email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
Health Care in America The Happiness of Burnout"Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People""How Come Boys Get to Keep Their Noses?"17 Lies That Are Holding You Back20 Jazz Funk Greats50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are TrueA Brief History of the SmileA Child of One's OwnA Citizen Legislature/A People's ParliamentA Clinician's Guide to Legal Issues in PsychotherapyA Colorful History of Popular DelusionsA Cultural History of Modern Science in ChinaA Cursing Brain?A History of Intelligence and "Intellectual Disability"A History of MarriageA History of PsychiatryA Little F'd UpA Loving Approach to Dementia CareA Man's Guide to Healthy AgingA Mind ApartA Mind So RareA Natural History of RapeA Natural History of VisionA Red Heart of MemoriesA Short History of MedicineA Student's Guide to the History And Philosophy of Yoga A Tear is an Intellectual ThingA Therapist's Guide to Understanding Common Medical ProblemsA Universe of ConsciousnessA User's Guide to the BrainA World Full of GodsABC of Eating DisordersABCs to Positive LivingAbnormal Psychology in ContextAbout FaceAccessible Yoga for Every Body DVDActs of ConscienceAdoption Beyond BordersAdvances in Culture and PsychologyAfter HarmAfter the Ecstasy, the LaundryAfter the Globe, Before the WorldAgainst the MachineAging Our WayAging ThoughtfullyAIDS & People with Severe Mental IllnessAkhenatenAl-JununAlgernon, Charlie and IAll About LoveAllergy ReliefAlone TogetherAlpha GirlsAltered EgosAltered StatesAlways On CallAm I Making Myself Clear?Am I Okay?AM/PM YogaAmerica in the FortiesAmerica's JailsAmerican Science Fiction Film and TelevisionAmong the Great ApesAn American ObsessionAn American SicknessAn Anthropologist on MarsAn Illustrated Book of Bad ArgumentsAn Odd Kind of FameAnatomy of an EpidemicAncient Greek and Roman SlaveryAnger, Madness, and the DaimonicAnimal ArchitectsAnimal MadnessAnimal MindsAnimals in TranslationAnother CountryAntimatterAre the Rich Necessary? Updated and Expanded EditionArt and PoliticsArtemis FowlAs Nature Made HimAsylumAsylum on the HillAsylum to ActionAt Liberty to DieAtonement and ForgivenessAttention Deficit DisorderAttitudeAuthentic HappinessBe Very AfraidBeautiful MindsBeauty's NothingBeckett and AnimalsBecoming a DoctorBeing VirtualBelle and Sebastian's If You're Feeling SinisterBest of the Brain from Scientific AmericanBetrayal TraumaBetter Sex Through YogaBeyond AIBeyond GreekBeyond HealthBeyond ReasonBeyond ToleranceBibliotherapyBipolar DisorderBlack Man in a White CoatBlack MassBlind SpotsBlinkBlood and GutsBodies out of BoundsBody Piercing Saved My LifeBorn Standing UpBOSH!Brain LongevityBrain-Based Teaching for All SubjectsBrainchildrenBrainwashingBread Upon the WatersBreaking Murphy's LawBreaking WomenBreathingBrian Eno's Another Green WorldBrief EncountersBritain on the CouchBrothelBuddhism and ScienceBuilding Healthy MindsBullspottingBullying PreventionBurn UnitBuzzC StreetCalling Our Spirits HomeCamp ZCampus Sexual AssaultCan't You Hear Them?Cancer on $5 a Day* *(chemo not included)Cato's TearsCaughtChained to the DeskChickenizing Farms and FoodChild Slaves in the Modern WorldChildren's Learning in a Digital WorldChina on the MindChoices and ConflictChoosing CivilityChronic Fatigue Syndrome (The Facts)Classical Pilates Technique DVDCleopatraClinical Psychopharmacology Made Ridiculously SimpleClosing the AsylumsCognition, Creativity, and BehaviorCognitive Neuroscience of EmotionCollege Inc.Coming of Age in AmericaComing of Age in Ancient GreeceConceptual BlockbustingConcrete ReveriesConducting Insanity EvaluationsConfronting Postmaternal ThinkingConnected, or What It Means to Live in the Network SocietyConsciousnessConsider the LobsterConsuming InnocenceContagiousControlConversations About Psychology and Sexual OrientationCool WomenCorpora in Language Acquisition ResearchCorrect EnglishCorrupted CultureCount Us InCovered in InkCreative AngerCreative Core AbsCreative ThinkeringCreative Writing In Health And Social CareCreatures of AccidentCrime and Punishment in AmericaCritical ConditionCritical Perspectives in Public HealthCritical Psychology: An IntroductionCross-Cultural Topics in PsychologyCrossingCrossing the Unknown