A clinical psychologist offers practical tools for a happier life.
The author is quick to note that there are no magic mantras or quick fixes. Instead, Herman reveals the insights and techniques he has developed during many years of counseling patients through the full spectrum of human psychological and emotional issues. As he reminds readers throughout, using these tools successfully takes time, work and will. He begins by encouraging readers to examine their past to see how it impacts their present. Many behaviors that inhibit our growth and happiness as adults are connected to some negative influence in childhood. Fear, anxiety and anger are often coping strategies one adopts as a child to deal with situations out of one’s control, but when carried forward into adulthood, these reactions can become dysfunctional. By looking back and identifying the source of such feelings–traumatic experiences, abusive or neglectful parents–one can put them into proper perspective and move on. Herman advocates making a step-by-step plan for achieving one’s goals and presents ways to overcome the stumbling blocks that may be encountered along the way–internal defense mechanisms used to resist change, painful feelings that must be confronted–and illustrates points with stories about patients he has treated in his practice. These examples demonstrate how readers can apply analytical techniques to their own lives, using several exercises in the book. Herman concludes with advice on how to deal with anxiety, guilt and anger in healthier ways and make positive change permanent. This straightforward, efficient book enables readers to understand their personal problems in a context conducive to change, and those considering therapy may find it helpful preparation to make sessions more productive.
An effective tool to improving mental health.