Sins of the Family

Becoming the Redemptive Generation. By: Beverly Hubble Tauke, LCSW

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Book Review by: Sarah S. Kreutziger, PhD, LCSW, ACSW
Associate Professor, Emeritus
Tulane University

Ms. Tauke, a clinical social worker, has written an easy to read, informative book that focuses on turning individuals' loveless experiences into cherished lives by applying eight positive time-tested habits. She illustrates each of these transforming habits in different chapters with case studies drawn from her family practice, from history, and from Scripture. In a summary chapter, she uses her personal story to illustrate points made throughout the book.

Ms. Tauke's use of systems' theory analysis to explain intergenerational conflicts and resolutions in family dynamics is not new; nor is her use of Bowenian family practice as a tool for changing family pathology. What makes her book different from many others in this category is the confluence of traditional family therapy with religious writings and practice. Ms. Tauke wants more for her readers than liberation from negative, life destroying traits; she wants them to experience healing through a "vibrant, authentic, God-driven, metabolized faith" (p.11).

Starting with the premise that individuals are "wired for warmth," she encourages her readers to find the heartwarming experiences and the "heartwarmers" or nurturing persons in their lives to counteract the "soul murderers" of previous history. These heartwarmers are caretakers on the journey leading to inner healing. Further redemption comes from revising family roles through exploring and lancing intergenerational wounds, grieving these wounds, forgiving others, and celebrating lessons and rewards from these experiences. In this process comes liberation from family tyranny, reforming healthy relationships one to one, establishing good boundaries, and tying everything to the power and connection that comes from religious faith. Throughout her work, Ms. Tauke offers specific ways to move through these steps with helpful strategies, illustrations, and spiritual encouragement. An appendix offers test questions (and answers) from challenges common to families needing transformation.

Reading Sins of the Family seemed at times like wandering through a fascinating rural pathway with guidelines popping up here and there rather than driving down a paved, discernable road with clearly marked signs; nevertheless, by journey's end, I had gotten where I needed to go. Whatever small deficiencies there may be in scholarly integration of the material are more than compensated for by Ms. Tauke's genuine love for her clients, her generous spirit, her practical advice gleaned from years of family practice, and her vibrant faith-based spirituality. Overcoming the Sins of the Family is full of helpful information about meeting the pain of the past and transforming it into abundant living for the future for both clinicians or individuals working on their own families.

Sarah S. Kreutziger, PhD, LCSW, ACSW
Associate Professor, Emeritus
Tulane University

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