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Bruce, Caroline

Psychology

When I started proofreading this psychology book, I had pretty much decided that I didn't like it. This was due, I think, principally to two things. First, I instinctively mistrust "psychobabble". Ever since Tammy, who played into that kind of thing to the hilt, I have mistrusted it, because I saw how the system helped to mess her up ... and messed up she was. I also decided from the beginning that I don't like this book because some of Dr. Glasser's assertions made right from the beginning are ones I wholeheartedly disagree with. For example, he asserts that failing students in school is child abuse. I'll never buy into that. He also asserts that punishment of any kind is very inappropriate, and again, I'll never buy into that.

So this book had two strikes against it right there, in my book. but I find myself just over halfway through this book now, and I have to say that there is a lot that Dr. Glasser has to say with which I do agree, and agree strongly.

For one thing, his methodology for solving relationship problems and marriage counseling makes a great deal of sense to me. It starts out by asserting that the only person whose behavior we are capable of changing is ourself. This is, of course, absolutely true. So rather than focus on changing the other person, which invariably involves what Glasser refers to as "external control" in which we try to force our will on someone, we look at what we can change in ourselves. You put the relationship ahead of the people in it, in this respect. If all parties in a relationship are willing to do that, then negotiations can be made and compromises reached. He refers to it as a "solving circle" which strikes me as rather gimicky, but the concept itself is sound enough: all parties discuss what they are willing to give and sacrifice for the relationship, rather than spending their times demanding. The key, and this is something I've been realizing before the book already, is communication, communication, communication.

All that said, I need a Coke.
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