Interview with Jay Slosar, author of "The Culture of Excess"


About Jay Slosar

Jay Slosar, Ph.D., is the author of a provocative new book The Culture of Excess: How Americans Lost Self-Control and Why We Need to Redefine Success (ABC-CLIO, LLC, November 2009). For the past quarter-century he has run a successful private practice as a licensed psychologist and has provided direct clinical and consulting services in a variety of diverse settings. Currently, Dr. Slosar is also an adjunct assistant professor at Chapman University in Orange County, California. He also provides forensic evaluations from court referrals, specializing in evaluating teenagers.

Dr. Slosar has worked and consulted for many companies and organizations, including: Health and Human Services Group, Young Life Enrichment Program, Family Solutions, Western Youth Services, Villa Millard Facility, and the Dawson Education Foundation. The services provided included: counseling, psychological evaluations, program design, staff training, and conflict resolution.

He also has served as the administrative clinician for a federal contract in the delivery of an employee assistance program for federal law enforcement employees and their families. Over six years, he was responsible for all clinical and administrative needs for an $8 million federal contract which included providing training/education workshops in the areas of stress management, trauma response, supervisory management, domestic violence, and workplace violence. He co-directed the critical incident response services for operational and non-operational traumas. He has completed certification in critical incident response training from the American Red Cross and the National Organization for Victim’s Assistance.

Dr. Slosar has written and published professional materials and articles, including a staff training manual for residential treatment services. He has also presented a paper at the FBI Quantico training facility on perfectionism and its relationship to suicide in law enforcement personnel.

Since 1985 he has taught in both the psychology department and the health services department at Chapman University as an adjunct assistant associate professor.

He was the president of the Orange County Psychological Association in 2004 and is a past board member of the California Coalition of Ethical Mental Health Care, a San Francisco-based group that promotes the ethics and integrity of mental health-care delivery services. Dr. Slosar was on the board of directors for the California Psychological Association in 2006 and 2007. He is also a Board Member of the California Association of Psychology Providers (CAPP).

Dr. Slosar received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, earned his Master’s Degree from Wichita State University, and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Jacksonville University. He resides in Newport Beach, California. For more information, please consult www.cultureofexcess.com.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Jay. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: I am a Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Irvine, CA. I am also an adjunct assistant professor at Chapman University in Orange, CA. I have been writing for many years, but this is my first book. I have published articles and a residential treatment manual for staff at facilities that house and treat children.

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: The Culture of Excess is a book that has a premise that culture trumps personality. The cultural factors emphasized include the speed of technology, technology coupled with media, and extreme capitalism. These factors are interactive and cumulative and result in declining self-control. The underlying psychological reason for the decline in self control is the continued growth of cultural narcissism. The end result is excess. The book ends with discussion of transitioning from Generation Me to Generation We.
The book is the result of changes observed in clinical practice with patients that correlate with changes in our culture and society.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A: I had to connect the dots and link my premise and ideas into a framework that was coherent and clear. I have a tendency to be eclectic and broad.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A: Yes. The press kit is 16 pages. Some of this is online at my web page: www.cultureofexcess.com It includes a description of the book, author information, Q & A section, book excerpts, endorsements/testimonials, and sample articles from data in the book.

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A: Yes. Have given talks to professional groups, am arranging other presentations. Also, have been interviewed on more than 20 radio interviews. Some of these are online at www.cultureofexcess.com

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A: No agent at this time. Would like to have an agent for next book.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A: Publisher markets to libraries and professional groups and reader list. My press kit and books were sent to radio stations for the interviews. A PR agent sent a press release to media after book was out.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: Yes. My next book will be about Identity and the struggle to define who one is in a global and digital age.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Jay. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: I can be found on my web page at www.cultureofexcess.com and on Linked In (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jay-slosar/4/65a/a43)
and Facebook(http://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#/profile.php?ref=profile&id=536021292)
My book can be purchased on Amazon and Barnes Noble.com and from the publisher.




About Culture of Excess

Culture of Excess by Jay Slosar (click on cover to purchase)

In the wake of buckling markets, banks knocked to their knees, and massive amounts of presumed wealth revealed as the product of self-deception and breathtaking criminality, an age of indulgence has dramatically impacted American life. Economically, we understand how it happened, but why it happened is more of a mystery. What psychological factors fueled the years of excess and, more important, how do we refocus ourselves for a more rational, self-controlled future?

As J.R. Slosar shows in this urgent, sometimes startling volume,the nation’s fast-and-loose approach to money was, in fact, a symptom of a more widespread pattern of excessive behavior. In The Culture of Excess: How America Lost Self-Control and Why We Need to Redefine Success, Slosar portrays an America where the drive to succeed and the fear of missing out manifested itself not only in self-entitled corporate fraud, but in everything from sharp rises in obesity and cosmetic medical procedures to equally troubling increases in eating disorders, panic attacks, and outbreaks of uncontrollable rage.

Illustrating its thesis with numerous vignettes and case studies, The Culture of Excess is the first book to assess the impact of economic and social factors on the nation’s psychological well-being. It shows how capitalism, technology, and media interact and become additive factors in the loss of self-control, and it explains how the compromises made in adapting to intense economic competition lead to a false sense of self and reality. Narcissism, productive narcissism, psychopathy, rigidity and self destruction, perfectionism, the illusion of success, and identity achievement all come into play as Slosar diagnoses the psychological drivers behind this indulgent age, offering his prescription for helping “Generation Me” become “Generation We.”

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