Best-selling Pearsall now tells us how to tap into ""the powerful healing potential and enormous recuperative powers of the family""--with its stress on interdependence and caring rather than on individuality and self-interest. Compulsive list-maker Pearsall (Super Joy, 1988, etc.) sets forth ten ""Rx's"" for healthier family life: ""rituals"" (shared meals and holidays), ""reason"" (rational dealing with problems and conflicts); ""resilience"" (crisis-coping), etc. Each rates a chapter that features a ten-question test on how the family stacks up, along with a discussion of six or more ""steps"" to improved functioning. One example: List causes of arguments to determine patterns; then develop a mutually acceptable plan to avoid redundant conflicts. Each chapter also details the experiences of five representative middle-class families as they deal with widowhood/single parenting, a child's life-threatening illness, the death of a grandfather, etc. (for example, the widow, exhausted by attempts to help her son comprehend math, turns the responsibility back to the school). Despite busywork and buzzwords, Pearsall may have latched onto a subject whose time has come. Its appearance coincides with a rising tide of concern over the beleaguered state of the American family.