Michael and Kara are having marital problems.
Jennifer, a 42 year old competent woman, is insecure and depressed.
Aaron, an architect, can’t seem to succeed at work.
What do these adults have in common? There is a good chance that each of their problems emanates from one unexpected source — unresolved issues with their childhood siblings.
While 85% of Americans have birth siblings, you probably don’t know you actually have two sets: the ones you actually grew up with and the ones that consist of your childhood perceptions, assumptions, hurts and resentments towards your original set of siblings.
This second set of siblings behaves like ghosts: they are invisible, they never age, and they haunt you. You carry these sibling ghosts within; they are at the core of many intractable problems, and they may be transferred into your love, work and friendship relationships.
This is the theme of my newest book, Siblings: The Ghosts from Childhood That Haunt Your Love and Work.
Chapters include detailed explanations of the three components of the ghosts as well as many examples of how they interfere with you inner life, your relationships in love, at work, and with your friendships. Working with your siblings around your aging parents can be difficult, but it gets more complicated by these ghosts. There are stories about the effect of siblings through multiple generations. And, there is a chapter on how to “exorcise” your ghosts. The final chapter is specifically for therapists – showing how to do “sibling therapy.”