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How to Be an Adult: A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integration

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Living life as a happy, mature adult does not always come easily to all of us. In this best-selling work, David Richo conveys to his readers just how to do this, based on his many years' experience as a psychotherapist and workshop leader. The author uses as a model the heroic journey whose three phases--departure, struggle, and return--explain what happens in us as we evo Living life as a happy, mature adult does not always come easily to all of us. In this best-selling work, David Richo conveys to his readers just how to do this, based on his many years' experience as a psychotherapist and workshop leader. The author uses as a model the heroic journey whose three phases--departure, struggle, and return--explain what happens in us as we evolve from neurotic ego through healthy ego to the spiritual Self. Departure is explored by helping the reader deal with fear, anger, and guilt, and building self-esteem. Through struggle one learns to maintain boundaries and build intimacy in relationships. And the result is a return to wholeness and love through integration. This thoughtful, approachable work is filled with checklists, diagrams, and literary quotations for meditation, making this a book to read and digest a little at a time for best results. How to Be an Adult will guide readers on their positive journey from fear, through power, to love.


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Living life as a happy, mature adult does not always come easily to all of us. In this best-selling work, David Richo conveys to his readers just how to do this, based on his many years' experience as a psychotherapist and workshop leader. The author uses as a model the heroic journey whose three phases--departure, struggle, and return--explain what happens in us as we evo Living life as a happy, mature adult does not always come easily to all of us. In this best-selling work, David Richo conveys to his readers just how to do this, based on his many years' experience as a psychotherapist and workshop leader. The author uses as a model the heroic journey whose three phases--departure, struggle, and return--explain what happens in us as we evolve from neurotic ego through healthy ego to the spiritual Self. Departure is explored by helping the reader deal with fear, anger, and guilt, and building self-esteem. Through struggle one learns to maintain boundaries and build intimacy in relationships. And the result is a return to wholeness and love through integration. This thoughtful, approachable work is filled with checklists, diagrams, and literary quotations for meditation, making this a book to read and digest a little at a time for best results. How to Be an Adult will guide readers on their positive journey from fear, through power, to love.

30 review for How to Be an Adult: A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integration

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I didn't always like this book as I was reading it -- it was dry at times, and irritatingly "soothe your inner child" at others. That said, this book changed my life. I'm not sure I've ever seen so many fundamental truths spelled out in such accessible, straight-forward language. Many people seem to swing between the extremes of needing too much and needing too little from other people; Richo seems to understand how to be an independent, self-actualized person while still receiving an appropriat I didn't always like this book as I was reading it -- it was dry at times, and irritatingly "soothe your inner child" at others. That said, this book changed my life. I'm not sure I've ever seen so many fundamental truths spelled out in such accessible, straight-forward language. Many people seem to swing between the extremes of needing too much and needing too little from other people; Richo seems to understand how to be an independent, self-actualized person while still receiving an appropriate level of support and care from others.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    What impressed me most about this book is that Richo doesn't offer any kind of objective evidence to back up his statements; he just comes right out and says what he believes to be true about being a mature adult. He often makes bold statements in a very compelling (and sometimes provocative) way. I certainly didn't agree with all of it, but his confident and intelligent voice was compelling enough to make me want to stay with it. This is a literary self-help book. There are no quick fixes, and What impressed me most about this book is that Richo doesn't offer any kind of objective evidence to back up his statements; he just comes right out and says what he believes to be true about being a mature adult. He often makes bold statements in a very compelling (and sometimes provocative) way. I certainly didn't agree with all of it, but his confident and intelligent voice was compelling enough to make me want to stay with it. This is a literary self-help book. There are no quick fixes, and thankfully, it is devoid of the cutesy kind of humor, anecdotes, and exclamation points that plague many otherwise valuable books on how to be a better person. I am curious to read some of Richo's other books; a quick glance at his other titles suggest that he goes into much more detail than he does here on any one topic. I was tempted to begin underlining many passages in 'How to Be An Adult', but I stopped myself because I realized that I'd be underlining over half of the book. I do plan to reread it again soon, and read his other books. I'm sure that part of my enthusiasm for the author is because I am a Catholic who has been immersing himself in Buddhist thought/practices for many years; Richo's work integrates Christian and Buddhist ideas into a Jungian archetypal framework.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This is the best, most concise book on psychological transformation. If you read this and get it and can embody it, you will jump up the learning curve of life. For the rest of us, it's a great companion to any personal growth work. This is the best, most concise book on psychological transformation. If you read this and get it and can embody it, you will jump up the learning curve of life. For the rest of us, it's a great companion to any personal growth work.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Greene

