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Running on Empty

Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect
Narrated by: Karen White
Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (54 ratings)

Non-member price: $35.87

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Publisher's Summary

Do you sometimes feel as if you're just going through the motions in life? Are you good at looking and acting as if you're fine, but secretly feel lonely and disconnected? If so, you are not alone. The world is full of people who have an innate sense that something is wrong with them - who feel they live on the outside looking in, but have no explanation for this feeling and no way to put it into words.

If you are one of these people, you may fear that you are not connected enough to your spouse, or that you don't feel pleasure or love as profoundly as others do. You may drink too much, or eat too much, or risk too much, in an attempt to feel something good.

Running on Empty will give you clear strategies for how to heal, and offers a special chapter for mental-health professionals. In the world of human suffering, this book is an emotional smart bomb meant to eradicate the effects of an invisible enemy.

©2013 Jonice Webb, PhD (P)2015 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • EM
  • 26-05-2016

frustrated with lack of chapters

Would you try another book written by Jonice Webb, PhD and Christine Musello, PsyD or narrated by Karen White?

No, the book is divided into chapters for very good reasons. I wanted to listen to specific chapters, and not all of them, but I was forced to by the endless run-on format. Insert Chapters!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Running on Empty?

Part 2 & Part 3: filling the tank are very good.

Do you think Running on Empty needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No

Any additional comments?

Why doesn't Audible require audible publishers to have chapter markers? The book is written in chapters to divide chunks of information. Also, re-listening to a part of the book would be so easy in comparison to holding the fast forward button - which is a ridiculous way to search for something in particular!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic ,

The deepest self help book ever.
Now I need to re-read & do the questionnaires.
So exciting, I feel this will heal my issues from
5 years old, & it is a great eye opener.
Thank you for giving me this tool.

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Complete revelation

This book really put a lot of the pieces together for me and articulated the things that I've struggled with that I was completely aware of. It gives some amazingly simple practical strategies for addressing them, too.

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enlightening content

content was enlightening but narrating lacked passion in presentation. overall though a good audio book to listen to.

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Bang on for me

This made sense. Within the overview you will know if it's right for you too. A great help to finally get over that barrel.

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  • Dan
  • 19-06-2017

Fabulous book, terrible narrator voice.

Great book, very informative and insightful around the concept of emotional neglect and treatment. Both personally and professionally I can see myself referring back to this often.

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Terrible

I got about half way through this book and simply couldn't bare to continue with it. The case studies were all very similar and the book became highly repetitive. Most of the stories seemed to involve extremely privaliged and successful people with rather pathetic, first world issues. There goes a few hours of my life I will never get back.

4 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Great information, great reading

I liked the narrator ab's the stories. I would recommend going to the website and printing off the worksheets to do the activities.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sara Beth Wade
  • 10-08-2017

long on diagnosis, short on solutions

Really good book for those of us who are trying to deal with our childhood issues, and it's always very validating and strengthening to understand better the conditions and causes of unmet needs, but there's not a whole lot of follow up to that. No real way forward into making yourself full again, to retrain, or re-parent yourself into more abundant life.

32 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • Rob B
  • 14-11-2015

Epiphany

Dr. Webb described my symptoms perfectly. And also my childhood perfectly. Like the white space in a painting, it's not what happened, but rather what didn't happen. Having this knowledge will help me to create and plan treatment. Thank you Dr. Webb!

