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Pooh And The Psychologists [Hardcover]

Tyerman Williams , Ernest Shepard
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 26 2001
Move over, Freud, there's a new psychologist in the forest, and his name is Winnie-the-Pooh. In this witty book, Williams cleverly explores the psychological depths of the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood: Piglet is compulsively shy, Eeyore is clinically depressed, and so on. In his unobtrusive way, Pooh is at the center of the puzzle, teaching each of his friends a little smackerel about themselves and leading them on the road to recovery.

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About the Author

John Tyerman Williams is the author of Pooh and the Millennium.

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satirical Ursinological Scholarship! June 10 2001
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The more you know about psychological theories and Winnie-the-Pooh, the more you will enjoy this book. Dr. Williams blasts away with tongue-in-cheek satire aimed at the psychologist's belief that everything that is said, thought, dreamed, and done has many layers of significance. Unfortunately, that approach means that your enjoyment will be modest if your knowledge is correspondingly limited in either area. If you know little about psychology and have not read Winnie-the-Pooh, you may not get most of the humor in the book.
In Freud-like fashion, Dr. Williams begins by descrbing the case for Winnie-the-Pooh being a super psychologist. The thrust of this argument is that Winnie employs every method ever recommended by any psychologist or psychoanalyst somewhere in his fictional adventures. In fact, he often combines them in a single fictional encounter.
The book then recounts seven cases and Winnie's role in them.
Case 1 -- Pooh Cures Christopher Robin of Arktophobia (fear of bears)
Case 2 -- Pooh Assists Piglet to Mature
Case 3 -- Pooh at His Most Eclectic with Tigger
Case 4 -- The Problem with Rabbit
Case 5 -- Parenting: Kanga and Roo
Case 6 -- Wol's Problems with Communication
Case 7 -- Eeyore: A Case of Classical Depression
The cases are written up like Freud's with the exception that they are illustrated with many drawings from the original Pooh stories.
As an example of the approach, the book Winnie-the-Pooh opens with a reference to his living under the name of Sanders. That is never mentioned again. Dr. Williams provides a lengthy argument in favor of this meaning that Winnie-the-Pooh is describing himself as the Sand man, the bringer of dreams. This is an indication of his role as psychotherapist.
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By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I bought this book because I read a lot of books on psychology AND I was introduced to looking at diverse themes through the "Pooh" world view when a frind suggested "The Tao of Pooh," by Benjamin Hoff. I got this book thinking it might be entertaining and illustrative as well.
It is entertaining for the first while, but generally not very illustrative. As the previous reviewer said, the more you know about shools of psychological theory the more you will enjoy the book. But if you are looking to either learn something about psychological theory OR looking for images and anologies that illustrate concepts in a striking or perceptive way, this is not the best book.
It is entertaining, but it can get old if you are not careful. The tone is very tongue-in-cheek, I had some good chuckles. The kick of the book is looking at the world of the Hundred Acre Wood through such over-the-top scholarly eyes. There is an "inside tone" to his dialog with the reader: sort of a "uninformed and unstudied individuals fail to appreciate this, but you and I can clearly see..." attitude runs through the entire book. I enjoyed that in the first few chapters, but after a while the joke got old. To be fair, I did read this in just a couple long sessions in just a couple days. It may be enjoyed more as a nightstand book where you read a chapter or two every few days.
In terms of learning anything new from the book, one is not likely to get more than a few nuggets of information about one theorist or another. The book is orgainized more by character and story than by psychological concept, so one never really gets to see a school of thought fleshed out in a way that enhances your understanding of it. But, if that's not why you're reading the book, you won't experience it as a short-coming.
It is a fun book, especially if you LOVE Pooh or psychology. If you love and know a lot about both this could be a good, light read to nibble on before bed or over lunch.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satirical Ursinological Scholarship! June 10 2001
By Donald Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The more you know about psychological theories and Winnie-the-Pooh, the more you will enjoy this book. Dr. Williams blasts away with tongue-in-cheek satire aimed at the psychologist's belief that everything that is said, thought, dreamed, and done has many layers of significance. Unfortunately, that approach means that your enjoyment will be modest if your knowledge is correspondingly limited in either area. If you know little about psychology and have not read Winnie-the-Pooh, you may not get most of the humor in the book.
In Freud-like fashion, Dr. Williams begins by descrbing the case for Winnie-the-Pooh being a super psychologist. The thrust of this argument is that Winnie employs every method ever recommended by any psychologist or psychoanalyst somewhere in his fictional adventures. In fact, he often combines them in a single fictional encounter.
The book then recounts seven cases and Winnie's role in them.
Case 1 -- Pooh Cures Christopher Robin of Arktophobia (fear of bears)
Case 2 -- Pooh Assists Piglet to Mature
Case 3 -- Pooh at His Most Eclectic with Tigger
Case 4 -- The Problem with Rabbit
Case 5 -- Parenting: Kanga and Roo
Case 6 -- Wol's Problems with Communication
Case 7 -- Eeyore: A Case of Classical Depression
The cases are written up like Freud's with the exception that they are illustrated with many drawings from the original Pooh stories.
As an example of the approach, the book Winnie-the-Pooh opens with a reference to his living under the name of Sanders. That is never mentioned again. Dr. Williams provides a lengthy argument in favor of this meaning that Winnie-the-Pooh is describing himself as the Sand man, the bringer of dreams. This is an indication of his role as psychotherapist.
In the famous story where Winnie eats too much honey and cannot get out of the hole in the tree, Dr. Williams reinterprets this as Winnie-the-Pooh making an example of himself to discourage others from overeating rather than using aversion therapy on them.
To put this prescience into context, Dr. Williams points out that the Pooh stories date in the 1920s. In the text, he finds "frequent anticipation of theories and practices which more plodding psychologists arrived at much later."
I don't know about you, but I didn't think much about Jung when I read Winnie-the-Pooh. Obviously, the references were too subtle for me.
Those who have experienced psychotherapy will probably find humor in the observations made about Winnie-the-Pooh that they may have heard applied to themselves. Could the observations be equally apt?
This book is best enjoyed by a roaring fire on a cold night with a warmed snifter of brandy, and savored slowly.
After you have finished the book, you might consider the many instances where novels do show ways to solve psychological problems through their fictional developments. Could it be that we can use fiction to be our own therapist? Or, is someone else the therapist? If someone gave you the book, perhaps they are the therapist. If so, is the author the propounder of the theory . . . or is the character?
See the possibilities for humor in pomposity everywhere!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little disappointing, depending on what you're looking for July 4 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I read a lot of books on psychology AND I was introduced to looking at diverse themes through the "Pooh" world view when a friend suggested "The Tao of Pooh," by Benjamin Hoff. I got this book thinking it might be entertaining and illustrative as well.

