69 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book - explains some ideas in cognative therapy well
How do you deal with other people's anger? With their praise? With their criticism? How do you deal with mistakes? Do you cope well with stress? Are you comfortable trying new things? How do you express your feelings? Are you able to say "no"? How do you make friends? What are your beliefs around sex? We each have a unique way of managing our lives. But how many of us...
Published on May 7, 2002 by Dr.
17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Luke warm
While I firmly believe that your mindset or your core beliefs rule your life, I did not find the book motivating me to follow their suggestions.
My first problem concerns the core beliefs inventory that consist of 100 true or false questions about yourself. After the first 15 or so questions I realized that the "ideal" answer was a T for the first 10 questions...
Published on September 5, 2006 by John Chancellor
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69 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book - explains some ideas in cognative therapy well,
This review is from: Prisoners of Belief: Exposing and Changing Beliefs That Control Your Life (Paperback)How do you deal with other people's anger? With their praise? With their criticism? How do you deal with mistakes? Do you cope well with stress? Are you comfortable trying new things? How do you express your feelings? Are you able to say "no"? How do you make friends? What are your beliefs around sex? We each have a unique way of managing our lives. But how many of us explicitly know the rules guiding our lives? Those rules were formed in childhood and may or may not serve as good guides as we mature. How do you expose them and check their objectivity - and revise them where warranted? When you've held wrong ideas for a lifetime, you experience them as factual, unchallengable and true. How do you then uproot them? This short self-help book offers ways to challenge wrong ideas.
McKay's and Fanning's book helps you get to the foundation of your own "self-portrait," i.e., how you see yourself. Do you see yourself as a loner, as shy, as an angry person, as a cynic, as a happy person, as an assertive person? The authors help you uncover the rules you live by (e.g., Never say anything that will hurt someone. Never let anyone really get to know you. If you do not do things perfectly, you will be rejected.) Some of these rules may be healthy (e.g., Be responsible. Speak your mind openly and tactfully.) Some of these rules may literally drive you crazy (e.g., Don't make decisions. Don't try anything new.)
The authors help you understand and uncover your own core beliefs. "Your most deeply held, core beliefs are the bedrock of your personality. They describe you as worthy or worthless, competent or incompetent, powerful or helpless, loved or scorned, self-reliant or dependent, belonging or outcast, trusting or suspicious, flexible or judgmental, secure or threatened, fairly treated or victimized," say McKay and Fanning. Core beliefs affect your choice of career, your relationship with your children, your relationship with your partner, your sex life, you pursuit of enjoyable hobbies, your health, your life. As best put by the authors themselves: "Restricting negative beliefs can imprison you behind bars of conviction. This book shows how to become a personal scientist, test your core beliefs objectively, subtly shift your more negative convictions, and escape from the prison of belief to a freer, more satisfying life." Although the book has some minor flaws, its benefits far outweigh them.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It is a relatively good book...comparatively more intense, partly attributed to its therapeutic undertones!,
This review is from: Prisoners of Belief: Exposing and Changing Beliefs That Control Your Life (Paperback)Prisoners of Belief: Exposing & Changing Beliefs That Control Your Life
by Matthew McKay
"Belief is ultimately the key to happiness. Your most deeply held, core beliefs are the stock of your personality. They determine your feelings of worth, competence, belonging, loveability, security, trust & self-reliance. Restricting negative beliefs can imprison you behind bars of conviction. This book shows you how to become a personal scientist, test your core beliefs objectively, subtly shift your more negative convictions, & escape from the prison of belief to a freer, more satisfying life."
In a nut shell, the foregoing statement forms the principal thesis of the book.
I have owned this book - & have reread it several times - since it was first published in the early nineties. It is a relatively good book. It has been written by a clinical psychologist, & hence it is comparatively more intense, partly attributed to its therapeutic undertones. The exercises also take some discipline on the part of the reader to follow them.
Personally, I prefer Anthony Robbins' book, 'Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical & Financial Destiny', particularly chapter 4, Belief Systems: The Power to Change & the Power to Destroy. This author does a much better job in expounding his more upbeat principal thesis: "All personal breakthroughs begin with a change in beliefs."
In reality, Anthony Robbins covers a much broader spectrum. Essentially, he provides a step-by-step program on self-mastery: how to discover your true purpose, take control of your life & harness the forces that shape your destiny.
