Coping with the Void--advice from a kindhearted but nervous-sounding Christian psychotherapist. Skoglund (who practices in...

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BEYOND LONELINESS

Coping with the Void--advice from a kindhearted but nervous-sounding Christian psychotherapist. Skoglund (who practices in Burbank, California) has written nine previous books of similar nondenominational counsel and comfort, but in this one she drops hints of a severe crisis that's recently shaken her personal life. Whatever it was, she seems half the time to be talking to herself. She starts from the assumption that loneliness is not a disease but a natural condition resulting from the pressures of ""materialism, fast-pace living, buying of services, and extreme individualism."" Skoglund has no revolutionary remedy, Christian or otherwise, for this situation. She urges us instead to find a solid ""place"" within the hurly-burly and to stick to it, to lead a rationally disciplined life, and to avoid the temptations (to which she is evidently prone) of working too hard and trying to satisfy everybody. Beyond this, a certain residue of suffering will always remain, but with God's help and a modicum of human intimacy it can be endured. For those traumatized people who have no ""place,"" Skoglund strongly recommends psychological counseling, and chides some of her fellow-believers for their hang-ups about therapy. In general she makes a sensible case, but like most other religious advocates of self-help, she runs into trouble with problems of faith. For periods of spiritual dryness or desolation, Skoglund advises concentrating ""on what is, rather than what we feel""--the old, and basically useless, up-by-your-bootstraps approach. Apart from that, a balanced, sober, fairly literate example of a dubious genre.

Pub Date: July 4, 1980

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1980