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Overcoming Low Self-Esteem (Overcoming Books) [Paperback]

Dr Melanie Fennell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
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Book Description

16 April 2009 Overcoming Books
Melanie Fennell’s Overcoming Low Self-Esteem is a classic of self-help literature, winning acclaim for its practical and user-friendly approach and now recommended on the National Health Service’s self-help scheme known as Books on Prescription. This book will aid readers to understand their condition and with this knowledge enable them to break out of the vicious circle of negative self-image, learn the art of self-acceptance and alter their lives for the better. Explains the nature of low self-esteem and self destructive thinking. Contains a complete self-help programme and monitoring sheets. Is based on clinically proven techniques of cognitive therapy.

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Overcoming Low Self-Esteem (Overcoming Books) + Overcoming Social Anxiety & Shyness + Overcoming Depression: A self- help guide using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson (16 April 2009)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1849010684
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849010689
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr Melanie Fennell is Director of the Oxford Diploma/MSc in Advanced Cognitive Therapy Studies which runs from the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre, which she founded, in collaboration with Oxford University. She is also a clinical research associate in the Oxford University Department of Psychiatry.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy treats emotional disorders by changing negative patterns of thought. It is now internationally established as a key method of helping overcome longstanding conditions such as panic attacks, depression, anxiety, gambling addictions and some eating disorders.

The first thing that is attractive about this book is the total lack of "technicalese"; this, coupled with its logical construction makes it not only interesting but also easily accessible to the lay reader.

To begin with, a guest author explains the history, meaning and relevance of cognitive therapy. This is followed by Melanie Fennell focusing on "Low Self Esteem" as an introduction to the main body of the book. The reader is then asked to participate in a self-assessment exercise. Having proven to have low self esteem, the reader is shown not only the impact self-esteem can have on their lives, but also many of the resultant issues--physical, emotional and social.

"Having cleared the ground", the author proceeds to explain the importance of and means to identifying triggers to bouts of low self-esteem. This can be as a long-established predilection or as the result of learned behaviour. Once this is achieved, Fennell goes on to advise ploys to overcome these triggers.

There follows a reinforcement to overcoming the triggers by the use of a Daily Action Diary (DAD), where the reader plans their daily routine. Once these "tasks" have been accomplished, they can be ticked off, proving not only self worth by achievement but also acting as a self-distracter.

The book concludes by offering suggestions for "Putting Life Together" and "Planning for the Future". This is done by the use of simple graticules as an easy way of spotting self- critical thoughts and a "Precaution Record Sheet"

This is a very useful book that achieves its stated aims of explaining the nature of low self esteem and self- destructive thinking, providing a complete self-help programme and monitoring sheets and basing its advice on clinically proven techniques of cognitive therapy. -- Peter Kidd, trained Community Psychiatric Nurse --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


A thoroughly enjoyable read, and [I] would recommend trainee therapists read it also, as it will increase your understanding of the treatment of low self-esteem. (BABCP Magazine)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
305 of 309 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really helpful, life changing book 7 Aug 2008
This book is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which basically sets out to help you become aware of where you are thinking unrealistically (or just plain wrongly), and to replace these thoughts with helpful and more realistic ones.

I was really scared for a fair while that this book wouldn't help me, but actually it has, and loads. By about half-way through, I was daring to believe people actually loved me, I was approaching groups of people and joining in with the conversation, and being open about who I am - and starting to enjoy doing so, and not assuming everyone disliked me.

However, you need to know that this book is sometimes difficult to read, and to change will be hard. This is not a book that you "read". This is a book where you read a section, then you have to do the exercise - sometimes daily, for a couple of weeks - more like a "workbook". If you read this book cover-to-cover, it will have little discernable effect on your life. However, if you put the time in, you will notice real changes fairly soon.

I have to confess by being really confused and a little upset for some of the people who gave this very negative reviews - it doesn't advocate simplistically thinking "positively" in the face of all the evidence. To the contrary, it helps you set up experiements to discover what the truth actually is, and what you can do about it, and helps you examine the evidence from your experiments in a more rational way.

Finally, you can only do this if you *want* to change - yes, this book is aobut changing quite fundamental thoughts you may have about yourself, which you may have clung to for years like a safety blanket and not want to believe actually aren't true. And it will be hard! However, for me it's been really worthwhile. Good luck!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars overcoming low self-esteem 9 Aug 2009
By kaz
This book is a very useful self help book. It not only allows you to recognise reasons for low self esteem but gives you guidance to find positive ways to combat it. The Author advises a quick read through and then a slower work through, I agree with this and found that it was good to have a basic idea of what was coming and then take time to work on issues that I felt would be useful. It is the sort of book that you can use on your own or with support. I have recommended this book to friends.
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114 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've ever bought! 12 Dec 2008
I bought this book at the aiport whilst making a business trip that I was absolutely dreading, essentially because my self-esteem was so low. This book did change my life, or rather it enabled me to change my life for myself. It is essentially about taking control of your own life and your own thoughts and feelings, and facing situations you have previously avoided.

It is incredibly well-written, and though it is clearly structured and designed to be worked through one chapter at a time, you can still open it at any page and discover some excellent advice. What I love about the book is the friendly, comforting tone in which it is written. The author is full of compassion, and this is important as you learn to have compassion for yourself (instead of putting yourself down), to understand why you may have developed certain unhelpful thought patterns, and to begin to undo all this.

Though it is a cliche, I can honestly say this book changed my life. I wore my copy out and bought a second one. I love books, and have hundreds, but if I had to get rid of them all and keep only one, it would have to be this one.
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62 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really helpful book 9 May 2008
By Ashpan
I have really enjoyed reading this book. Having suffered with several anxiety disorders over the years I decided to look at the cause rather than the symptoms. I have read many self help books but this is the only one that has had a significant effect. I think maybe some readers have missed the point of the book, it is really about accepting yourself, flaws and all, but also trying to focus on the positive rather than negative, obviously this isn't an easy task but this book sets you on the right track. Personally to me self esteem is all about acceptance, it's not about doing things perfectly, or looking a certain way, or even relying on other people to boost it - that's why I'm a bit confused over some of the other reviews. There are lots of different tasks to follow to help you understand your thinking patterns etc., and the author does explain at length the reason for undertaking each one. All in all I would say this is a really useful book if you suffer with self esteem issues. My only complaint would be that although she gives us several examples of people with low self esteem at the beginning, she does seem to focus on the same person throughout the majority of the book. It would have been nice to see different examples throughout.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overcoming: Low self-esteem 15 Mar 2010
Great self-help guide to overcoming low self-esteem, written in an easy-to-read format, containing worksheets.
The book is CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)based and a useful tool in managing and conquering low self-esteem.
I' am a therapist for the NHS myself and recommend this to my patients as an add-on to our sessions, plus it is one of the titles our Primary Care Trust has on it's 'Books on prescription' scheme, available through certain libraries.
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