Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More of an autobiography, 16 Jan 2011
This review is from: Obsessive Love: How to Free Your Emotions and Live Again (Paperback)
This author writes at some length about her own experience as a teenager suffering from what she calls obsessive love, when much of the time she is actually talking about unrequited love. When you are in love it is quite normal to think about that person all the time and to think that there is something very special about them. What is obsessive in that behaviour? Much of the love that she describes would be perfectly normal and necessary to create the bond between two people. She seems to be a little confused over her definitions. It is only when that love is not reciprocated that it leads to problems. Is this book about obsessive love or unrequited love? It doesn't seem to clearly be about one or the other. You may find one or two interesting points but don't expect any answers. Expect opinion presented as answers and read it as such, whatever you do don't read it as a definitive account.

There are some brief examples of other people, including famous people such as Charlotte Bronte and someone called Elizabeth Smart (who??). The evidence she marshals for her argument, for that is all this book is, and not a particularly good and well rounded one at that, is taken from letters and biographies of these people. Not exactly up to date and pertinent to today's world. Where is the research, the attempt to listen to and understand the experiences of others?

Her writing and thinking seems pretty dated, she refers on many occasions to men who are "rakes" or "cads" or "rotters" - who talks like that?? This book was written in 1991, not 1891!

She makes some pretty large claims with no research to back it up, for example in one section the book claims that all prostitutes have a background of abuse as children, without exception. How can anyone ever make a claim like that, she would have to have interviewed every single prostitute in the world. I can understand that it is a feature of many people who go on to become prostitutes, but without exception?? That's clearly a nonsense thing to say. It's silly statement like that that seriously undermine whatever else she has to say.

In part two of the book -Recovery - she talks in some detail of her unorthodox experience of therapy, and helpfully gives the name and address of the B&B in Scotland that offers it, should you want to go there too. She dismisses using antidepressants out of hand, saying that they don't help someone address the underlying problem - obviously a personal view of hers but not a balanced view.

Other self help suggestions are The Alexander Technique (and surprise surprise she has helpfully written a book on the subject should you wish to read further about it), Rolfing (?), Circle Dancing (?!) and regression and past life therapy. Very limited suggestions and not really very useful! Among the resources section at the back she has given the names and addresses of some organisations that may be able to offer some form of therapy, which is all well and good, but then goes on to include the names and addresses of one or two individual therapists, including one massage therapist in London. What possible use can these be and what of the thousands of other therapists in the world? To say this book is a limited and biased account is an understatement.
If you can borrow this book for nothing, fair enough but I don't recommend buying it, save your money for one of the others on the subject.
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