Family estrangement is larger than conflict and more complicated than betrayal. It is entwined in contradictory beliefs, values, behaviours and goals and is the result of at least one member of the family considering reconciliation impossible and/or undesirable. The cessation of familial relations, whether that involves rejection or deciding to leave, can be an inordinately traumatising experience. Whilst data suggests that around 1 in 12 people are estranged from at least one family member this topic is rarely discussed or researched.
Based on the author's in-depth research and exploration of the topic of estrangement, Family Estrangement: A Matter of Perspective captures the unique lived experiences of both estrangee and estranger. Offering multiple perspectives drawn from academic and popular literature as well as case studies, the book contextualises its chapters within current theoretical understandings of family relationships and estrangement, including Loss and Grief theories, Attachment Theory and Bowen Family Systems Theory. Practice sections provide estranged readers and professionals with a structured approach to exploring the various aspects of estrangement within a family and to help them identify resilience, strengths and strategies which individuals may harness as they attempt to live with estrangement.
Written with the aim to provide guidance in understanding estrangement in context, this book is suitable for estranged family members and all professionals who encounter and work with people affected by estrangement, including social workers, counsellors, psychologists, allied health professionals, doctors, nurses and legal professions.
Kylie Agllias is a social work researcher, educator and Honorary Conjoint Lecturer at the University of Newcastle, Australia. She is particularly interested in qualitative research that investigates sensitive issues and highlights the lived experience of vulnerable populations.
1. Breaking the Silence 2. How Did We Get Here? 3. Losing a Loved One 4. Deciding to Leave Family 5. When There are Few Shared Experiences 6. The Intergenerational Consequences of Family Estrangement 7. Learning, Living, Growing 8. Forgiveness and Reconciliation