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Hiding from Love: How to Change the Withdrawal Patterns That Isolate and Imprison You

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A journey of discovery toward healing, connected relationships, and a new freedom and joy in living. When you experience emotional injury, fear, or shame, your first impulse is to hide the hurting parts of yourself from God, others, and even yourself. Often, you've learned these hiding patterns during childhood to protect yourself in a threatening environment. The problem i A journey of discovery toward healing, connected relationships, and a new freedom and joy in living. When you experience emotional injury, fear, or shame, your first impulse is to hide the hurting parts of yourself from God, others, and even yourself. Often, you've learned these hiding patterns during childhood to protect yourself in a threatening environment. The problem is that when you hide your injuries and frailties, you isolate yourself from the very things you need in order to heal and mature--connection, intimacy, and love. What served as protection for a child becomes a prison to an adult. In Hiding from Love, Dr. John Townsend helps you explore the hiding patterns you've developed and guides you toward the healing grace and truth of safe, connected relationships with God and others. You'll discover: The difference between "good" and "bad" hiding Why you hide the broken parts of your soul from the God who can heal them How to be free to make mistakes without fear of exposing your failures and imperfections How to obtain the joy and wholeness God intends you to have through healthy bonding with others Workbook also available.


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A journey of discovery toward healing, connected relationships, and a new freedom and joy in living. When you experience emotional injury, fear, or shame, your first impulse is to hide the hurting parts of yourself from God, others, and even yourself. Often, you've learned these hiding patterns during childhood to protect yourself in a threatening environment. The problem i A journey of discovery toward healing, connected relationships, and a new freedom and joy in living. When you experience emotional injury, fear, or shame, your first impulse is to hide the hurting parts of yourself from God, others, and even yourself. Often, you've learned these hiding patterns during childhood to protect yourself in a threatening environment. The problem is that when you hide your injuries and frailties, you isolate yourself from the very things you need in order to heal and mature--connection, intimacy, and love. What served as protection for a child becomes a prison to an adult. In Hiding from Love, Dr. John Townsend helps you explore the hiding patterns you've developed and guides you toward the healing grace and truth of safe, connected relationships with God and others. You'll discover: The difference between "good" and "bad" hiding Why you hide the broken parts of your soul from the God who can heal them How to be free to make mistakes without fear of exposing your failures and imperfections How to obtain the joy and wholeness God intends you to have through healthy bonding with others Workbook also available.

30 review for Hiding from Love: How to Change the Withdrawal Patterns That Isolate and Imprison You

  1. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I don't usually write a review. I just don't care to take the time. But this book was profound. Most books on these kinds of topics I find to be pretty simplistic. This book was profound. You need to re read it when you are done. Or else read it slowly. They really know how to use scripture wisely. You will really find yourself so to speak in the pages of this book. For those of you who, like me, want to be as healed as you can this side of heaven and want to love with all that is within you and I don't usually write a review. I just don't care to take the time. But this book was profound. Most books on these kinds of topics I find to be pretty simplistic. This book was profound. You need to re read it when you are done. Or else read it slowly. They really know how to use scripture wisely. You will really find yourself so to speak in the pages of this book. For those of you who, like me, want to be as healed as you can this side of heaven and want to love with all that is within you and love like Jesus as much as you can, this book is for you. In order to love well, we must be healed in the areas where we have been wounded and that we hide from love without even knowing it. Or that we withhold love without realizing it. It was really a profound book. I will be recommending it a lot.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sherry

    This is one of those books that's hard to review. This book took me on an emotional journey from the start. There were literally weeks where I couldn't read because I was overwhelmed with discovery, with letting go, with recognizing the parts of me that were injured, that were broken, the parts that needed LOVE. God set me on this journey last summer when He put the desire for marriage, for a committed companionship, onto my heart. I've spent much of that wondering why. Why would He bring me to t This is one of those books that's hard to review. This book took me on an emotional journey from the start. There were literally weeks where I couldn't read because I was overwhelmed with discovery, with letting go, with recognizing the parts of me that were injured, that were broken, the parts that needed LOVE. God set me on this journey last summer when He put the desire for marriage, for a committed companionship, onto my heart. I've spent much of that wondering why. Why would He bring me to this and I would still be alone? Why would He bring me here and not bring my intended spouse here as well? Crazy, but Here is not the end of my journey. Here is where I have the desire to fill God's plans for me, to fix the brokenness... to not just accept God and His love, but to be able to accept another choosing me. I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling with relationships, anyone who wants a relationship, and anyone who is in a relationship.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Barry Davis