SeaCruddyCultural Healing and Belief SystemsCulture and Subjective Well-BeingCustomers and Patrons of the Mad-TradeCyber BullyingCyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy TeensDance the Chakras Yoga WorkoutDancing After HoursDangerous EmotionsDarwin's Dangerous IdeaDarwin's LegacyDeaf Identities in the MakingDeath in the AirDebunked!DeceptionDecoding DarknessDeep GossipDefenders of the TruthDefining Moments in ScienceDefying DementiaDeinstitutionalization And People With Intellectual DisabilitiesDematerializingDementiaDementia Caregivers Share Their StoriesDementia ReimaginedDemocracy in ChainsDemocracy StrugglesDemons of the Body and MindDemons of the Modern WorldDepression In Later LifeDirty DetailsDiscourse of Twitter and Social MediaDistractedDivine MadnessDMT and the Soul of ProphecyDo-It-Yourself Eye Movement Techniques for Emotional HealingDoes Science Need a Global Language?Doing GoodDoing HarmDon't Believe Everything You ThinkDon't Get Too ComfortableDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Optimum HealthDr. Andrew Weil's Mindbody ToolkitDreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV-TR Case StudiesDuplicityDutiful DaughtersDying for TimeEarthly Bodies, Magical SelvesEastern Body, Western MindEating AnimalsEccentricsEcological MedicineEducating People to Be Emotionally IntelligentEinstein and OppenheimerElectroshockElliott Smith and the Big NothingEmergence and EmbodimentEmergencies in Mental Health PracticeEmotionEmotional Intelligence at WorkEmotions RevealedEncyclopedia of Asylum Therapeutics, 1750-1950sEntwined LivesErotic PassionsEssentials of Cas AssessmentEssentials of Wais-III AssessmentEthics for the New MillenniumEvamarie Pilipuf's Yoga Express DVDEvery Day Yoga for Every Body DVDEveryday GreensEveryday IrrationalityEveryday SimplicityEverything Is MiscellaneousEvolutionEvolution and Human BehaviorEvolution in MindEvolution's RainbowExploring the Edge Realms of ConsciousnessExuberanceEyes of SophiaFalling for ScienceFalse-Memory Creation in Children and AdultsFamilyFamily Desk Reference to Psychology Family MurderFashion and Its Social AgendasFashion, Desire And AnxietyFast, Fresh & GreenFat and FuriousFear and Other Uninvited GuestsFearless ConfessionsFeminist Philosophy And Science FictionFinal ExamFine LinesFixing My GazeFlesh of My FleshFlesh WoundsFlirting With DangerFlow and YinFlying ColorsFocusFood for Thought:Food, Medicine, and the Quest for Good HealthFool Me TwiceFreedom, Fame, Lying, and BetrayalFridaFrom Certainty to UncertaintyFrom Joy Division to New OrderFull Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism MattersFull Steam Ahead!Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and ReligionGang of Four's EntertainmentGender and Its Effects on PsychopathologyGender and Mental HealthGeneration DigitalGenetics of Mental DisordersGeniusGenomeGetting a Good Night's SleepGetting Inside Your HeadGetting WastedGilded CityGirl in the CurlGirlfightingGirls Gone MildGirls on the VergeGod and the MultiverseGoing Into TownGood FortuneGood KarmaGood MedicineGood WorkGracefully InsaneGrassroots SpiritualityGreat Psychologists and Their TimeGulpHabeas CorpusHalf a Brain Is EnoughHandbook of AttachmentHappinessHappinessHappiness Is.Hate Crimes in CyberspaceHealingHealing SpacesHealth And the MediaHealth OnlineHearing the Person With DementiaHeavier than HeavenHello from Heaven!HelmholtzHelvetica: A documentary filmHemalayaa's Yoga for Young Bodies DVDHemingway's Second WarHerbs for the MindHere Is New YorkHeroes, Rogues, and LoversHeterophobiaHidden MindsHistory of ShitHistory of SuicideHoly Sh*tHoly WarHooked!Hot Body Cool Mind - Level 1Hot Body Cool Mind: Waking Energy Hot Chocolate for the Mystical LoverHot SpotsHotHouseHouse and PsychologyHow Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow Doctors ThinkHow Emotions WorkHow History Gets Things WrongHow Not to Get ShotHow Our Lives Become StoriesHow Proust Can Change Your LifeHow Science WorksHow to Be a PatientHow to Build a Robot ArmyHow to Cook Everything VegetarianHow to Do NothingHow to Grow OldHow to Handle a Hard-To-Handle KidHow We AgeHow We Are Changed by WarHumankindHungerHysteria Complicated by EcstasyI Contain MultitudesI Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of