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How to Be Your Own Therapist: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Competent, Confident Life By Dr. Patricia A. Farrell

Jacket: Hardcover
Pages: 270 pages
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Contemporary Books; (September 17, 2002)
Genre: Self Help
ISBN: 0071387331

Comments about the author: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell  is a clinical psychologist, writer and police surgeon with experience in the field of mental health as a practicing clinician, medical writer, researcher and educator.   Formerly,  the National Clinical Monitor for Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Dr. Farrell was involved in the first national protocol (Cognex) for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease.   A well-known psychologist, Dr. Farrell is the WebMD Moderator for Anxiety/Panic and has appeared on such national TV shows as The Today Show, The View, Inside Edition, Crier Live, E! Entertainment, The O'Reilly Factor, Court TV, VH1, ABC World News, MSNBC and is interviewed by national magazines and newspapers where she comments on current events in the news.  Vist the author's website


Review: For the second year in a row, my youngest sister, husband, and two children missed my youngest child’s birthday. I was furious at their whole family for being so callous and intentionally rude. My daughter Olivia is only two so missing this birthday meant they had missed every birthday party Olivia had ever had. The whole situation was beyond exasperating.

About the time this birthday soap opera was playing out, I was asked to review Patricia Farrell’s new book How to Be Your Own Therapist. Now, because of the volume of books I receive for evaluation, I typically don’t review books in this genre. However, something about the book’s title, its author, the subject matter, and the birthday situation seemed to flow neatly together in time and space. I try not to ignore those types of events. As it turns out, I am quite happy this confluence occurred – glad in fact that events caused me to read this work when otherwise I may have declined the offer.

When I received Dr. Farrell’s book I began moving through the work chapter by chapter as I would any other book I review. However, early on, the author points out that this is a resource to be used like any other tool you might employ: on an as needed basis. So, with this in mind I started again to go through the book. This time however, I began looking for tools that might help me assess my own actions in the birthday party melodrama specifically and with the relationship I have with my sister in general. Chapter 4: Open Your Eyes and Face Reality seemed like a good place to start. Here Farrell points out a trap that so many of us fall into – skewed reality. She notes, “In today’s world, it’s become far too common for people to buy into the idea that reality is whatever you want it to be.” As she does throughout the whole work, Dr. Farrell provides her personal insight into the topic, a brief case study, some thoughts on “why the old ways don’t work”, and an assessment tool that helps the reader to identify and create new methods for problem solving: Facing reality in this case.

I’ve found that working through some of the book’s text and exercises has been useful in the recent birthday situation. As the process goes on over time, it’s easy to see how other areas of my life can also be positively impacted by Farrell’s methodology of self-help.

Packed full of self-assessments and sound clinical advice, Dr. Patricia Farrell has put together a well thought out self-management methodology for people like you and me. Her book and all of the tools therein, allow the reader to take a step back from our everyday activities and turn our thoughts inward toward ourselves.

Patricia Farrell’s book How to Be Your Own Therapist lays out a roadmap taking the reader through some of the most common myths of modern psychology, to firing your parents, facing reality, the power of our own counsel and finally to her parting wish for us to live authentic, powerful, and joyful lives. This is a compelling book full of sound experienced advice and is well worth the read.

— Reviewed by: Timothy E. McMahon, M.S.
tim_mcmahon@northeastbookreviews.com

 
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