lou walsh, lcpc

30 n. michigan avenue

suite 1516

chicago, illinois 60602

312.514.5689 louwalsh6@aol.com


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Exorcism or Better Communication:

Which is Right for You?

Your kids are out of school, and hopefully “to exorcise or not to exorcise” is not the dilemma you find yourself facing.  If you feel a little confused, however, about how these strange beings came to live in your home and replace your perfect children, I have recommendations for summertime reading that may prove illuminating.

First, the Dr. Drew and Adam Book - A Survival Guide to Life and Love by Drew Pinsky and Adam Carolla, is not, I repeat, not, for the faint-of-heart.  This collection of transcripts from their call-in MTV talk show is a straightforward tome on life as a teenager/young adult in today’s world.  Pinsky, an internist with a gift for relating to kids, and comedian Carolla make suggestions that are humorous but responsible.  However, as I warned, this is a handbook for understanding the concerns of modern teenagers, and therefore it covers every conceivable topic in graphic detail. 

Significantly, neither Dr. Drew nor Adam are anywhere near teenage; yet due to their complete candor, they are widely respected by the notoriously tough adolescent customer.

The next two books have been out for a while, but are classics.  Reviving Ophelia: Saving The Selves of Adolescent Girls by Mary Pipher, is a must-read for anyone who has helplessly witnessed her friendly, outgoing, competitive, intelligent butterfly of a daughter transform overnight into a caterpillar, or worse, a cocoon.  Ophelia explores the effect of our male-dominated civilization on daughters.  The book calls upon parents to provide support and encouragement for female individuation, instead of demanding girls fit into cookie-cutter molds cast by a culture of supermodel worship.  The April issue of Vogue Magazine reflected this enlightened point of view with their first-ever issue on realistically shaped women - a tribute to changing attitudes.

Driven to Distraction by Edward Hallowell and John Ratey will aid parents in identifying Attention Deficit Disorder and its attendant difficulties in their children.  Although ADD is currently a disease-of-the-month umbrella under which several symptoms may fall, the book can be a lifesaver for parents who are at the end of their collective rope, trying to comprehend a child’s hyperactivity, short attention span, inability to finish projects, and seeming comfort with absolute chaos, among other enigmas.  Driven offers anecdotal studies and commonsense advice for a family coping with this lifelong neurological disorder. 

If all else fails, you could rent “The Exorcist” at BlockBuster to remind yourself that every parent wakes up one day to find a stranger living in their child’s room and wearing his or her clothes.  Don’t call the priest just yet; the good news is that if you can look beyond a little pea soup being spewed, you’ll see that he or she is still your lovable kid.