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.
Table of Contents
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
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.
'Kylie Agllias has provided compassionate insights into the motivations and perspectives behind family estrangement as well as a pathway for personal adjustment. This book will provide knowledge and resonance to people working with family estrangement in their professional life, as well as hope and understanding for those personally experiencing estrangement from a family member. There is nothing more reassuring than knowing you're not the only person with a dysfunctional family, and the research in this book will be a comfort to many who have been struggling on alone.'- Becca Bland, writer and founder of Stand Alone, a charity supporting people who are estranged from their family, U.K
'One of the only scholars who systematically studies family estrangement, it is no wonder Kylie Agllias delivers a practical and evocative account of this major family disruption. Her book illuminates a distressing phenomenon that has been so-long ignored and is imperative to anyone who is struggling.' - Kristina M. Scharp, Utah State University, U.S.A