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"In Grow Up!, film critic and psychiatrist Dr. Frank Pittman tells us the secrets of happy adult lives. He uses his own life, his years of practice as a therapist, and his prodigious reading and movie viewing to analyze our culture. He is opinionated, brilliant and incisive, never dull of mealymouthed. Plus, he is one of those rare psychiatrists who likes mothers." —Mary Phipher, Ph.D, author of Reviving Ophelia
"A wise, funny, in-your-face prescription for being a responsible and happy adult. Frank Pittman is Jeremiah, Solzhenitsyn, and Bill Cosby rolled into one extraordinary writer with somethin to say that we need to hear." —Dr. William J. Doherty, director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program and president-elect of the National Council on Family Relations
Posted April 13, 2009
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Only a person with a Curriculum Vitae similar to Dr. Pittman could have written this book. Not only did it require ample experience to become a seasoned therapist but enough life lived to offer the insights gleaned from that rich experience. An individual with less knowledge, who had poorer ability to perceive reality, with less ability as a writer or one who had not LIVED their life could have offered the treasures as well as this author did in this volume. Dr. Pittman confronts, frequently, vigorously, honorably and with the validation of successful practice, the "pop psychology" that has ran, unbridled, in therapeutic settings since the 1960's. According to the author, this kind of "treatment" has played a significant role in successfully destroying, in less than 40 years, an institution that had been stable for millennia - the family.
Dr. Pittman sites the idea of "if it feels right for me at the time" and the end of Patriarchy as two key reasons people, particularly men, refuse to "grow up" and become adults. In this book, he systematically addresses: the end of patriarchy, men, women, separation from parents and parenting, marriage, children, divorce and happiness. He offers the reader an idea of how to become a productive adult within the discussion of those issues. Much of what he says is "old school" - common sense, behaving responsibly, etc.; little of what is said in this book would be comfortable to a reader who likes being irresponsible. Those individuals would probably not read past the introduction, however.
The most eloquent and passionate chapter is "How to Have a Grown Up Marriage." Dr. Pittman's commitment to and belief in marriage is inspiring. He speaks from the perspective of one who is a nationally (world?) renowned Marriage and Family Therapist and one who has "been totally married for 37 years." In all likelihood the least popular and politically incorrect chapter is "Love, Lies and Divorce." He contends, with some vehemence, the only reason divorce should be even considered is systematic or life threatening abuse. (He does instruct the police be called if ANY physical abuse occurs in a relationship.) Any other reason is a refusal, on at least one member of the couple, to do the work of an adult. He also contends that divorce must never be a consideration in marriage, to do so gives the participants an "easy way out" of the required work and undermines the trust in the relationship.
This is a book in print for ten years, which almost makes it a classic in the "self-help" genre and may suggest some level of credence to what it has to offer. Well written by an experienced author and therapist, it would be a good resource for Premarital couples, individuals/couples considering their present state of marriage or those struggling with how to be a Self in relationship. Dr. Pittman uses "adult" language in the writing of this book and what he says requires a level of maturity beyond that of an adolescent (in terms of maturity, not age) mind set. Much of what this book offers reminded me of Dr. Schnarch's The Passionate Marriage in its insistence on the individual growing up and letting marriage do the work of creating a complete person.
Posted October 14, 2002
I saw Dr. Pittman present this book at a lecture on marriage 3 years ago. I buy this book repeatedly for friends and recommend it to clients. Charli Prather, mswWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.