Father-son relationships are complex equations involving comparison, competition, and competency issues, writes father-son team Gerald and Lee Jampolsky in Listen to Me: A Book for Women and Men About Father-Son Relationships. In this deeply personal book written in the form of letters between the two men, the Jampolskys examine their relationship by sharing feelings, thoughts, and experiences in an effort to strengthen the familial bond.
Gerald (a well-known psychiatrist and author of the bestselling Love Is Letting Go of Fear and founder of the Center for Attitudinal Healing in Tiburon, California) and his son, Lee (a psychologist and author of Healing the Addictive Mind), once had a relationship that was not as healthy and admirable as it appeared from the outside. They struggled with drug, alcohol, and work addiction, rage, and a lack of intimacy. The book's epistolary style, the Jampolskys' commitment to being honest and open, and the end-of-chapter discussions and exercises all help Listen to Me transcend the personal, as together they face the myth of the perfect father, examine the phenomena and importance of father substitutes, and look at the father figure in history. Most importantly, they focus on healing themselves and each other.
As the subtitle promises, this book is not just for men. "Healing my relationship with my father is a central part of being a whole man who is available to have intimacy with a woman," writes Lee. And for any woman who has a father, brother, husband, son, or male friend, this book can provide crucial insights into the vital relationship between father and son. --Ericka Lutz