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Library Review Journal

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Jantz, Gregory L. Battles Men Face: Strategies To Win the War Within. Revell. 2012.233p. ISBN 9780800719692. pap. $13.99. SELF-HELP
Lyme, Alan Philip, David J. Powell, & Stephen Andrew. Game Plan: A Man’s Guide to Achieving Emotional Fitness. Central Recovery. 2012. c.200p. ISBN 9781936290963 pap. $15.95. SELF-HELP
By far, most readers of self-help books are women, so these writers are going out on a limb targeting men for psychological life improvement. Jantz (founder, Ctr. for Counseling & Health Resources, Seattle) addresses men’s private compulsive behaviors that are detrimental to their health, work, sense of self, and relationships. He spells out negative behaviors (pornography, emotional withdrawal, consumption) and fears (inadequacy and the need to compete), as well as cures (asking for help, loving oneself enough to say no, and dealing with reality). Lyme, Powell, and Andrew touch on some aspects of addiction and self-destructive behaviors, but go further into the psychosocial aspects of being brought up male and living as a man in this society. Basing their advice not only on research, but also on case studies and notes from male support groups, the authors ask readers to reflect on their own emotional and spiritual life and tie it into the reasons for current ideas and behavior. A particularly interesting part of the book is the section on videotherapy in which particular movies are listed with their male-related themes and discussion questions. Both books have something to offer, although the first is geared more to individual reading and the second to groups.