PrivacyI of the VortexI Only Say This Because I Love YouI, Little AsylumIdiot AmericaIf Men Could TalkIgnoranceIllness and ImageImagining NumbersImprove Your Writing With NLPIn Bed with MadnessIn Defense of FoodIn Praise of ScienceIn Pursuit of HappinessIn Search of FatimaIn the Line of DutyIn the Shadows of the NetIn Therapy We TrustIndivisible by TwoInsight Yoga with Sarah PowersIntegrative MedicineIntensive CareInternational Perspectives on Reminiscence, Life Review and Life Story WorkInto the Gray ZoneIntroduction to Ashtanga Yoga DVDIntroduction to Qi YogaIntroduction to Yoga DVDInvented KnowledgeInvestigating Digital CrimeIrrationalityIs Shame Necessary?IshtarIt's Up to YouJanis Saffell Beverly Hills YogaJudo with WordsKanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyKids OnlineKilling MonstersKinds of MindsKissing DoorknobsKnowing the Nature of FearKnowledge MonopoliesKundalini Yoga for Beginners & BeyondLandscapes in My MindLaw, Mind and BrainLearning About School ViolenceLearning, Teaching and Education Research in the 21st CenturyLessons Learned on My Way HomeLicentious GothamLies! Lies! Lies!Life CoachingLife MakeoversLimboListening in the Silence, Seeing in the DarkListening to PainListening to the WorldLiteratures of MadnessLittle PeopleLittle Red Riding Hood UncloakedLiving DeeplyLiving Well with Pain and IllnessLiving with ArthritisLiving with SchizophreniaLiving, Thinking, LookingLocking Up Our OwnLoneliness as a Way of LifeLong Shadow of Small GhostsLosing My MindLove and Sex with RobotsLove Your Body, Love Your LifeLove, Sex & TragedyLust in TranslationMad Mary LambMade in AmericaMadhur Jaffrey's World VegetarianMadnessMadness in CivilizationMaidentripMake It CountMake It Fast, Cook It SlowMaking Babies the Hard WayMaking Dying IllegalMaking SpaceMaking the Big LeapMaking Your Mind MatterMale Female EmailMalefemaleMan As The PrayerManaged Care ContractingMandated Reporting of Suspected Child AbuseManic Depression and CreativityManlinessManning UpMapping the MindMarriage ConfidentialMary Pope Osborne's Tales from the OdysseyMaster PassionsMasters of the MindMathematical DoodlingsMatters of SubstanceMean GenesMedia ArgumentationMedia in the Digital AgeMediating MadnessMedical AnthropologyMedicine and Health Care in Early ChristianityMedicine and Philosophy in Classical AntiquityMedieval Writings on Female SpiritualityMemoires 1995Memory, Brain, and BeliefMental Health and Social SpaceMental Health MattersMental Illness in Popular MediaMerchants of DoubtMild Cognitive Impairment and Early Alzheimer's DiseaseMiles to Go for FreedomMillennium GirlsMind in Everyday Life and Cognitive ScienceMind WarsMind, Matter and Quantum MechanicsMindstormsMisconceptionsMissing PiecesMistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)Mollie Katzen's RecipesMom's OK, She Just ForgetsMonsters, Demons and PsychopathsMoody BitchesMoral PanicsMorals Not KnowledgeMore Than MedicineMortificationMothers Who Kill Their ChildrenMusicophiliaMy Bloody Valentine's LovelessMy Life Among the Serial KillersMy Misspent YouthMy Stroke of InsightNakedNaked CityNarratives in PsychiatryNations Have the Right to KillNatureNear Death ExperienceNeurons and NetworksNeuroscience in Science Fiction FilmsNever Home AloneNever Out of SeasonNew Versions of VictimsNew YorkNew York September 11Not a Crime to Be PoorNot by DesignNot Your Mother's LifeNothing to HideNurembergNymphomaniaOath BetrayedObesityObjects of Our DesireObliquityOdd CouplesOf Spirits & MadnessOf Two MindsOld AgeOn BlindnessOn Fact and FraudOn the BrinkOn the Origin of StoriesOn TrailsOne Nation Under TherapyOpening to Love 365 Days a YearOptimizing Teaching and LearningOtherhoodOur Symphony with AnimalsOut of the DustOutliersOutsider ArtOver My HeadOxford Guide to the MindPainParanoia of Everyday LifeParents Do Make a DifferenceParty GirlPassingPassionate VegetarianPathways through PainPeople Like OurselvesPerceptual NeurosciencePersons and ThingsPestos, Tapenades, and SpreadsPhilosophy of MindPhotography and LiteraturePilates for MenPink ThinkPlanning for UncertaintyPoets on ProzacPostcards from the Brain MuseumPosthumanismPotatoes Not ProzacPower HerbsPower Yoga for HappinessPoxPractical ClassicsPractical Plans for Difficult Conversations in MedicinePracticing