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on July 24, 2011
This is the first time I have ever felt compelled to write a review on anything; but I feel that this book has literally saved my life! My life recently started falling apart; my professional life was no longer fulfilling and became a drain on me, I stopped doing many of the things I enjoyed, a profound sense of sadness overtook my life...then my wife announced she wanted a divorce. I looked at myself as a 55 year old failure, who has never achieved the true happiness that I've yearned for all my life. At that point I just wanted to die...death seemed like the only logical way to escape the enveloping pain and loneliness. My doctor got me on the necessary med's , and I started seeing a psychologist. My wife said I was too controlling, and the psychologist agreed, which amazed me as I don't have a controlling bone in my body; or so I thought. Trying to find an answer I came upon this book. I don't know how he did it, but the author has followed me around all my life and wrote a book about me! Almost every page I've had an "oh-my-god" moment, as I saw my life and how I've felt described and explained to me; I have never allowed myself to cry so much. I was a very controlling person, covertly and passively, and I now see where it came from and what it has cost me. I knew I always pushed down my feelings, but didn't realize the consequences. I have always considered the 12 step programs for the weak; those who wouldn't take responsibility for controlling their own lives. This book has made me do a complete 180. As a non-christian I've also had trouble with reading books that made it seem that going to church and handing over your life to God is the only way out. But I now feel that there is a higher power, that some things happen that I just can't control. I still don't believe in God, but that there are forces in the natural world that causes the unexplainable to happen. This book could be the greatest gift you can give yourself and those around you.
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on October 12, 2005
As a therapist I have recommended this book to many clients and friends. It helps to bring an understanding to a personality feature which can be perplexing and difficult to change. As far as the "God" references mentioned by one reviewer, it is used in the context similar to many recovery books. This book would be appropriate for someone in a 12 step program or someone pursuing personal growth and relationship improvement.
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on December 7, 2005
The author applies typical 12-Step recovery program methodology to getting over the compulsion to control people. I read this book to learn more about someone who I thought might have control issues and it gave me great insight into that person and myself. I am not planning on doing the 12-step program so the latter portion of the book was a tiresome read, but if you have a severe control problem, the entire book would be pertinent to recovering from the issue. The references to God are probably no different than any of the other 12-step recovery programs.
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on May 29, 2001
This book is fabulous for anyone dealing with any kind of co-dependence issues, self-esteem issues and just issues with the way you were raised by your parents in general. It is not a blaming book for the past, but a real planning book for the future. It absolutely changed my whole attitude about life, love and how to deal with both of them. I can't wait to read more books by Mr. Miller and his wife.
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on July 9, 2007
Keith Miller became significant in my young adulthood when I encountered his book "A Taste of New Wine." My main recollection thirty years later is that I appreciated his willingness to talk about ideas that were pressing but neglected in my religious upbringing. His voice or tone or writing was comfortingly familiar even though his courage and insight were exceptional.

In the intervening years I qualified myself to be a participant in a 12-step recovery program. I'd not followed Miller's career, so was surprised when my sponsor recommended his later book, "Compelled to Control." In this book he generalizes from his own experience in 12-step recovery programs. As before, I liked his way of writing and his willingness to talk about matters that are mostly ignored in my community of faith. I was less than half way through "Compelled" before I was online to buy his earlier "A Hunger for Healing" and "Facing Codependence" which he co-authored with Pia Melody and his wife, Andrea Wells Miller.

These books will be useful to anyone struggling with an underlying spiritual malady that expresses itself in addiction, compulsive behaviors, a need to control everything and everyone, or a idolatrous usurpation of the place of God.

Those familiar with the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous will recall the fourth chapter titled "We Agnostics." I've often wished the book included a chapter titled "We Believers." Miller has satisfied my wish. His books are for people of faith like me who, contrary to our expectations, have experiences that bring us into 12-step recovery programs. But there's more.

Those who have studied the history of Alcoholics Anonymous will also recall the temptation the founders faced in the early days to expand the scope of their mission to apply the program of recovery far beyond the realm of alcoholism and chemical dependency. They could envision their ideas being the impetus for a general, worldwide spiritual awakening. With great discipline, the organization's leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a single purpose, achieving sobriety and helping others do the same. Miller is not so constrained. He takes up where the AA founders stopped. He endorses the 12-step program as a general spiritual discipline that is almost unique in it's suitability for modern people living in a secular world. In the way that he is uniquely gifted, he describes for all of us, not just the chemically dependent, how to put spiritual principles into concrete practice.

Miller earned his credentials to write with authority in this realm in the worst possible way, as he generously discloses in his books. "Compelled to Control" is a call to return to reality for all of us who have wandered off. The book has become an important tool in my own work of spiritual awakening.
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on April 19, 2008
This is one of the best books that I have ever read - period. It changed my life. It's on my list of "Top 10" near the top.

If you're convinced that you're NOT a control freak then you really, really, really need to read this book. If you really aren't, no harm done and you'll be empowered to counter and help the control freaks in your life.

If you are and know it, you will have a new, better life if you will gain and apply the wisdom contained here.

Other books that you might consider in this vein:


Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't

The Control Freak

Love the Life You Live: Three Secrets to Feeling Good Deep Down in Your Soul (Unabridged)

A Hunger for Healing: The Twelve Steps as a Classic Model for Christian Spiritual Growth

Toxic Faith

Nine Things You Simply Must Do: To Succeed in Love and Life

Changes That Heal: How to Understand the Past to Ensure a Healthier Future

Loving People: How to Love and Be Loved

Hiding from Love Workbook
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on January 14, 2015
I still had to leave my job because of the control freak supervisor I had. But I have this book for future reference on what in the world motivates a person to be so horribly mean and evil and what motivates us to be a control freak at times. This book would help one deal with a challenge of figuring out how to work with someone like that if they had to. I never finished it, but I will keep it.
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on November 18, 2014
This book is so amazing! I've always had major control issues that have followed me since early childhood. I'm happy to have a book that can help me work on this issue in a new way. I'm very happy with all that I've read so far in this book.
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on December 12, 2013
This book is not helpful at all. The author just revisits the same idea of internal shame/ guilt and other suppressed feelings to explain the person's urge to control environment without offering any tangible, helpful advice. The chapters are very repetitive and don't lead to any concrete conclusions.
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on December 11, 2012
This book opens the readers eyes and gives understanding to themselves about how they operate, or how another loved one behaves. I whole heartily recommend this book for anybody that is having difficulty balancing their relationship.
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