Scovill’s guide suggests: Change your thinking; change your life.
Conventional fitness programs strengthen the body. This one targets the mind. Psychologist Scovill presents stair-step methodologies for monitoring and reversing automatic and ingrained thinking, caring for the physical workings of the brain, and improving work, family, romantic and friend relationships. Her debut work expands on cognitive behavioral therapy, which identifies and works with negative self-talk—critical things we say to ourselves that trigger emotional pain and overreacting. Negative self-talk boils down to 12 toxic beliefs—involving, for example, needing approval or worrying and avoiding confrontation—which Scovill shows how to monitor and counteract in specific issues (such as grief or anxiety) and relationships. A key concept is the inner family, a dynamic that refers to internal archetypes—the child; the parent, who influences the child; and the adult, who ideally controls both—that influence individual behavior. Though the foundation is intellectual, the author acknowledges (both in content and tone) the potent, often painful impact of emotions. Scovill elucidates each technique or area of focus with personal vignettes and client stories, which add context and interest. Empathy tempered with experience permeates her observations, suggestions and techniques. As a result, every step comes across as both appealing and accessible—including the potentially challenging, no-nonsense guidelines for managing expectations, behaviors and boundaries with acquaintances, friends, co-workers and relatives. Scovill’s guide—a standout in the self-help genre—tackles the messiness of life with candor and warmth.
A valuable, realistic, compassionate guide for taking control of one’s thinking.