- Paperback: 180 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; First Printing edition (March 31, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679745858
- ISBN-13: 978-0679745853
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,678,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional: The Recovery Movement and Other Self-Help Paperback – March 31, 1993
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
Kaminer takes witty potshots at the omnipresent self-help programs and authors that are giving psychotherapists a run for their money.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Inside Flap
obel Prize were awarded for clarity and sanity in a world gone mad, Wendy Kaminer would be on her way to Stockholm." -- Newsday
Anyone who's ever wondered why talking about addiction has become so fashionable, shuddered on hearing an "adult child" compare his upbringing with the Holocaust, or felt that admitting one's powerlessness is a frightening prospect for a participatory democracy will be delighted by this bracingly outspoken and intelligent work of social criticism.
Whether she is infiltrating twelve-step meetings and codependency workshops or evaluating the claims of gurus from Shirley MacLaine to M. Scott Peck, Wendy Kaminer deftly diagnoses a national movement (and multi-million-dollar industry) with a strong tendency toward authoritarianism, a cult of victimhood, and a nasty streak of covert religiosity.
Controversial, original, and brilliantly reasoned, I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional changes the way we think about self-help --
Top customer reviews
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Anyways, the only problem I had with this book is that she gave a free-pass to AA and NA and only criticized the offshoots of these groups. . . like CoDa, ACOA, Al-anon, etc. I am of the belief that they ALL deserve equal criticism. And, maybe AA deserves the most criticism, because if it wasn't for AA, these other groups wouldn't be in existence. Kaminer also neglected to correct the erroneous information that AA passes along as true. The scientific studies that have been done over the past years that prove that the disease model of addiction is incorrect. So, I think it would have been helpful if she at least directed her readers to some of the work that has been published that is out there. (Stanton Peele, Jeffrey Schaler, Albert Ellis, etc.)
All in all, I thought this was an entertaining book that was mostly right on target. It's a refreshing and quick read.
New Age movements get their own well-deserved chapter in "Dysfunctional." In the final analysis, new-age nonsense gives us a post-literate era, "where language is supposed to covey only an attitude, and a word means no more than a smile." Popular theology also gets its own chapter. Kaminer's temperate nature shows through here, when she observes that some people do get benefit from some of these organizations, though WE suspect that SHE suspects that most of those persons were inclined to be thinking, democratic (small "d") people in the first place. Here are some good tidbits from "Dysfunctional":
· Testimony takes the place of conversation.
· Reading itself has unfortunately become a way of thinking
· Cults emphasizing the helplessness of the individual offer "absolution and no accountability."
· "the marketplace of ideas becomes a marketplace of maxims."
Kaminer uses just enough wisecracking to get the reader to laugh at the absurdities, rather than recoiling from the hard sarcasm that too many writers use. One wishes we could have a quiet talk with her about the real merits of free markets. Her bias away from this direction, though, is slight enough to not distract from the main message. that the outright In her concluding section the libertarian reader's heart will be warmed by Kaminer's thought that too much self-help literature "collectivizes" the quest for individual identity: such literature's aim is standardizing the self. Interesting. The book is reasonably short, and quite smooth to read. If ever there were a serious nonfiction "beach book," this is it!