    Subtitled How to Change the WithDrawal Patterns That Isolate and Imprison you, this practical and challenging book uses the four key themes of character development - our needs for attachment, separation, resolving good and bad, and authority and adulthood to step the reader through the helpful and harmful effects of hiding. A graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and a clinical psychologist, Townsend approaches the subject with solid Biblical support. After presenting what he calls “our two b Subtitled How to Change the WithDrawal Patterns That Isolate and Imprison you, this practical and challenging book uses the four key themes of character development - our needs for attachment, separation, resolving good and bad, and authority and adulthood to step the reader through the helpful and harmful effects of hiding. A graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and a clinical psychologist, Townsend approaches the subject with solid Biblical support. After presenting what he calls “our two biggest problems” - We’re Not Finished Yet and We Fear What We Need, he spends time developing the importance of each of the four themes, moving on to address the helpful and harmful sides of hiding in each of these areas. Using the metaphor of a young lady, Jenny, who is hiding in the forest from the very soldiers that have been sent to rescue her, Townsend provides practical applications, many with Biblical support, on how to address these issues. The reader is challenged to identify personal hiding patterns, with charts at the end of each chapter to summarize hiding practices, both internal and relational. This exceptional book closes with a chapter on Coming Out of Hiding, delivering practical, Biblical advice on actions to take to move beyond our Hiding From Love. Dr. Townsend closes as follows: “Our redemption is accomplished as we hide in God rather than hide from Him. It is God’s love that comes looking for us in our secret hideouts. My prayer for you is that as you turn away from the dark places of your own shame, fears, and anxieties, you will look first at the kind face of Officer Josef whom God has provided to help you to safety and growth. May we all become such restored, loving, imaginative, and observant people. And may you find God and others walking with you as you come out of hiding!”

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I have benefited from reading this book by learning to accept the how my weaknesses stem from my parents weaknesses. I have been blind to most of these weaknesses until now. But with this book I am empowered to form healthy relationships, repair the relationships I have with members of my family and grow into a mature adult from all aspects. This book is coming from a Christian worldview yet even if you don't accept the worldview, the ideas that the authors are trying to explain are still a vali I have benefited from reading this book by learning to accept the how my weaknesses stem from my parents weaknesses. I have been blind to most of these weaknesses until now. But with this book I am empowered to form healthy relationships, repair the relationships I have with members of my family and grow into a mature adult from all aspects. This book is coming from a Christian worldview yet even if you don't accept the worldview, the ideas that the authors are trying to explain are still a valid pathway to wholeness. Quotes from the book: "It's difficult to know when our self-protective behaviors, thoughts or feelings are helpful or harmful." p.166 "When our ability to love is greater than our need for justice we joyfully suffer. When our need for justice exceeds our ability to love, we responsibly withdraw." p. 128 "Depression is the inability to process loss or rage." p.100 "Our ability to bond deeply with God and others, and our ability to take biblical responsibility for ourselves, determines much of the quality and meaningfulness of our adult lives. These two needs for attachment and separateness can become important pathways to growth." p.85

  5. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I really recommend going through the workbook after reading each chapter if you want to implement the principles and don't want to use a professional therapist. I made a lot of progress on my own by using the workbook. I might still need therapy but I have uncovered the root causes of the bad fruit in my life. This comes from the biblical idea that you reap what you sow and what generations before you have sown in your heart. I answered each question into a text document on the computer and high I really recommend going through the workbook after reading each chapter if you want to implement the principles and don't want to use a professional therapist. I made a lot of progress on my own by using the workbook. I might still need therapy but I have uncovered the root causes of the bad fruit in my life. This comes from the biblical idea that you reap what you sow and what generations before you have sown in your heart. I answered each question into a text document on the computer and highlighted the answers that were particularly insightful. I felt like I was digging up the past but I hope to grow now instead of reburying my injuries.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Olive Chan

    A blend of psychology and biblical wisdom. This book was really helpful for me in terms of identifying the pains in the past that are keeping me from freely loving and being loved in the present. It took me a while to finish it because it's a pretty weighty read (lots of application to life). I wouldn't use it as the only resource for healing, but this is one solid step. A blend of psychology and biblical wisdom. This book was really helpful for me in terms of identifying the pains in the past that are keeping me from freely loving and being loved in the present. It took me a while to finish it because it's a pretty weighty read (lots of application to life). I wouldn't use it as the only resource for healing, but this is one solid step.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Debra Moorer

