FAMILY COMMUNICATIONS by Sven Wahlroos

FAMILY COMMUNICATIONS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A catalogue of practical techniques for spouses and parents and children. Adumbrating the platitude ""What we have here is a failure to communicate,"" Wahlroos contends that an innocent action often unwittingly conveys an undesirable message, resulting in family discord. He offers a set of ""rules"" of communication to avoid such misunderstandings -- trite formulas which most people will readily agree are eminently sensible: ""Be clear and specific,"" ""Do not allow discussions to turn into destructive arguments,"" ""Do not nag, yell, or whine."" Also included are ""Unfair Communication Techniques"" -- the ""Atom Bomb"" (threatening suicide or divorce), ""Mind Reading"" (""You only did it because you feel guilty"") -- and ""Crazy-Making Techniques"" (for example, denying an obvious truth or using curbstone psychology to manipulate). Wahlroos legitimately contends that it is the therapist's place to point out such truisms to those who fail to observe them and to codify them for the general public as prophylaxis. He does not claim to present a theory of interpersonal behavior or a ""cure for neurosis,"" but rather a technique for some problems that do not require intensive therapy. In the din of the current psychological vogue, Wahlroos' modesty is to his credit.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1974
Publisher: Macmillan