Friday, December 07, 2012

Help at Any Cost by Maia Szalavitz

Help at Any Cost, Maia Szalavitz.  New York: Penguin Group Inc. [Riverhead Books], 2006.  e-book. 297 pps.

I happened upon Help at Any Cost while doing some research on the troubled teen industry.  I saw some names I have been becoming increasingly familiar with-- Robert Lichfield, Ken Kay, David Gilcrease, et. al.  Maia Szalavitz found the one staffer who worked at W.W.A.S.P.S. who in my book is a true hera-- Amberly Knight-- a former director who complained about the conditions at Dundee Ranch to the authorities and quit.  Chapter Five is very thorough and dedicated to all things W.W.A.S.P.S.  The other chapters flesh out the history of Synanon, Seed, and KIDS.  Maia Szalavitz also discusses how group treatment went among the original tough love crowd, exactly what was wrong with the whole tough love movement [something which I myself did not know, and from my background I really should have], lawsuits and court dates, and the difference between abuse and addiction especially as how that difference pertains to teens.

sapphoq reviews says: Help at Any Cost is a valuable addition to the discussion of the troubled teen industry.  The historical background is one that I much appreciated.  The whole idea of love being a commodity to be earned if one behaves is repugnant.  An easy read that is highly informative.  This book should be read by any parents considering sending their teens off to a behavioral modification residential program as well as by professionals who work in any addictions fields.

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