Table of Contents

About the Author

Reader Feedback

Reader Feedback

*Peer Review:

"I find your book useful to both clinicians versed in Bowen theory and those who are not. Additionally it is written in a readable fashion that will welcome and not intimidate the lay reader. Congratulations on sharing your enthusiasm and knowledge about the Bowen theory!"

by Dana Terrell, LCSW, EAC

DOWNLOAD this Virginia Gazette PDF entitled "Family Dynamics" about Dr. Ellen's online book [by Gazette Columnist Frank Shatz]

"I really enjoyed reading and studying this book. I had a course as an undergrad called “Marriage & Family.” It would have been great to have you as our professor! I could relate to the comments on being self-focused. It made me slow down and think and it made me self-inspect. The way I learn something is to ask myself, “How does this apply to me?” I did that quite a bit while reading this. People will have fuel for self-thought for a long time to come. I especially enjoyed reading about anxiety in Chapter 6. Holy Crap, anyone from an abusive home could relate to that! There was so much tension in my home, even when we became adults, that none of us wanted to go see Ma. She would bitch if ya hung her with a new rope! It's true -- anxiety is contagious!" Thanks, Ellen. You are a cool lady."
"Ellen, I’ve completed reading your book. Congratulations on producing such a great read! I think people will find it very helpful."
"I read your chapters last evening and I think they are wonderful -- easy to understand, well organized (i.e. use of billets, white space, boxes, etc.), with great examples. I also like the fact that you addressed the issue of death. I recommend that you expand the concept of projection a bit. And, how about adding a paragraph or two about children reared (or adopted) by same sex couples? It would be a great opportunity to disabuse your readers of the notion that children need a male and female parent to be healthy or happy. Keep writing!" 
"Ellen Rudolph...WOW! What a perfectly simple way of explaining these things -- or is it that I am just ready to understand it?!"
"Ellen, you and our mutual friend, Micko, share similar childhoods and, like Micko, you must be an extraordinary person for having lived through the neglect and displacement and become the person you are now. No wonder you two clicked when you met. Thank you for sharing your story! For me, that out-of-focus black and white photo with your brothers and mother was particularly moving. [see Appendix 8] How striking that the one surviving photograph you've got is one where Mary's face isn't visible and everything looks a bit shaky! Your book is incredibly insightful and it has that rare quality of an in-depth professional investigation using very clear and simple language. It is all the more powerful for it. It is a joy to read and wonderfully pertinent for me at this time. Thank you!"
"Ellen, I like the simplicity of this book and the easy language. Wonderful! My only criticism comes from believing that more goes on in families and personalities than the model can account for. Personally I believe in reincarnation and also the Enneagram as described by Richard Rohr and the team of Russ Hudson and Don Riso. I see all of theses systemic influences working together, coming together..."
"I just read How Families Work. Good stuff! Chapter 3 seems to track many of the teachings of Montessori and also be in line with the "Babywise Method" which is a wonderful guide to new parents and one that I recommend. The central goal of our little family is to raise self reliant, independent thinking children who are also curious and active -- it has been a fun journey, so far. As a survivor of boarding school, I do have to wonder how that experience has sculpted me, and others. Would I be as self reliant and confident without the experience? (probably not.) Would I be as tough--physically and emotionally? (definitely not.) However, I think being a family member in such a large "tribe" like boarding school definitely cost me something in my interaction with the larger communities to which I belonged. So ...where do you fit within the system, Ellen? I remember your personal story well. A wonderful story."
"Fascinating, very succinctly written -- bravo, Ellen!"
"I have finished reading How Families Work but have many questions, especially how to explain it to others! (to 83 year-old Phyllis Dr. Ellen says: Send them the book!)
"Ellen, I love this. I have read essays and many similar things you have written over the last 40 years but reading this newest addition refreshes me. I thank you whole heartedly for this and every thing I have learned from you."
"I'm a bad one to give any advice about families. I don't speak to mine. My mother says I am dead. This is because they took a house I built in America and gave it to my spoiled sister and they collect rent from her for themselves. It is my house any rent should be going to me. They also took a ton of my stuff out of it and put it in a storage unit -- so I am beyond pissed at all of them. They justify it by saying I am in Japan and don't live in it. Arrrrghh! Families! That said, you're the best!"
"Dr. Ellen, thank you for helping me make some sense of my extremely frustrating family! Honestly, it is a wonder I survived."