Official Review: From the Mob to the Therapist's Chair

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Eva Darrington
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Official Review: From the Mob to the Therapist's Chair

Post by Eva Darrington » 28 Jan 2019, 11:43

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "From the Mob to the Therapist's Chair" by Vickie Taylor and Dr. Monty Weinstein.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Dr. Monty Weinstein has an unconventional background for a psychology professional. His book From the Mob to the Therapist’s Chair chronicles the tumultuous life of a crime family son and his evolution to nationally-known expert witness. Born into a family that had regular dealings with the mafia, Meyer Greenberg (the author’s birth name) had a difficult young life. His mother sold diamonds to Manhattan mafia lords and his father, when not in jail, fronted a garment business and abused his mother. His father left the family when Meyer was small, and his mother remarried Dr. Joseph Weinstein, whose surname the author took.

Meyer reunited with his father in his teens and began working for him, collecting money from the mob. Expelled for some behavior at school, young Meyer was sent to therapy, which planted a seed that would mold his future. The experience of addressing his authority issues was transformative and encouraged the author to begin studying psychology. Subsequently, he obtained multiple degrees in psychology, including a Psy.D. in psychoanalysis. Dr. Monty Weinstein became a national expert in parental custody rights and parental alienation, advocating for joint custody and reunification therapy for families, whenever possible.

I enjoyed some hopefulness and appreciation reading about the author’s work with splintered families. Dr. Weinstein helped many families repair damaging dynamics and agree to unify their parenting goals, for the benefit of the children. Parental alienation (the derision and denigration of one parent by the other, directed at the children) happens all too often in separation and divorce situations. It can damage children gravely, and the author’s devotion to this phenomenon is heartening.

Full of drama, tragedy, intrigue, and redemption, this memoir reads like page-turning fiction at times. And elsewhere, it draws nearly to a halt. I was interested in the transition “from the mob to the therapist’s chair” but found only about half of the book kept me wanting to read on. I was hoping for more insight into the process of the vast transformation but found it to be more logistical data than human process. Around half of the book consists of transcripts of court cases and letters of thanks and commendation, written to the author by his clients, associates, attorneys, and lawmakers. This section was tedious to get through. I have a psychology background, and still, I did not find the supplemental sections very interesting. I did enjoy the section of family photos at the end of the book. It is always satisfying to put faces to the characters.

This unlikely therapist’s story will appeal to psychology and family therapy professionals, child custody attorneys, and parents embroiled in custody battles. Readers who are fond of mob dramas and New York culture may also appreciate this story. The book does contain some errors but generally appears to be professionally edited. The errors did not disrupt the flow of the story significantly. Readers should be aware that there is a small amount of disturbing content concerning references to child abuse.

It is notable that Dr. Monty Weinstein is listed as the book’s author and Vickie Taylor, the writer. For its intrigue and redemptive themes, I award Dr. Weinstein’s book 3 out of 4 stars. Overall, I enjoyed the story, but the compelling nature of the story and the author’s important work are offset by some dry narrative elements and tedious supplemental materials.

******
From the Mob to the Therapist's Chair
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Post by kdstrack » 30 Jan 2019, 15:41

I agree with your conclusion that the personal transformation aspect would be more of what I would look for in a book with this title. The other information may be interesting, but it would leave me wanting more. Thanks for your interesting review.

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Post by Eva Darrington » 30 Jan 2019, 16:59

kdstrack wrote: ↑
30 Jan 2019, 15:41
I agree with your conclusion that the personal transformation aspect would be more of what I would look for in a book with this title. The other information may be interesting, but it would leave me wanting more. Thanks for your interesting review.
Thanks so much for stopping by. Yes, I was looking for more human aspects from the author's point of view.
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Post by gen_g » 30 Jan 2019, 21:12

It seems like the pace is not very consistent. However, the premise is still intriguing and seems rather inspiring, so I'll definitely give this a go. Thanks for the review, Eva!

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Post by kandscreeley » 31 Jan 2019, 08:51

It sounds like the author has had an interesting life. I'm curious about his dealings with the mob and how things turn it. It's too bad the narrative is so dry at times; I'm sure his life has been anything but dry. Thanks!
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Post by Cecilia_L » 31 Jan 2019, 10:54

What a great title! Though I don't fall into any of the recommended audience ranges, the premise of the book intrigues me. Thanks for the excellent review.

