The Vicious Circle Phenomenon: Our Battle for Self-Control: How to Win the War

Phyllis Brister, Author Diadem Books $19.95 (301p) ISBN 978-0-939977-69-7
To this husband-and-wife team of psychologists, smoking, alcohol and drug addiction, compulsive gambling, child abuse and even recurrent dieting are self-perpetuating activities that trap us through the illusion of freedom or control. These circular behavior patterns grow stronger with each repetition; they promise an immediate reduction of anxiety but instead hook victims in a spiral of dependency. To avoid change, people trapped in vicious circles use denial tactics ranging from wishful thinking to repentance and secrecy, according to the authors, who here offer guidance on how to determine whether one is hooked and suggest ways to cope with stress once a circular pattern has been broken. They base their hypothesis on a theory of anxiety reduction they maintain is rooted in the prehistoric fight-or-flight response. (October)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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