The New Codependency: Help and Guidance for Today's Generation
Melody Beattie. Simon & Schuster, $23 (270pp) ISBN 978-1-4391-0192-6
Bestseller Beattie, of Codependent No More fame, revisits the topic she helped introduce more than 15 years ago, armed with more insight and a good deal of new scholarship, revising several old opinions and offering new perspectives on emotional awareness, damaging relationships, and finding genuine mental health in a society so ""in touch"" that it's run screaming for the pharmaceuticals. Through analogy, quizzes, anecdote and reflective exercises, Beattie promotes careful self-examination, problem-identification and a strategy of surrender, acceptance and processing. Beattie's obvious efforts to improve on her earlier work and wholehearted investment-not to mention timely reminders to seek outside help if needed-illustrate better than any anecdote how she walks the walk, and has important insight for members of the ""entitled"" generation (lavished with attention by overcompensating parents who were themselves love-starved children of codependency) already used to talking about their feelings, who need a different process to find genuine emotional connection. Though it can be scholarly and repetitive, Beattie's principles and methodology should prove accessible and insightful for most.
Reviewed on: 12/01/2008