Feminist Ethics in PsychologyPrader-Willi SyndromePredictably IrrationalPretty in PunkPretty Is What ChangesPreventing Misbehavior in ChildrenPrime Ministers of CanadaPrint Literacy DevelopmentPrison MadnessPrivate Life in New Kingdom EgyptProblems in MindProtecting the GiftProust and the SquidPrudePsyche on the SkinPsychiatryPsychiatry in the New MilleniumPsychiatrylandPsychologyPsychology and the MediaPsychology for ScreenwritersPsychotherapy and ConfidentialityPublic Health LawPunishment in Popular CulturePure Yoga Pilates with Kerry BestwickQuantum ArchetypesQuantum LeapsR.I.P.Race in Contemporary MedicineRacial ParanoiaRaising a Self-StarterRaising AmericaReady for AnythingReady or NotReady or Not, Here Life ComesReal SexReckoning With HomelessnessReclaiming Our ChildrenReclaiming Soul in Health CareRed Lotus YogaRed Meat RepublicReligion ExplainedRemaking a WorldRepublic.com 2.0Rethinking CommodificationRethinking Middle YearsReviving OpheliaReviving the LeftRewarding Specialties for Mental Health CliniciansRick SingsRights, Risk and Restraint-Free Care of Older PeopleSabbathSame DifferenceSamuel BeckettSatisfactionSavedScared SickScienceScience and NonbeliefScience in the MarketplaceScience TalkScience WarsScience, Consciousness and Ultimate RealitySecond OpinionsSeeds of HopeSelected Ambient Works Volume IISelf Hypnosis for Cosmic ConsciousnessSelf-Help NationSelf-Help, Inc.Selling the Fountain of YouthSells like Teen SpiritSerious ShoppingSeven Challenges To Change Your Life DVDSex, Mom, and GodSex, Time and PowerSexing the BodySexual Orientation and School PolicySexy FeminismShadow, Self, SpiritShop Class as SoulcraftShrink RapSick to Death and Not Going to Take It AnymoreSimulation and Its DiscontentsSinfully VeganSister CitizenSleeping With Extra-TerrestrialsSlut!Snake Oil ScienceSnoopSo Brilliantly CleverSocial RepresentationsSolar Flow Yoga DVDSold on LanguageSome Kind of GeniusSometimes Madness Is WisdomSorting Things OutSoul Made FleshSounds from the Bell JarSoupsSpace, Place and Mental HealthSpeaking Our MindsSpiritual CrisisSpontaneous HealingStates of MindStatus AnxietyStiffedStill HereStill LivesStrange BehaviorStrategies of Commitment and Other EssaysStrength, Grace, HealingStroke DiariesStumbling on HappinessSun SalutationsSuper Natural CookingSuperhumanSuperstitionSupersurvivorsSurgery JunkiesSwordfishtrombonesSylvia Plath ReadsTalk to HerTalking About RaceTalking Back to PsychiatryTalking Heads' Fear of MusicTalking ScienceTeach Yourself MeditationTeaching OnlineTeaching SexTech GenerationTeen LoveTeenageTextbook of Cultural PsychiatryThanks!The 101 Best Graphic NovelsThe Age of American UnreasonThe Alice Behind WonderlandThe American HotelThe American ParadoxThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Clinical PsychiatryThe Americanization of Social ScienceThe Anatomy of HopeThe Anatomy of MelancholyThe Angelica Home KitchenThe Antibiotic EraThe Ape and the Sushi MasterThe Architecture of MadnessThe Arctic IncidentThe Art of ChoosingThe Art of Exceptional LivingThe Audience EffectThe Bard on the BrainThe Barmaid's BrainThe Beginner's Guide to Healthy EatingThe Better to Eat You WithThe Biotech CenturyThe Birth of PleasureThe Birth of the PillThe Black DeathThe Blackwell Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge ManagementThe Book of the PenisThe Brain That Changes ItselfThe Breathing FieldThe Bridge to HumanityThe Brooklyn Nobody KnowsThe Bully SocietyThe Cafe Brenda CookbookThe Call of the WeirdThe Cambridge Illustrated History of MedicineThe Case against EducationThe Case Against SugarThe Childless RevolutionThe Clitoral TruthThe Collected SchizophreniasThe Complete Guide to Herbal MedicinesThe Complete Vegetarian HandbookThe Consolations of PhilosophyThe Contemplative HeartThe Couch and the TreeThe Course of Gay and Lesbian LivesThe Creation of the Modern WorldThe Cult of PharmacologyThe Cultural Origins of Human CognitionThe Culture of FearThe Culture of PunishmentThe Da Vinci DogThe Dark Night of the SoulThe Deadly TruthThe Decency WarsThe Digital MindThe Disobedience Of The Daughter Of The SunThe Diversity DelusionThe Drum That Beats Within UsThe Dynamic NeuronThe Easy Yoga WorkbookThe Emotional BrainThe Emotional Journey of the Alzheimer's FamilyThe