All human cultures across time have created rituals, bringing family members together to celebrate, welcome, honor, or mourn. While contemporary rituals still exist to serve these important functions, we often perform them automatically, without considering their vital roles in our lives. Many individuals feel alienated from the rituals of their childhoods, while others are struggling to create satisfying new traditions that reflect their own present needs and circumstances. Authors Evan Imber-Black and Janine Roberts show how we can learn to tap the power of rituals to mark transitions, express important values, heal the past, and deepen relationships. Each chapter looks at the special issues and possibilities for nuclear, extended, single-parent, and remarried families, as well as for single adults and couples. The authors also pay particular attention to how changing gender roles are reflected in our rituals, and how revitalized traditions can actually alter the course of intimate relationships. Filled with first-person stories and practical examples, this book will help all readers enhance the meaning of traditions old and new, reinforcing and celebrating life's many milestones and ties.
About the Author
Evan Imber-Black, Ph.D., is Director of Program Development at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, and Professor of Psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She is an internationally recognized practitioner and consultant in family therapy. She is also the author of The Secret Life of Families: Truth-telling, Privacy and Reconciliation in a Tell-all Society. Janine Roberts, Ed.D., is Professor and Family Therapist at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She is treasurer of the American Family Therapy Academy, and former editor of the Journal of Feminist Family Therapy. She presents frequently to national and international audiences on rituals, family stories, and family therapy.