Review: Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents by Lindsay C. Gibson, PsyD

Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents by Lindsay C. Gibson

Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting or Self-Involved Parents
Lindsay C. Gibson, PsyD
New Harbinger Publications
Published June 1, 2015

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents

If you grew up with an emotionally immature, unavailable, or selfish parent, you may have lingering feelings of anger, loneliness, betrayal, or abandonment. You may recall your childhood as a time when your emotional needs were not met, when your feelings were dismissed, or when you took on adult levels of responsibility in an effort to compensate for your parent’s behavior. These wounds can be healed, and you can move forward in your life.

In this breakthrough book, clinical psychologist Lindsay Gibson exposes the destructive nature of parents who are emotionally immature or unavailable. You will see how these parents create a sense of neglect, and discover ways to heal from the pain and confusion caused by your childhoodBy freeing yourself from your parents’ emotional immaturity, you can recover your true nature, control how you react to them, and avoid disappointment. Finally, you’ll learn how to create positive, new relationships so you can build a better life.

Discover the four types of difficult parents:

  • The emotional parent instills feelings of instability and anxiety.
  • The driven parent stays busy trying to perfect everything and everyone.
  • The passive parent avoids dealing with anything upsetting. 
  • The rejecting parent is withdrawn, dismissive, and derogatory.
Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts on Goodreads

My Review

I came across this book while I was browsing on Twitter. Someone I’m close to was going through a challenging conflict with a parent, and when I saw this book, I thought, hey, maybe this could be a good resource.

I started reading the opening pages, and it was like… all of a sudden, some of the relationships I’ve had deep struggles with in my life started to make sense. Things clicked. Some of the descriptions of emotionally immature behavior were absolutely spot-on for some of the people in my life. So I bought the book, thinking maybe it would give me better insights on those relationships, too.

Easy to Read, Broken into Three Parts

Here’s my favorite thing about this book: it’s broken down into three parts. The first part pretty much breaks down common behaviors of emotionally immature people. The goal is learning to see the person from a more objective view and recognizing patterns, especially those that hurt.

The second part of the book turns the magnifying glass on the reader. How have we responded to the emotionally immature people in our lives? Basically, she breaks this into two big categories which she terms our healing fantasy (what we keep doing to try to “fix” the relationship) and our role-self (unnatural or unhealthy ways we’ve changed our behavior to try to make these relationships work).

Then, the last part of the book puts it all together. Now that we understand what’s happening in this other person and how we are responding, we look at dismantling the unhealthy responses. Changing our expectations. And setting up new ways to interact with this person that stop us from diving headfirst into the potholes we’ve been falling into.

There’s also a chapter that looks to future relationships and how to stop ourselves from pursuing the same harmful relationships over and over as well as how to look for signs of emotional immaturity, especially in a potential partner.

Best Relationship Book I’ve Ever Read

The writing is straightforward. Practical. Clear. I can’t think of another book on relationships that spelled things out as well as this book does. It pretty much blew my mind. I wanted to contact every person I know who has had challenging relationships with a parent and be like, “Stop what you are doing and READ THIS NOW!”

Normally I read nonfiction really slowly, but I couldn’t put this one down. Honestly, it felt so eye-opening, both in understanding behavior in others that was harmful and also in taking a hard look at myself and how my own behavior was harming me, too. Just, wow.

I liked that the book is really empowering and focuses on healing and healthy boundaries. Honestly, I can’t recommend it enough. If you find yourself having the same kinds of hurtful experiences over and over with people in your life, even if they’re not your parents, definitely check out this book.

Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 16 up.

No race details given about the case examples.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content

Spiritual Content

Violent Content
Some brief references to verbal, emotional, or physical abuse.

Drug Content
References to addiction.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog.

Tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

Comments are closed.