advises Brenner. Assert yourself and get the support you need. For true healing to occur, she states, you must become an active participant and advocate of your own wellness. The key lies in the pursuit of balance within the self: taking care of your body, having an optimistic attitude about yourself and life, and connecting to a source of spiritual belief. A physical crisis has the enormous potential of becoming a healing moment. “Do not shy away from your own light,” says Brenner. Life is all about change and this warm and inspirational book can help you make the most of all your transitions.
From the foreword by Bernie Siegel, MD: “When something happens to alter our life or we learn something new, we have to begin a new life if we are to survive…It is not an accident that the universal therapeutic theme is for all of us to be born again and the changes and transitions of life become the labor pains of self-birth and worth the experience, since they create a new you.” Author: Love, Magic, and Mudpies and 365 Prescriptions for Living.
PRAISE FOR “LIFE MATTERS”
Most people live their lives according to Mark Twain’s comment, ‘I’m all for progress; it’s change I don’t like.’ In Life Matters: Stories of Transition, Healing, and Hope, Dr. Abigail Brenner shows how embracing life’s passages can lead to transformation and fulfillment, and how we can summon the courage to live life more fully.
To be alive is to go through one phase after another, some large and some small. This insightful book will help you change thoughtfully. It will help you to be changed and not just go through the motions and the struggles. It will help you be vital and engaged in all areas of life. The transitions are the tough spots. Keep this book handy for them.
THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO BABY’S FIRST YEAR
by Dr. Erika Landau and Dr. Abigail Brenner
A baby’s first year, from the moment of birth to the first birthday, is exciting, wonderful and sometimes confusing for both a baby and parents. With so many firsts in those twelve months, there are many questions. The Essential Guide to Baby’s First Year addresses the issues and concerns that are most important to first-time parents.
The authors, Dr. Erika Landau and Dr. Abigail Brenner, are both parents and medical professionals. They acknowledge that babies are people and they do things in their own time and ways. Their medical knowledge supports their advice and suggestions included in the book, such as:
- The moment of birth and beyond — what a newborn looks like, what the tests will be like, feeding, bonding,and taking the baby home
- Clear explanations of milestones for the first year of life, broken up by quarters — and how they may vary from baby to baby
- Advice and suggestions on feeding, caring for, and interacting with the baby
- Teething, sleeping, crawling, pooping — how things happen and change as months pass
- Common illnesses, appropriate food, necessary equipment, and more
“Every area of expertise in this world requires a license or certificate. But there is no license to become a parent. Neither does each bundle of joy come with instructions or a guarantee,” says Dr. Landau. The Essential Guide to Baby’s First Year will help parents become well informed, yet able to develop and utilize their own instincts and good judgment.
NATIONAL PARENTING PUBLICATIONS REVIEW: Being a new parent can be overwhelming with all the new experiences that come with those little bundles of joy. When parents have questions, we want answers (and instructions) … quick. In The Essential Guide to Baby’s First Year, topics include Your Newborn Head to Toe, Feeding Baby, Milestones, Vaccinations, Eating and Sleeping and everything in between; and are covered in quick, easy-to-read chapters, highlighting “Essential Takeaways” at the end of each chapter. The appendix section provides additional valuable information such as a glossary, age-appropriate toy recommendations, immunization information, parenting resources, what to do in an emergency and healthy baby-friendly recipes. The Essential Guide to Baby’s First Year is written by Erika Landau, M.D., a pediatrician and Abigail Brenner, M.D. a psychiatrist — both top-rated and accomplished doctors and mommies.
How to Deal When Life Changes
This book is a small, yet concise and user-friendly manual about change and transition. Part One: Change, describes the nature of change, the stages of change, and the emotions of change. This should give readers an overview of what change is all about and explains that once this process is understood, the ability to transition through change in the future will made all the more easy.
Part Two: The Basics of SHIFT, describes how people learn, how our beliefs, emotions, feelings, and attitudes are programmed from very early on in our lives. These beliefs form the basis for how we navigate through our lives. Limiting beliefs often limit our choices, decisions, and actions as we move forward. The role of early programming is framed within the context of recent research in belief systems theory, the role of brain waves in programming, and the role of the subconscious in helping us to access a more complete understanding of who we are and what we believe.
Part Three: The SHIFT Process, brings together all of the elements from the previous two parts and draws on information the reader has been accessing along the way through provocative exercises and questions.
How Women Embrace Change and Celebrate Life
Throughout their lives, women go through big changes, but what makes some women embrace these moments while others feel as if they are about to fall apart? Psychiatrist Abigail Brenner believes that the answer lies in how we consciously mark these changes and allow them to change us.
Full of personal stories and case histories, Transitions explores the passages that are meaningful to contemporary women and then supplies the tools, creative projects, and rituals to honor these occurrences. Through provocative discussions, inspiring personal stories and anecdotes from Brenner, Transitions is dedicated to helping women identify, respond to, and celebrate their times of growth.
By consciously participating in rituals to mark important milestones in our ives, we connect with our souls in powerful, life-changing ways. TRANSITIONS shows you exactly how to use ritual to heal, grow, and celebrate.
PRAISE FOR “TRANSITIONS”
Ceremonies and rituals have been key in indigenous cultures for thousands of years to mark transitions and rites of passage in an individual’s life. Abigal Brenner brilliantly shares stories and information of the importance and power gained by bringing ritual and ceremony into a modern-day culture and the healing that occurs in doing so. Her personal depth, her research, and her ability to share her case studies make TRANSITIONS an engaging and important book to read. Well done!
Even though there is in North America a widespread, deeply felt need for resources on ritual creativity, the pickings are slim. TRANSITIONS is a carting response to that need written by Abigail Brtenner, an author whose therapeutic sensitivies suffuse her writing. Although some readers will be delighted and others irritated by her treatment of ritual and gender, they will not likely be indifferent. The book is brimming with stories that take us to the heart of women’s struggle to realize their lives meaningfully.