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    We believe our customers would like to see a complete table of contents and carefully chosen excerpts (including Irene's poem "Embers") from chapters of each book to get an idea of what they may buy. We sincerely hope these selections arouse your curiosity.

Contents (for The Spark of Life Trilogy)

Introduction

Book 1: A Spark of Life (Out of the Darkness)

    1. Darkness Beckons...................................................1-1
    2. Darkness Confirmed................................................2-1
    3. The Guru Period........................................................3-1
    4. A Spark Emerges.....................................................4-1
    5. Seeking the Light......................................................5-1

Book 2: The Spark Flickers (Good Night Irene?)

    1. The Big Gap..............................................................1-1
    2. The Rendezvous.......................................................2-1
    3. February: Deadly Darkness....................................3-1
    4. March: The Spark Returns.......................................4-1
    5. April: Getting Active Again......................................5-1
    6. May: Back to Work...................................................6-1
    7. June: A Cooling Out.................................................7-1
    8. July: Pulling Apart.....................................................8-1
    9. August: Freedom and High Adventure...................9-1
  10. Fall's Progress: A Permanent Flame?................10-1

Book 3: Getting IRCT (Indirect Rational Control Therapy)

    Part I–Establishing the Therapeutic Relationship
    1. Background Information...........................................1-1
    2. Prerequisite Need for Therapy................................2-1
    3. Foundation Counseling Techniques.......................3-1
    Part II–Using the Primary Therapeutic Plan (or IRCT)
    4. Indirect Therapeutic Aspects...................................4-1
    5. Rational Therapeutic Aspects.................................5-1
    Part III–Implementing Therapeutic Changes, Feedback,
    and Further Changes
    6. Mainstreaming..........................................................6-1
    7. Control at Last?........................................................7-1

Conclusion

   Note: Pages are not numbered sequentially in the Trilogy, but they are given as part of a footer that includes the particular book's title, chapter number, and the sequential page number within that chapter. This format is more meaningful in our self-contained Trilogy.

A Spark of Life (excerpts)

    Page 1-1: "Most striking about her was an innately gentle quality that I later came to know as a 'beautiful soul.' Her long brown hair, deep brown eyes, and soft light amber complexion made her easy to remember. Her name was Irene, and she had a mysterious aura."

    Page 1-4: "Another notable behavior concerned her extremely suggestible nature, especially regarding food. We would watch a television commercial for a particular food (e.g., chocolate chip cookies) and she'd invariably buy it shortly thereafter. With the media bombarding us frequently, I got to see this suggestible purchasing behavior quite often. In fact, it was this particular behavioral characteristic that much later helped me discover the mysterious problem that veiled her life in a cloak of darkness."

    Page 2-4: "So far in our relationship, I had inadvertently done a very poor job of helping her overcome her disorder. Ignorance did not suffice as reason enough to assuage my guilt concerning her disorder.... I did, however, learn of her belief that 'thinness will bring ultimate happiness.' Funny thing was that she couldn't really define 'thinness.' "

    Page 3-5: "After several months of study on bulimia, I discovered that several therapists had claimed transient and extended successes using tricyclic antidepressant drugs.... She tried one additional tricyclic with similar results. I believe these drugs didn't work in Irene's case because they treated the effect (i.e., depression) rather than the psychological causes (i.e., the thinness ideal and very low self-esteem) of her bulimia."

    Page 4-2: "Another concern was both hers and mine. We both had to start placing emphasis on who she is rather than how she looks. The bottom line is that people can be happy without worrying about becoming beautifully thin."

    Page 5-8: "She had learned most of my survival skills very well. In addition, she acquired a few of her own. I cautioned her that it is a tough world out there. She'd have to keep her energy level high through healthful eating and regular exercise in order to make her own difficult decisions regarding accomplishments and be responsible for their consequences. However, I knew she had to become her own best her rather than my version of the best her."

The Spark Flickers (excerpts)

    Page 1-1: "Indeed, her real quest was to develop a more wholesome love of herself so that some day she could share that with someone. Unfortunately, as she became more independent and filled with self-esteem, she chose to divorce herself from anyone who made her feel dependent."

    Page 1-3: Excerpts from Irene's poem entitled "Embers":

"I had yearned to find the answers
 But they were not there
 I found myself dispirited and hollow...

"The answers which I seek
 The truth which I passion for
 Prompt this flame to burn until
 There is nothing left but embers"

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    Page 2-1: "Her dad was the first person to greet me outside. He was quick to deny any responsibility for Irene's condition. He wanted to know what caused the condition. I dodged his inquiries because I knew he'd have difficulty understanding his part in the disorder and I wanted to see Irene."

