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Tigger on the Couch: The neuroses, psychoses, maladies and disorders of our favourite children's characters Paperback – 1 Oct 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (1 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007248954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007248957
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.4 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. RJ WILMSHURST on 21 Mar 2009
Format: Paperback
The concept for this book was a very good one, and I was looking forward to reading it on the basis that it would be insightful and entertaining. Having read it I would still say that it is an entertaining read, however I find the justification for the book to be weakened having read it. I get the feeling that the amount of material available is not sufficient to justify a book. Rather, this would be an interesting article in a newspaper's weekend magazine. Therefore I wonder whether the author and publishers decided to string out the concept for long enough to make it into a book, in the hope that that would benefit them better. Towards the latter stages the book I was left with the feeling that the remainder of the book would provide nothing new.

Now to focus on the positive aspects of the book, it is initially very entertaining and well-written. It is accessible to those without a detailed knowledge of psychotherapy/psychology. The book clearly explains that there are some characters in children's books who have identifiable disorders, but I was also left with the feeling that some of the characters analysed had no real disorder at all, and that their strange behaviour was merely a necessary behavioural exaggeration to make the meaning clear to the target audience of the original book i.e. children. Therefore I was left with the overall feeling that the book was based on a good concept but did not have enough material to justify itself, and would really have been better as a magazine feature article. Since no such article exists I'm uncertain whether this means I should recommend the book but suggest only reading the first half, or advise readers to look elsewhere.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Postmodern Minx on 20 April 2008
Format: Paperback
It's a shame that Ms James felt she should to author a book that she is unqualified to write. "Author, Journalist and Magazine editor" (from the book itself) Laura James should stick to subjects she knows something about, and leave psychology and psychiatry to those of us who are actually qualified to write about it.

Her ludicrous misunderstanding of even the most basic psychiatric concepts would be laughable if they weren't so potentially damaging. Her notions of the characters here being 'ill' are nonsense, and show that she does not understand that psychopathology is culturally situated. Winnie the Pooh lives well in his space and culture, with a house, good friends, enough food etc. He is happy and has a fulfilling life. Drug and behavior therapy (as she suggests) would not be indicated, and the very notion that they would is repugnant.

I think Ms James has misunderstood the purpose of psychology and psychiatry. It is not to indoctrinate, and failing that to drug, everyone into some bland conformity, but rather to relieve distress. Her 'case studies' demonstrate her simple misunderstanding of this basic point.

I was further distressed to note that she has also failed to research her source material sufficiently. Winnie the Pooh's songs do not "Cause distress to his friends and neighbors" (p.49) rather they are often pleased by them and request them to mark special occasions. The whole book is replete with these kinds of errors of fact, which makes her laughable interpretations all the more ludicrous.

What concerns me most is that some people will understandably buy this book in the belief that the contents are an accessible introduction to a series of facts. They are not. Consequently, I shall not be recommending it in my own practice. I urge you instead to buy one of the many quality introductory works available that are written by people who have some basic knowledge of (and qualification in) the subject.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Penington on 3 Oct 2007
Format: Paperback
There was a girl I remember in my early years at high school who had a peculiar but highly effective way of securing attention from boys she fancied. She would attend many of our home rugby matches and, at some point during the first half (presumably because she reasoned the players might be less muddy at this stage of the game) she would feign illness on the touchline and, with great flourish, pretend to faint, falling to the ground in a heap. Those among us not familiar with her antics - including most of the opposition team - would, on seeing the fuss being made of her, rush to her aid. Despite her plight, she would nevertheless have the presence of mind then to slip a piece of paper with her phone number on to the wing-back or prop forward she had most taken a shine to. So many years later, this book has shed considerable light for me on what might have prompted her to behave in this way; perhaps she had grown up listening to and then reading fairy tales and children's fiction in which the heroine (needy and hapless) would invariably be rescued by a dashing prince. The subliminal messages in seemingly harmless prose might in some way have helped create in her a need to adopt a position of helplessness in the belief that this was the surest way to secure the attention she so desperately craved. It's insights like this that this book - clear, revealing, entertaining and, at times, amusing - is wonderful for. It makes the reader re-examine the underlying messages in the books many of us would consider childhood staples and I would recommend it thoroughly. PS: I heard a few weeks ago via an email from an old friend that the girl in question (let's call her Penny) was happily married to a doctor in Sunderland.
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