Picks and Pans Review: Staying Ok

UPDATED 04/29/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/29/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

by Amy Bjork Harris and Thomas A. Harris

In the 16 years since I'm OK—You're OK entered the bookstores and the pop-psych cliché lists, Thomas Harris has closed his California psychiatric institute and retired. Apparently, however, he and his wife feel that while their best-selling book made everybody okay, folks may have had a few problems trying to stay that way. Hence this sequel. They remind us what their first book was all about. Everyone, for instance, is supposed to be three people: parent, adult and child. Thus in a chapter entitled "You Can Be Ok If" the reader is told, "There is no pleasing some parents or the Parent in some people's heads. Life for eternal strivers is a fruitless struggle to get something that isn't there." In "Requirements for Change," it is suggested that one take a role model. Among those the Harrises find suitable are: Anwar Sadat, Golda Meir, Gloria Steinem, Jean Stapleton, Billy Graham, Willa Cather, Lee Iacocca and Beverly Sills. This book also includes lots of examples of people who were depressed but got help and became okay. The Harrises basically do nothing more than think up glib jargon to talk about behavior that is troubling—mostly because it is so profoundly human. (Harper & Row, $15.95)

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