Thursday, September 29, 2016

Faith of a Father by Frank Barbehenn

Although very good, this book took me a while to read. Frank shares the story of his journey to finding true faith written as a letter to his daughter. It is detailed and personal. Frank analyzes his life from a psychological point of view from childhood to adulthood. He details the events and people that impacted his life and influenced the person he has become today.

Although Frank grew up in a pretty dysfunctional home life, he still speaks highly of his parents and brings to light their positive traits and reinforces their strengths. He talks in length about how those ideals have stuck with him, as well as, how the negative way his parents related to him as a child affects how he relates to people today. He shares his disappointment in the Catholic church and the questions that led him to desire to know truth. His journey to faith is a compelling and interesting one.

I found this book to be insightful and encouraging. I read it slowly, digesting what he wrote and taking into consideration things that happened in his life, comparing them to my own, lingering on how those events and people - good and bad influenced who he is today. I enjoyed the analogies and in depth psychology. I would recommend this book to anyhow who may have had a traumatic or tough childhood, who has struggled with their faith and the question of "why would God allow such and such?". It wasn't really an easy book to read. I just had to read a chapter or so at a time, digest the info, then move on to the next chapter. I felt like I was getting a very personal and up-close look at Frank and his family, both past and present.

I received this book from the author and the book club network in exchange for my honest opinion.

This book is available on Amazon

ABOUT THE BOOK: (448 pages)
Frank’s memoir explores his magnetic draw to faith . . . and the spiritual maelstrom that drew him to a profound yet deeply conflicted journey with Jesus Christ. In this most personal, page-turning exposĂ©, he courageously discloses how trauma shaped his life. Beginning in infancy, he was traumatized by an extraordinarily cold, emotionless alcoholic mother. From early childhood on, he was emotionally abused by an angry disabled father. Later, in midlife, he was twice traumatized by disabilities. Frank reveals utterly intimate details of how his mind was forged through those traumas—driving his unchosen but painstaking quest for spiritual truth. It’s the story of how one man embraced faith—not only the circumstances that engendered it, but the forces deep inside him that shaped his hypnotic draw to it. For everyone who faces suffering, Frank’s story is their story. It is a journey he never fully shared with his daughter . . . until now . . . in Faith of a Father.
The author is a licensed psychologist in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and has been in practice for thirty-five years.  He was also theologically trained.

Frank is a Clinical Fellow with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and a Fellow with the American Psychotherapy Association.   He specializes in relationship and trauma therapy, as well as the integration of faith and the Bible with the tough issues he faces clinically. He is an elder at First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and serves on the Permanent Judicial Committee of the Presbytery.  A former middle school and high school teacher, Frank has also taught psychology at the college level as an adjunct faculty member. Frank is the father of three and the proud grandfather of three.  He loves chasing his grandchildren around the house as the “Grampy Monster.”

Finally, Frank is a survivor whose search for meaning will give you hope and inspiration for the future.

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