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SAY 'AAAH' | Media Mix

Offbeat Doc Prescribes Happiness

"PRESCRIPTIONS FOR LIVING" by Bernie S. Siegel, MD; Harper Audio; Abridged nonfiction; two cassettes. Length: three hours; $18, read by the author; available in bookstores or by calling (800) 331-3761.

November 02, 1998|ROCHELLE O'GORNAN

Bernie Siegel is not your average MD. Offbeat, humorous and extremely cheery, this man believes we should all march to the tune of our own drummer. He certainly has.

In his latest book, Siegel shares with us the lifestyle he adopted to remain content and stay healthy. It was not something to which he always adhered, but a conscientious alteration of his attitudes. He made the change after observing the behavior of his patients--those who had survived life-threatening diseases. He noticed that the attitude of the survivors was often quite different from the attitude of those who eventually succumbed. The material is filled with parables and testimonials, personal stories and much droll wit. He shares his ideas for finding peace of mind, dealing with repressed feelings and the wisdom of role models. His advice may be a bit too centered on God and religion for some tastes, but none of what he advocates is harmful.

Siegel is a comfortable speaker with good timing and a decent voice. Sometimes he speaks too quickly, which throws his delivery off a little. For the most part, however, his enthusiasm is infectious.

Harper Audio has recently published a three-volume collection of Siegel's work for $39.95. It includes "Prescriptions for Living," "Peace, Love & Healing" and "Love, Medicine & Miracles."

*

"IF YOU HAD CONTROLLING PARENTS"

by Dan Neuharth, PhD

Harper Audio

Abridged nonfiction; two cassettes. Length: three hours; $18, read by the author; available in bookstores or by calling (800) 331-3761.

*

Dan Neuharth is a family therapist whose work centers on helping the grown children of controlling parents. He has put together a step-by-step plan in which the listener can deprogram himself from the ingrained and harmful habits taught by unhealthy guardians.

Though much of the first cassette is little more than a list of the types of controlling parents and the problems they cause, stick with this. The author does offer concrete advice as the audio progresses.

First, he points out the consequences of having lived with parents who smothered, deprived or abused their children. Neuharth then relays methods to change habitual feelings of low self-esteem, distrust or even a willingness to be victimized. Testimonials and case studies are used as examples. The only real loss of material due to the abridgment are some of the case studies. All important information remains intact. What this does lack is decent editing, as his sentence structure is sometimes dubious.

As a reader, Neuharth is quite able. His pronunciation and timing are adequate, but one would never think of his narration as memorable.

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