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Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  817 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
In Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy a 23–year–old person attempts to explain to himself the possible origins, ends, and cures of anger, worry, despair, obsession, and confusion, while concurrently experiencing those things in various contexts including a romantic relationship, a book of poetry, and the arbitrary nature of the universe.
Paperback, 102 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Melville House
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,086)
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Megan Boyle
May 16, 2011 Megan Boyle rated it it was amazing
I bought this book at a Barnes & Noble in 2007, a few days after reading "Bed" and looking at Tao Lin's blog. My dad and I sat in the parking lot looking at/reading what we bought. The book is pink and feels `sleek' and I had a weird feeling that it might contain sexual things I would want to `guard' from my dad's vision, while also knowing that it probably wouldn't contain sexual things. I have referenced the first poem, "i will learn how to love a person and then i will teach you and then ...more
Jan 08, 2008 Jacob marked it as to-read
According to Tao Lin's blog Matthew Rohrer has written a blurb for this.
Tao Lin has resisted efforts to have West Coast Matt Rohrer write a blurb for his book.
It could be historic. It could be epic. It could change things, like really change things.
Instead, this book will only have a blurb from one Matt Rohrer.
Did you even know that there are two Matt Rohrers? And that both Matt Rohrers are poets? Is that weird? I think it's kind of weird.
David Schaafsma
I'm not yet convinced by Lin's work, or his group of writers, either, so far. Michelle Tea, Jenny Zhang. Eh. How to understand him? People sometimes say Lydia Davis? But I love Lydia Davis, son, and you're no Lydia Davis. And some people reference Raymond Carver?! Not remotely close, seems to me. Richard Yates? Lin has a book by that title. "Tao Lin is a Kafka for the iPhone generation." Really? Kafka? But iPhone generation, yep!

So what is this sort of blog poetry stream about? The iidentificat
May 21, 2008 K rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I really liked this book and I thought it was even better than his first poetry book, which was also good. I like books that make me feel more lonely than I already am, but in some smart way. I read a lot of these poems more than once and I just think Tao Lin is really intellegent but doesn't smear it all over his poetry. Down-to-earth-hamster-book.
Melville House Publishing
Aug 04, 2008 Melville House Publishing rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
"I hope this new publisher uses my blurb this time. I was a little sad that the other one didn't use it. And it was really funny. At least I thought it was. They could have sold tens of copies if they'd put my blurb on that book. How else do people know that the book is any good? No one can actually concentrate in a book store Because their feet hurt. So that is where I come in: I say that these poems are serious and funny and more than they appear. I am a big fan of Tao Lin's writing and this b ...more
Kara Brightmeyer
Aug 13, 2011 Kara Brightmeyer rated it it was amazing
yesterday morning/afternoon i re-read "cognitive-behavioral therapy" in my backyard and forgot about the sun and now i am really red all over, but that's okay, because as the sun burned me it felt really hot and good and the book caused me to have thoughts about the sun being a star and the speed of light and the passing of time and my body in space and the origin of the universe and stuff like that.

