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Living the Truth
Transform Your Life Through the Power of Insight and Honesty

by Keith Ablow, MD

      Psychiatrist, author, and talk show host, Dr. Keith Ablow asks readers to commit to a painful search through their childhoods in order to uncover the truth. Although conceived and developed through suffering, these buried truths (hidden behind protective shields) will ultimately offer us treasures for more fulfilling lives when revealed. He calls this the Pain-to-Power Principle, a strategy for confronting our demons head-on and thereby diminishing their power.

Besides our natural avoidance to pain, the author says we often neglect to see the truth because of family fictions. Most families - and all dysfunctional ones - harbor dangerous fictions that keep us from uncovering reality. As children, these fictions may protect us against truths that are too horrible to bear, but as adults we must uncover the truth through conversations with family members and lots of soul searching. Upon debunking these fictional family stories (such as describing a father with a gambling addiction as a man who has bad luck in business), we can rewrite our futures and stop the cycle from moving on to the next generation.

Ablow writes with an appealing conversational style and uses an easy-to-understand dialogue with the reader. You get the feeling that he really enjoys helping his patients. Each chapter concludes with fill-in-the-blank questions that encourage readers to delve into their own tragic stories. If you have already benefited from psychotherapy, you may not find these questions all that challenging, although you’re still likely to glean some insight from the information contained in the chapters. Some problems, of course, will be too complex to solve through this one-size-fits-all question format. The questions (and the overall content of the book) should be most beneficial to readers with previously unexamined lives.

The Book

Little, Brown and Company/Hachette
May 1, 2007
0-316-01781-7 / 978-0-316-01781-7
Nonfiction Self-Help
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The Reviewer

Leslie Halpern
Reviewed 2007
NOTE: Reviewer Leslie Halpern is the author of Reel Romance. The Lovers' Guide to the 100 Best Date Movies and Dreams on Film. Coming Soon: A Writer's Guide to Fearless Interviews.
© 2006