It is entertaining for the first while, but generally not very illustrative. As the previous reviewer said, the more you know about schools of psychological theory the more you will enjoy the book. But if you are looking to either learn something about psychological theory OR looking for images and analogies that illustrate concepts in a striking or perceptive way, this is not the best book.

It is entertaining, but it can get old if you are not careful. The tone is very tongue-in-cheek, I had some good chuckles. The kick of the book is looking at the world of the Hundred Acre Wood through such over-the-top scholarly eyes. There is an "inside tone" to his dialog with the reader: sort of an "uninformed and unstudied individuals fail to appreciate this, but you and I can clearly see..." attitude runs through the entire book. I enjoyed that in the first few chapters, but after a while the joke got old. To be fair, I did read this in just a couple long sessions in just a couple days. It may be enjoyed more as a nightstand book where you read a chapter or two every few days.

In terms of learning anything new from the book, one is not likely to get more than a few nuggets of information about one theorist or another. The book is organized more by character and story than by psychological concept, so one never really gets to see a school of thought fleshed out in a way that enhances your understanding of it. But, if that's not why you're reading the book, you won't experience it as a short-coming.

It is a fun book, especially if you LOVE Pooh or psychology. If you love and know a lot about both this could be a good, light read to nibble on before bed or over lunch.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 21 2014
By Sherri - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
great
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