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Posts Tagged ‘self-help’


Monday, December 14th, 2015

Freedom from Guilt and Blame is a small book of only 46 pages, and it is a valuable tool to have on your shelf or reader.  Lots of gems are found in this self-help text and they are well explained and defined.

If I were still working as a counselor, I would have a number of copies of this book to share with clients and students.    Lancer, a lawyer turned Family Therapist has a way with words that is helpful and easy to understand.  Her definitions of guilt, blame, shame, anger and self-esteem are worth the price of ownership.  Then she takes her precise definitions and uses anecdotal evidence to show their outcome and manifestations.   One does not need to guess how guilt plays out in their own relationships and actions because of her precise explanations.

The definitions and examples are accompanied by exercises that allow the reader to fully participate in their own understanding and in changing behaviors that are not leading to healthy outcomes.   The exercises on self-forgiveness are most helpful in removing sticking points and letting go.

When I was working with teens, I would have shared copies of this book also.  I found it very valuable to give young people the facts and the coping skills to use those facts to their advantage as they grew.  Such as, most teens will experience depression as they learn deeper emotions.  They do not understand that everyone needs to learn to deal with depression and learn skills for changing those emotions and making them useful.  I would teach a session on depression with young people and then we would recognize and learn new mechanisms for behaviors and develop resilience.

Young people would learn and understand FREEDOM FROM GUILT AND BLAME; would find it useful to have on their shelf for future reference when they were caught in an emotional loop of behaviors.  When people of all ages know and understand they can make different choices.

A very helpful book to read, reference and keep handy.  Good ideas and exercises for starting a successful New Year and making changes in one’s life and behaviors.

From the book:

This is the second book I have reviewed from Darlene Lancer. “Darlene Lancer is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has helped individuals and couples improve their lives, their self-esteem, and relationships for over 27 years.  She maintains a private practice and coaches internationally.  She is an expert in the area of codependency, addiction, and relationships.  Ms. Lancer is a quoted authority and sought after speaker and lecturer at colleges, universities, and on radio.  One can read many of her articles at http://whatiscodependency.com or follow her work on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/CodependencyRecover .”

Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You
If You Leave Me Can I Come With You?

A BREAST CANCER ALPHABET: Inspiration and Encouragement ~ Mudhulika Sikka

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Purchase this book and tuck it into the purse of the next person you meet who has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  You will not regret this, I promise you!

If I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer I would purchase this book and download it to my phone e-reader so that I could carry it with me through all the days of my healing and recovery.   When I did have Ovarian Cancer, I did not have an e-reader, but I carried a Book of Days with me everywhere I went and read and re-read to address the issues, to drive my healing work and to write in my journal.   A BREAST CANCER ALPHABET is specifically for BC patients.

Madhulika Sikka was diagnosed with Breast Cancer when she was producing a segment for NPR’s Morning Edition and her team had just interviewed President Obama.  When the diagnosis call arrived, she did not go directly to the Internet instead she told the two science writers in her office and they took on an advocacy role for her.

A BREAST CANCER ALPHABET reminds me that when one is seriously ill, one needs an advocate, who will listen and help interpret and assist in the healing / recovery with you – no exceptions to this rule.

On the cover Cokie Roberts says:

“This useful and often amusing little book should be the first present your give someone who’s been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Its practicality extends from sound advice (‘drugs are your friends’) to the inclusion of pages for notes at the end.  By presenting her own experience in a wry and matter-of-fact manner, Madhulika Sikka removes taboos in talking about sex or looks or the desire on some days to just quit soldiering on through the whole deal.  It won’t make having breast cancer easier, but it will make the dread disease and its treatments less mysterious.  That’s a gift indeed.”   (Roberts – Journalist and author of WE ARE OUR MOTHER”S DAUGHTERS)

Madhulika Sikka is a veteran broadcast journalist with decades of experience. She has worked at NPR News and ABC News, among other outlets.

Madhulika Sikka Twitter

TLC BOOK TOURS  sent me a copy for review of A BREAST CANCER ALPHABET and I want to share this gem with all my readers.

When Women Were Birds 
My Stroke of Insight
Your Medical Mind

MY THINNING YEARS: Starving the Gay Within ~Jon Derek Croteau

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

“From the time I was a child in such an unsafe household, I’d been putting on layers of emotional fat, thickening myself for years to protect myself from the inevitable truth.  I must have been preparing myself for the ultimate rejection I assumed would come from my father, and eventually, everyone else.” (from page 210 of Advanced Copy Uncorrected Proofs)

MY THINNING YEARS is another self-help/recovery book from Hazelden Publishing.  It is a well written biography of a young man having to deal with identity issues in a verbally and often physically abusive household.  The author’s father only wanted certainly things for his three children and then they could not do them “right”.   His father was determined to destroy any “sissy” tendencies in his youngest son and determined that he was going to be a sports star in school – especially in baseball.   Croteau was a sport’s star but only in tennis.  His mother was very supportive and tried to protect her children managing her anger by chain smoking.

Food was a big issue along with perfect grades and achievements.  For the author, this translated into anxiety, anorexia, obsessive behaviors, perfectionism, and nearly suicide.  Many of his friends were females and neighbors who allowed Croteau access to their homes when his father rampaged.   Many of these friends stuck by him all of his life and protected him at school.  He loved to sing but was only allowed to be in theater productions required at school.

