Creating Space for Happiness
The Secret of Giving Room
By Anthony J. Castro
(Prometheus Books, Paperback, 9781591026686, 269pp.)
Publication Date: November 25, 2008
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Five days a week, seven-year-old Holly awakens promptly at six. She ensures that her five-year-old sister is washed, fed and dressed, and then she prepares breakfast for her single mother. With military precision and a gut-wrenching sense of responsibility beyond her years, Holly follows a strict regimen in an attempt to avoid the wrath of her abusive mother. She never knows whether she will encounter "nice mommy or mean mommy," and only when she and her sister are safely at school does she begin to breathe easily.
Holly’s story is one of many that Dr. Anthony J. Castro relates in this unique approach to sharing psychological insights and offering guidelines for making difficult changes to tackle problems that threaten our well-being. The theme of this insightful book is "giving room." Weaving a tapestry of vignettes from patients’ intimate lives with excerpts from scientific studies and examples from his own life, Dr. Castro demonstrates how all of us must learn to give ourselves room to enter into the unknown and endure change. Though change is often very hard, Dr. Castro shows through the experiences of his patients that by giving room to ourselves we unleash the potential for immense personal growth.
Some of his patients need to assert independence from their parents; others must learn to develop a mutually respectful marriage or to become wise parents. In all cases, Dr. Castro underscores that only by making room for our own needs can we then reach out to others to create healthy relationships. With a gift for interlacing important insights with engrossing real-life stories to illustrate salient points about growth and change, Dr. Castro offers an enlightening, jargon-free narrative that will encourage readers of all ages to take the time to create the happiness they deserve.
Anthony J. Castro (St. Louis, MO) is a clinical psychologist who treats young children, adolescents, adults, and couples. An expert in the field of adult and child psychology, Dr. Castro frequently speaks before audiences of parents, colleagues, and teachers in the St. Louis community.
"Finally! A self-help book that keeps the reader engaged from start to finish! Dr. Castro’s novel approach of weaving such captive and applicable vignettes all the way through his easy to understand life lessons is both informative and entertaining. Read this book and your life will improve by learning the secret of giving room. Creating Space for Happiness works…make it work for you."
--Kelly Perdew, Managing Director, Angel Venture Partners, Winner, Season 2 of NBC’s
The Apprentice, and Author of Take Command: 10 Leadership Principles I
Learned in the Military and Put to Work for Donald Trump
"Engaging…Castro offers several principles—organized around the theme of ‘giving room’—that readers can use to understand and improve their lives and relationships. Many parents should find this book to be especially interesting and helpful."
--Scott R. Harris, Associate Professor of Sociology, Saint Louis University,
Author of The Meanings of Marital Equality
"Dr. Castro presents a sound and practical approach for coping with personal life experiences that can stunt our ability to grow. By the interweaving of clinical vignettes and his own life experiences, Creating Space for Happiness shows us ways to give ourselves room to grow. It is one of those rare books that can give us power to transform lives and even save them."
--Ed Garcia, MD, Chairman, Department of Psychiatry,
St. John's Mercy Medical Center, St. Louis, Missouri