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Dr. Geraldine K. Piorkowski is a retired clinical psychologist who received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Since then, she has worked in a variety of academic and clinical settings for over fifty years. Besides holding the position of Chair of the Psychology Department at Roosevelt University, Chicago, she was also on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago; the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark and the Northwestern Medical School in Chicago. In addition, she was director of the counseling centers at two large, urban universities in Chicago. She is the author of many psychological articles and two books on romantic love: Too Close for Comfort: Exploring the Risks of Intimacy and Adult Children of Divorce: Confused Love Seekers. Currently, she is on the local Board of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and lives in Chicago with her husband of 61 years.
What to do when popular culture leads up astray. In this eye-opening collection of essays, Dr. Geraldine K. Piorkowski shares what she learned working with people from different socioeconomic levels, races, sexual orientations, and walks of life. Besides reaffirming that all people are fundamentally the same, she discovered many psychological realities that run counter to popular culture. Among her insights is the observation that positive thinking does more harm than good at times, especially when it bypasses the normal processing of negative events and emotions. Another cultural misdirection is the overemphasis on romantic love as the be-all and end-all of existence, where unrealistic expectations lead to love’s downfall. She also notes that unhealthy narcissism, which runs rampant in American culture, is quite different from the healthy variety that is the bedrock of self-love. These illuminating and provocative essays, titled 1) Positive Thinking Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be, 2) When Is Madness Better than Sadness? 3) Romantic Love Is Mostly an Illusion, 4) Vulnerable People Are More Likable than Super-Confident Ones, 5) You Can’t Make Anybody Do Anything, 6) Luck or Chance Has Been Badly Underrated, 7) A Smidgen of Narcissism Adds Joy and Spice to Life, and 8) Empathy and Healthy Religion Go Hand in Hand, all provide a new understanding of psychological health and well-being.