SELFHOOD: A Key to the Recovery of Emotional Wellbeing, Mental Health and the Prevention of Mental Health Problems or A Psychology Self Help Book for Effective Living and Handling Stress Paperback – 1 Sep 2011
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A step-by-step guide towards self-discovery
By Jennifer Hough
Saturday, March 10, 2012
A Key to the Recovery of Emotional Wellbeing, Mental Health and the Prevention of Mental Health Problems
Dr Terry Lynch
Mental Health Publishing, 16
Review: Jennifer Hough
From birth to death, the only ever-present relationship in your life is the one you have with yourself. And for this reason, you must work hard on building and maintaining that relationship.
So says Dr Terry Lynch in Selfhood: a Key to the Recovery of Emotional Wellbeing, Mental Health and the Prevention of Mental Health Problems.
Writing with years of hands-on experience, the Limerick psychotherapist says he has yet to meet a person diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, or any other major mental health problem, who had a solid and strong sense of what he calls "selfhood".
Best known for his best-seller Beyond Prozac, Dr Lynch calls the publication a workbook with practical advice and coping strategies -- something people can dip in and out of, use as a reference book, life guide and self-help book.
Selfhood is not your average self-help book though, it is much more. The beauty of it is that for those who don't have the good fortune to attend Dr Lynch, this is the next best thing. His voice and authority speak in every page and he gives solid actions and step-by-step advice for people to follow.
The book also tells stories of people he has seen in his practice over the years and these snapshots provide invaluable and insightful examples of the kind of situations he has dealt with, providing hope to people who may feel there is none.
Dr Lynch firmly believes childhood experiences can affect a person's emotional wellbeing.
A major shock at any stage of life can erode selfhood, but for children the experience is every more damaging, he says. He maintains that if left exposed to anger, violence, abuse or emotional neglect, children can lose touch with parts of themselves which reduces self-confidence and sows doubts about their lovability, capability and acceptability.
Although this is clearly a book for people who have low self-esteem and may be in treatment, it is also for anyone who is feeling disconnected from life, or themselves.
The book talks about a journey towards self-discovery -- one that can take some time depending on how damaged selfhood is. But it is a journey that needs time, energy, dedication and close attention.
Change, writes Dr Lynch, will not happen over night. "Changing your habits patterns, world view and self-perception will take time ... you are your own life manager. You are your own personal decision maker. You have choices in every situation and you are continually making choices and decisions whether you realise it or not. If you feel you are always depending on other people for safety, esteem, approval, acceptance and other aspects of selfhood this is occurring because of your repeated choice to live in this manner."
Selfhood is for life, says Dr Lynch, so the journey to find it "takes as long as it takes". --The Examiner newspaper, March 10, 2012
`Brilliant brilliant book, I would highly recommend it.'
`Your book is outstanding! Many people will find it helpful'
`your new book it is so wonderful it made me cry with happiness, thanx'
`I am reading parts of your book second time around because I find it so powerful. If I had this book 10 years ago I may have got involved with the Mental Health Services. Thank God to be free from all that now and to have books like yours around. Thank you for writing this book.'
`it's brilliant - a really readable tour through emotions and how to relate to them if you don't fancy them running your life'.
`Terry, your book on selfhood is fantastic: it doesn't exclude any category of patient or condition'.
`I feel so privileged to be in receipt of this wonderful book. I am thoroughly engaged with it! Personally it is giving me a lot of pause for thought'.
`I am so pleased to have this book.Reading it and practising the excerises one can discover so much about oneself. I only wish I had it years ago. Better late than ever. Brilliant book. At the moment it is my bible.'
`I am reading this book at the moment. I like it'
`People love it!' (Bookshop owner)
`It is really helping me'
`It's an amazing book, Terry. So many useful insights'. --Testimonials from readers of SELFHOOD
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Top Customer Reviews
Having read the book, I believe whole-heartedly that it is a must-read for those who have a low sense of themselves, for those who feel unhappy, unfulfilled, anxious, insecure and fearful and for those who feel that life seems beyond their control. However I also believe it is a book, which is suitable for every adult as they journey through life.
The author begins by outlining how real emotional distress often underlies mental health issues and explains the possible reasons behind this emotional distress and loss of selfhood, which can begin at a very early age. This allows readers to understand for themselves where their own personal issues stem from.
The remainder of the book looks at how each individual can raise their sense of selfhood in order to live a happier, more peaceful and contented life. The book explains each aspect of selfhood, outlining case studies from the lives of various individuals who have revived their sense of selfhood, and then gives the reader a series of actions to follow and integrate with their daily life in order to enhance their way of living. The book therefore acts as a workbook, taking the reader one step at a time towards building up their own sense of selfhood and enhancing their own way of living.
I cannot recommend this book enough. It is a practical book that can be read over and over again and dipped into as often as the reader likes to find key tips and messages to help them live better, happier and more fulfilled lives.
The author explains in detail and with concrete examples from everyday life how one's sense of self may be eroded over time, and he links this with many common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, loneliness and the inability to create a meaningful and fulfilling life. He argues that the work involved in recovering and rebuilding one's sense of selfhood is important and worthwhile as it gradually enhances our ability to be at peace with ourselves and others, it results in a richer and more meaningful life and it one of the best antidotes to mental health problems and difficulties.
The book takes us, step by step, through various exercises and reflections which help to build a solid sense of self. Many of the exercises can be integrated into our ordinary daily activities and, with practice, they become part of a more compassionate and authentic way of living with ourselves and others.
This book will be of benefit to anyone who has experienced mental distress at any level. It will be enjoyed by those who seek to enrich their lives in a meaningful way. Terry Lynch offers a clear, relevant and inspiring road-map to human flourishing and peaceful living. Well done Terry!
The book is written in a positive and encouraging tone, but doesn't shy away from the real issues or the work which is proposed. In this sense Terry writes like a good friend who is not afraid to give you frank advice!
There is a lot in this book which I have found revealing and initially surprising. In particular the section and advice regarding personal space and the boundary strikes me as particularly strong and relevant. Having read the whole book once already, I have already found such sections very useful and will continue working with the book.
I've read several books on depression and mental health, and this is the most useful one i've found so far, for outlining how a life-centred or person-centred approach to recovery from mental health issues can be undertaken.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Truly incredible, if you put these things into practice, your life will improve markedly. I've attended sessions with Terry on a number of occasions and he's every bit as... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joe
Ideal for our library of works to assist clients in tackling alcohol addiction.Published 13 months ago by Brian James Cowie
An excellent read, with a powerful message and strategies on how to understand and protect the 'self'.
Well written and extremely helpful.
Im too sick too read it. I got screwed over by a psychiatrist but im sure its quire good.Published 20 months ago by Kennu Scott
I have suffered with so called `mental health problems' on and off for the last 17 years - mainly depression but in the latter years anxiety. Read morePublished on 2 Jan. 2014 by JT
I put my service users hat on to read this book and found it to be the best delivered service users book by a long shot. It was easy to read and understand. Read morePublished on 1 Sept. 2013 by valerie farragher
Dr. Terry Lynch is a wonderful author, and experienced practitioner who truly understands the issues of mental health. Read morePublished on 30 Aug. 2013 by pc
I have read many books like this and while they all made sense, this book created the most profound change. Read morePublished on 10 July 2013 by Patrick Hogan