Book Review: An interactive & dynamic guidebook

The book is a teach yourself guidebook. We all face uncertain times in our lives. This book endeavours to provide you with strategies to cope with during testing times and feel happy and stronger.

The author Donal Robertson is a registered psychotherapist, specialising in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), clinical hypnosis and other evidence-based approaches. His other books include The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (2010) and The Practice of Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy.

The book chapters are interesting and cover a range of topics from building long term resilience by developing mindfulness, valued action and building psychological flexibility.

Each chapter contains a self-assessment test, case study, practical exercises and reminder boxes and concludes with key points of the chapter towards the end. Particularly interesting are the chapters titled, Acceptance and defusion, problem-solving training, assertiveness and social skills, worry postponement and applied relaxation.

The book gives a toolkit of effective therapeutic strategies and techniques, drawing upon mindfulness and acceptance-based approaches to cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), combined with psychological approaches to stress prevention and management. The book draws upon classical philosophy to provide a context.

The book can be read chapter wise or you can also hop on to a specific chapter of your choice. The book is an interactive and dynamic guide and simplifies the whole process into understandable chunks without overwhelming the reader.

CBT therapy is based on the relationship between cognition-how we interpret our environment — and behaviour. CBT build emotional resilience by recognising that our thoughts influence our emotions which influence our behaviour, it’s not what happens to us in life that causes us distress, rather how we interpret it.

We can learn simple techniques to change our thinking and behaviour. The book teaches you to be gentler and kinder with yourself and most important of all being unconditional self-acceptance and realistic.