Leaving Loneliness: A Workbook by David S. Narang

Leaving Loneliness: A Workbook

Building Relationships with Yourself and Others
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A gentle, nonjudgmental guide to healing childhood wounds and developing full, satisfying relationships in adulthood.

Debut author Narang, a Buddhist clinical psychologist in Santa Monica, Calif., explains how readers with attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, or elements of both, can overcome them by using targeted exercises and mindfulness. People with attachment anxiety, the author writes, may have had caregivers with inconsistent emotional responses. This has left them perpetually unsure of whether relationships will meet their emotional needs. Those with attachment avoidance, on the other hand, may have had caregivers who were completely unresponsive, causing them to deny their emotional needs during adulthood. Narang, in this book, seeks to pre-emptively identify barriers to emotional success, and his soothing tone (“[r]emember, I am flawed, you are flawed, this book is flawed, and we are all also deeply good”) enhances the work considerably. He restates key points with subtle variations, but the repetition enhances readers’ understanding instead of feeling monotonous. The author clearly explains the workbook’s overall format and each activity’s rationale (“you will address the problem first and then move toward building strength, much in the way that if you had an infection in your foot, you would heal that infection first before moving on to building muscles by running”). He also fully defines all psychological jargon to make the book accessible to a broad readership, although some exercises might have benefited from deeper explanations. That said, the variety of exercises is impressive; the attachment anxiety section, for example, includes activities titled “Why Do I Feel Desperation and Cling to Others?” and “I Get Really Mad When Others Don’t See Things the Way I Do”; for attachment avoidance, Narang offers “I Am Already Enough, Even Before Improving More” and “Beyond Constant Problem Solving.” Not every exercise will apply to every person, he explains, which allows the reader to tailor the workbook to his or her own needs. This flexible approach, combined with the author’s easily understandable, peaceful style, make this a restorative work for a wide audience.

A curative, uplifting attachment workbook.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0615860893
Page count: 212pp
Publisher: Stronger Relationships
Program: Kirkus Indie
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