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Self-Esteem: A proven program of cognitive techniques for assessing, improving and maintaining your self-esteem Paperback – Jun 1 2000

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  • Self-Esteem: A proven program of cognitive techniques for assessing, improving and maintaining your self-esteem
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  • The Self-Esteem Companion: Simple Exercises to Help You Challenge Your Inner Critic and Celebrate Your Personal Strengths
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  • The Self-Esteem Guided Journal: A 10-Week Program
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 3 edition (June 1 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572241985
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572241985
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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's also penned two novels: Us and 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 San Francisco Bay Area. Patrick Fanning is a professional writer in the mental health field, and 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

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Self-esteem is essential for psychological survival. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By ivtzo on Oct. 11 2003
Format: Paperback
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tonya on Nov. 29 2010
Format: Paperback
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Andreas Fellner on Aug. 9 2002
Format: Paperback
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 By Fred E Kunisch on Sept. 11 2001
Format: Paperback
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 on Feb. 8 2004
Format: Paperback
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.
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