reading it this time made me notice new things, or maybe they were things i had read but forgott
Jun 15, 2008 Anselm rated it really liked it
You would think it would be easier to be a pure consumer of toxins and make it work, in the Tim Gunn sense.....or be a pure swo-sound: swoah! as in sword, and have a seltzer-like freedom within plastic outside of the bogus traps (as opposed to real traps) represented by such things as my-throwback-art-project-lets-me-type-up-you-and-be-paid-to-be-me. Anyway, I'm sorry only that I'm not irresponsible enough to piss the virtues of this book. It's four stars are nowhere near one another. And that h ...more
Nick Ziegler
Apr 08, 2015 Nick Ziegler rated it it was amazing
Tao Lin is someone I wouldn’t want to be who writes books I wouldn’t want to write, and I find his work compelling. Having previously read only two of his prose works (Shoplifting… and Taipei) and browsed his YouTube oeuvre, he stood as something of a negative example, an embodiment of the pitfalls writers in what I’m tempted to call our generation (but really a certain subset of people; few of us are Brooklynite scions of LASIK-stature fortunes) might be snared by. Self-deprecatingly narcissist ...more
Feb 12, 2011 Vicky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, favorites
I really liked reading this. It is perfect if you are a semi-recent college graduate, 23 years old, feeling severely disillusioned and direction-less and alone. Two years ago I would have been too ambitious to like these poems, I think.
Chris Schaeffer
Jan 04, 2011 Chris Schaeffer rated it really liked it
I finished this in a park and then got kind of mugged. Overall it was still a pretty good day, because Tao Lin is a pretty good poet.
Jul 18, 2015 Valerie rated it it was amazing
I didn't want to like Tao Lin's Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Poetry, but he won me over. At first the poems seemed too casual or random, but I kept laughing at certain lines and didn't want to stop reading. He has a habit of using quotes around phrases in his poems like 'intense eyebrows' or 'you will never do enough for the people you love.' I didn't see why they were in quotes, but later, I thought some of the things he would put quotes around made funny lines even funnier. Half the poems did ...more
Oct 03, 2012 Janice rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Poetry/prose. Typically depressive, organic vegan hipster shoplifter, self-righteous, utilizing cute animals as surrogates. I particularly like the “ugly fish” poems. Here are thoughts I had about how Lin’s poetry succeeds:

-Uses cute animals or celebrities as surrogates for himself to avoid “I”
-jumps out of the narrative to reference himself as the author -- stage -aside or The Office documentary effect
-Repeats the same few elements throughout poems, with sense of culmination or crescendo in la
Aug 02, 2014 Maria rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I can't stand poetry bc I don't get it. I just don't get it. I didn't get this poetry either. But I have to admit that the subject matter - an angsty hamster, an ugly and depressed fish, animals (people?)headbutting each other as a sign of friendship - makes this poetry easier to swallow. This poetry is absurd yet ansgty and existentialist. It's approachable yet pretentious. Lin has been called this generation's Kafka. I haven't read much Kafka so idk if that statement it completely true.
Jul 12, 2009 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
In painting, there's an old argument that painting is dead, and the fact that it's an old argument probably means its a pointless one. You'd think it'd be much easier arguing that poetry is dead, but Tao Lin makes that argument pointless too.
His poetry passes by slacker-era irony and self-indulgent formalism to dig up something deeper and more human, even when that soemthing seems on first reading to merely be depressed hamsters.
Marie Ant
Oct 27, 2009 Marie Ant rated it it was amazing
I like to look at this book. It has a nice cover and nice pages. I like all the poems in it. My favorite poem is "Ugly Fish." Although my all time favorite poem by Tao Lin is "The MFA in Hamsters," which you can find if you google it. I have an MFA in Hamsters from Naropa. Everyone there would like Tao Lin, I think.
Christine Ditzel
Sep 30, 2013 Christine Ditzel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-read
I picked up a copy of this book at the Brooklyn Book Festival after hearing my friend Hannah talking about Tao Lin’s work both to me and a few people at the Melville House booth. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect; I’ve never been much of a poetry fan, although there are a few exceptions. Tao Lin’s Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is now one of them.