    I am not sure how I've missed this book over all these years, but I do believe that books find us. This book is definitely a treasure that I will refer to again and again, both for personal development and a reference in the treatment I provide through psychotherapy. Already many of my clients are tired of hearing about it! This book follows the theme of the hero's journey described by Joseph Campbell-- that in all our lives there is a call to higher consciousness, the struggle in working toward I am not sure how I've missed this book over all these years, but I do believe that books find us. This book is definitely a treasure that I will refer to again and again, both for personal development and a reference in the treatment I provide through psychotherapy. Already many of my clients are tired of hearing about it! This book follows the theme of the hero's journey described by Joseph Campbell-- that in all our lives there is a call to higher consciousness, the struggle in working toward this, and the return home. I love that this book focuses on how our relationships with others are critical to moving through these phases. I also love Riccho's thoughtful and intelligent writing style; particularly toward the end as he describes for us the personal integration we can all hope to attain upon returning to our whole and authentic selves. This is definitely one of the best books I've ever read on living each day more consciously and as an "adult."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sahar Pirmoradian

    The previous psychological book that I had read, "Staying OK", pointed me to be an adult. But I was not sure what it really means to be an adult and how I can be one. I searched and found this book. It is a great book that gives you indeed a concise definition of being an adult. It is concise because it offers you a list of points without going deep into each point or without giving examples to make the point clear. It is not a self-help book because it borrows a lot of jungian ideas without pre The previous psychological book that I had read, "Staying OK", pointed me to be an adult. But I was not sure what it really means to be an adult and how I can be one. I searched and found this book. It is a great book that gives you indeed a concise definition of being an adult. It is concise because it offers you a list of points without going deep into each point or without giving examples to make the point clear. It is not a self-help book because it borrows a lot of jungian ideas without preparing you ahead. I would suggest this book to a person who is familiar with psychoanalysis concepts and looks for a concise definition of being an adult, or "individuation" in Jung's words.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Very good - however, I can say this for sure: Richo only gets better!!! That is exciting for all of you who have started with this book. Keep reading - Richo is quickly becoming one of the primary motivators in my life. Richo inspires me to create new spins on classic phrases like, "Richo bless you" and, "I believe in Richo" and "Richo-damnit" Okay, the last one went to far, but I freaking LOVE Richo. Very good - however, I can say this for sure: Richo only gets better!!! That is exciting for all of you who have started with this book. Keep reading - Richo is quickly becoming one of the primary motivators in my life. Richo inspires me to create new spins on classic phrases like, "Richo bless you" and, "I believe in Richo" and "Richo-damnit" Okay, the last one went to far, but I freaking LOVE Richo.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lee Ann

    I stumbled onto this book during a recent silent retreat. I found it very practical in helping me explore issues from my childhood/past that were affecting how I respond to events today and obscuring my true self. I liked it enough that I bought a second book of his.

  8. 4 out of 5

    David Teszár

    This book should be required reading for people in their 20s. Reading and re-reading every 2-3 years.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Leanne

    I like David Richo's teachings. That said, this particular book is like stumbling onto his notes for a class--very straight forward without stories, etc. In some ways I appreciated that, and in other ways, it was too dry for me to feel inspired. I like David Richo's teachings. That said, this particular book is like stumbling onto his notes for a class--very straight forward without stories, etc. In some ways I appreciated that, and in other ways, it was too dry for me to feel inspired.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    I recommend everyone read this. It contains more wisdom and truth than one could get out of many years of therapy. His integration of accountability, spirituality, and responsibility set this book apart from others. He is direct, concise, and clear.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Butler

    If you're only going to read one personal development book (and you don't have a copy of mine) then this is the one. Amazing little book. I recommend this to more coaching clients than any other book. If you're only going to read one personal development book (and you don't have a copy of mine) then this is the one. Amazing little book. I recommend this to more coaching clients than any other book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Noran

    This was excellent. So much wisdom packed in so few pages. I underlined and starred practically every other sentence. What they don’t teach you in school. I plan to pick it up again and again. Unassumingly amazing. Highly recommend.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This book is life changing and I keep going back to it, and I expect to keep going back to it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Loureiro

    This is an amazing book for helping to figure out issues remaining from not-having-the-best-childhood-ever and learning 100% of everything that you need to get through life. Even though I am well into my adult years, this book has been an absolute eye-opener to me in so many ways. It is written in a very concise manner, as the author states at the outset, and is extremely straightforward in approach. This book is about growth and it is filled with love, kindness and gentleness! I've invited a co This is an amazing book for helping to figure out issues remaining from not-having-the-best-childhood-ever and learning 100% of everything that you need to get through life. Even though I am well into my adult years, this book has been an absolute eye-opener to me in so many ways. It is written in a very concise manner, as the author states at the outset, and is extremely straightforward in approach. This book is about growth and it is filled with love, kindness and gentleness! I've invited a couple of friends to read it with me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Julien Law