Croteau’s mother got him counseling help as best as she could provide by cashing checks at the grocery store and having a teacher provide the transportation so husband/father would not know.   His brother and sister had a hard time too, but not as tough as Jon because they were great at sports and not as sensitive.  Appearance was important and not having any “faggy” behaviors.

This is a well written account of how difficult it was in the 80s and 90s to find an identity and become self-affirming.  At one point in my career I was working with a group of teens as a counselor – all had eating issues, identity issues and food issues.  4 of the males in the group were anorexic and I wished I had had a copy of this book to share with them all; they were not alone it was a struggle for many.

I could identify with Croteau’s pathway too, because my home was run by a quiet perfectionist who used criticism as a tool.   My siblings were not safe or protective we were all in competition for attention and sometimes food.  Many, many people could relate to this recovery process and issues of self-affirmation.  It is good story telling.

“Jon Derek Croteau, Ed.D. is vice president at a leadership consultancy for higher education and health care clients across the globe. He is the author of three academic books on staff development and leadership as well as numerous articles for journals and periodicals, and he is a member of the speaker’s bureau of the National Eating Disorders Association.  Jon legally married his partner, Justin Croteau, in 2007 and currently resides in Vermont”

TLC Online Book Tours   and Hazelden sent me a copy of this book for review. MY THINNING YEARS is a very good read and resource.  Thank you for the opportunity.

Conquering Shame and Co-Dependency 
Mind Without a Home 
Shadows In The Sun
The Isolation Door

THE FIRST RULE OF INNER PEACE: Jesus’ Sensible Way To Be Happy ~John Kuypers

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Matthew 7:5 “First take the plank out of you own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Today in western society there are a tremendous number of people who are not happy.  The pursuit of HAPPINESS is high on the list of the Human Agenda!  It is even a part of the US Constitution.  THE FIRST RULE OF INNER PEACE is a handy ebook – pocket guide to sure fire ways to get to your point of inner happiness in a very direct route.

THE FIRST RULE OF INNER PEACE is a very similar practice to a children’s problem – solving/ conflict – resolution tool which I learned at the University of Washington and taught at Elementary schools in the region. SIGEP is a very simple way to defuse any situation and move forward.  Kuypers has put the Biblical words ascribed to Jesus to take people through the same steps towards resolution.

S   Stop is the first step of making a change.  What you are doing right now is not making you happy
Kuypers says:  “First get neutral about outcomes and then you will see clearly what to do.”

I  Identify the problem.  This is the hardest step of all.  Easy for a child and masked by adults. Sometimes it takes going back 7 to 10 levels in order to see that past experiences are not what the present moment is all about.  Seek back into your expectations and identify what is the result and outcome which you expected; it might even be a childhood painful moment – not the present one.

Kuypers says:  This is the taking the LOG out of your own eye before you remove the speck from others.    This is the hard work of staying in the present, not worrying about the past or the future and not covering up the work which we need to accomplish.  “What we are failing to see is that other people have the right to make mistakes, even when those mistakes hurt us.”

G  Generate new ideas. This often takes a lot of pushing and sometimes laughter because we like to do what we know – and yet when we do push and pull some new ideas we are more satisfied and happy about doing NEW things than staying in the old ruts.

Kuypers says:  This sometimes takes study and assistance, because we are not always aware of our behaviors and cleaning up the old past analysis and using our old ideas to wish for future outcomes is not being in the present, but is a habit that we call forth quickly.  Once again, it is important to be in the present and not be “constantly chewing on the future relentlessly while analyzing the past.”

E  Evaluate the ideas generated.  This too might take a bit of new learning.  We like our old judgments to work with ease for us in the present tense.

Kuypers says:  In Jesus’ words, “Judge not lest you be judged”.  When you are judging others you are not working from your center or towards your inner peace.  To be peaceful with ourselves we need to be “accepting of others when they have differing religious beliefs.”

P  Plan of action and usually a few notes will keep us moving towards our present goal and release us from our expectations of what we cannot control.

Kuypers says:  “We are seeking to gain control over our inner experience by purposely exposing those aspects of our mind and heart that become upset when things do not go our way. In reality, we are digging up our past so that we can stop it from biasing our present moment reactions.”

The 68 pages in my PDF unproofed copy of THE FIRST RULE OF INNER PEACE was a nice reminder for me about looking to myself and discovering my strengths of discernment and dropping judgments which are blocking my happiness.  I like knowing I can carry this ebook with me and look at it again when I find myself angry and frustrated about what is happening in my life.  I am not very happy in response to all the “CHRISTIANS” in my community and in my government who are making judgments about my future; which involve a great deal of name-calling and dangerous outcomes.  They just do not need to affect my inner peace.  I wish those “others” would read this book!

This book was sent to me by John Kuypers the author, and it was an enjoyable read and a great reinforcement of my own beliefs about change, communication skills and finding peace within one’s self.  Thank you for the opportunity to read THE FIRST RULE OF INNER PEACE.

John Kuypers on You Tube
John Kuypers on Twitter 
John Kuypers on Facebook
John Kuypers Website

“John Kuypers is an inner peace leadership coach, writer and speaker.  He is the author of five books and is currently writing a memoir of his inner peace journey.  He has appeared on television, radio and print numerous times over the years.”

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s  from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket. Donations also welcomed. Thank you for your support.

My Country Tis of Thee
The Pocket Guide to Manifesting
The Most Important Day of Your Life 
Daring Greatly