Employee Assistance Treatment PlannerThe End of MaterialismThe End of WarThe English and their HistoryThe Enigma of HealthThe Era of ChoiceThe Eternity CubeThe EvangelicalsThe Event of LiteratureThe Evolving WorldThe f WordThe Fabulous ImaginationThe Faces of TerrorismThe Farm Colonies: Caring for New York City's Mentally Ill In Long Island's State HospitalsThe Fat Studies ReaderThe Fate of Early MemoriesThe Female ThingThe Fight Against DoubtThe Final LeapThe Firmament of TimeThe Five Things We Cannot Change ...The ForgettingThe Game of TruthThe Get Healthy, Go Vegan CookbookThe Gift of FearThe Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological InvestigationsThe Good Enough ChildThe Great BetrayalThe Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on WomenThe Guide for White Women Who Teach Black BoysThe HandThe Handbook of Disability StudiesThe Happiness HypothesisThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Health Psychology HandbookThe Healthy KitchenThe Heart of YogaThe Hedgehog's DilemmaThe Hero's JourneyThe History of Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of HistoryThe History of White PeopleThe Homework MythThe Hungry SoulThe Identity CodeThe Immortalization Commission:The Importance of Being LazyThe Indian VegetarianThe Insider's Guide to Mental Health Resources OnlineThe Insider's Guide to Mental Health Resources OnlineThe Insider's Guide to Mental Health Resources OnlineThe Insider's Guide to Mental Health Resources OnlineThe Intelligibility of NatureThe Interdisciplinary Science of ConsumptionThe Intuitive WriterThe Invisible PlagueThe Irreducible Needs of ChildrenThe Irritable Male SyndromeThe Jewel Tree of TibetThe Joy of MeditatingThe Language ImperativeThe Language Of YogaThe Language PoliceThe Language WarsThe Last PhysicianThe Last Self-Help Book You'll Ever NeedThe Law Is a White DogThe Lie DetectorsThe Little Book of Healthy TeasThe Little Book of HeartbreakThe Little Soy BookThe Little Yoga BookThe Lives and Loves of Daisy and Violet HiltonThe Lives of AnimalsThe Lolita EffectThe Lonely PatientThe Loss of Self: A Family Resource for the Care of Alzheimer's Disease and Related DisordersThe Lucifer EffectThe Lucifer PrincipleThe Madness of Adam and EveThe Madwoman in the AtticThe Magic of RealityThe Making of Dr. PhilThe Manual of EpictetusThe Marketplace of IdeasThe Mature MindThe Measure of Our DaysThe Meat Lover's Meatless CookbookThe Medical AdvisorThe Medicalization of SocietyThe Metaphysical ClubThe Mind's PastThe Misunderstood GeneThe MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive SciencesThe Monster WithinThe Mood CureThe Moral Intelligence of ChildrenThe Mystery of Mary RogersThe Myth of Freedom and the Way of MeditationThe Nature FixThe New BrainThe New Cancer SurvivorsThe NineThe Nordic Theory of EverythingThe Norm ChroniclesThe Normal OneThe Obesity EpidemicThe Omnivorous MindThe Orchid ThiefThe Origin and Evolution of CulturesThe Origin of AnxietiesThe Oxford Book of Modern Science WritingThe Oxford Illustrated History of the WorldThe Pain AntidoteThe Paradox of ChoiceThe Paradox of SleepThe Paranoia SwitchThe Passion PlanThe Pastoral Counseling Treatment PlannerThe PatchThe Patient as Agent of Health and Health CareThe PDR Family Guide to Natural Medicines & Healing TherapiesThe Physics of ConsciousnessThe PlaceboThe Placebo Effect and HealthThe Playful BrainThe Pocket Life CoachThe Portfolio and the DiagramThe Power of FocusThe Power of Full EngagementThe Praeger Handbook of Learning and the BrainThe Private Life of the BrainThe Professor and the MadmanThe Psychoanalytic MysticThe Psychology of Religion and CopingThe Psychology Of The InternetThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Quantum UniverseThe Quarter-Acre FarmThe Race for ConsciousnessThe Real Rules for GirlsThe Red DevilThe Republican BrainThe Richer SexThe Rise and Fall of Classical GreeceThe Rise of Mental Health NursingThe Roman Search for WisdomThe Root of All EvilThe Routledge Companion to Landscape StudiesThe Same Stuff as StarsThe Savage CityThe Science of Good and EvilThe Science of Optimism and HopeThe Scientific AttitudeThe Scientist In The CribThe Seat of the SoulThe Second SelfThe Secret History of DreamingThe Secret Lives of GirlsThe Secret