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Book and Film Connections – Bowen Family Systems Thinking Through Literature and Cinema

Stories about the varied paths people take as they work out their own ways of being, seeing and living in the world.

Journey Books

I am an avid reader and some of my favorite books are what I call journey books. These books have a main character (or characters) who with a goal in mind embarks on a difficult “journey” (sometimes without ever leaving home or wheelchair) to unknown “places” with unforeseen difficulties and surprising encounters. Along the way there are discoveries; new vistas, diverse experiences and people, opportunities for resources and companionship. There are struggles as well, yet the “traveler” stays on course amidst times of fatigue, danger and self-doubt. Gradually, the journey bears fruit and maybe not as expected. What does occur, after being there all along, is the release of the “traveler’s” own hidden inner strengths and resources thanks to her/his courage and determination and the push of challenge.

Some journey books currently on my bookshelf include Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, A Sudden Country by Karen Fisher, An Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner and Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose. These are books to read and reread as one’s own journey of discovery unfolds.

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© 2010, Carla Toenniessen, LMFT