Registered Professional Counsellor
When I was approached to review this book, I was immediately intrigued as drama plays a large role in my work as a couples and relationship therapist. When working with clients, it is important for me to stay tuned for signs that clients are engaging in "drama" so that I can bring this to their awareness and coach them toward clear and compassionate communication.
Just as importantly, drama plays a part in my personal life, showing up (unannounced) in family and social dynamics. And I have been known to join the others on stage.
I found the material in this book to be clear, direct and easy to take in. One premise is simple. When we are in drama, we adopt a stance of either Victim, Persecutor or Rescuer and we can shift quite swiftly and without awareness between these roles. We take comfort in these roles as they are familiar and we trick ourselves into believing they offer us protection from others. However, when we inhabit these roles, we are not hearing and acknowledging the other and we are not being heard and understood. In this, our needs for emotional intimacy cannot be met.
The characters and scenarios in the book are repeated throughout, which I found helpful in following the thread and staying with the underlying message. There was little in this book to distract readers from seeing ourselves and some of our own habitual attitudes and behaviors. We would have to close the book to accomplish this, and some readers may, if not yet ready for this degree of self awareness and personal responsibility.
Though my 'higher self' was absorbing Boyce's male wisdom as I read, I also experienced some female wonderings.
"Wouldn't life be a bit dull without ANY drama?"
"Is the desire to avoid drama genetically hard wired in the male gender, while the desire to indulge more prevalent in the nature of his female counterpart?"
I was satisfied when reading further to find the author turning his attention to the possibility we might envision a life lacking drama to be a life of boredom. And he offers an alternate view.
I will recommend this book to clients and colleagues. It is not based on groundbreaking ideas but its clear and simplistic delivery is staying with me in a new way.
I imagine copies could jump off the shelves as well-meaning gifts to friends and family members. Beware if you find yourself imagining how a book entitled "No More Drama" could positively impact your friend, spouse or neighbor. Ironically, choosing it for another could be feeding YOUR inner Victim, Rescuer or Persecutor. Why not first consider giving yourself the gift of reading it? I did, and I am most grateful I made the choice.