    Page 3-6: "Rather than take an ambulance, I decided that I'd take her the short distance to the prenotified hospital for admission. As I took her lithe presence into my arms to carry her to my car, the bulk of our six plus years together flashed through my mind. Exteriorly, I was a man possessed with supplying Irene maximum calm support while rushing frenetically to the hospital. We arrived in about three minutes...."

    Page 4-1: "Thus, my broad strategies of de-emphasizing self-focus and food regulation and of strongly facilitating physical accomplishments to lessen her lethargy were rooted to probable causes. I especially reinforced these physical accomplishments because they would eventually help rejuvenate Irene's body and mind.... Hopefully, these physical accomplishments would lead to accomplishments of all difficulty levels, including those involving rational decision-making."

    Page 5-1: "By my long association with Irene, I had learned that too much self-analysis by her can create a social paralysis. Given her penchant for perfection, it wasn't too long into such analysis that she reached self-reproach. She wound up not liking herself hardly at all. Her impatience added considerable despair and stress to the process. Before long, she had no meaningful goals to achieve, hope had faded, and she was very isolated. Her apparent solution was cycling down to a supposedly manageable activity of food regulation. In reality, this solution was actually the biggest cause of her disorder."

    Page 6-2: "On May 22, we discussed her parents' self-fulfilling prophecy for her. They treated her as a child (in adulthood), so she became child-like. They withheld approval from her, so she eventually withheld it from herself. They gave very little positive reinforcement to her meaningful accomplishments, and so did she."

    Page 7-5: "This independence was very confusing and sometimes scary for her. This confusion and the attendant fear also contributed to her strange distancing behavior. The pride in her new found independence, albeit unsteady, discouraged any interference by me. Although she wasn't ready to understand these feelings dynamics, I did sense she was ready to 'captain her own ship.' "

    Page 8-3: "Even with all the coolness, there were some brief moments when Irene would exhibit caring and friendly tendencies. One such moment occurred on July 25 when she cut the grass and weeded the front yard. (I nearly had a heart attack!) I guessed that the guilt from previous coolness and uncaring had briefly overtaken her. Anyway, I thanked her for her help and consideration. I saw a glow of satisfaction come over her."

    Page 9-3: "Irene relished this natural paradise and her closeness to Mother Earth. In fact, she periodically practiced certain American Indian spiritual customs as we hiked. For example, she would occasionally sprinkle some tobacco into small streams and say 'ho.' Ho is Indian for peace. So with a 'ho' here and a 'ho' there we chugged up and down this majestic mountain."

    Page 10-7: "Indeed, ultimate friendship eventually says 'I'll let you do it because I know you can.' Strangely enough, from a slightly twisted perspective, that has been Irene's message all along to me."

Getting IRCT (excerpts)

    Page 1-4: "I do believe that a total team approach provides the best support and opportunity for recovery. A typical problem is that the anorexic's diminished rational ability leads to eventual dependency on people who aren't the most nurturing regarding recovery. Worse yet, often the anorexic's extreme rituals and strong privacy needs lead to isolation."

    Page 2-1: "Unless a client has a real need to change her anorexic condition, therapy has two chances of success—slim and none. (And, of course, Slim has left town.) Seriously, the importance of establishing a real client need to recover cannot be overestimated. Bulimic anorexics can be extremely manipulative regarding professional assistance. Their tremendous capacity to please significant other people may be their actual reason for starting therapy."

    Page 3-1: "And although many people these days appear to be more outer-directed, I still believe inner direction to have the greatest positive life impact. It is always better to do life than to be done by it."

    Page 4-2: "Too frequent or erroneous purging experiences could create a deadly imbalance of electrolytes (especially potassium) in the body. This same type of irrationality permeates a bulimic anorexic's entire cognitive behavior. She is no longer able to balance her strong instinctual urges for food with the irrational guilt and fear of overconsumption (i.e., binging). In essence, her appetite control mechanism stops working."

    Page 5-6: "In fact, it is absolutely vital to recovery that she be able to feel good about her meaningful nonfood-related accomplishments. Otherwise, she'll slide back into the black funk of her disorder where she becomes a supposed master of food intake regulation. Unfortunately, she simultaneously also becomes a master of self-destruction."

    Page 6-2: "I believe this rational ability provides the necessary internal control that is so vital to the success of IRCT. Indeed, this form of psychotherapy rests on the basic belief that humans have souls, and therefore, they possess the rational ability to control their own destinies. This includes being able to live one's life from the inside out when appropriate."

    Page 7-3: "I honestly believe the indirect and rational aspects of the therapy for the appropriate client will result in her regaining some control over her life. At least she may become 'normal' enough to grab some happiness in this tough, real world about us.... May she always succeed!"

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