email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
"Intimate" Violence against Women3 NBS of Julian DrewA Little PregnantA Natural History of RapeA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA Stir of BonesAbout a BoyAdult Children of Emotionally Immature ParentsAgainst MarriageAgainst MarriageAlmost a PsychopathAlone TogetherAnatomy of LoveAngelsAnother CountryAnxious ParentsApples and OrangesBe Honest--You're Not That Into Him EitherBeing the Other OneBetrayed as BoysBeyond AddictionBipolar DisorderBoys Will Put You on a Pedestal (So They Can Look Up Your Skirt)Breaking ApartBrief Adolescent Therapy Homework PlannerBringing Up ParentsBut I Love HimCaring for a Child with AutismCaring in Remembered WaysCherishmentChildren of the Aging Self-AbsorbedChildren of the Self-AbsorbedChildren, Families, and Health Care Decision MakingClawsCloserCold HitCoping With Difficult PeopleCouple SkillsCruddyDancing in My NuddypantsDivorce PoisonDoing ItDone With The CryingEcstasyEmotional ClaustrophobiaEmotional Fitness for IntimacyEmotional Intelligence at WorkEntwined LivesErotic PassionsEssentials of Premarital CounselingEvery Pot Has a CoverFacts About ADHD ChildrenFamilies Like MineFamilyFamily BoundFamily FirstFear of IntimacyFinal JeopardyFind MeFlashpointFor Lesbian ParentsForgive Your Parents, Heal YourselfGandhi's WayGeorgia Under WaterGetting over Getting MadGetting the Love You WantGetting the Love You Want Audio CompanionGirl in the MirrorGirl StuffGoing Home without Going CrazyHandbook of AttachmentHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHappiness Sold SeparatelyHard to GetHe's Just Not That Into YouHealing ConversationsHollow KidsHot ButtonsHot Chocolate for the Mystical LoverHow Families Still MatterHow to Create Chemistry with AnyoneHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Handle a Hard-To-Handle KidHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tI am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!I Don't Know How She Does ItI Hate You-Don't Leave MeI Only Say This Because I Love YouI'm OK, You're My ParentsIn the Mood, AgainInside the American CoupleIntrusive ParentingIt's Called a Breakup Because It's BrokenIt's Love We Don't UnderstandJakarta MissingKeeping Passion AliveKeeping Your Child in MindLet's Get This StraightLiberation's ChildrenLife's WorkLikely to DieLove JunkieLove SickLove Times ThreeLove Works Like ThisLoving Someone With Bipolar DisorderLoving Someone with Borderline Personality DisorderLust in TranslationMaking the RunMaking the RunManic DepressionMars and Venus - Starting Over.Mating in CaptivityMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MotherstylesMurder in the InnMysterious CreaturesNecessary NoiseOdd Girl OutOpenOpening to Love 365 Days a YearOphelia's MomOrgasmsOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustOvercoming Your Difficult FamilyParenting and the Child's WorldParenting on the GoParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerParents and Digital TechnologyParents Do Make a DifferencePassionate MarriagePlanet JanetPreventing Misbehavior in ChildrenProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Raising AmericaRaising ElijahRaising Kids in an Age of TerrorRaising Kids in the 21st CenturyRaising Resilient ChildrenRay's a LaughRelationship RescueRelax, It's Just SexRespect-Me RulesRomantic IntelligenceRoom For JSecrets of a Passionate MarriageSelf-NurtureSelfish, Shallow, and Self-AbsorbedSex Addiction: The Partner's PerspectiveShidduch CrisisSickenedSingleSlut!Socrates in LoveSomeone Like YouSong for EloiseSpecial SiblingsSpiritually Healing the Indigo Children (and Adult Indigos, Too!)Staying Connected to Your TeenagerStaying Sane When Your Family Comes to VisitStop Arguing with Your KidsStop SignsStop Walking on EggshellsStop Walking on EggshellsStrong, Smart, & BoldSummer of the SkunksSurviving a Borderline ParentTaking Charge of AngerTelling SecretsThank You for Being Such a PainThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe AwakeningThe Bastard on the Couch CDThe Birth of PleasureThe Brief Couples Therapy Homework Planner with DiskThe Bully Action GuideThe Burden of SympathyThe Commercialization of Intimate LifeThe CorrectionsThe Couples Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe DisappearanceThe Dream BearerThe Educated ParentThe Emotional RevolutionThe Employee Assistance Treatment PlannerThe EpidemicThe Ethics of ParenthoodThe Ethics of the FamilyThe Gay Baby BoomThe Good DivorceThe Guide for International Intercultural Couples and Families Intercultural MarriageThe Healing Journey for CouplesThe Hostile HospitalThe Husbands and Wives ClubThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Introvert AdvantageThe Little FriendThe Love HexagonThe Moral Intelligence of ChildrenThe Neuroscience of Human RelationshipsThe New I DoThe Normal OneThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Philosophical ParentThe Psychology of Parental ControlThe Real Rules for GirlsThe Reflective ParentThe Right to Be ParentsThe Secret Lives of WivesThe Spider and the BeeThe State of AffairsThe StepsThe Story of My FatherThe Velveteen FatherThe Virgin BlueThe Visitation HandbookThe Whole ChildTo Have and To Hurt:Two Is EnoughUnderstanding MarriageUnderstanding the Borderline MotherUnhitchedUntrue Up in FlamesWe've Got IssuesWhat about the KidsWhat Goes UpWhat Is Secular Humanism?What It Means to Love YouWhat Our Children Teach UsWhen a Parent is DepressedWhen Mars Women DateWhen Someone You Love Is BipolarWhen Someone You Love Is DepressedWhy Are You So Sad?Will You, Won't You?WomanWorking With Emotional IntelligenceWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!

Related Topics
Coping With Difficult PeopleReview - Coping With Difficult People Business and in Life (Abridged)
by Robert M. Bramson
Simon & Schuster Sound Ideas, 1986
Review by Michael Sakuma, Ph.D.
Nov 19th 2003 (Volume 7, Issue 47)

Some people spend thousands of dollars, and years on therapy to help deal with the vicissitudes of life. Other people spend twenty dollars or so and three hours listening to an audiotape that can tell you how to "cope with all of the difficult people" that you might encounter. The path that chosen is up to the individual based partly on their values, lifestyles and free time. There is debate as to which is the more efficient use of money.

That said, my curiosity was piqued when I picked up this audiotape (CD actually, but that is beside the point) claiming to give "all the tools necessary to put those difficult people in their place. This is just what I've been looking for…imagine, me, being able to cope with others "problematic" behavior once and for all… it sounds too good to be true. And whereas I haven't spent thousands of dollars in therapy, I have spent years and years in graduate school where they hinted, but did not explicitly tell me what I should be doing. I figured that this might be the best twenty bucks I'll ever spend.

I listened to the CDs… some more than once, and I was… lets say... disappointed. There is some good stuff here, but I certainly don't feel prepared (from these lessons) to stand up for myself put my boss or difficult coworker in their places. There are good, bad (and ugly) things about the program. Allow me to quickly outline them.

The Good: The program describes several different "difficult" styles that a person might encounter. Description and identification is often a big part of solving a problem and the program breaks people into types for identification. The names given to the types are a bit hokey (e.g. "snipers", "sherman tanks", "clams") but they provide nice mnemonic devices for easy remembering Some basics of effective communication are discussed, and certainly the advice to "schedule an appointment" to talk to the person is in line with my belief that one should never engage a difficult person in the "heat of the moment." Distance is often good so that cooler, more rational minds might prevail.

The Bad: The presentation of the problems and scripted solutions leave something to be desired, both in structure/acting and in content. The skits along with the music laced all throughout the program reminds me of the skits that I used to watch on sesame street, or in school during 5th grade. I think I would have been able to take the program more seriously if it were presented differently (maybe).

The Ugly: When all is said and done I believe that this product is marketed towards fast-food-mentalitied, corner cutting, listening-on-the-train-to-work people who want a quick and easy way to deal with possibly deep problems in communication or self-esteem. Whereas the cover of the box promises results, there are no absolutes in this field when we deal with the dynamics of human interaction and certainly no generic sure fixes to interpersonal conflicts. It is my belief that are no short-cuts to well developed social skills and without significant practice with another thinking, feeling person, most of these lessons will go unheeded and forgotten. The problem with programs like these is that they try to conceptualize a dynamic interchange between two people as a static item to be memorized It is a little like trying to learn Karate from a book. You might pick up some basics, but you will be lost when someone comes at you from a different angle than the picture shows.

I would be remiss if I didn't re-emphasize that there is good stuff here. If this review sounds like I am being a "Sherman tank" it is because I am reacting to the promises on the front of the box. It is my feeling that a few sessions with a good therapist practicing effective communication might be a better use of your time and money.


2003 Michael Sakuma

Michael Sakuma is Chair of the Psychology Department at Dowling College, Long Island, New York.


Welcome to Metapsychology. We feature over 8200 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than twenty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!

Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716