experfectionist's review against another edition

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I think the dismissal of trauma and self harm as minor or non-existent, meaningless things is harmful and unacceptable in today's age.

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the_robyn's review against another edition

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 DNF'ed at 43%. What an utter misnomer of a book, and unreadable drivel on top of that. 

If you were hoping to learn about how to get the courage to be disliked, you will probably not find that here. This is a treatise (?) on Adlerian philosophy/psychology in dialogue format. 

But hey, did you know that trauma doesn't exist? :) (And yes, I did read past that part. Quite a bit past it.)

There is literally nothing I liked about this book. The dialogue format, the writing, the reliance on psychological theories that definitely do not hold anymore, and (presumably) the translation into English. I think I DNF'ed after reading the young guy say "No way!' for the seventeenth time.

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shewantsthediction's review against another edition

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challenging informative reflective tense slow-paced


  1. The title is very misleading. This book is not about anything Japanese, but Adlerian psychology.
  2. It's written in the form of a Socratic dialogue between a detached know-it-all old guy and a hotheaded kid, which started out entertaining, but quickly became a tiresome, repetitive device.
  3. Trauma is absolutely real. As someone who experienced child abuse and has been only recently coming to terms with it a decade later, the suggestion that "trauma doesn't exist" is insensitive, grossly offensive, and a harmful oversimplification. It's also a complete misunderstanding of what victims go through, and it's clear to me the authors of this book have never experienced abuse. I suggest The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk if you're looking for a general understanding, or Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker if you're a survivor yourself. What this book gets wrong about trauma is that you're simultaneously a victim and also not. You were harmed, but healing only comes once you're able to identify as a survivor and change your mental narrative moving forward. This, in turn, is only possible once you're able to confront, explore, and integrate the past—which is next to impossible for survivors who have repressed or forgotten memories, dissociated, or are avoidant. Outright denying that trauma exists, gaslighting survivors, and telling them to just "get over it" or "forget about it because it's in the past" is NOT the answer. The only way out is through. Healing from trauma takes hard work, and it's a process that looks different for everybody.
  4. People who self-harm are not "doing it for the attention." Honestly I should've DNFed right there. Absolutely disgusting attitude and again, displays a total misunderstanding of mental illness. There were also some off comments about suicide and disabilities.

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