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#BookReview Running on Empty by Jonice Webb PhD #SelfHelp

Title: Running on Empty

Author: Jonice Webb, PhD

Category: Self-Help/Mental Health

My Rating: 4 Star


My Review:

This book was recommended by a good friend who found it incredibly useful. When I read the subtitle (Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect), I was slightly dubious. My childhood had been filled with love and laughter. However, I couldn’t deny that I did, in fact, feel utterly empty inside, so I decided to give it a go.

Instantly, I understood that this isn’t a book designed to bash our parents, or to make any parent feel like a failure. Yes, I read a few chapters and cringed at the similarities of how I parent my own children, but the author stresses that most of the time we do what we do from a place of love.

We can only do the best we can with what we’ve got, and sometimes we fail. This insightful book shows us where the missing pieces fit into our adult lives, and how to fix them.

There are a series of exercises to try such as a self-discipline change sheet, a rest and relaxation sheet, and a self-soothing list. There is also a chapter written for therapists so they can better help clients who show signs of emotional neglect.

It was a tough book to review because I always think fondly about my childhood. However, there were points that hit home and explained a lot about my own personality and emotional hang ups. As I’ve already mentioned, I could see clearly where I’ve gone wrong with my children, but fortunately, it’s not too late to fix it. One of the final chapters concentrates on ending the cycle.

A fascinating book which helped me to sort a few things out in my mind. The author uses case studies throughout which helped me understand each parenting type.

Dr. Jonice Webb also has a newsletter you can sign up for should you need additional information or help moving forward.


A large segment of the population struggles with feelings of being detached from themselves and their loved ones. They feel flawed, and blame themselves. Running on Empty will help them realize that they’re suffering not because of something that happened to them in childhood, but because of something that didn’t happen. It’s the white space in their family picture, the background rather than the foreground. This will be the first self-help book to bring this invisible force to light, educate people about it, and teach them how to overcome it.

This book is not about what happened to you as a child; it’s about what failed to happen for you as a child. It’s an extremely subtle, almost invisible factor called Emotional Neglect, and it disrupts one’s life in untold ways.

Psychologist Jonice Webb, PhD shows how Emotional Neglect in childhood has an insidious effect on us as adults, causing us to struggle with self-discipline and self-care, or to feel unworthy, disconnected, and unfulfilled.

This groundbreaking book helps readers:

  • Discover how parents, even well-intentioned ones, can leave our emotional tank empty.
  • Identify symptoms of Emotional Neglect and their impact on health, work, and relationships.
  • Repair the damage of Emotional Neglect and learn life-changing self-care behaviours.
  • Be more emotionally supportive and connected in our own parenting.
  • Gain strategies for helping a patient or loved one overcome Emotional Neglect.

People experience Childhood Emotional Neglect in varying degrees – from a few subtle but important events to an entire childhood that’s defined by it. This is the first book to give it a name and delve into the profound and often perplexing ways it influences our adult satisfaction and happiness.

BUY a copy of Running on Empty from Amazon UK or Amazon US.


9 thoughts on “#BookReview Running on Empty by Jonice Webb PhD #SelfHelp”

  1. I’m struggling with this one; I can’t imagine any child, at least at some point, most likely on reflection, not having a sense of emotional neglect. Isn’t it a part of the human condition, a part of what shapes us, prepares us in a sense for what it to come; emotional neglect as adults, in all it’s guises, explicit, nuanced, subtle, whatever, from adolescence to old age; the consequence of that peculiar, imperfect thing called love?

    Liked by 1 person

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