Should You Leave?: A Psychiatrist Explores Intimacy and Autonomy--and the Nature of Advice

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9780140272796: Should You Leave?: A Psychiatrist Explores Intimacy and Autonomy--and the Nature of Advice

In his phenomenal bestseller Listening to Prozac, Peter Kramer explored the makeup of the modern self. Now, in his superbly written new book, he focuses his intelligent, compassionate eye on the complexities of partnerships and why intimacy is so difficult for us. With the art of a novelist and the skill of a brilliant psychiatrist, Kramer addresses advice seekers struggling with such complex questions as: How do we choose our partners? How well do we know them? How do mood states affect our assessment of them and theirs of us? What does "working on a relationship" truly entail? When should we try to improve a relationship, and when should we leave? Equally at home with Shakespeare, Emerson, and Kierkegaard as it is with Freud and Jung, Should You Leave? is a literary tour de force from a uniquely insightful observer and a profoundly resonant and helpful approach to resolving dilemmas of the heart.

Dr. Kramer was recently asked to guest host The Infinite Mind, a weekly public radio show focusing on the art and science of the human mind and spirit, behavior, and mental health. Listen to the show now.

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Review:

Uniquely conceived and utterly refreshing, Peter Kramer (Listening to Prozac) breaks the mold of most advice books with Should You Leave? Expect no authoritative voice retreating behind labels or manufactured jargon. Instead, in a series of fictive sessions with imaginary advisees, Kramer illlustrates complex problems; each one lets him give a different style of advice--from Freud's to Ann Lander's. The central question pushes the limits of traditional "silent therapy": can a direct, simple response to any problem of the heart be valuable?

Should You Leave? moves fluidly between discussions of psychological theory and imaginative flights, revealing both a wide body of knowledge and compassion. Kramer's questions, framed with sensitivity and irreverence, challenge our cultural fixation on autonomy and assertiveness. Given these, how can intimacy thrive?

About the Author:

Peter D. Kramer, M.D., recently named host of the national, weekly public radio series, The Infinite Mind, is "possibly the best-known psychiatrist in America," as The New York Times put it. Peter Kramer received his M.D. from Harvard and is the best-selling author of Listening to Prozac, Should You Leave?, Spectacular Happiness, and Moments of Engagement. His latest book, Against Depression, will be published in May 2005.

In 2004, two programs of The Infinite Mind hosted by Kramer won top media awards: a Gracie Allen Award from the American Women in Radio and Television for an examination of "Domestic Violence" and a National Mental Health Association Media Award for “Between Two Worlds: Mental Health for Immigrants. Kramer has written for The New York Times Magazine and The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post Book Review, The Washington Post, the (London) Times Literary Supplement and U.S. News & World Report, among other publications. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island, where he is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University, and has a private practice.

Visit Dr. Peter D. Kramer on the web: http://www.peterdkramer.com 

The Infinite Mind: http://www.theinfinitemind.com/

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