Chained to the Desk (Third Edition)

A Guidebook for Workaholics, Their Partners and Children, and the Clinicians Who Treat Them

271 pages

3 figures, 3 tables

February, 2014

ISBN: 9780814789230



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Bryan E. Robinson, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a psychotherapist in private practice. He is the author of over 35 books, including The Smart Guide to Managing Stress and his debut novel, Limestone Gumption. He hosted the PBS documentary, Overdoing It: When Work Rules Your Life and has appeared on 20/20, Good Morning America, WorldNews Tonight, NBC Nightly News, and The Early Show.

All books by Bryan E. Robinson

Draws on hundreds of case studies to provide a step by step guide to spot workaholism, understand it, and recover
Americans love a hard worker. The worker who toils eighteen-hour days and eats meals on the run between appointments is usually viewed with a combination of respect and awe. But for many, this lifestyle leads to family problems, a decline in work productivity, and ultimately to physical and mental collapse. Intended for anyone touched by what Robinson calls “the best-dressed problem of the twenty-first century,” Chained to the Desk provides an inside look at workaholism’s impact on those who live and work with work addicts—partners, spouses, children, and colleagues—as well as the appropriate techniques for clinicians who treat them. Originally published in 1998, this groundbreaking book from best-selling author and widely respected family therapist Bryan E. Robinson was the first comprehensive portrait of the workaholic. In this new and fully updated third edition, Robinson draws on hundreds of case reports from his own original research and years of clinical practice. The agonies of workaholism have grown all the more challenging in a world where the computer, cell phone, and iPhone allow twenty-four-hour access to the office, even on weekends and from vacation spots. Adult children of workaholics describe their childhood pain and the lifelong legacies they still carry, and the spouses or partners of workaholics reveal the isolation and loneliness of their vacant relationships. Employers and business colleagues discuss the cost to the company when workaholism dominates the workplace. Chained to the Desk both counsels and consoles. It provides a step-by-step guide to help readers spot workaholism, understand it, and recover.


  • "Bryan Robinson was way ahead of the times in describing what has now undeniably become the disease of our times. Chained to the Desk provides a rich, comprehensive understanding of how workaholism ­ often mistaken for productivity and fueled  more than ever by technology ­ is taking an insidious toll on our lives, individually and collectively. Robinson¹s findings and compelling stories ­ have been reverberating in my mind now for weeks."

    —Tony Schwartz, author of Be Excellent at Anything

  • "Robinson manages to cut to the heart of so many of today's problems and offers practical suggestions for those of us who have suffered from work addiction. A sober voice in a work-delirious culture. This new breakthrough edition shines the spotlight on the latest neuro-imaging techniques, brain science, and mindfulness practices and their implications for recovering workaholics in finding their resilient zone."

    —Dr. Patricia Love, author of How to Improve Your Marriage without Talking about It

  • "Reorganized for easy reading, updated to include advances in both neuroscience and psychotherapy . . . . The one constant in this edition is the amazing depth of understanding we’ve come to expect from Robinson on the topic of work addiction and his wonderful examples to pass that understanding along to the readers."

    —Gayle Porter, Professor of Management, Rutgers University

  • "This is a comprehensive and highly impressive book that helps workaholics understand and change their behaviors. It presents cutting edge research that reinforces the exercises in the book, and is a great read for both workaholics and the clinicians that treat them."

    —Dr. Kristin Neff, author of Self-Compassion: How to Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind