Larry King Live
“The Secret Revealed!” part 2
Larry King aired a follow-up TV show to his November 2006 show
about "The Secret" movie, investigating how we create
our own reality.
LARRY KING: Joining us now in New York is Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist,
author and host of TLC's reality show, "One Week To Save
First of all, what do you make of all this in "The Secret?"
DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSY.D. PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, I think it's a
repackaged idea. You know, the power of positive thinking is really
an old idea that's been around for a long time. And there's something
to be said about focusing on the positive. You are going to feel
better in life.
But it's interesting how it's creating this backlash, because
feeling positive is not the only way to get what you want out
of life. And I think, in part, that's a dangerous idea to have.
KING: So you would say to people use The Secret or not use The
LUDWIG: I would say if you want to read it, read it, and take
whatever you want from it, take what resonates for you. And if
you don't like an idea, don't use it. But, you know, really everybody
has to choose what works for them. There is no one road to success
for or to happiness. And any book that gives that impression is
going to get attacked. And be incorrect.
KING: One psychologist said 10 percent of self-help books are
rated by mental health professionals as damaging. And this is
probably one of them. You share that view?
LUDWIG: No. I mean, I don't think it is damaging if people use
it correctly. There probably should be something written in there
that says use what you want.
But for example, if someone has a horrible illness, that's just
sometimes a part of life. Listen, we all have to go somehow in
some way. And if you give someone the idea that through pleasant
thoughts and watching funny movies that's enough to cure one's
self, then it is dangerous if people interpret it that way.
Listen, you have to go to doctors who know what they're talking
about and medication is recommended, you need to follow through
with what is traditional while hopefully you work on your emotions
is, you know to make your life a little bit easier. But to say
it is your fault for everything that is happened in your life,
that's a very provocative and I think incorrect idea.
KING: Is there a type of person who would benefit from this?
LUDWIG: Well, I think it is probably good for somebody who might
feel disempowered to realize that there are things they can do
in their life so they don't have to feel victimized. But if you
take control of your life, and you start to think about that you
want your life to look like, that certainly can help you get there.
So I think for some people, you know, knowing that they can think
about that they want, and if they have good feelings, then maybe
they can get there, that is certainly a very pleasant way to go
through life and for some people that can help them get to their
KING: Why do you think it's hooked so many people?
LUDWIG: Because I think many people are dissatisfied in some
area of their life. That's part of the human condition as long
as we are living, there is always going to be something that we
want, that we don't have. And I have spoken to some of the most
successful people who will say, you know, I just keep feeling
I should be doing more and having more.
I think that's just part of life. And for some people, they will
do anything that will help them to feel better. We like to feel
good. And the bottom line is, in life, we're going to have a lot
of different feelings. They don't always feel good. Even if you
are a positive person.
KING: I remember Norman Vincent Peale and the power of positive
thinking. How can you knock that? How can you say that's bad to
LUDWIG: I don't think there is anything bad about it. I'm a big
fan of Norman Vincent Peale. I think his whys were brilliant way
back in the day. Here is where it is damaging.
People blame themselves, I think, quite naturally. So if you
put out information and you say, you need to be positive in order
to have a great life and people are like, well, I don't know how
to get positive, I don't know how to get that feeling, it could
get certain people to give up. And in fact, that's not really
true. You can have a lot of different emotions. You can feel hopeless
while pursuing your dream as long as you don't let that hopelessness
interfere with your strategy and your persistence.
KING: Thank you very much. Dr. Ludwig will be returning with
us at the end of the program and John Assaraf will return as well.