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Purposeful
  • 03-08-2016

Good book with somewhat robotic sounding narrator

I loved the content and it's great for therapist use. It was difficult to listen to this narrator. It was similar to listening to Siri trying to narrate a book which is the reason I left off one star overall

39 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • Max B. Misch
  • 22-09-2015

Little Lee Lee~ pretty powerful

I listened to this book twice. And will listen to it again. So much information. A lot of insight as to why as adults we feel so empty, scared, lost and lonely. Even though we have children, a husband and friends.
We were emotionally neglected at such a critical time.
I cry uncontrollably almost every day. I'm 48 years old and just now able to start breaking through to the real pain. It's a horrible feeling to have SADNESS all of the time. But through therapy and books like this one I am beginning to put the painful pieces together.
I would highly recommend this book.
Lisa

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • KIC
  • 16-01-2019

Trigger warning for eating disorders

The first part of Running on Empty was hugely validating, and I experienced it as a big relief. It helps me to understand what happened to me and my sister, what happened to our parents in addition to the abuse we know they experienced, and why they were unable to meet our needs, or cope with one disabled / high-needs sibling. Many of the examples she used were things that *literally happened to me*. It helps me quite a bit to have words and names to describe what I experienced, and why it had an impact. I can now understand that I was raised with / by authoritarian parents, with a disabled / high-needs sibling - two family dynamics that tend to create environments for emotional neglect.

I really wish the therapists I had seen over the past twenty years had been educated in emotional neglect and hidden psychological abuse. It has been so frustrating to present with symptoms of trauma, but not be able to point to enough significant traumatic incidents. I feel like this book has provided a map for the path I've been walking my whole life.

...Except for the second section. Between the robotic narrator (speed up your playback to 1.25x it helps a bit) and the new years resolution style "change sheets" I suggest you manage your expectations for the "overcoming childhood neglect" section. I think the authour is excellent at observation and understanding family dynamics, but is frankly rather useless at giving advice in a book. She did say the reader should take a "buffet" approach and take only what is useful to them, but there was nothing here that your average life coach or self help book or facebook meme hasn't already covered many times.

Frustratingly, as I'm recovering from an eating disorder which I developed in part because of messages perpetuated in the advice part of this book, the authour suggested things like, "Practice resisting three things a day, such as not eating a piece of chocolate cake." She qualified that a bit, but it's a ludicrous statement. You don't simply resist an impulse to eat anything once, or three times in a day. That's not how diets work, that's not how deprivation works, and that's not how healing disordered eating works either. No matter where you are from any kind of eating disorder, this is terrible advice. If you have been depriving yourself through dieting by internalizing messages like those in this book that suggest if you're overweight, it's because you've been eating to self-soothe for the love you didn't receive, therefore in order to be healthy you should replace "emotional eating" almost entirely with other "healthy habits". If you don't understand why this is harmful, I suggest you start with the podcast, "Food Psych" by Christy Harrison.

It doesn't get really bad until the second section of the book, so even if you do have an eating disorder, I still recommend this book and strongly suggest you skip the second section, or at least skip the sections on eating, exercise, and self-discipline. No one knows self-discipline like an eating disorder veteran, and again, any "healthy habits" book would suggest you document changes you're trying to make in your life. Frankly, the sections on rest and self care were ridiculous too. Rest when you need it - but don't rest too much! Come on. Any depression-veteran has had every well-meaning person in their life tell them to rest and exercise. It's the generic advice for everything from period cramps to major life transitions to grief management.

Instead, the book "Healing from hidden psychological abuse" has practical, more actionable advice, and does not imply your internal suffering is simply solved over time through forced behavior changes tracked with "change sheets". "Healing from hidden psycological abuse" is also safe for those recovering from eating disorders, as it never states nor implies changing your weight or eating habits is simply a matter of willpower.

I give the first section of this book 5 stars. It's set me on the road to understanding myself and my family dynamics.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Marilyn
  • 08-12-2015

If you need solutions don't buy this book

Would you try another book from Jonice Webb, PhD and Christine Musello, PsyD and/or Karen White?

No. This book did not deliver as promised.

What could Jonice Webb, PhD and Christine Musello, PsyD have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

More information should have been given on recovery. To much information was given about the problem. I know the problem that is why I purchased the book. I was seeking ways to overcome the issues caused not read a bunch of case studies about the issue.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Lol! The voice of the narrator only made it worst.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. But not because of what was written. I was disappointed by the promise of help that was not delivered.

