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IN BRIEF

Nonfiction

April 21, 1996|CHRIS GOODRICH

HOW COULD YOU DO THAT?! The Abdication of Character, Courage and Conscience by Dr. Laura Schlessinger (HarperCollins: $22; 269 pp.). Two bucks says that the typical psychotherapist doesn't hold Dr. Laura Schlessinger, radio counselor, in high esteem. What could a therapist possibly do for someone in the course of a 10-minute, one-shot session, over the public airwaves no less? Especially if the on-air doc writes books with pop, get-me-on-the-bestseller-list titles like "Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives"? Schlessinger, who's based in Los Angeles, may indeed be as much entertainer as therapist, but judging from "How Could You Do That?!" she's also a straight shooter who refuses to cater to her audience. Indeed, therein lies much of her appeal; as she demonstrates time and again in this volume, Schlessinger likes telling people off, often berating callers--nicely, of course--for committing or condoning selfish, unprincipled acts or simply for professing confusion (which Schlessinger regards as an excuse for inaction).

* DR. LAURA SCHLESSINGER will participate in the Los Angeles Times Book Festival today at 1:30 p.m. at UCLA.

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