World of Doing NothingThe Seven Sins of MemoryThe ShakeressThe ShallowsThe Social Psychology of StigmaThe Sociology of PhilosophiesThe Sociopath Next DoorThe Soul Knows No BarsThe Spa DeckThe Spiritual Anatomy of EmotionThe Split MindThe Star ThrowerThe Story Is TrueThe Storytelling AnimalThe Strange Case of Hellish NellThe Symmetry of GodThe Talking CureThe Thing You Think You Cannot DoThe Thorn NecklaceThe Three CulturesThe Three Failures of CreationismThe Toxic ConsumerThe Triumph of NarrativeThe True PathThe Truth About AnimalsThe Truth About Chronic PainThe UndertakingThe Volitional BrainThe Wages of SinThe War Against BoysThe Way of StretchingThe Way We Eat NowThe Weblog HandbookThe Weight of the NationThe Why CaféThe Wild Ass’s SkinThe Will to Live and Other MysteriesThe Wisdom of FrugalityThe Wisdom of PsychopathsThe Wisdom of Your DreamsThe Words We Live ByThe World of CaffeineThe Worldwide Practice of TortureThe Worst-Case Scenario Survival HandbookThe Wow ClimaxTheaters of MadnessTheatre and AnimalsTheories of Scientific MethodTherapeutic LandscapesTheraScribe 4.0Think CatThink SmartThinking for a ChangeThinking With AnimalsThrough Deaf EyesToo Big to FailTooning InTop ChefTortured SubjectsTotal AstangaTotal PilatesTotally WiredTowards a Science of Consciousness IIITrain Your Brain to Get RichTransforming MadnessTraumatic PastsTreating People WellTreatment and Rehabilitation of Severe Mental IllnessTreatment Kind and FairTribal ScienceTrick or TreatmentTrusting DoctorsTry to RememberTutoring as a Successful BusinessTwelve Examples of IllusionTwinsUnder the Medical GazeUnderstanding and Treating Violent Psychiatric PatientsUnderstanding Child MolestersUnderstanding FitnessUnforgettableUnholy MadnessUnscientific AmericaUnspeakable Acts, Ordinary PeopleUnto OthersUp From DragonsUrban Tourism and Urban ChangeUseful BodiesValues in ConflictVarieties of Anomalous ExperienceVegan ExpressVegan Recipes from the Middle EastVegetarian Turkish CookingVegetarianoVertigo VisionsVictorian Popularizers of ScienceViniyoga Therapy for the Low Back, Sacrum and HipsViolence Against WomenVoices Of Alzheimer'sVoices of CaregivingVoices of MadnessVoluntary SimplicityWaking Up to What You DoWalkingWalking a Literary LabyrinthWall: A World DividedWarWays of HearingWays of KnowingWays of KnowingWe Shall Be No MoreWe Shall Not Be MovedWe've Got BlogWellbeingWhat Emotions Really AreWhat I Learned in Medical SchoolWhat in the World Are Your Kids Doing Online?What Makes Us Think?What Nietzsche Really SaidWhat Our Children Teach UsWhat Science Offers the HumanitiesWhat Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and LiteracyWhat's Holding You Back? What's So Wrong with Being Absolutely RightWhen a Family Member Has DementiaWhen Experiments TravelWhen Good Thinking Goes BadWhen History Is a NightmareWhen Johnny and Jane Come Marching HomeWhen Mothers KillWhen Sex Goes to SchoolWhen Someone You Know Is Living in a Dementia Care CommunityWhen Things Fall ApartWhere Biology Meets PsychologyWhere Good Ideas Come FromWhere is the Mango Princess?Wherever You Go, There You AreWhile They SleptWhispers from the EastWhite Privilege UnmaskedWhite RageWho Rules in ScienceWhy Are We Attracted to Sad Music?Why Does E=mc2?Why Don't Students Like SchoolWhy God Won't Go AwayWhy Have Kids?Will They Ever Trust Us Again?WisdomWise Mind, Open MindWitch Beliefs and Witch Trials in the Middle AgesWitchcrazeWith Their EyesWithin ReasonWomanWomen and Mental IllnessWorking With Emotional IntelligenceWriting in FlowYogaYoga & Pilates Workouts for DummiesYoga Beauty BodyYoga for EveryoneYoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do ItYoga for Regular GuysYoga for Regular Guys DVDYoga In BedYoga on DemandYoga SanctuaryYoga SculptYoga ShaktiYoga To Go's Yoga Quick Fixes DVDYogalosophyYou Are Not Your IllnessYou'd Be So Pretty If . . .Your Miracle BrainZaitounZen Encounters with LonelinessZen-Brain Reflections
This is a self-help book. Normally, philosophers (like the reviewer) do not have a professional interest in self-help books, lest they be written by Epictetus or Marcus Aurelius. But identity is a full-blown philosophical topic, and thus this book attracts philosophical interest and, at the same time, invites philosophical criticism.