    This book is a compilation of cliff notes highlighting basic Eastern philosophies. Yes, it will tell you what to do and how to be, steering you in a general direction, but it never delves any farther than that to give detailed instructions about how to do any of it. So overall, it is a summary of concepts invented by others and transcribed into laymen's terms for the lazy American. This book is a compilation of cliff notes highlighting basic Eastern philosophies. Yes, it will tell you what to do and how to be, steering you in a general direction, but it never delves any farther than that to give detailed instructions about how to do any of it. So overall, it is a summary of concepts invented by others and transcribed into laymen's terms for the lazy American.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    The origin of our identity is love. In adulthood the needs can be for filled only flexibly or partially since we are interdependent and our needs are no longer connected to our survival. The adult is satisfied with reasonable dividends of need for filament in relationships. Knows how to love unconditionally and get tolerate no abuse or stuckness in a relationship. Changes the locus of trust from others to himself so that he receives loyalty when others show it and handles disappointments when ot The origin of our identity is love. In adulthood the needs can be for filled only flexibly or partially since we are interdependent and our needs are no longer connected to our survival. The adult is satisfied with reasonable dividends of need for filament in relationships. Knows how to love unconditionally and get tolerate no abuse or stuckness in a relationship. Changes the locus of trust from others to himself so that he receives loyalty when others show it and handles disappointments when others betray. If not met and childhood he exaggerates the needs so they become. Insatiable. Let’s feelings go underground. Neurotic anxiousness with solicitude. Designed false self that met our parents approval and maintained our role in the family. Such boundaries became the long-standing habits and patterns ever since. We release our in hidden inner world of unused and unrevealed qualities. We lighten up and may even noticed that people love us more. I am free enough to want everything I say and do to reveal me as I am. I love being seen as I am.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Aimee Barnes Pestano

    An accessible synopsis of the hero's journey and integration of the self. Richo combines wisdom from Buddhism and Catholicism as well as his decades of experience working as a psychotherapist and retreat leader to instruct on evolving from a neurotic ego to a healthy one. This book is a useful guide for people in recovery from substance use disorders, eating disorders or codependency, as well as mental health professionals and coaches working with clients who have chosen to embark on the hero's An accessible synopsis of the hero's journey and integration of the self. Richo combines wisdom from Buddhism and Catholicism as well as his decades of experience working as a psychotherapist and retreat leader to instruct on evolving from a neurotic ego to a healthy one. This book is a useful guide for people in recovery from substance use disorders, eating disorders or codependency, as well as mental health professionals and coaches working with clients who have chosen to embark on the hero's quest.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    In the category of “books with awful titles”, but some enjoyable chapters. Is a slow read as is dense and takes time for reflection. In reading it be prepared for spending time reflecting or journaling about how you act, react, or respond in relating with others. One snippet: “before making any serious or lasting decision, test yourself at wanting it consistently each day for one to six months.”

  19. 5 out of 5

    Charles Nguyen

    Life-changing and powerful. This book both empowers and charges you to understand yourself so that you are able to take care of you. I'll be re-reading this a few times. Great way to start the new year... A year of continued learning and discovery. “Wonderful changes are happening in me; I allow them.” "My life is rich and complete; I am rich and complete." Life-changing and powerful. This book both empowers and charges you to understand yourself so that you are able to take care of you. I'll be re-reading this a few times. Great way to start the new year... A year of continued learning and discovery. “Wonderful changes are happening in me; I allow them.” "My life is rich and complete; I am rich and complete."

  20. 4 out of 5

    Moisès

    The first part of this book has made me know that I still keep using pacifier. It's a pretty short and compact book, but very dense. I'll need to read it again when the slaps I've got from it's first reading sediment in some way. The first part of this book has made me know that I still keep using pacifier. It's a pretty short and compact book, but very dense. I'll need to read it again when the slaps I've got from it's first reading sediment in some way.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Bryden

    At first I found the book a bit dry. But, the wisdom contained in the pages of this book is so incredible I couldn’t stop reading. I wish this book’s content was taught in public schools! I will be referring back to this book again and again for many years to come.

  22. 5 out of 5

    May

    Finished but will be revisiting it often. Feeling lightened by the reminder that we have everything we need within us, and that we have the capacity to love unconditionally in every part of our lives and selves - even the parts that we do not want to accept.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Valentina Cassis

    Beautiful book made from the knowledge of amazing psychologists and spiritual mentors that will help you get rid of any childhood wound you may still have and accept the life as it is. Great life guide to re-read often and feel inner joy, no matter who or where you are in your life.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Allen O'Brien

    This book is concise, deep, and has been massively important for me. It collects and continuously names so many elements of the journey— adding clarity to what we may have intuited or gathered from so many other resources. It’s worth a read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Colin

    I read this carefully over a few years even though it's a thin book. I wanted to mull over his writing. It served me well. I read this carefully over a few years even though it's a thin book. I wanted to mull over his writing. It served me well.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Terri Strange

    a lot of practical advice for learning how to take responsibility, give up victimhood, assert your desires and give up entitlement. good exercises for shadow integration work as well.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Great read! I will definitely reference back to this book in the future. Very insightful and gives me a lot to think about.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Deceptively short book; took a year to read, will probably refer to it throughout the rest of my life

  29. 5 out of 5

    Julianna

    Didn't learn much, but I can see how it could help others. Didn't learn much, but I can see how it could help others.

  30. 5 out of 5

    conor murphy

    A parent to myself Letting go of fear and embracing who you truly are, free of resentment, judgement and regret. Nobody can do for you what you can do.

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