Any additional comments?

When I purchased this book I was looking for direction on how to handle the fallout of emotional neglect. In stead this book seems to be geared toward people who away looking for affirmation of their neglect. As previously stated, I am aware of the issue, which is why I purchased the book. This book fails to provide comprehensive help and direction. Therefore I will be returning it.

59 of 66 people found this review helpful

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  • T.L.
  • 09-09-2019

Unnatural narration distracts from the content.

I cannot comment on the content of this book because the narrator distracts too much from the content for me to get passed the first chapter. Her voice is lovely, but the narrator is merely reading the words on the page without grasping the point of what is being read. This leads to a disconnect between her tone, pace, emphasis and that which would be expected if the author read the book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anne Katona Linn
  • 30-06-2016

life changing!!

This book was the aha moment that I've been looking for my whole life! It explains me to a tee! Great strategies and support for healing. Thank you!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Martine
  • 14-03-2017

Very helpful!

Great book! I like that it has sheets to help you work on things, something to actually do! I learned alot.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • TR
  • 01-06-2016

great content, annoying voice.

the author nails it on the head, getting to the root of most common conditions. I'll recommend this to anyone. the lady reading the book sounded so raspy and cold that I had to listen to it sped up just to get through it. I'm buying the hard copy to re-read just to avoid that whiny dogmatic voice and because it's a great book.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • aj
  • 01-01-2018

multi level marketing hook, expect spam.

book loosely based on emotional intelligence concept, but really a marketing tool to push you towards a 1,400 dollar online learning module. few basic tit bits, then the sales pitch begins. amazon should carry warnings for this type of deception.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Sunshine girl
  • 01-03-2016

Interesting book

I thoroughly liked the book. It was so relieving hearing about the things that did not happen also has a big impact on children. I found the person reading the book sounded a bit robotic. It annoyed me to begin with until I got used to it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Edyta
  • 12-06-2017

A tool of self-compassion

Thanks to this book I really started to feel some self-compassion, it explains so well the mechanisms that make me miserable that I felt ....wow I should really be more understanding for myself, taking all that mess into consideration.
If this book helped me in anything, that would be it - I am less hard on myself for not being perfect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. R. Young
  • 02-04-2017

I now understand myself.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

A must read if you think you or someone close to you, may be are struggling emotionally with the lasting effects of childhood emotional neglect. This is a constructive, empowering and life changing book.

What other book might you compare Running on Empty to, and why?

Yes. Over many years I've spoken to councillors, psychologists, physiatrists and none have ever got to the heart of my problems like this book. I now understand myself. It also give strategies and advice on how to move on and not stay feeling empty and stuck.

What does Karen White bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Childhood Emotional neglect is clearly explained, how it can affect someone's life, why they may feel empty inside but not know why, it discusses reasons for possible suicidal thoughts that are hard to put into words or explain, especially if life is generally good. It explains why someone may struggle with things life self control with diet, exercise, daily routine jobs etc. and it gives positive advice and strategies on how to move on.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Warning, if like me, you initially find the readers voice hard to listen to, to get past this - it is a life changing book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 22-03-2017

Very Interesting

A very interesting theory for the "why am I so unhappy when everything seems right" category of mental health. Manages to tread carefully around blame, even while putting emphasis on causal effect of parental behaviour.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • I. Ahmed
  • 15-01-2016

Great book

The person performance is not fluid but the content is exceptional. The ideas and findings by Dr Webb will receive resonate with the majority.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • donna lubin
  • 16-11-2018

good listen

loved it amazing book listened to it a few time would highly recommend highly recommend

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  • Anthony McNulty
  • 06-03-2018

An interesting concept

An interesting concept. Book veers between over simplistic and over explanatory.
Certainly has great merit and very useful. Could easily be better edited but certainly a useful learning tool.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-10-2017

brilliant!!!!!

loved it so precise and answered so many of my questions thank you doctor j