Larry Ackerman, the author of "The Identity Code", makes his living as an "identity consultant" (30). His business is, in his own words, to "help organizations, and the men and women who lead these organizations, come to term with who they are" in order to "bring them face-to-face with their uniqueness, and the potential it implies" (30--1). His identity counselling is something like an Anti-Sartre cure against an overdose of existentialism. The freedom of choice between seemingly endless possibilities, Ackerman tells us, causes stress, guilt, depression and despair: "Unbridled freedom weighs you down." (9) Thus Ackerman concludes: "The myth of personal freedom [...] is the unspoken agony of the modern person." (9) But help is at hand, because "life has order" and this order is encoded in our „identity code", in analogy to the biological genetic code (9). It is this "identity code" that secures order, which "helps us to navigate uncertainty" (175) and without which "it is impossible to find meaning in life" (77). The bulk of the book is dedicated to techniques and exercises to decipher this code. But although the identity code is already mentioned in the book's title, the analogy to the genetic code is nowhere in the book thoroughly discussed.
Ackerman makes quite a lot of promises about the success of his counselling-technique: If you follow his traces, you will "create value in this world -- and get rewarded for it in return" (3); you will even "marry smarter" (10) and "understand the why of your own life" (11; more promises: 13, 17). Ackerman does not hesitate to describe identity by means of superlatives, as well in semiotic as in causal dimensions. For him, an identity is not only "the most perfectly integrated expression of a human being there is" (14), but also "an inherently positive force", indeed „the most powerful human force on earth" (17).
The basic claim underlying his identity business is: Agents can improve on their performance if and when they act in concordance with their identity. With respect to this claim, Ackerman sees a perfect analogy between individuals and collectives, like huge companies: "the needs of organizations are no different from the needs of people" (32). This analogy, however, gets no corroboration within the book. This gives the impression that the present book is the attempt to transfer to individuals an approach that has before been successfully applied on the co-operate level only. Such a transfer is tempting, but it would be decent to have it broadly tested in practise before inviting the general public to apply it to their lifes.
Despite this lack of evidence, Ackerman is quite bold in his claims: the "Laws of Identity", or so he claims, "have proven to be as universally absolute, inescapable, and predictive in their effect on life as the laws of physics" (15). The eight "laws" in question include darkish formulations like "An individual's ability to live depends first upon defining one's self as separate from all others" ("Law of Being", 15) or slogans like "Identity foreshadows potential" ("Law of Possibility", 16). The laws of physics can be falsified, and since Popper many philosophers take this feature to be the mark between science and pseudo-science. I wonder in which situation Ackerman would possibly regard his laws of identity to be empirically falsified.
In some respects, philosophers are on well known ground in reading this book. Not only is there the odd reference to Socrates and the famous "Know thyself!". A lot of Ackerman's ideas about identity and how it is related to living a good life resembles very closely Stoic theories about the importance of nature for the good life, though the Stoics never get cited. "You are happy", Ackerman tells us, "being who you are among others in the world" (9). Thus, Ackerman's main advice for the pursuit of happiness is: Live in concordance to identity. Substitute "identity" with "nature", and you get Zeno's and Chrysippus' famous doctrine. Ackerman himself sometimes uses the phrase "natural laws" when he talks about his "laws of identity" (e.g., 11, 13), and even the examples he uses to illustrate these laws -- desire to live and care for offspring (11) -- could have been taken from Cicero or some other source for Stoic doctrine.
