In the ongoing drama of family life, children often assume, or are assigned, roles based on their parents' unspoken needs, fears, or desires. Drawing on classical myths, fairy tales, and the writings of R. D. Laing, Freud, and other experts in family dynamics, as well as case studies of her own patients, Joyce Block shows us how our childhood labels -- be it the Family Brain, the Wild Child, the Ne'er-Do-Well, or the Prodigal Son -- influence our behavior as adults. Block explores how and why our families unconsciously construct identities for us, which then shape our images of who we are and what we are destined to become.From the Beauty who can only find love with a Beast, to Pandora, whose life is steeped in trouble, Block's portraits reveal the roots of our identities and offer insights into how the' magical' spell can be broken. These personal myths need not continue to limit our potential and cast a shadow over relationships with our parents, mates, children, and friends. Family Myths is an invaluable guide to breaking the spell that keeps us frozen in time and to reviving the real self that is hibernating within.