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The Last Self Help Book You'll Ever Need:…

The Last Self Help Book You'll Ever Need: Repress Your Anger, Think…

by Paul Pearsall

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I will freely admit that in the past I've been a bit of a self-help junkie. I've read several books, but felt unsatisfied by them all. They all seemed to be focused too much on I and not enough on the whole picture of life. Paul Pearsall's book is just the opposite. He flat out says that the majority of problems are caused by people being too self-absorbed and not paying enough attention to relationships.

This book isn't a manual on how to raise your self-esteem or learn to love yourself. Instead it looks at what self-help authors preach as the truth, and shows how often the opposite of that is what will lead you to a fully lived and savoured life.

Pearsall introduces some propositions of his own, ones that make much more sense to me. His take on life is much more grounded in the real world where we need to nurture relationships and act like adults, rather than the self-help world where it is all about the I and we are encouraged to act like children.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in really helping themselves. ( )
  Silverlotus | Feb 9, 2010 |
this was an interesting exploration of some of the 'facts' that are taken as sacred gospel in the self-help industry (e.g. the importance of loving yourself before you can love others, the necessity (and indeed, usefulness) of thinking positively, or what it takes to build a healthy relationship), along with a discussion of the level to which current understandings of behavioural psychology research supports or contradicts them. Dr Pearsall has his own horn to toot, and not all of his assertions seem to me to be backed up by research (or if they are, he doesn't always cite the research); but his arguments are interesting nonetheless, and have at least made me think about the level to which I've accepted the assertions of the self-help industry into my core belief system without truly examining them.

To be honest, it was the subcaption on the cover of "Repress your anger, think negatively, be a good blamer and throttle your inner child" that really drew me in; but it was the author's basing his arguments on a foundation of mindful enquiry that kept me reading. I'm not sure I can agree with the conclusion I draw from his arguments (that focussing on the good of the self is always wrong, and focussing on the good of the community and/or relationship is always right), but I can see cases where they might be. I think, overall, I'm going to give the book a rating of 7/10 - I like that it made me think, but I didn't like the times it seemed to slip over the edge and tell me what to think... ( )
1 vote Starfirenz | Mar 12, 2009 |
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With aloha
for my wife, Celest, my sons, Scott and Roger,
my mother, Carol,
and in loving memory of my father, Frank
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465054870, Paperback)

Although the tenets of self-help have been attacked before, Pearsall is the first psychologist to expose these deeply entrenched ideas to scientific scrutiny. And unlike other debunking books, The Last Self-Help Book You’ll Ever Need goes beyond skepticism to propose a set of life-affirming (and refreshingly contrarian) axioms that can help anyone lead the Good Life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:46 -0400)

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