In other respects, the book is quite foreign territory for a philosopher. Like other self-help books, it is full of anecdotal evidence, little stories that are thought to illuminate the author's ideas. Strangely enough, Ackerman does not relate the success stories of his former co-operate clients in search of their identity. Instead he tells stories about friends and parents (some of whom are already deceased and can no longer confirm or deny the truth of the reports) and about himself. At least in part Ackerman tells his reader so much about himself (30-41!), he says, because he wants to give the reader his "credentials" (30), because he wants to explain how it comes that he knows so much about identities. However, it is not so much the author who needs credentials, but his claims. Credentials for claims are called arguments, they are tested by the means of logic, which requires a certain degree of precision. In this book there is a remarkable lack of all of this. Instead, there are religious elements: Ackerman relates to the reader how the laws of identity have been revealed to him in his summer vacation in 1996, and which course of life steered him to these insights. And the whole book even culminates in an "Identity Credo" (180) -- despite the fact that a creed is not a standard element in psychological literature, let alone contemporary philosophy.
At times, the whole talk about identity seems to be an eliminable rhetorical device. Ackerman could as well talk about the single elements of an Ackermanian identity, i.e. a person's capabilities, values, convictions, gifts, and goals. Of course, in our days "identity" is a catch phrase of high popularity. Many authors use it to express people's affiliations and allegiances to groups, and also Ackerman mentions wars related to such identities (18) and he cites Huntington's book on American national identity (28). But in the end, this is not what Ackerman thinks about identity. To the contrary, according to him, group affiliations can even hide and hinder a person's own identity. For Ackerman, a person has a certain identity not because of the groups she belongs to and interacts with -- whose "history and blood" (47) she shares -- but rather in spite of her belonging to these groups.
An Ackermanian identity is nothing we are socialised in, it is born with us: "We are all born with values and convictions we cherish, with identities that are the essence of our being" (146). This again raises doubts: Are there really inborn convictions, inborn values? Does the possession of convictions not require the possession of language skills, which are to be acquired through interaction with those who do already follow the social rules of the language to be learnt? And does the possession of values not require experience of actions, the ability for empathy and other skills? Again, these skills are not possessed by a newborn but have to be acquired by interaction with other persons. Furthermore, one could argue, a newborn does not even have the neural capacities for having convictions, mastering a language or possessing values. These are severe problems for Ackerman's claims about both the innateness and the social disconnectedness of identities, which threaten the coherence of Ackerman's concept of identity.
The problems continue if we consider the "Identity Credo" or Ackerman's laws of identity. The creed's first tenet is: "I am unique." This matches to the "Law of Individuality": "A person's natural capacities invariably fuse into a discernible identity that makes that person unique." (15) But does an Ackermanian identity necessarily make a person unique? In the end, all elements of such an identity (capabilities, values, convictions, gifts, and goals) can be shared by many people, and so can bundles of them. Often, Ackerman uses the word "special" instead of "unique", which is less committing: An identity makes someone belong to a certain kind of persons -- making him literally special in the sense that he belongs to this species of people and not to another. Indeed, there is a constant tension in Ackerman's book between identity as part of a universal human nature (13) and identity as a part of individuals, related to "our uniqueness and potential as individuals" (14). Ackerman tries to market his identities as something like personal unique-selling-points, but there is no contradiction involved in thinking about lots of human individuals participating in exactly the same capacities.
The creed's second tenet is: "I am immutable, even as I grow and evolve." As it stands, this is a flat contradiction: If something is immutable, it can neither grow nor evolve. Ackerman even gives identities a status similar to Platonic ideas: "Identity is fixed, transcending time and place, while its manifestations are constantly changing." ("Law of Constancy", 15) But this is scarcely tenable. As I argued, all the elements of an identity (capabilities, values, convictions, gifts, and goals) need to develop, thus all of them have a history and a development and are far from being immutable.
Ackerman claims universal applicability for his approach: "there is no person walking this planet who doesn't have the capacity to live through his or her identity" (183). But there seem to be plenty of people on this planet who are not in all in want of the cure Ackerman offers to his readers. There are plenty of non-western societies, regulated by traditions and fixed rites, which would consider the quest for a person's individual identity to be sheer nonsense. And even western poors are likely to laugh in the face of someone who encourages them to search for their identity. Maybe this whole quest is a luxury problem of a more or less well-off middle class. Maybe those who struggle to survive on an underpaid low-prestige job have enough "order" in their life by working hard to bring through their families.
If this book is helpful (and in the end, this is what a self-help book is meant to be), it is not because it unfolds a brilliant theory. To the contrary, there is nearly no theoretical content, and the traces of theory to be found in the book are not well corroborated and highly incoherent.
© 2007 Ludger Jansen
Dr. Ludger Jansen teaches philosophy at the University of Rostock, Germany.