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“I found this book utterly engrossing. Dr Coleman writes accessibly with compassion and rare insight.

 It will be a comfort to those seeking answers to one of the most misunderstood and complex emotional issues facing many families today.“ ~Gabriel Byrne, Golden Globe Winning Star of HBOs In Treatment. 


"Finally, here's a hopeful, comprehensive, and compassionate guide to navigating one of the most painful experiences for parents and their adult children alike.” The Rules of Estrangement candidly addresses parental estrangement from every conceivable angle, steering readers away from shame and blame to a place of newfound understanding and empowerment. I've seen many parents and adult children grappling with these issues, and this is exactly the book they have all been waiting for. I will be recommending it widely." 

--Lori Gottlieb, psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author of MAYBE YOU SHOULD TALK TO TALK TO SOMEONE


"I loved this book. I loved its bravery and kindness, its storytelling and passion, its personal vulnerability and professional confidence,
its historical insight and concrete advice for struggling families. Most of all I loved the compassion that Coleman clearly has for every
family member who walks into his therapist's office. In this office every person has a valid reason to hurt. Every person has a shoulder to cry on. But Coleman also, admirably, doesn't let him or her off the hook: he gently pushes his patients to grapple with how their relationships got broken. And most importantly, he believes that they can and will heal. This book ostensibly deals with the specific question of what parents should do when they get cut off by their adult children. But its
importance is much broader: it tackles the fragility of family relationships in the 21st century, and the social and economic forces
that have transformed them. I was moved to reflect on my own family, including my aging parents and my young child. How I might protect and strengthen my bonds with them? How I could break old patterns of communication and create new ones? This beautiful book is for anybody who cares about what tears families apart and what keeps them together.

~Michelle Kuo, Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship

"Dr. Coleman has written a very thoughtful book filled with great wisdom and care. He tackles many facets of ruptured relationships between parents and their adult children. His advice is heartfelt, intelligent, and will be very helpful to many parents facing an array of complicated issues in their relationship with their adult children. Over his years of practice as well as his own personal journey which he shares in the book, he has developed a deep appreciation for how to help parents see their relationship with their children through the child's eyes. It is through that process of compassionate perspective taking that a healing conversation can begin."

~Amy J.L. Baker, PhD, author of "Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties that Bind."


"Rules of Estrangement is the rare book on family conflict that is as helpful to families as it is a pleasure to read. Having interviewed dozens of families for my documentary I can attest that these dynamics are common. While I am sure that estranged and alienated parents will scoop this book off the shelves (virtual or otherwise) it will also be enormously helpful to psychologists and family court professionals, as well as estranged children." ~Ginger Gentile, director, ERASING FAMILY Documentary

"Dr Coleman is one of the few experts in the western world on family estrangement. This book both comforts and challenges parents who are estranged from their adult children, lighting up a path for how they may repair their broken relationships. It offers excellent insights into the sociology and psychology of family relationships, which we too often assume are always supportive, close and functional. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to learn from years of refined specialist practice in this important field." ~Becca Bland, Chief Executive, Stand Alone Charity

“RULES OF ESTRANGEMENT is a must-read guide for any parent in a troubled relationship with their adult child.  But it is also so much more- a sharp social and philosophical analysis of what it means to be part of a family in our strange cultural moment and a road map for parents everywhere to strengthen and future-proof their relationships with their children.”

Ruth Whippman, author of AMERICA THE ANXIOUS, why our search for happiness is driving us crazy and how to find it for real. (US version)


“Family estrangement is shrouded in both shame and secrecy, yet in Dr Coleman’s experienced hands, both the causes and consequences of estrangement become far easier to comprehend. Crucially, Dr Coleman explores the complexity of estrangement whilst extending kindness and compassion for all involved. ‘Rules of Estrangement’ is essential reading for anyone looking to gain insight and understanding on this topic.” ~Dr Lucy Blake, Senior Lecturer in Children, Young People and Families, Edge Hill University.

" I have, for many years, recommended people to see Dr. Coleman, but until I read this book I don't think I ever knew the extraordinary range of his gifts  Yes, there are many sad stories in this book that make you feel badly for the people who have rejected or been rejected by their loved ones- but there are also fantastic stories of reconciliation and personal renewal. It's an inspirational book.” ~Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D.  Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Washington, Seattle.  Expert: Married at First Sight


“Coleman addresses what historians see as a strange paradox: Even as more adult children than ever before view their parents as friends rather than mere obligations, psychologists report seeing a wave of parents who have been rejected by their adult children and of young adults who insist they need their parents out of their lives. Rejecting glib indictments of "toxic parents" or "ungrateful kids," Coleman explores the socioeconomic and cultural changes that inflate both our expectations and our disappointments in family life, offering calming advice on ways that estranged families can recover or move on.”

~Stephanie Coontz, author, The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap


“Joshua Coleman has provided a beautifully written book that describes painful disruptions in relationships between parents and their adult children. He offers his style of working with both generations —empathic but not uncritical—using case examples, including his own, that illuminate the societal conditions, family dynamics, and well-meaning therapists’ interventions that lead to the increasingly common occurrence of family estrangements. His wise and authoritative strategies and specific tips will prove to be essential for both younger and older generations and for clinicians who attempt to foster hope and relationship repair - or at least a reduction in the feelings of loss, shame, and despair experienced by one or both participants in these poignant family ruptures.”

~Philip A. Cowan, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Emeritus; University of California, Berkeley and Carolyn Pape Cowan, Ph.D., Adjunct, Professor of Psychology Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley. 

"With the authority and wisdom that comes from both a firm grounding in history, sociology, and, especially, clinical practice, Joshua Coleman provides compassionate and useful advice to parents and their adult children who are trying to navigate the minefield of past family experience.  His work with families is engaging, informative, exceedingly helpful.”

Frank Furstenberg, Zellerbach Family Professor of Sociology, Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania

“Joshua Coleman offers clarity and insight for families dealing with the painful consequences of estrangement. While this is a book primarily written for parents, his compassionate view of the estranged adult child offers helpful insights for all generations involved. His ability to integrate the science of relationships with warmth and wisdom based on 40 years of clinical experience makes this a highly compelling guide for families, health care professionals, and graduate programs. ~Joel Kramer, Psy.D.; John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation Endowed Professor of Neuropsychology in Neurology, University of California San Francisco Medical Center


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