    This was a big turning point in my life that god had plan. It comes with book and workbook. We did it as a bible study. Interview each person for confidently. Then after this group we started a " life" goup and did "the wildflower" series. A lot of hard issues that needed to be uncovered and pocess. However how far I have come to be the person god has plans for me. This was a big turning point in my life that god had plan. It comes with book and workbook. We did it as a bible study. Interview each person for confidently. Then after this group we started a " life" goup and did "the wildflower" series. A lot of hard issues that needed to be uncovered and pocess. However how far I have come to be the person god has plans for me.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Janelle

    Hiding From Love would have to be the most helpful book I have read this year. It answered many of my questions and explained very clearly personal behaviour patterns that I have struggled with for many years. No book can fix you overnight, but with this one I feel that I have been given Biblical tools and the direction to carry me on the path to healing.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Esther

    I found this book more helpful than "Boundaries" which he co-authored with Dr. Henry Cloud. While this books deals primarily with the hiding patterns that separate us from our interpersonal relationships, it never loses sight of the following truth: "Our redemption is accomplished as we hide in God rather than hide from Him. It is God's love that comes looking for us in our secret hideouts." I found this book more helpful than "Boundaries" which he co-authored with Dr. Henry Cloud. While this books deals primarily with the hiding patterns that separate us from our interpersonal relationships, it never loses sight of the following truth: "Our redemption is accomplished as we hide in God rather than hide from Him. It is God's love that comes looking for us in our secret hideouts."

  10. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This book is chock full of wisdom for anyone who wants to brave the journey toward healing, connected relationships, and a new freedom and joy in living. I read it especially with an eye to helping a few people close to me who struggle with attachment wounding - I highly recommend this to parents, teachers, and caregivers. If you value responsible love, you will greatly appreciate this book. I'm not usually a fan of step-by-step kinds of books, but this one is so impactful in needed ways in many This book is chock full of wisdom for anyone who wants to brave the journey toward healing, connected relationships, and a new freedom and joy in living. I read it especially with an eye to helping a few people close to me who struggle with attachment wounding - I highly recommend this to parents, teachers, and caregivers. If you value responsible love, you will greatly appreciate this book. I'm not usually a fan of step-by-step kinds of books, but this one is so impactful in needed ways in many individuals and our culture which seems to be hurtling towards more and more detachment in real life relationships. "How to repair separateness deficits: 1. Ask God to help you become a truth-teller, even of negative truth 2. Find people who celebrate your separateness 3. Practice disagreement 4. Take responsibility for your mistakes 5. Learn to respect others' separateness" "How to resolve your good / bad split: 1. Confess your lacks to God and people 2. Receive forgiveness 3. Let go of the demand for the ideal 4. Accept 'good enough' in yourself and others 5. Make sadness your ally instead of your enemy" "How to repair adulthood: 1. Question authority 2. Submit to authority; a. We are to see authority as a positional, not a personal, issue; b. Authority has parameters 3. Take an inventory of your values and convictions 4. Address adults as adults, not parents 5. Develop your talents 6. Make sexuality a good thing 7. See guilt as a sign of growth" "Steps to a life beyond hiding: 1. Use your hiding pattern as a road map to your needs 2. Actively seek confessional relationships 3. Take responsibility for developing the skills needed for repair 4. Let go of outgrown hiding patterns 5. Maintain helpful hiding patterns 6. Learn to give what you have received"

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chyina Powell

    This book written by John Townsend focuses on a godly way to address isolation. When people are hurt they tend to draw into themselves yet nobody was created to be an island. In this intriguing book, he discusses ways to relate to others. At first I was a bit skeptical about this book, as I tend to be sometimes. However, Townsend makes relevant points, talks using terms anyone can understand and brings in his professional knowledge to help readers as they try to relate to both God and others even This book written by John Townsend focuses on a godly way to address isolation. When people are hurt they tend to draw into themselves yet nobody was created to be an island. In this intriguing book, he discusses ways to relate to others. At first I was a bit skeptical about this book, as I tend to be sometimes. However, Townsend makes relevant points, talks using terms anyone can understand and brings in his professional knowledge to help readers as they try to relate to both God and others even after they may have given up.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shelley Schoenrock

    Seriously an emotional journey. Forced me to look outside myself. The past and its experiences that changed the way you relate to the world around you. How to learn and move past hurt and take charge of your feelings and boundaries. Well worth the read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Pennington