I have read this book, Lin’s second published collection of poetry (I have yet to read the first), twice now. The first time I read it through, I took m
Nov 11, 2009 Joe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, 2009
You might find his vocabulary jarringly limited and his subject matter self-obsessed, but it's all for a purpose. Most of the things Tao Lin rights are just so unavoidably true. And it's not the big universal truths. It's the little ones held tight by your everyday thoughts, that you might not see as you discard them by the bushel. Tao Lin lets you know it's ok to be overwhelmed by the beauty of Taco Bell or the pathos of an imaginary hamster. Why not value a can of redbull the same way you migh ...more
Oct 05, 2012 Christine rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
An intriguing contemporary poet, Tao Lin maintains a delicate balance between the seriously unique concreteness and the relatable abstract feelings resonating from his displays of loneliness, boredom, and confusion within his work. His sense of subtle humor shines throughout this personal collection, noticeable mostly through his specific object choices. In this way, Lin has taught me the importance of choosing details carefully as a writerones that are unique in a way that catches attention, sp ...more
Jackson Nieuwland
Aug 08, 2011 Jackson Nieuwland rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I like that this book has a pink cover. I enjoyed the animals and how they wallowed in depression despite an awareness of the processes of CBT. I liked the sense of logic. I liked how the book was broken into sections sometimes in the middle of a poem. I didn't enjoy when Tao broke the fourth wall. He didn't do it in a very interesting way. There were some particularly strong/resonant lines near the end of the book
Dec 31, 2011 David rated it really liked it
I think it is actually easier to understand Lin's poetry than his prose. Still, I'm a bigger fan of his prose. Either way, Lin writes in a way that is truly his own and it is interesting to try to puzzle along. I'm pretty fond of this book as I am all his other books that I've read.
Brian Foley
Apr 22, 2008 Brian Foley rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
I got this in the mail yesterday. Tao's poetry worked a little more for me than his fiction. I'm not a big fan of his style, yet I read the whole thing in an afternoon, so that must mean something effective is happening.
Dec 14, 2010 Zoomusicguy rated it it was amazing
Always brilliant, Tao Lin is the superstar of underachieving vegan shoplifters whose lives are in a constant state of existential crisis. This is the poetry for the new millennium of apathetic youth.
Jun 06, 2008 Jen rated it really liked it
this book is maybe not as tight or awesome as e.e.e. or bed (which is still my fav) but it is very original and hilarious. the best parts in the book are on pages 14, 44-45, and 68-75.
Dec 18, 2008 John rated it really liked it
I reviewed this for Coldfront, so if you'd like to see it follow this link: Click Right Here!
Feb 19, 2011 Rowena rated it really liked it
good. i liked the poems in part 1 the most.

"tonight my heart feels shiny and calm as a soft wet star
i describe it from a distance, then move quickly away"
Jan 05, 2011 Jehan rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
It makes you stop and read because it's like watching a car, going at normal speed, crash. Or because it's as uncomfortable/comfortable as a moment of awkward silence.
Kaeleigh Forsyth
May 06, 2013 Kaeleigh Forsyth rated it it was amazing
Sat and read this in a bookstore today as a healthy alternative to wandering the countryside in search of garrison and his van. I autographed it too!!!
Feb 28, 2015 Marcus rated it it was amazing
Took me a while to warm up to Tao Lin. But now I am a fan. Especially since watching Miranda July's Films. I need to get some more. Hamsters are significant!
Jun 21, 2010 Don rated it really liked it
This is great! The poem about a depressed vegan hamster clutching a sesame bagel and listening to music by depressed vegans was incredible.
Daniel Bryan
Jun 10, 2012 Daniel Bryan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"I want to lecture you on how I am better than you without crushing your hopes and dreams"
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“that was bad; i shouldn't have done that

to prevent you from entering a catatonic state
i am going to maintain a calm facial expression
with crinkly eyes and an overall friendly demeanor
i believe in a human being that is not upset
i believe if you are working i should not be insane
or upset--why am i ever insane or upset and not working?
i vacuumed the entire house this morning
i cleaned the kitchen and the computer room
and i made you a meat helmet with computer paper
the opportunity for change exists in each moment, all moments are alone
and separate from other moments, and there are a limited number of moments
and the idea of change is a delusion of positive or negative thinking
your hands are covering your face
and your body moves like a statue
when i try to manipulate an appendage
if i could just get you to cry tears of joy one more time”
“note the similarities with buddhism
a buddhist who has achieved nirvana is not sad
primarily because it does not know the concept
of sad [...]”
More quotes…