Beyond Pipe Dreams And Platitudes is a collection of eight (8) essays in which clinical psychologist Dr. Geraldine K. Piorkowski shares her knowledge from fifty years of working with people from diverse socio-economic, racial, and cultural backgrounds.
The Book Review
Dr. Geraldine K. Piorkowski, in her book Beyond Pipe Dreams and Platitudes: Insights on Love, Luck, and Narcissism from a Longtime Psychologist, describes how everyone has similar desires for achieving fulfillment in life and almost identical fears that limit success. For example, everyone wants to be loved, appreciated and understood. In addition, everyone wants to be competent and autonomous and belong somewhere, that is, to a family, group, religious organization, or neighborhood.
However, people’s understanding of human nature is often distorted by the beliefs of popular culture, e.g., not all positive thinking is helpful, and super-confidence is not always an appealing trait, despite society’s glorification of self-confidence.
Also, talent and hard work are not enough to be successful; luck is as important, if not more so at times.
Throughout these eight insightful essays, you will discover the answers to questions such as: What are the main reasons for negative thoughts and behavior? Why is positive thinking detrimental to healing at times, and when is directly facing negative experiences necessary? Can you control everyone, and if not, why? Why is romantic love such a disappointment for so many? And why is empathy so important?
The essays investigate topics such as anger, control, luck or chance, narcissism, romantic love, vulnerability, empathy, and positive thinking. Does “love at first sight” exist, and why is a “first love” so poignant? How can you recognize narcissistic traits in another person, and when does the level of narcissism become dangerous? Throughout the essays, you will understand why some people appear lucky and are more content and empathetic while others are engulfed in the darkness of negativity.
In “Beyond Pipe Dreams and Platitudes,” author Piorkowski presents a clear and concise understanding of human behavior. The explanations are intriguing, especially around facing painful memories. She dispels the myth that people always need to think positively and instead focuses on healthily processing negative experiences. As Dr. Piorkowski writes in her book, “Self-awareness of negative thoughts is often the jumping-off point for the development of a broader, richer worldview.” Readers will also find the essay on vulnerability very helpful in understanding how being vulnerable can lead to closer relationships in both romantic love and friendship. And you will be fascinated by why people process similar pieces of information differently.
This book will give you a comprehensive grasp of why people think and behave in specific ways. Readers will love the sections on The Chronic Complainer and the rise of narcissistic traits in children. The research data and behavioral experiments make for compelling reading and substantiate the arguments. You will recommend this book to anyone looking to improve their relationships with others and gain a deeper understanding of human behavior.
The Author Press
Dr. Geraldine K. Piorkowski has about fifty-five years of experience working with clients, including children, the homeless, lawyers, medical doctors, and many other professionals. She got her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1964 and retired in 2017. Since her retirement, she finished writing “Beyond Pipe Dreams and Platitudes,” which summarizes what she learned as a psychologist that runs counter to the prevailing beliefs in our society. She also writes blog postings for PSYCHOLOGY TODAY that thousands have read.
Moreover, Dr. Piorkowski, besides holding the position of Chair of the Psychology Department at Roosevelt University, Chicago in the past, was a faculty member at the Northwestern Medical School in Chicago and the University of Illinois. She was also the director of the counseling centers at two large, urban universities in Chicago. She has authored numerous psychological articles and two books on romantic love: Too Close for Comfort: Exploring the Risks of Intimacy and Adult Children of Divorce: Confused Love Seekers.
Currently, Geraldine Piorkowski, Ph.D., is a member of the local Board of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and lives in Chicago with her husband of sixty-three (63) years. You can grab her book through her website: https://www.geraldinekpiorkowskibooks.com/