    Very good and potentially life changing book. Just what the Dr. ordered. I would love to sit down with these authors. I have also read one other of their books several years ago which was equally as amazing. I highly recommend these authors and this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    John Townsend has written several great books and this is just another one that touches the heart and gives you hope.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda

    An amazing book on emotional health and how to heal, understand yourself better, and understand others better.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Swysgood

    I learned so much about my past and present thinking patterns through this book. It was very helpful in understanding my deep hurts that need healing.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Heather Hingston

    Excellent book. Well written and easy to read. One I will read again and again and also keep to refer back to the different patterns and solutions.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Veronica Vargo

    Felt like reading a psychology textbook.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    This had been my Mom's book. She highlighted many portions and I wish she was still here so that we could talk about our journeys together. I read half of this book, then took a break and read many books on co-dependency before returning to finish this one. I appreciate Townsend's balanced, practical teaching full of grace, truth and love as he brought this topic out in the open. page 268: Identification of our hiding patterns is a first step to several others that are just as important: understan This had been my Mom's book. She highlighted many portions and I wish she was still here so that we could talk about our journeys together. I read half of this book, then took a break and read many books on co-dependency before returning to finish this one. I appreciate Townsend's balanced, practical teaching full of grace, truth and love as he brought this topic out in the open. page 268: Identification of our hiding patterns is a first step to several others that are just as important: understanding the meaning of our hiding patterns, what needs they meet, what they protect, and what they do about them. Hiding patterns exist as faithful sentries, set in position by our souls long ago. We need to remember that they are there for a reason. They exist because there was, and is, is, an injury to protect. They're doing the best job they can. While they may not be especially effective at discriminating the good guys from the bad guys, their number one priority is to prevent re-injury to our undeveloped parts. If only for that reason, we need to respect our hiding defenses. They didn't pop out of thin air. Page 276: We are not able to change the past in which we were injured, but we can reach into the past to find and repair those frozen parts of our character. Such hope!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tim Tuttle

    WOW!... This book is a goldmine for anyone with attachment or personality issues (probably many of us)... and rooted deeply in biblical truth and grace. Not just understanding, but how to find safe relationships to begin risking vulnerability and exploring our broken parts without shame and begin taking responsibility for our part. This is one I WILL read again... and just ordered "Safe People" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6... WOW!... This book is a goldmine for anyone with attachment or personality issues (probably many of us)... and rooted deeply in biblical truth and grace. Not just understanding, but how to find safe relationships to begin risking vulnerability and exploring our broken parts without shame and begin taking responsibility for our part. This is one I WILL read again... and just ordered "Safe People" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    Ah, folks, sorry, but I had to ditch this book! It was way too heady and philosophical for me. It was a lot of psychology textbook speak, whereas I do better with actual practical examples and advice. If you like philosophy or theoretical material, you will probably enjoy this! I just couldn't get into it, so I left it after 100+ pages. Ah, folks, sorry, but I had to ditch this book! It was way too heady and philosophical for me. It was a lot of psychology textbook speak, whereas I do better with actual practical examples and advice. If you like philosophy or theoretical material, you will probably enjoy this! I just couldn't get into it, so I left it after 100+ pages.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Dr. Townsend's amazing study of why people push others away when we need them most, and how to recognize and be victorious over the things that keep us separate and isolated. So good, I'd recommend this one to anybody. Dr. Townsend's amazing study of why people push others away when we need them most, and how to recognize and be victorious over the things that keep us separate and isolated. So good, I'd recommend this one to anybody.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Caprice

    The amount of insightful information in this books makes reading it a slow but worthy process. I was able to comprehend the complexity of the information though dozens of personal accounts and examples.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Roger

    A friend gifted me with this book not too long ago. I am not a 'hider.' In fact if anything I would hide from hiding. I am glad for this very helpful read. It helped me to understand people are hiding to come out of the deep dark woods. A friend gifted me with this book not too long ago. I am not a 'hider.' In fact if anything I would hide from hiding. I am glad for this very helpful read. It helped me to understand people are hiding to come out of the deep dark woods.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I'm starting to see myself in this book. I'm starting to see myself in this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

    good book to learn more insights on relationships.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Will teach you a lot about your responses and coping mechanisms that keep you from having deep relationship

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bethany Anderson

    great insight into how we interact with one another

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    Read too long ago to comment

  30. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    It has pierced my heart...yet am convinced to read it again!!!!

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