Reviewed Books & Films

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July 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What Does Love Mean to You?

APA In her review of Elizabeth Gilbert's book Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage, Ilene Serlin writes:

Acknowledging the stresses that the Western ideal of the nuclear family places on modern marriages, Gilbert begins to realize that love is being there for each other and "there is not one special person who will make your life magically complete, but that there are any number of people (right in your community, probably) with whom you could seal a respectful bond" (p. 41). Marriage is not found but built: "The emotional place where a marriage begins is not nearly as important as the emotional place where a marriage finds itself toward the end, after many years of partnership." (p. 41)
Does Western culture overemphasize the role of love and romance in the success of long-lasting relationships? What are the critical elements to building a long-lasting marriage/relationship? The idea of romantic marriage is relatively new, historically speaking. Will ideas about marriage continue to evolve? Will divorce rates in the future (25 years, 50 years) drop, rise, or stay about the same?

Read the Review
ReviewMarriage Guide for the Quarter-Life Crisis
By Ilene Serlin
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2011 Vol 56(28)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Are We Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Military Families?

APA In his review of Families Under Fire: Systemic Therapy With Military Families, Thomas Williams notes that practitioners treating the families of military members "must take the time to understand the context for wars and the impact of multiple deployments" on military personnel and their families. Although this is certainly true, there are families in need of psychological treatment whose military members have not experienced overseas or war-related deployment. This elicits questions and concerns related to how well we understand the noncombat- and nondeployment-related stresses of military culture and life.

To what extent are military families different from nonmilitary families who experience stress and the need for psychological care? Has the military adequately met its obligation to allocate resources to ensure the psychological health and well-being of the men, women, and children who did not enlist but must adjust to all aspects and phases of military life? Are there educational strategies that can be used to assist civilian partners in their adjustment to military life?

Read the Review

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Should We Encourage Our Children to Win at All Costs?

APA In their review of Duina's Winning: Reflections on an American Obsession, Richard Ackley and Lee Derryberry state:

Winning hypothesizes that Americans are consumed by competition, and this results in negative consequences for us. But we are not aware of the consequences. Even worse, we are not aware of why we need competition so essentially. The impact of winning and losing is not only destructive but also invisible.
So, to continue the debate of the last decade, should we or should we not encourage our children to win? Should we, as some suggest, teach our children to enjoy the activity and social relationships (whether school, sports, boardgames, etc.) and not focus on winning? Have we gone too far in focusing on winning to the point where students will cheat and lie in order to get a high grade on an exam or in a course? Or are there real advantages to socializing our children to win?

Read the Review
ReviewWinning Isn't What We Think
By Richard Ackley and Lee Derryberry
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2011 Vol 56(19)

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Hans Eysenck Considered

APA In his review of Roderick Buchanan's book Playing With Fire: The Controversial Career of Hans Eysenck, Ian Nicholson notes,

Eysenck is reputed to have been the most prolific psychologist ever, producing at least one book and 50 journal articles and chapters per year throughout the 1950s and 1960s. He was a publication machine with almost superhuman powers of absorption and a seemingly effortless proficiency at writing…
Albert Ellis wrote a book or two almost every year, and Robert Sternberg (the former editor of Contemporary Psychology) has attained this level of productivity. What other psychologists come to mind who have had or do have exceptionally productive careers?

Read the Review
ReviewCourting Controversy
By Ian Nicholson
      PsycCRITIQUES, 2011 Vol 56(26)

Editor of PsycCRITIQUES

Danny Wedding, PhD

Chair of Behavioral Sciences,
College of Medicine,
American University of Antigua

Associate Editors of PsycCRITIQUES

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