cover image Beyond Codependency: And Getting Better All the Time

Beyond Codependency: And Getting Better All the Time

Melody Beattie. HarperCollins Publishers, $13.95 (252pp) ISBN 978-0-06-255418-5

Adult children of alcoholics and drug abusers will want to peruse this encouraging sequel to Beattie's groundbreaking book on the dynamics of codependency ( Codependent No More ). She focuses here on the process of recovering from the self-defeating behaviors adopted as survival tactics by adult children of families rendered dysfunctional by parental alcoholism or similar traumas. Beattie's strength is short, sharply delineated portraits of ordinary people learning to recognize and avoid unhealthy practices--obsessive concern for the welfare of others at one's own expense, lack of self-esteem, etc. The author stresses the practical, offering possible ways to cope with difficulties and suggesting ``activities'' (``What would a diagram of your recovery look like?'') at the end of each chapter. And Beattie maintains the sensitive, supportive tone epitomized in the opening chapter: ``Let's love ourselves for how far we've come. Let's see how far we can go.'' The uninitiated may be put off initially by her jargon, but the author's wisdom and common sense soon become apparent. 175,000 first printing; $125,000 ad/promo; author tour. (May)