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Beyond Blame: Freeing Yourself from the Most Toxic Form of Emotional Bullsh*t [Kindle Edition]

Carl Alasko Ph. D.
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $10.99
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

The inspiring new book from the author of Emotional Bullshit reveals why no one is to blame-but everyone's accountable.

For many, a rare day goes by in which the need to blame does not arise-be it to cover one's own errors or just to assign an unfortunate event some kind of name (i.e., "If only X hadn't said X, we wouldn't be in this mess.") And even for those who are somewhat better at keeping the impulse in check-it is still there. According to psychologist Carl Alasko, blame is such an intrinsic part of how we humans communicate that we rarely take a look at what we're actually doing-and how it can affect our relationships.

In this book, Alasko reveals that the need to assign blame when something bad happens stems from a very deep desire we all share to "see justice done". Understandable when a grave crime has been committed, but it can become a dangerous habit if we begin to operate as though placing blame were somehow necessary if we want to change something or someone in our world. Yet this feeling that "someone has to pay" is seldom productive in initiating positive change. In Beyond Blame, Alasko teaches readers to recognize destruction that blame causes in their lives-oftentimes without their even being aware-and to put an end to it once and for all.

The path to eliminating blame is not a quick or easy one but, as Carl Alasko demonstrates, it is a road that must be traveled if we hope to achieve true peace in our lives.

Editorial Reviews


"...Beyond Blame is one of the most enlightening self-help tomes this reader has ever come across that is simultaneously easy to apply in a practical way." - Kate Williams, Psych Central

About the Author

Carl Alasko, Ph.D. has been a practicing psychotherapist specializing in couples and families for twenty-five years. He writes a weekly article about healthy relationships for the Expert's blogs at Psychology Today and for the past fifteen years has written a weekly advice column "On Relationships" for the Monterey County Herald. He lives in Monterey, California with his wife and son.

Product Details

  • File Size: 546 KB
  • Print Length: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; Original edition (August 18, 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,921 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

There are 319 pages and 17 chapters -- close to 19 pages per chapter. There are no footnotes, bibliography, suggestions for further reading, or even an index. These are elements which, for me, make reading more meaningful. I can find out what sources the author is reading, from where he or she is getting information, how I might expand my understanding, and what kind of outside support ideas have. I think -- before actually reading this book -- these are flags that make me a bit suspicious. I may be proven wrong, but my antenna is up.

The book is full of stories. It is the way the book is constructed. Alasko has simply amassed numerous stories that he derived from his 25 years of work as a practicing psychotherapist working with couples and families. There is nothing wrong with this, and the book reads well because of all the stories, however, the illustrations work effectively as Alasko moves from describing blame and how destructive and confusing it is, to why it is misunderstood, how it is deeply rooted in our biology, and then offers an explanation of the three-part syndrome initiated by a blame attack and how people respond to it.

Watch the way stories are used as primary (exclusive) support for his ideas: "Walter and Suzanne's story is not all that unusual. Their drama illustrates how we can illegitimately use an external force such as destiny or a Greater Power to shift responsibility and justify behavior that can have serious life-changing consequences." Research shows that their story is not all that unusual? Other psychotherapists have heard the same story over and over? Historically, there is evidence that Walter and Suzanne's story is similar to many others?
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Userul Tool to aid ALL your Relationships August 24, 2011
Whether you are on the giving or receiving side of blame - this book will help you immensely. The author takes you through a process of really disecting what blame is, how to address it, stop it and change yourself so all your relationships will thrive. Every aspect of your life is affected by blame. Becoming aware of how we cast blame and/or react to blame cast upon us, is so enlightening. This book affords us all the chance to really enhance our relationships with spouses, children, siblings, parents, friends, colleagues - there is no one this book will not help. It's time to stop playng the blame game and get on with a more meaningful life - if that's your goal - this is the book that will make it happen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book; life-changing concepts September 5, 2011
By A. Mann
Beyond Blame is a great book for eliminating the most destructive things we do to family, loved ones, and co-workers:

BLAMING them, in an attempt to get off the hook, vent, protect our ego, or get them to change their behaviors.

The problem is, as Carl Alasko teaches, that because blame is so common we think that it's OK to use it. But it's not. In fact, "blame has ravaged our most precious relationships for far too long."

Blame might temporarily discharge your anxieties, but it will never, ever bring you closer to happiness in any relationship.

Some of the points in the book I highlighted:

1. We use blame as a way to discharge anxiety or frustration, and maintain our social standing
2. We'll do almost anything to make sure that we're not seen as bad or wrong
3. Contempt and humiliation-- forms of blame-- are the emotional equivalent of being burned with fire
4. Self-blame stems from a deep-seated believe that we're not good enough
5. Don't ask questions that begin with "Why...", or "How come you didn't..."
6. When the above is asked of you, this sets a blame trap. Don't take the bait!
7. Controlling our emotions and tone of voice is essential to communicating our needs effectively
8. Express your emotions without using criticism, accusation, or punishment
9. Make a declarative statement expressing your feeling and your need (right-- no blaming!)
10. Aim for a 4:1 ratio of thinking to feeling

Carl Alasko teaches us about Positive Accountability-- what we should use instead of blame.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Glad I found this book October 4, 2011
By S. Nash
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've known that blame was a problem in relationships and have tried to remove it from my own interactions with family & friends. But I've been floundering along for a while and have been inconsistent. Dr. Alasko's books showed me exactly what kind of damage is done and uncovers the more subtler forms of blame that I'd failed to recognize. An entire section is devoted to self blame which is easy to intellectualize as harmful but an insidious process nonetheless. The tools he's given are helpful and I loved reading the various examples in the book. If you've experienced these conversations it is so helpful to read them and have Dr. Alasko break down the mistakes.

I ask myself now: What do I need? Can it be handled without blame? Does it even need to be handled? Thanks Dr. A.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to live July 15, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really like this book. The author successfully makes the point that blame has no use qualities and there's a better way to do things. Let's face it, none of us are perfect and it's going to take some practice living without blame
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More About the Author

Dr. Carl Alasko, Ph.D., MFT, brings 25 years' experience as a practicing psychotherapist to his books and columns.

While earning his degree Alasko studied at the Istituto di Terapia Familiare in Rome, Italy under Maurizio Andolfi, co-founder of the European Family Therapy Association and author of six widely-respected books on therapeutic technique.

Following graduation Dr. Alasko trained extensively with Pia Mellody, author of Facing Codependence, and for many years thereafter used Mellody's model in conducting two-day, small-group intensives focusing on recovery from childhood abuse.

Alasko also served for ten years on the Board of Directors of Beacon House, a Monterey Bay recovery center, instituting a free public lecture series on the subjects of codependency, parenting and healthy relationships.

Alasko's weekly blog for the Experts' online section of Psychology Today attracts thousands of readers, and his weekly newspaper column "On Relationships" has run in the Monterey County Herald for fifteen consecutive years.


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