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Self-Esteem: A proven program of cognitive techniques for assessing, improving and maintaining your self-esteem [Paperback]

Matthew McKay , Patrick Fanning
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 1 2000
Self-esteem is essential for our survival. Without some measure of self-worth, life can be enormously painful, with many basic needs going unmet.

One of the main factors differentiating humans from other animals is the awareness of self: the ability to form an identity and then attach a value to it. In other words, you have the capacity to define who you are and then decide if you like that identity or not. The problem of self-esteem is this human capacity for judgment. It's one thing to dislike certain colors, noises, shapes, or sensations. But when you reject parts of your self, you greatly damage the psycho logical structures that literally keep you alive. Judging and rejecting your self causes enormous pain.

Since its first publication in 1987, Self-Esteem has become the first choice of therapists and savvy readers looking for a comprehensive, self-care approach to improving self-image, increasing personal power, and defining core values. More than 600,000 copies of this book have helped literally millions of readers feel better about themselves, achieve greater success, and enjoy their lives to the fullest.

You can do it, too!

Frequently Bought Together

Self-Esteem: A proven program of cognitive techniques for assessing, improving and maintaining your self-esteem + The Self-Esteem Companion: Simple Exercises to Help You Challenge Your Inner Critic and Celebrate Your Personal Strengths + The Self-Esteem Guided Journal: A 10-Week Program
Price For All Three: CDN$ 46.10

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Product Details

Product Description


"Self-Esteem is truly a very special title." -- Midwest Book Review

About the Author

Matthew McKay, PhD, is a professor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. He has authored and coauthored numerous books, including The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, Self-Esteem, Thoughts and Feelings, When Anger Hurts , and ACT on Life Not on Anger . He has also penned two fiction novels, Us and The Wawona Hotel . McKay received his PhD in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, and specializes in the cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety and depression. He lives and works in the Bay Area.

Patrick Fanningis a professional writer in the mental health field and the founder of a men's support group in northern California. He has authored and coauthored eight self-help books, including Self-Esteem, Thoughts and Feelings, Couple Skills , and Mind and Emotions.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Self-esteem is essential for psychological survival. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read Self-Esteem- It's Worth It Nov. 29 2010
By Tonya
Who's the book for? Anyone who wants to improve their self-esteem.

What's the goal of the book? To improve your self-esteem.

How does it do this? By showing you how to disarm your "inner critic", you know, that negative inner voice that attacks and judges you. Everyone has one, and people with low self-esteem tend to have a more vicious inner critic.

Is it easy to read? Yes, the book is laid out well and written in a very friendly tone. The first three chapters cover the most important and universally applicable information. After finishing them, there is a chart for you to look at. It will direct you to the appropriate chapter(s) that deal with your specific problems. Neat!

You don't have to read the book cover-to-cover unless you just need general info- but that's what's good about it; you can use the book to fit your individual needs. With over 600,000 copies sold, it must have helped a few people! Other self-help books I liked include Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World. Good luck!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but decent Oct. 11 2003
By ivtzo
You may look at the title and think, "Oh, my God. ANOTHER self-esteem book. When will the madness end?" This book was first published in the late '80s and was primarily based off a hit back from that time, "Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy," by David Burns. Burns, along with Aaron Beck, was one of the first proponents of CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy), the theory that negative thoughts and self-defeating habits can affect mood.
Anyway, "Feeling Good" is an excellent book to help alleviate depression, but the problem with it is that it's just too long, too extensive, and too demanding of the reader in the amount of writing exercises it requires. "Feeling Good" can be useful, but it requires a lot of work. In addition, the information on medications is woefully out of date. In "Self-Esteem," McKay and Fanning take many of the same ideas and condense them, making them easier to understand. McKay and Fanning also simplify the exercises so that they make more sense and are easier to do.
The ideas and exercises can take a while to sink in before they can become helpful. There is no quick fix to depression or anxiety. As one of the first popular books in the field of CBT, "Self-Esteem" has held up pretty well over the years. The whole self-esteem movement may be a recent trend, but some of the movement's ideas have some truth to them.
Is this a perfect book? No. As others have complained, it is repetitive. Still, the ideas in it have helped me and others, and I think they can still be helpful to someone looking for useful self-help books today.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book! Aug. 9 2002
This is a very comprehensive self-help book about the nature, cause und treatment of low self-esteem. It is ideal for everyone with low self-esteem and contains many exercises. The authors deal with the following aspects:
- The nature of self-esteem: here the basic concept of the whole book is being introduced: your thoughts determine your self-esteem
- The pathological critic: you explore your inner critic, explore the origin of this critic and get information how to catch your critic
- Disarming the critic: in order to combat your inner critic, you first have to understand its function, then talk back so to make him useless
- Accurate self-assessment: this is one of the highlights of this book. You'll learn the art of accurate self-assessment without using pejorative terms like useless, bad, or inferior
- Cognitive distortions: this chapter deals with the important concept of wrongly perceiving reality and how to combat this tendency
- Compassion: this is one of the most powerful techniques for dealing with low self-esteem. You'll learn ways to better understand, accept, and forgive yourself and others
- Handling mistakes and responding to criticisms: I greatly like the attitude of the authors towards mistakes. There are no mistakes in the world, because all the decisions you chose to make were based on your needs and assessment of the situation. A decision can only be labeled as a mistake with hindsight
- Asking for what you want: this chapter shows how to assert your right without being aggressive
- Visualization and hypnosis
- Building self-esteem in children: the last chapter shows ways how to raise children with high self-esteem by listening to them and validating their feelings. At the same time, it is important to set clear limits and be consistent.
Altogether, this book is full of useful information and exercises. It can be used both as a self-help book and a supplement to therapy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best insight in building Self-Esteem Sept. 11 2001
This book contains the most wealth of information to change and improve one's Self-Esteem. Which leads to better awareness and more enjoyment of life through understanding ourselves and others. Has both great psychology and philosophy behind great tools to try. I want to thank both Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning on putting this book out. Great book also to read to help on anger problems. ....
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Self Esteem is a practical book. It's about taking control of your thoughts to take control of your feelings. That's all there is to it.
With inspiring simplicity and logic, McKay and Fanning educate the reader about the causes and effects of strong self-esteem. It also introduces the Critic - the voice in your head that brings you down no matter what you do. Most importantly, it helps you to expose what psychological needs the Critic meets. Once this is figured, one can resolve to meet needs in a healthier manner.
Next, with the reader aware of the needs his or her critic meets, a chart is offered, guiding the reader towards the specific resources mentioned in the book. Some of the written exercises are designed to enhance your awareness. Others are day-to-day activities in which you keep track of your exact thoughts in order to replace them with more realistic ones. In addition, visualization is offered as well, a powerful and simple tool for creating a healthier self-image.
Yet, the authors wisely understand that rebutting old beliefs sometimes isn't enough. As a solution, they offer the technique of hypnosis. The logic behind this is that often the memories that rob us of our worth are not remembered consciously. As a result, many of the exercises in the book will not work, since no memory is there for one to work with. Hypnosis allows one to directly access the subconscious, allowing one to implant healthier ideas of who we are.
Self-Esteem's ultimate goal seems to be to get the reader to measure up against a new standard of worth. An inspiring passage sums it up:
"The truth is that your value is your consciousness, your ability to perceive and experience. The value of a human life is that it exists. You are a complex miracle of creation.
Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It was pretty repetitive after already taking a treatment methods...
Read this for part of my supplementary psych reading this year. The methods are sound. It was pretty repetitive after already taking a treatment methods course. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dreya Bailes
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
This book contained a lot of good and useful information presented with plain and simple language. I would highly recommend it.
Published 22 months ago by Unhappy
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite interesting
As a graduate student in psychology, I often have to work with clients who want/need to develop their self-esteem. Read more
Published on Dec 27 2010 by M. R.
5.0 out of 5 stars The 11 dollar psychiatrist
For only 11 dollars, your life will be a better place. This author will solve the low self-esteem disorder RADICALLY, i wish i had this book before. Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2003 by Kai Hassan
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been 156 pages shorter
I was somewhat anxious to receive this book, as the other reviews were so positive and encouraging. After reading the first three chapters, I was disappointed as to the... Read more
Published on Aug. 29 2002 by Randy Sowder
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm good enough, I'm smart enough...
This is a really good book. At least that's what my friend told me. Actually I don't even have any real friends. Read more
Published on June 27 2002 by (.) (.)
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Approach to Empower your Self-Esteem
To say that this book is an excellent reference for understanding the nature of one's self-esteem would be an understatement. Read more
Published on June 5 2000 by Charles
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