Great book for social work/MFT/psychology students and professionals
As a social work student, I found this book very helpful. I keep finding myself asking my professors to clarify what they consider normal vs abnormal. Cross does a beautiful job providing short (page or so long) vignettes that address a wide variety of issues--pet loss and divorce, stress and self-care, aging and parenting, romance and texting. She delivers these with a down-to-earth, funny and friendly style that makes you feel like you're an old friend sitting in her living room, chatting about a little of everything. It's really wonderful for those of us who have not had some of these life experiences live divorce or parenting to be able to learn from others' experience and hopefully carry that into our practice. Perhaps what made this particularly useful for me was that it's essentially a collection of nuggets of wisdom gained through her experience and years as a therapist. In one or two pages, she can summarize what might have taken a student like myself years and years of trial and error, training and research to learn. She also gives you a good sense of how the thinking has changed in the years she's been practicing. For me, that's a big advantage, because things can look very cut in stone when they're printed in textbooks, but this book gives you the permission to question it! I also found this book inspiring and refreshing from a non-social work perspective. I found myself mumbling aloud, "I know!" with such tidbits as saying "No, not 'just one,' one!" to the restaurant host, or missing your lack of bathroom privacy after your dog passes. Again, I felt like I was being given permission to say, "I need to take care of myself, and it's NOT selfish." As a reader, I have to admit that I read this book all in one sitting. It was engaging and fun to read. Every vignette is different, unique, and exciting. How could I NOT want to read just one more? Probably the best way to read this book is one vignette at a time, to give you time to digest and incorporate it into your practice or your life. I personally plan to keep this book with my social work texts as a resource I can refer back to.
Book - Reinventing Normal