One of the books I universally recommend is Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life. It’s not the only book written by Henry Cloud and John Townsend that I love. I’d also add to that list:
- Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren’t, and
- Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward
I like to challenge myself occasionally to grow in my understanding of myself, to reveal dark places I’ve ignored and to allow God to work and heal in that area. It’s usually uncomfortable, sometimes painful. But I’m always thankful when I’m through it. In this thinking, I looked forward to reading Changes That Heal: Four Practical Steps to a Happier, Healthier You by Henry Cloud.
If anything comes through in the message of this book, it is that the body of Christ is the only place in which we grow. ~Henry Cloud, Changes That Heal
Description from Amazon
Many of us struggle with anxiety, loneliness, and feelings of inadequacy. We know that God created us in his image, but how can we be loving when we feel burned out? How can we be free when we struggle with addiction? Will we ever enjoy the complete healing God promises?
Changes That Heal by renowned psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud offers a down-to-earth plan to help us recover from the wounds of the past and grow more and more into the image of God. Combining his professional expertise and personal experience, Dr. Cloud guides us through four basic ways to become joy-filled, mature followers of Christ:
- Connect more deeply with others
- Separate from others in healthy ways
- Understand the good and the bad in ourselves and others
- Grow into greater emotional and spiritual maturity
With fascinating case studies and helpful techniques we can start using immediately, Changes That Heal reminds us that God promises to complete his good work in us.
What I Thought
Our emotional and psychological well-being depends on the status of our heart, and the status of our heart depends on the depth of our bonds with others and with God. ~Henry Cloud, Changes That Heal
Let me start by saying that this is not a book I will blindly recommend to anyone. While its message is excellent and I’m glad I read it, at times it was difficult to get through. Dr. Cloud dove deep into some areas that made me read sections more than once, discuss it with friends, and process through the information in small chunks.
Those who have read Boundaries will find parts of Changes familiar, but Dr. Cloud doesn’t just regurgitate the prior book’s message. In the chapters with that focus, he goes further than he and Dr. Townsend did in Boundaries, adding new information, making the overall message even more important than I previously thought.
I think that even those who think they are doing well in life will find the author challenging them to go deeper. He focuses on topics that we all experience: bonding to others, separating ourselves from others, and reconciling the good and bad in the world. And Dr. Cloud doesn’t merely tell us what ideal we should be aiming for but gives real-life examples of how this looks when things go wrong and lists out potential problems for those who refuse to deal with the imperfections inherent in all of us.
The Bottom Line – 5 stars
Deep down inside, we all realize the difference between our ideal self, the imagined perfection, and our real self, the one that truly is. If these two battle each other, we will be in constant conflict. ~Henry Cloud, Changes That Heal
I hesitate to scare you away from this excellent book, but please count the cost before you pick it up. Some parts will require slowing down, purposefully reading, and thinking through what he is saying. If you are willing to do that, then I think you will be glad you dived in.
About the Author
Dr. Cloud is a leadership consultant, best-selling author, and speaker whose books have sold well over 5 million copies. He consults and speaks for companies and organizations in the area of leadership and performance, and is highly regarded for his ability to connect personal and interpersonal development with the needs of business.
He is a clinical psychologist and leadership consultant with a unique ability to connect with audiences. Drawing upon his broad range of experiences in private practice, leadership consulting, and media, he simplifies life’s issues and gives easy to understand, practical advice. It’s Dr. Cloud’s humor, compassion and “in the moment” confrontation that make his approach to psychology, business and spirituality such a success.
DISCLOSURE: I purchased this book myself and was not asked by the author or publisher for a review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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