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Find Your Power: A Toolkit for Resilience and Positive Change Paperback – Illustrated, 1 Oct 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Permanent Publications; 2nd edition (1 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856230503
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856230506
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

With a background in medicine, psychology and groupwork, Chris Johnstone is a specialist in the psychology of positive change. After working for many years as an addictions specialist in the UK health service, he now focuses on teaching, training and writing. He is in demand as a speaker and trainer on the psychology of change, especially in relation to health-related behaviour, mood improvement and global issues. His book, Find Your Power - a toolkit for resilience and positive change (2nd edition, Permanent Publications, May 2010) is one of the few self-help books to address both personal and planetary concerns. His self-help audiobook, The Happiness Training Plan, co-produced with Miriam Akhtar, introduces practical mood improvement strategies. Chris has been active in the Transition movement, contributing to a chapter on the psychology of change in The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins. He has pioneered the application of the positive psychology approach in health-care, within organisations and in adult education. He edits the free email newsletter The Great Turning Times. He is also a fine musician, known for his hammered dulcimer and harmonica playing. For more information, see his website at www.chrisjohnstone.info

Product Description

Review

Chris approaches the challenge of changing things, whether in your life or the world, as a journey or adventure. In adventures, you expect to bump into things, obstacles are part of the course. But when there's too much in the way, and it seems too difficult, we tend to think of the change as beyond our power. At this point, rather than give up or feel defeated, Chris takes us on a different route: he invites us onto the quest of finding our power. By strengthening our ability to rise to challenges, motivate ourselves, find ways through blocks and design more enjoyable approaches to what we do, it becomes possible to open up new pathways forward. --From the Foreword by Rob Hopkins, co-founder of the Transition Movement

This brilliant and practical book is a call to liberation: it frees us to discover, use, and enjoy the powers life has given us --Joanna Macy, Author, World As Lover World As Self

I have read many, many books relating to the concepts of personal power/change, and I think this is by far the most helpful and useful. --Patricia Gaya Wicks, Lecturer in Leadership Studies, University of Exeter

About the Author

With a background in medicine, psychology and group work, Dr. Chris Johnstone is a specialist in the psychology of positive change. After working for many years as an addictions specialist in the UK health service, he now focuses on teaching, training and writing. Johnstone has been active in the Transition movement, contributing to a chapter on the psychology of change in The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins, and has pioneered the application of the positive psychology approach in health-care, within organisations and in adult education. He edits the online newsletter The Great Turning Times.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By B. Strawbridge on 15 May 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is wonderful. I especially love chapter 11, which I read at a time when I was feeling quite negative about the myriad climate change related issues facing us these days. After reading 'Find Your Power' I felt a lot more positive and empowered...and have learned to see how a crisis really can be transformed into a turning point, not only for individuals, but for whole communities and perhaps the entire human race.

Chris Johnstone has drawn from his experience as an addictions specialist, his work over more than two decades with deep ecologist Joanna Macy, his work in the field of positive psychology and his background in campaigning and activism. The tools contained within this book really did help me find the power within to face the challenging times ahead with renewed positivity, optimism and strength....and it has now taken up permanent residence on my bedside table.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Graham on 24 July 2010
Format: Paperback
There are several theories of depression in circulation at any one time but a theme that recurs in many of them is that of powerlessness. This is particularly true of the concept of "learned helplessness", where depressed people can actually give up any hope of making an impression on the world, however modest.

If Chris Johnstone's book had a subtitle, it could almost be "unlearning learned helplessness". For it is the notion of finding the power to shape your own destiny that is at its core. In this sense, the new image on the cover of this revised edition is instructive. Rather than the long road ahead of the first edition, it now shows the silhouette of a climber attempting the ascent of a rock face.

Anyone who has tried even the most basic attempt on a boulder room will know that there is always a tension between the fear of falling and the aggressive tenacity needed to keep going up. Though in no way an advocate of such aggression, the book does attempt to bolster the tenacity and resilience necessary to make upward progress.

And it is in this constant invitation to take action, to express your power, that "Find Your Power" is most compelling. Of particular value is the "dream cycle", which breaks down the process of idle fantasising into a series of practical steps that move you closer to making your dreams a reality.

This may seem like obvious stuff, but the paradox of powerlessness is that by not fully clarifying what we want to achieve, we are kept in a state of vague unknowing that makes us less likely to achieve it.

Overall, there is a feeling as you progress through the book, that it instinctively feels right. The tone is gentle and encouraging and almost entirely positive.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ms. J. L. Horsfall on 16 May 2010
Format: Paperback
Chris Johnstone's latest edition of 'Find Your Power' is an essential book for anyone interested in creating positive change, on both a personal and planetary level. As a senior mental health practitioner working in higher education, I regularly recommend this to students I see who are struggling with low self esteem, depression, anxiety and addictions. What is particularly excellent about this book is that it offers a wide range of helpful theoretical concepts (underpinned with recent ideas from psychology and science) as well as practical tools which are easy to apply to daily life. I especially like the 'self help SSRI' model where 'Strategies, Stregths Resources and Insights' offers a much needed and refreshing alternative to the usual associated meaning of SSRI's(i.e. antidepressants).

Unlike your usual self help book, which can be rather over focussed on 'personal empowerment', what is refreshing, inspiring and visionary about this book is it's inclusion of wider planetary issues, reminding the reader how their sense of power is embedded in their intrinsic connection and interdependence with life. This book has not only been essential to my work as a coach, therapist, trainer and facilitator but has also strengthened my ability to respond to the concerning global and ecological crisis we face as humans.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. E. Lewis on 8 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
I've long been a fan of Chris Johnstone's 'Find Your Power'. It's the most wonderful toolkit for anyone who needs to build resilience in an unfriendly world.

Some of my books bristle with those handly little post-it page markers which remind me of aha moments and memorable passages. This is one of them. Chris Johnstone was a junior doctor in the UK when that meant working 48 hours without a break, and 100 hour working weeks. He became a leading figure in the campaign to change junior doctors' working conditions. It took courage and determination - two attributes he encourages in his readers. He now specialises in treating addiction and teaching positive psychology.

Johnstone is a firm advocate of taking small steps. From multiple angles, he encourages his reader to move from a defeated, stuck place to one in which they take control of their future, one step and one insight at a time.

The book is very much for people who want to recover from setbacks and to find and use their own power for positive results. The first part is called "The power to begin", the second part is "the power to move through blocks" and the third part is "the power to keep yourself going".

In the new edition, Johnstone brings his thinking up to date, and applies it also to living sustainably.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: This book is invaluable: realistic, optimistic, and full of precious insights, clear illustrations and real examples. I really do recommend it.
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