Chained to the Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics, Their Partners and Children, and the Clinicians Who Treat Them

Chained to the Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics, Their Partners and Children, and the Clinicians Who Treat Them

Chained to the Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics, Their Partners and Children, and the Clinicians Who Treat Them

Chained to the Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics, Their Partners and Children, and the Clinicians Who Treat Them

Synopsis

Americans love a hard worker. The worker who toils eighteen-hour days and eats meals on the run between appointments is usually viewed with a combination of respect and awe. But for many, this lifestyle leads to family problems, a decline in work productivity, and ultimately to physical and mental collapse. Intended for anyone touched by what Robinson calls "the best-dressed problem of the twenty-first century," Chained to the Desk provides an inside look at workaholism's impact on those who live and work with work addicts--partners, spouses, children, and colleagues--as well as the appropriate techniques for clinicians who treat them. Originally published in 1998, this groundbreaking book from best-selling author and widely respected family therapist Bryan E. Robinson was the first comprehensive portrait of the workaholic. In this new and fully updated third edition, Robinson draws on hundreds of case reports from his own original research and years of clinical practice. The agonies of workaholism have grown all the more challenging in a world where the computer, cell phone, and iPhone allow twenty-four-hour access to the office, even on weekends and from vacation spots. Adult children of workaholics describe their childhood pain and the lifelong legacies they still carry, and the spouses or partners of workaholics reveal the isolation and loneliness of their vacant relationships. Employers and business colleagues discuss the cost to the company when workaholism dominates the workplace. Chained to the Desk both counsels and consoles. It provides a step-by-step guide to help readers spot workaholism, understand it, and recover. Bryan E. Robinson, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a psychotherapist in private practice. He is the author of over 35 books, including The Smart Guide to Managing Stress and his debut novel, Limestone Gumption. He hosted the PBS documentary, Overdoing It: When Work Rules Your Life and has appeared on 20/20, Good Morning America, WorldNews Tonight, NBC Nightly News, and The Early Show.

Excerpt

This is a man for whom work always
came first. Now he can’t even
remember it
.

—Chris Wallace, Fox News Sunday
anchor, on the final days of his
hard-driving 60 Minutes father,
Mike Wallace, who died in 2012

Recording artists have always known something about the work world that the American workforce still doesn’t get. Cyndi Lauper sang it: “When the working day is done, girls just wanna have fun.” Michael Jackson crooned it in Off the Wall: “So tonight gotta leave that nine-to-five upon the shelf and just enjoy yourself.” And Dolly Parton warned us about working nine to five: “It’ll drive you crazy if you let it.”

And Dolly’s right. It will, if you let it. But you don’t have to worry about nine to five workdays anymore. In the twenty-first century, we have 24/7 workdays and soaring job pressures in our technologically driven work culture. “It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it.” The key is not to let it, but that’s easier said than done.

Do you feel like you’re tethered to your smart phone?

Are you working far more than forty or fifty hours a week?

Are you eating fast food or vending machine snacks at your desk or skipping lunch altogether?

Do you stay in constant contact with work even on weekends, holidays, and vacations, or forfeit your vacations to keep on working?

Do you get nervous or jittery when you’re away from work?

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