Monkeytraps book review: We are all control addicts

Imagine being told you’re an addict, a control addict. What is a control addict, you might ask? Are you a control addict?

Find out more… in my Monkeytraps book review.

First, a little background

My therapist, Steve Hauptman, published a book called Monkeytraps: Why Everybody Tries to Control Everything and How We Can Stop in Dec 2015. I realised there aren’t many reviews done when I did a quick search online. This is my shout out for him and his book. More people need to know about it and get their hands on it!

What is the Monkeytraps book about? Monkeytraps book

It is a life manual of sorts; a guide to Life, if you will.

Steve’s expertise is “control addiction”, meaning, the addiction to control. This is his take on Codependency.

In the book, he says:

This is a book about control in general, and psychological monkeytraps in particular. A psychological monkeytrap is any situation that tempts us to hold on when we should let go — to control what either cannot or should not be controlled.

In this book you’ll learn:

  • Why everyone is addicted to control
  • How this addiction causes most—if not all—of our emotional problems
  • How to listen to feelings instead of controlling them

What I like about the Monkeytraps book

All 99 chapters are around 2 – 4 pages each. Which is great for me! I have a short attention span, and also have problems digesting lengthy and tedious information. I am unable to follow texts that are too long. So these super short chapters are perfect.

The chapters don’t necessarily have to be read in succession. Just look at the Contents page and pick topics you’re interested in, or chapter titles that pique your interest. Each chapter stands alone on its own and does not require reading of the previous chapter to make sense. I’m guessing reading Chapter 1 through to Chapter 99 could be the best way, but I was fine not reading the chapters in order.

A sampling of chapter titles include: “Choiceful and Compulsive”, “Five Weeds”, “The Risk of Feeling”, “The Kid in the Closet”, “Practice”, “Tribe”, “Lightbulb”

Steve writes in simple, succinct paragraphs. He makes possibly complex psychological concepts and theories easy to understand. It is almost an art, how he cuts through all the psychobabble and simplifies all this information. He writes to the point, just like how he speaks, during therapy.

And I must add, he likes to take the monkey mickey out of himself, people and situations. Quoting a reviewer on Amazon: “And as writer, I will aspire to Steve’s clarity, organization, brevity and humor.”

There are lovely illustrations in the book too, all done by Steve. It’s a pity they’re not in colour!

Communication problems - Monkeytraps
Its not a just world - Monkeytraps
Life is a patient teacher - Monkeytraps
Love - Monkeytraps
Connect - Monkeytraps

(Some of the coloured versions of the illustrations from the book — courtesy of Steve Hauptman.)

What I don’t like about the Monkeytraps book

I wish the illustrations in the book were in colour!

I can’t think of anything I don’t like about the book. In fact, I feel like buying one for everyone I care about, so they can read it and have a better understanding of themselves and the world around them —  Life itself!

You may not like this book if…

  • You prefer books that read like a novel — this book is almost like an instructional guide
  • You are not prepared to consider yourself a control addict — Steve asserts all human beings are, to varying extents
  • You don’t wish to get in touch with your FEELINGS — this book talks about feelings that you may have been ignoring!

Personally, through my recovery, I was made aware that I’ve been suppressing my feelings for a long, long time. It was devastating, and I can understand how that can put one in a vulnerable and uncomfortable position. Not everyone is prepared to face their own feelings.

Product Details

Author: Steve Hauptman
374 pages
Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing (December 20, 2015)
Language: English
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars (9 customer reviews)
Price: Paperback, US$17.99 (Used, from US$13.64); Kindle version, US$9.99

Read more reviews on Amazon


I highly recommend this book to people boggled with the questions about Life, themselves and the people around them. And I’m not (entirely) saying this because I’m biased!

The writing style is matter-of-fact, cut to the chase, simple to understand. BUT, the content is tough to swallow sometimes… due to the many truths that are revealed.

If you want an honest glimpse of yourself, this book is for you. I guarantee you many “aha” moments when reading Monkeytraps. It can be life-changing, if you let it.

Check it out here

So, go ahead and check out Monkeytraps!

