Invisible Masters: Compulsions and the Fear That Drives Them

Invisible Masters: Compulsions and the Fear That Drives Them

by George Weinberg
     
 

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Every compulsion is a an act of terror. It is an attempt to regulate something concrete & controllable because the person cannot identify & control some real psychological problem. This groundbreaking study of compulsive behavior tells: what it is, how it comes to be, how it shapes our lives, &, most important, what we can do to change it. Weaving together

Overview

Every compulsion is a an act of terror. It is an attempt to regulate something concrete & controllable because the person cannot identify & control some real psychological problem. This groundbreaking study of compulsive behavior tells: what it is, how it comes to be, how it shapes our lives, &, most important, what we can do to change it. Weaving together alternating chapters of discussions of the psychological underpinnings of the phenomenon with actual case histories, Weinberg illuminates this prevalent yet often misunderstood aspect of human psychology. Weinberg allows us to become masters of our own lives.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Manhattan psychotherapist Weinberg ( The Taboo Scarf ) examines the purpose and function of compulsive behaviors--ritually repeated, severely limiting activities--in five extended case histories from his practice. He observes that compulsions ``are always motivated by fear'' and have a ``special cover-up function'' that deflects the compulsive's attention from ``some horrifying idea.'' An individual's compulsions develop ``in a process that is akin to dreams,'' he adds. In his examples, a young boarding school teacher who is compelled to start his day shooting basketballs learns to face his erotic feelings toward his students; a woman whose family disregarded the abuse she endured as a child understands that shoplifting was how she confirmed her belief in the world's indifference. Using a broad definition of compulsion that covers many repetitive, undesired behaviors, Weinberg offers concrete suggestions for determining the nature of the fear that gives rise to the unwanted activity and steps for loosening its grip on one. Neither reductive nor simplistic, his views offer encouragement and hope to similarly afflicted readers. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Most of us know of people who are driven by some kind of compulsion (e.g., constant hand washing, smoking, gambling, talking fast, and controlling others). Weinberg, a psychotherapist and writer ( The Taboo Scarf , LJ 7/90), shows that compulsion comes linked with its own special memories and that what differentiates a compulsion from a simple habit is the dread from which the compulsion springs. While engaged in this symbolic solution to a problem, the compulsive person relives the instant the behavior was adopted. Every compulsive activity is progressive, Weinberg claims, and engaging in the behavior worsens the underlying problem and creates an even greater need to carry out the activity. The author offers five distinct steps for breaking a compulsion and includes four case studies that make for riveting reading. Highly recommended for all popular psychology collections.-- Carol Schrader, Carrollton P . L . , Tex.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780452273719
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/01/1995
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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