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Post by Ever_Reading » 31 Jan 2019, 12:02

Eva Darrington wrote: ↑
28 Jan 2019, 11:43

Around half of the book consists of transcripts of court cases and letters of thanks and commendation, written to the author by his clients, associates, attorneys, and lawmakers. This section was tedious to get through. I have a psychology background, and still, I did not find the supplemental sections very interesting.
I was willing to check out the book until this point. I always prefer it if a book can hold my attention from beginning to end. Thank you for the amazing review! :D
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Post by BelleReadsNietzsche » 31 Jan 2019, 14:00

This actually sounds right up my alley! I usually don't mind dry when it comes to this kind of thing (court documents, psychological stuff, etc.) so I am intrigued whether or not it will be too dry for me as it was for you (although it does seem like a flaw when trying to reach a wider audience). Thanks for the review, wouldn't have found this book without it!
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Post by Eva Darrington » 31 Jan 2019, 14:03

gen_g wrote: ↑
30 Jan 2019, 21:12
It seems like the pace is not very consistent. However, the premise is still intriguing and seems rather inspiring, so I'll definitely give this a go. Thanks for the review, Eva!
The compelling parts of the story are really interesting. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for dropping in!
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Post by Eva Darrington » 31 Jan 2019, 14:04

kandscreeley wrote: ↑
31 Jan 2019, 08:51
It sounds like the author has had an interesting life. I'm curious about his dealings with the mob and how things turn it. It's too bad the narrative is so dry at times; I'm sure his life has been anything but dry. Thanks!
Yes, there is plenty in the story to stay engaged despite some of the drier elements. Thanks so much for stopping in and sharing your thoughts.
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Post by Eva Darrington » 31 Jan 2019, 14:06

Cecilia_L wrote: ↑
31 Jan 2019, 10:54
What a great title! Though I don't fall into any of the recommended audience ranges, the premise of the book intrigues me. Thanks for the excellent review.
Thanks, Cecilia! I don't really fall into a specific audience range either. I did enjoy this book despite some of the less engaging bits.
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Post by Eva Darrington » 31 Jan 2019, 14:07

Ever_Reading wrote: ↑
31 Jan 2019, 12:02
Eva Darrington wrote: ↑
28 Jan 2019, 11:43

Around half of the book consists of transcripts of court cases and letters of thanks and commendation, written to the author by his clients, associates, attorneys, and lawmakers. This section was tedious to get through. I have a psychology background, and still, I did not find the supplemental sections very interesting.
I was willing to check out the book until this point. I always prefer it if a book can hold my attention from beginning to end. Thank you for the amazing review! :D
You could certainly skip the supplemental materials. The story is really interesting. Thanks for dropping by.
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Post by Eva Darrington » 31 Jan 2019, 14:09

BelleReadsNietzsche wrote: ↑
31 Jan 2019, 14:00
This actually sounds right up my alley! I usually don't mind dry when it comes to this kind of thing (court documents, psychological stuff, etc.) so I am intrigued whether or not it will be too dry for me as it was for you (although it does seem like a flaw when trying to reach a wider audience). Thanks for the review, wouldn't have found this book without it!
Oh, I'm glad you will check this one out. I think you will like it - especially if you like transcripts and such. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for dropping by.
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Post by Kajori50 » 31 Jan 2019, 14:52

I was interested in the transition “from the mob to the therapist’s chair” but found only about half of the book kept me wanting to read on. I was hoping for more insight into the process of the vast transformation but found it to be more logistical data than human process. Around half of the book consists of transcripts of court cases and letters of thanks and commendation, written to the author by his clients, associates, attorneys, and lawmakers. This section was tedious to get through.
This does sound dry. The first thing that caught my eye was the title of the book. I wish the book focused more on the intriguing transformation.

Thank you for the awesome review.

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Post by joshfee77 » 31 Jan 2019, 23:19

Sounds like a compelling story dampened a little by a sometimes dry narrative and less than interesting references. Thanks for your informative review.

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