Cover image for Codes of love : how to rethink your family and remake your life
Codes of love : how to rethink your family and remake your life
Bryan, Mark A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Pocket Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
291 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Lake Shore Library HQ755.86 .B78 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Codes of Love is a guidebook that offers the basic tools for creating better relationships with parents, siblings, grown sons and daughters, spouses, even old friends--all the loved ones in your life. Bryan explores why family affection so often gets buried or forgotten, then shows us how to recover warmth and rebuild family bonds. He gives readers the necessary tools to crack the codes of love in their own families and discover intimate connections they may not have known existed. Book jacket.

Author Notes

Mark Bryan is a Harvard-trained educator with a specialty in human development & psychology. He is currently Director of the Father Project, a private foundation devoted to reuniting fathers with their children. A former member of The Dialogue Project at MIT, Bryan has taught adult transformation (self-help) skills in settings as diverse as the Penn State Engineering School, Esalen, the city halls of Moscow, Gorky & Kazan, The "Oprah Winfrey Show," & the boardrooms of American corporations. He is also on Massachusetts Governor Paul Cellucci's task force for Father Absence & Child Support, & his work reuniting fathers & children helped forge new legislation in several states. He lives in Los Angeles.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Aiming at John Bradshaw's audience of adults seeking to reconcile relationships with their original families, Bryan's self-help program draws on sophisticated psychological and spiritual concepts and the work of such thinkers as Murray Bowen and James Hillman. Bryan (The Prodigal Father; coauthor of The Artist's Way at Work) believes that individuals can enhance present relationships and self-understanding by viewing family dynamics from a mature perspective, which he calls "changing the past." He teaches that understanding and forgiveness lie in reframing difficult experiences (short of real abuse) as sources of growth and strength. Offering numerous exercises to spur the process, he urges readers to map their family's "story line," to examine "codes" of communication and behavior and to fathom the motivations of other family members. (His useful checklist for going home for the holidays is bound to attract media attention.) Personal stories enliven the text, but none are as affecting as that of the author's own estrangement from his rural West Virginia family. Recalling a time in his 20s when he was desperate for money and his father refused to help, Bryan reframes the experience as a character-building lesson about resourcefulness and self-reliance. His approach is intelligent and compassionate, although his seriousness and the intensive process he espouses may overwhelm the general self-help reader. Agent, David Vigliano. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This book is not another empty self-help book but a workbook for studious, quiet thought and analysis. Bryan (The Prodigal Father) draws on his personal struggles in his efforts to create a self-guided program of reflections for the reader. The director of the Father Project in Los Angeles and the product of a troubled family, Bryan offers a lot of insight into family conflict. "All those years I had been estranged," he muses, "my father and I had been speaking different languages but trying to say the same thing." He suggests four basic steps to help you see your way home: "Remember, Reflect, Re-frame, and Reconnect." Although these ideas have been espoused countless times in self-help literature, Bryan's thoughtful exercises and writing put a new spin on reframing relationships. Trying to answer the in-depth questions in the introduction alone could take a weekend of solitary reflection. For large public, academic, and specialized collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/99.]--Susan E. Burdick, MLS, Reading, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Preface: Coming Homep. 1
Introduction: A Brand-new Pastp. 5
1 From Tragedy to Comedyp. 27
2 Rememberp. 54
3 Reflectp. 71
4 Re-framep. 104
5 Reconnectp. 146
6 Codes of Lovep. 181
7 Falling in Love with Your Familyp. 205
8 Friends, Lovers, and the World at Largep. 233
Epilogue: Why We Do This Workp. 259
Appendix I Going Home for the Holidays: A Checklistp. 265
Appendix II The Codes of Love Rules of Engagementp. 269
Appendix III Teaching and Traveling with Codes of Love: A Guide to Starting Study
Groupsp. 273
Bibliographyp. 277
Indexp. 281

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