Interview with Kristina Hermann, Author of Raised in a Bottle

29 Dec 2020

What can you tell us about your new release, Raised in a Bottle?

I wrote ”Raised in a Bottle” to help people who grew up in families with addiction problems. I wanted to write about the issues that specifically affect them, and help them address the negative consequences of having been raised in such a family. I wrote it as a kind and loving and gentle book for adult children of alcoholics or of parents with other abuse problems.

Once a family member is addicted, all members of the family are affected. In most cases, the children are the only family members who cannot leave or escape. They have to live more or less unprotected from the consequences of the addiction. For children, growing up with addiction often equals going through life as a child, teenager and adult without adequate guidelines, compassion and protection.

I wrote the book as a self-help book, and based it on the most relevant up-to-date research within psychology using specific psychotherapeutic methods.

The reader will be able to recognize a number of emotional reactions and personality traits, which are the result of being raised in a home shaped by addiction. Exact descriptions make it easy for the reader to understand how circumstances shaped him or her. The reader may have thought that these were just personal quirks and not direct consequences of addiction problems at home.

Some of these consequences are:
• You are worried about having children
• You can be very hard on yourself and very critical of yourself
• You find it difficult to be kind to yourself and have self-compassion
• You are innately afraid of being abandoned
• Your overreact in situations in which you feel let down, disrespected or treated as if you are not important
• You find it difficult to be in a relationship
• You feel different from everyone else
• You feel lost and lonely even while in the company of others

The book also offers a thorough description of how children are forced to navigate a world of alcohol abuse and addiction and how that world shapes a child’s view of life. Various aspects of their lives and different stages of development are stunted by growing up with addiction. Oftentimes children in addicted families do not learn essential skills, be they practical or emotional. The book explains how to repair and continue developing life skills and how to grow emotionally. Because everything revolved around the addicted member of the household, the physical and mental wellbeing of the child was neglected.

Each chapter encourages the reader to understand him or herself better and to break free of unhealthy patterns of abuse.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

Raised in a Bottle is my third book. I never thought that I would become an author. I wrote the book because I felt it was lacking. Numerous books about adult children of alcoholics have been published since the 1970s and 1980s and are aimed at people who grew up in a family shaped by addiction. However, I think many of them are dated. We know such much more about the subject now than we did then. Working with adult children of alcoholics since 2000, I never felt I was able to recommend a single book. I wanted a book that included all the necessary information, psychological help, practical exercises and explanations needed to help the reader break free of unhealthy patterns and defense mechanisms, which are a result of such a childhood.

Not being able to find such a book, I decided to write it myself.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Hold Me Tight: Your Guide to the Most Successful Approach to Building Loving Relationships by Dr. Sue Johnson
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
Mentaliseringsboken by Per Wallroth, published in Swedish
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Vibriant Family by Kirsten Seidenfaden and Piet Draaby et al.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

I would invite Dr. Joe Dispenza. I personally use and work with his meditations and breathing exercises. Furthermore, I am very interested in finding new and useful ways for my clients and readers to break free of traumas and defense mechanisms shaped by their upbringing. I would like to hear more about how we can improve the dynamic work between psychologists and psychotherapists and clients in order to improve the wellbeing of our clients.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love the freedom write about subjects, exercises and theories, which I am interested in and which I find useful in my work. I love writing about the topics and exercises, which my clients say are most useful for them. I also love the challenges of writing concisely about complicated issues. I like that process of working, distilling the words and exercises. When it is successful, I feel great purpose and meaning. I also love the creative process of working with editors and translators in order to make the end result as clear and easily accessible as possible.

What is a typical day like for you?

Typically, I start my day with a one-hour meditation before breakfast. Then I have breakfast, go for a walk with my two dogs, and then go to work. I usually have about six sessions a day with clients. I have lunch with my colleagues and then return home. Most of my weekends I spend writing, working on my newsletters, blog posts, homepage and my next book.

What part of Raised in a Bottle did you most enjoy writing?

To be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed writing the entire book. However, I am particularly fond of the preface. I believe that it sums up the book: why I wanted to write it and publish it in English.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Yes. I believe it is important to feel well. I aim to do so myself, and I aim to help my clients feel well and comfortable in their lives. In my opinion that translates into being in touch with yourself and being in touch with your heart. It means being present, engaged and curious when you are together with other people. I want to be faithful to my values and what I believe in. I want to help others be that too. And I want to make a difference.

Kristina Hermann is the author of the new book Raised in a Bottle

Connect with Kristina Hermann
Author Site

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