Quoting the book

(It is) filled with actionable insights you can start using today. Monkeytraps is a must-read for anyone seeking HAPPINESS, HEALTHIER RELATIONSHIPS and more PEACE OF MIND.

I hope you liked my Monkeytraps book review. Let me know if you have any questions, feedback or comments below.

If you liked this review, do Share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc… It could save a life or provide answers for people who are struggling right now.

Due to my mental health struggles, I have problems earning a stable income. In order to help myself financially, this post may contain affiliate links. This means that I may earn a small fee at no extra cost to you, based on your activity on this page. (See my disclaimer page for more information.) If you wish to show your support, you may take a look at my Etsy shop and see if anything tickles your fancy 🙂 Sending you warmth & gratitude in advance! Once again, thank you for reading my blog.


  1. Girl says:

    I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do, Jeff. I highly recommend it to everyone. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. jeffrey16201 says:

    The monkey traps sounds like a very good and useful self-help book, I do read more self-help books than any other type of book. The only novels I read which is seldom are mystery, James Patterson is one of my favorites.

    I like the idea of short chapters right to the point, step by step guides are my favorite way to learn anything new in my life.

    I plan to consider this book next time I order any books, right now I have a nice pile of books to catch up on reading .

  3. Marta says:

    Hey Girl,

    thanks for your review, I am always looking for interesting stuff to read. And I am in therapy too. Depression, yeah. With my therapist, we’ve identified my main problem as perfectionism, which has pretty much to do with control… I like your blog and I promise to come back once in a while.

    • Girl says:

      Hey Marta, thank you for stopping by. I’m glad you liked the book review. Perfectionism – I know that too well! My perfectionist streak started at a young age.

      1. Steve (my therapist) told me because of how my mother was, I aimed to be “perfect” in hopes of getting the praise and validation I never got from her as a child. Which up to now, I still have not!

      2. Due to her critical nature, I always thought there was something wrong with me (which I still suffer from, as an adult), so I subconsciously modeled after her, becoming very critical myself, pointing fingers internally and externally on what “needs” to be perfect.

      3. Because I couldn’t control my mother’s critical nature – she would simply criticise me at any moment – my safety was in “being in control” of everything else – myself, people around me, situations, etc…

      This is all very convoluted (and honestly pretty f*cked up) but all the pieces fit together and make sense to me.

      Just a little sharing on my end, on what I’ve gone through and what I’ve learnt in this short time of being in therapy… I’m on various Social channels. Please look me up and we can chat more 🙂

    • Derek says:

      Great review!

      This sounds like a great book to read especially if you feel like you are stuck in a spot you can’t get out of.

      Keep up the great work!

    • Girlfriend says:

      I love these types of books, the types that are self-help. I am one that suppresses my feelings often, maybe it’s a female thing? I see a lot of women do it to keep the peace in their families. I also love that it’s matter of fact. I don’t like having to read between the lines to figure out what I’m supposed to be learning from it. Great review!

      • Girl says:

        Hey there… You are right. Female roles have been shaped by society to be submissive and subservient. That is obviously changing with the times, but not as quickly as it should (though some feminists have taken it to the extreme).

        It may also be a subconscious behaviour that has been instilled into us since childhood. I personally did not realise I hid so much of my feelings for such a long time – decades!

        There is a difference between suppression and repression, covered in Chapter 31 of the book (I didn’t know there was a difference either).
        In any case, if you like the “Self Help” genre, do take a look see on Amazon 🙂

      • Runnerboy says:

        The review and feedback looks great! I too have the book by Eckhart Tolle which sounds complimentary. I’m working on my 30 days program now. Will KIV this book for now but thanks for the review 🙂

        • Girl says:

          Glad you could stop by, Runnerboy 🙂

          Thanks for the reminder – have been wanting to check out Eckhart Tolle. I’ve come across his quotes, but have not had a look at his book itself.

          PS. The Kindle version of Monkeytraps is not available for our region via though. But I’ve found a work around. Will send you the link!

        • Steph Niziolek says:

          Welcome to the world of book reviews! This is a fantastic breakdown of a rather interesting and informational book. Love the addition of the graphics from the book. Looks like a very well thought out book that can help a lot of people!