Do you sometimes feel as if you are living your life to please others? Do you give other people the benefit of the doubt but second-guess yourself? Do you struggle with perfectionism, anxiety, lack of confidence, emotional emptiness, or eating disorders? In your intimate relationships, have you found it difficult to get close without losing your sense of self? If so, you may be among 15 million adults in the United States who were raised with unhealthy parental control. Too much or the wrong kinds of control in childhood can cause lasting problems in adulthood, and these connections are often subtle and hard to spot. If you have problems or habits that stubbornly resist change, they may be symptoms of unresolved issues with a controlling parent or upbringing. In this groundbreaking book, accomplished family therapist Dr. Dan Neuharth offers a self-test to help you identify whether you are facing problems in adulthood caused by unhealthy control in childhood. You will understand both how and why your parents may have overcontrolled you and find dozens of practical suggestions that can help you solve your problems at the very root. This book will enable you to quiet your "inner critics," bring more balance to your moods and relationships, increase your optimism and assertiveness, and achieve greater autonomy. It offers a variety of ways to deal with stressful family holidays, parents who still control, and parental aging and mortality. It will help you to make peace with your past and break the cycle of control so you can avoid overcontrolling your own children and other loved ones. Based on extensive interviews and research and packed with thought-provoking insights, If You Had Controlling Parents also includes engaging profiles of a richly diverse group of adults who grew up overcontrolled. These inspiring examples of how others have come to grips with the detrimental consequences of early control will provide you with a road map for accelerating your own growth and healing. If you have felt driven to pursue your parents' values and dreams ahead of your own, this compassionate book explains that no one is to blame and reminds you that unhealthy control is a generations-old cycle that can stop with you. If your parents controlled you in unhealthy ways, they may have unwittingly planted land mines in your psyche. As a result, you may tiptoe through life expecting buried danger, not treasure, in your path. You may wait...and wait...for permission to love, succeed, and feel content. Permission you're not sure how to get. Permission you may have difficulty granting to yourself. This book is packed with features to help you thrive even if you had far too little permission to be yourself as a child. Knowledge is power, and powerful growth and healing come from understanding, not blaming, your parents or upbringing. You'll discover: Fifty reasons why people control in unhealthy ways--and how recognizing these reasons can help you cope with controlling mates, friends, family members, or work associates How overcontrol of your eating, dress, privacy, social life, speech, and feelings in childhood may still hamper you in adult life How controlling families use "Truth Abuse" to cement unhealthy loyalties that last for years--and how to gain autonomy The eight styles of controlling parenting--Smothering, Depriving, Perfectionistic, Cultlike, Chaotic, Using, Abusing, and Childlike If you or someone you love grew up with unhealthy control, this book offers discovery and resolution. With the guidance of accomplished family therapist Dr. Dan Neuharth, discover what may lie underneath some of your most stubborn and troubling habits, patterns, or problems and resolve your relationship with your parents, whether they are living or dead. If your childhood felt like a scene from Mommie Dearest or The Great Santini--or if you simply feel confused about how you were raised--make peace with your past so you can truly take your place in the world.