Cover image for The codependency conspiracy : how to break the recovery habit and take charge of your life
The codependency conspiracy : how to break the recovery habit and take charge of your life
Katz, Stan J.
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Publication Information:
New York, NY : Warner Books, [1991]

Physical Description:
xvi, 233 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
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Material Type
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RC569.5.C63 K38 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Now, for the first time, a prominent psychologist speaks out against the addiction/recovery movement, and teaches readers how to stop seeing themselves as codependent victims and how to start taking charge of their lives. Dr. Katz argues that most codependent programs, rather than promoting recovery, merely promote dependence under the guise of self-help.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Katz is a clinical psychologist specializing in family systems and substance abuse. With the assistance of coauthor Liu, he presents a powerful argument against self-help groups, which, he says, do not help their members achieve recovery and can even prove damaging to one's well-being. Katz criticizes 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous for keeping their members in a state of dependency instead of encouraging them to become self-reliant, a key step to healing and becoming whole. He is, however, careful to distinguish between self-help groups that seek to perpetuate themselves and rarely solve the chronic problems they purport to address, and support groups that do benefit members by helping them cope with situational crises, such as cancer and the loss of a child. Katz's insights and advice are clear, reassuring, and well measured. His strategies--presented in a workbook-style format--for healing old emotional wounds are well defined and very helpful. Katz also includes practical tips rarely found in self-help books: for instance, how to recognize when you're up against a real problem and not just facing an easily resolved issue and how to tell when and if you really have recovered. A candid book that's certain to become a classic in the self-help field. ~--Mary Banas

Publisher's Weekly Review

Most self-help programs do more harm than good by promoting dependency, charge Berverly Hills psychologist Katz and coauthor Liu ( The Success Trap ). Bound to elicit protests from the self-help movement, their severe indictment is based on cases cited here ranging from obsessions to drug addiction. Katz and Liu differentiate between two types of remedial programs: organizations that treat all unwanted behavior as a ``disease'' affecting the ``hurt child within'' and that require lifelong adherence to principles relating to a Higher Power; and mutual-support groups limited to helping members cope with specific, short-term problems. The authors' eight-point program, intended to foster reliance on one's own healing powers, stresses dealing with one goal at a time and acknowledging past influences while developing present strengths and resources. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Katz and Liu, coauthors of False Love and Other Romantic Illusions ( LJ 9/15/88) and The Success Trap (Ticknor & Fields, 1990), paint a damning picture of the self-help movement and its leaders. Stating that codependency ``is not a disease but, at best, an idea and, at worst, a scam,'' the authors contend that 12-Step programs and codependency recovery groups promote lifelong dependency and victim behavior at the expense of self-discipline in solving life's problems. However, the authors' research seems limited to Katz's own experiences as a therapist. Katz and Liu offer an alternative, detailed, ten-step plan for identifying and attacking problems. While they fail to acknowledge that many people derive positive benefits from the 12-Step program, their book is the only one this reviewer has seen that provides an alternative view. Consider for large self-help collections.--Linda S. Greene, Chicago P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.