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on 14 December 2016
I've been raving about this book to anyone who will listen and have already bought another 2 copies to send to my friends. I work in health care and have even recommended this to a few patients, something I have never done before. I can't praise this book enough!
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on 6 December 2012
Philippa Perry's 'How to Stay Sane' is a rare gem of a psychological self-help book. Full of practical insights based on sound, up-to-date theory, it is written in a straightforward, sometimes humourous, friendly style that doesn't patronise the reader. Also, importantly, it doesn't offer simple solutions to complex problems, but takes us on a realistic journey towards greater self-acceptance and mindfulness.

The signposts on this really quite deeply philosophical journey are described under the headings 'Self-Observation', 'Relating to Others', 'Stress' (I couldn't help wanting to think of this more as 'self-challenge') and 'What's the Story (Our Personal Narrative)' She provides thorough references for each chapter and ends the book with a section describing detailed exercises that enable us to `embody' the theories she has discussed. "It is one thing to know about something and another to embody it" she says and, "The point of a set of instructions that comes with a model-aeroplane kit is not to supply you with reading material, but to guide you in the practical steps you need to apply in order to build the kit." These excellent exercises, she rightly tells us, are not for reading but for doing. Based as they are on sound principles they are well worth the investment of time.

As a now retired psychotherapist I can honestly say I wish this book had been available to recommend to clients while I was still employed. I especially liked it that Philippa Perry quotes Peter Lomas ("Hold your beliefs lightly") and also that she communicates to us that the most meaningful changes will come about when we stop trying to be who we are not and simply become more mindful of who we are. I do recommend it, it's a great little book!
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on 15 June 2017
Another little book with big ideas. The "School of Life" series explores the big stuff without being boring or stuffy. They seem to have found really good down-to-earth authors for these books and I'll definitely be browsing this series for more subjects that catch my eye.
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on 6 July 2017
Philippa Perry's just hits home with every sentence she writes. I just ove her calm, reassuring manner and style. Little exercises to apply what you have learned. A little life safer whenever the mental balance is at stake and whenever you feel life is getting ahead of you.
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on 13 June 2017
I love this book. Philippa Perry is witty erudite, helpful and never preachy.
A pragmatic, intelligent and clear approach for when everything else in your life is in chaos.
Highly recommended.
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on 19 January 2015
Not sure I've gained too much from this but still worth reading
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on 18 June 2012
...though it is genuinely helpful, and wonderfully free of jargon or new-age fuzzy feel-good thinking. This is a scientifically-based, clear-headed and practical approach to overcoming our weaknesses which brings real results - though of course you have to do your share of the mental work: nothing comes without effort and sustained focus. But it CAN be done, with patience, good sense, and realistic discipline. Ms. Perry is well plugged into these, and her book is permanently useful, to refer to again and again. Five stars for this much-needed breath of fresh air amongst all the perfumed pastel clouds of fantasy floating around the popular psychology genre, which so often mislead those seeking help via false promises and empirically dubious factoids. I'm always suspicious of books which try to peddle magic solutions to what are often complex, deeply-ingrained and long-standing problems. But this is the real thing. Definitely one to recommend to friends.
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on 14 October 2014
A useful short guide to living but not so keen on the suggested exercises, especially in Kindle format.
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on 12 November 2015
Great little book. Recommended for the lay person & therapists alike.
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on 3 July 2015
Very interesting little book - it manages to distill some complex theories into accessible concepts.
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