Marshall's Reviews > Who's Really Running Your Life?: Free Your True Self and Guard Your Kids

Who's Really Running Your Life? by Peter K. Gerlach
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's review
Jul 13, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: non-fiction, self-help, psychology
Read from July 13 to 29, 2011 — I own a copy

This book argues everyone has a minor form of Multiple Personalities Disorder, that everyone has a bunch of little people in their heads, with very different personalities, ages, even genders and names. I figured this can be a useful metaphor, but this author believes it quite literally. He thinks it's some kind of revolutionary discovery, but he also believes it has a long legacy, as if Freud somehow lends scientific legitimacy. In some spots he says there's a ton of research to support this view, and in others admits there is virtually none. Sometimes I'm amazed how far Freudian thinkers go to extend their debunked theories, to religious proportions. This Freudian spirituality masquerading as science reminds me of Scientology.

This guy is a total nut. He's obsessed with 12-step programs, but hopes his theory will completely revolutionize them. He also abuses 12-step terminology, like "recovery" and "toxic." He's extremely judgmental and dogmatic. He's anti-atheist, calling the disbelief in a Higher Power to be "toxic." He says if you're ambivalent about his theory, it means you're "wounded." Not that, maybe, possibly, his theory might be totally loonie toons?

I've saved the worst part for last. The writing is awful. It's mind-numbingly repetitive, and has terrible grammar and many misspellings. It ignores many writing conventions. It abuses quotation marks. Its lists alternate randomly between bullet points and underscores (underscores??). I'd say this is the worst book I've ever read, but I save that honor for Consumer's Guide to HSAs.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Karen (new)

Karen Miller Thank you for this review. While I'm not sure what I think of Gerlach's views, I visited his website and was overwhelmed by a completely incomprehensible mishmash of repetitions, circular references, arbitrary highlights and mismatched organizational cues. After fifteen minutes of hunting for lesson one and finding I had to read through three paragraphs of possible alternative methods of reading IF you have an addictive personalty (see hyperlink #752), which you might disagree with (see hyperlink #753) and maybe you should start with Lesson 1 Part 3 if you feel overwhelmed by the 52 articles in Lesson 1 part 1(see hyperlink #754), I gave up. Judging from the website, this author needs an editor like shoes need laces. Sorry to hear the book sounds much the same, but thanks for the heads-up.

Vickie When you expect perfection of others that centers around your definition of what that means, you'll always be disappointed. This is a good book, with good information, and reasonable psychological guidance about aligning the fragments in one's personality. 12 step programs want you to stay in their programs and never overcome your problem, that way you continue to participate and they can benefit from your part in their program. They are a crutch, not a method of healing and moving on. It is complex, and imperfect, but all areas of psychology and counseling are, as the science is yet young the problems in the mind and brain are only recently being addressed with some actual intelligence and wisdom. To be so offended by the book, is expected, when spirituality is negated.

David Maybe you should actually try a meeting with a subself. I and a few friends have done this and have found it to be surprisingly and profoundly insightful. His website absolutely needed an editor, but by this time he was an old man, working tirelessly from his bed in a nursing home to try to make these lessons obtainable to the masses. He absolutely helped me. He was not a nut. Seriously, try it out and see what happens. It's easy.

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