A curative, uplifting attachment workbook.


Leaving Loneliness: A Workbook


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. 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-0615860893

Page Count: 212

Publisher: Stronger Relationships

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2014

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Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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