In the opening scene of the Orson Welles film Citizen Kane, Charles Foster Kane is an old man lying in bed holding a snow globe, and we watch it slip from his hand and fall to the floor as Kane whispers the word
“Rosebud” and dies. Throughout the movie, a journalist doing a story on Kane desperately searches for the meaning of Kane’s last word. The audience, however, knows that it was the name of a sled from his childhood. More than that, we know it represented a brief time of innocence, parental love, and joy abruptly stolen from him, which he failed to recapture for the rest of his life. This loss profoundly impacted the man Kane became, a significant cause of his relationship failures.

We cannot know another person if we do not know ourselves, which is essential for relationships—for connection, compassion, empathy, and growth. We need to figure out what makes us tick and what ticks us off, no matter the environment. I wrote this book in part to explain the importance of becoming self-aware. The process of introspection helps control triggered emotions and encourages more flexible and adaptive responses.

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Table of Contents


PART ONE: Building Blocks to Self-Awareness
Chapter 1: Embedded Emotions and Automatic Mental Constructs
Chapter 2: Dana’s Invisible Trigger
Chapter 3: Self-Reflection: How Do I Feel? What Do I Think?

PART TWO: The Relational Impact of the Unconscious Mind
Chapter 4: A Crash Course in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis
Chapter 5: Mother Nature and Attachment Chemistry
Chapter 6: Getting Defensive: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Chapter 7: Asocial Media: The Dangers of Disconnection

PART THREE: Psychological Ills and the Healing Relationship
Chapter 8: Finding Rosebud
Chapter 9: Unpack Your Baggage Here
Chapter 10: Cumulative Injuries and Unseen Wounds


PART FOUR: The Trouble with Stress
Chapter 11: Toxic Stress Is Sickening
Chapter 12: Contagious Emotions Gone Viral
Chapter 13: Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma

PART FIVE: The Doctor Discloses
Introduction: Awakening the Hidden Self
Chapter 14: Family History
Chapter 15: Assimilated Namesakes
Chapter 16: Seeds of Trauma 1964–65
Chapter 17: Silent History, Mental Diary
Chapter 18: Surviving the Survivors
Chapter 19: Mirroring and Resonance
Chapter 20: Yesterday Put to Rest

PART SIX: More Reflective Musings
Chapter 21: Déjà Vu: Enmeshed and Entangled
Chapter 22: Damage Control: The Transmuted Tale
Chapter 23: The Unsung Hero
Chapter 24: The Phoenix







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