Alternatively, for its simplicity & yet lucid exposition, Bruce Doyle's 'Before You Think Another Thought: An Illustrated Guide to Understanding How Your Thought & Beliefs Create Your Life' is also worth reading. The exercises in the book are simple and incredibly enlightening. Please read my review on amazon website.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book if you want to make changes in your life!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Prisoners of Belief: Exposing and Changing Beliefs That Control Your Life (Paperback)If you really want to make long lasting changes in your life then you have to work on changing your core beliefs. The author uses easy to understand language and great examples. He gives relevant homework to assist in making a lasting change in your behavior.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful for Counselling Offenders,
This review is from: Prisoners of Belief: Exposing & Changing Beliefs That Control Your Life (Hardcover)I have found the author's explanations and techniques very helpful in guiding offenders to exam their thoughts and how they lead them into committing crimes; I have also found the book helpful to understand how people 'tick' in general and how we can expand ourselves.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Using this book Changed My Life,
I grew up with many self-image beliefs that were extremely harmful to me & all my relationships with other people. This book helped me not only examine the origins of these beliefs, and the evidence to prove or disprove them, it helped me to observe a process I'd never known could be changed, nor seen. Our beliefs are often private, perhaps even secret to ourselves, are we ever aware of a belief and how it rules our life? Mostly we just believe them, and subconsciously experience the effects of those beliefs, never really thinking to question whether a belief if true--instead we'll blame ourselves or others for doing something wrong rather than think perhaps the belief is wrong.
One great example is being told one is stupid, ugly, fat, worthless, unlovable. One can grow up believing these things & acting on them, in effect destroying one's own life & relationships! However, these beliefs almost always come from sick or harmful sources, and are NOT true. I went back & looked at report cards, baby & toddler pictures, achievements, and found that I had all A's, was not in any way fat, or ugly, looked at the little girl in the pictures & knew she was lovable and worthy! Obviously the beliefs I'd held were ALL false, and had become a self-fulfilling prophesy in many ways! Because I saw myself as unlovable or worthless, I could not trust anyone else's love either, could never accept or love myself, did not even try to have ambitions or further my schooling, there are countless negative & harmful results from just that one set of untrue beliefs. Over time this book helped me to change these beliefs to ones based on actual evidence! On the TRUTH. Until i became aware of my beliefs, then aware of their effects on me & my life, I could not move forward or change them. In this way, this book gave me my life, my self, my current opportunities & appreciation of my self as a person.
I did not need a therapist to work through these issues, but I'm a very highly motivated person who is self-directed, who was forced to grow up relying on myself. Others may need support from friends, a minister or a therapist, but not all will require these resources to get started or to finish. I suggest at least a read through on the book, before deciding what you may need to help you get through the work it entails. I also suggest DOING the exercises, being totally honest with yourself while doing the tests (no one has to see the answers but you--write them on separate paper & burn it if necessary), don't expect the book to do the work for you, nor for things to change overnight. It takes time to become aware, to begin to question, to begin to SEE the truths, to gather the evidence and to slowly change one's perspective, especially on lifelong belief systems. For some people the very thought is too fearful, challenging one's beliefs can seem scary, like a betrayal of those belief's origins (such as parents, teachers, siblings, who ever had such an impression upon one growing up). However, this must be done if one is to succeed, and not ALL of those beliefs will be proven wrong, or harmful, or need replacing. Those who planted such beliefs in your fertile young mind were not necessarily trying to harm or fool you, but had not in fact examined their own beliefs & may have been passing down the same harmful beliefs they were given or labeled in their youth.
Have an open mind, a willing attitude, a forgiving & understanding spirit--to forgive oneself as much as the sources of the harmful beliefs. If you expect the book to do all the work for you, or to be able to just read it & your life will change without you putting any effort into that, you'll find no satisfaction because nothing much in life works that way. Instead, be realistic & give yourself time to slowly work through each area, however long or short it takes you, just don't give up because the end result is worth every second of effort.
It's been 10 years since I used this book, and I can say I am grateful to it for the eye-opening & brain expanding look into the core issues that had been ruining my life, that needed to be completely revamped, and the results are better than even I knew or expected then, because the same observations then have helped me going forward, in new beliefs I may adopt without examining them first, or in catching myself in harmful beliefs again & rooting out their sources, proving them to be true or false, and in growing as a person, over time all my relationship issues, the old consequences of self-defeating beliefs, have changed for the better based on the new lessons I've learned. It didn't take me a decade to get here either, I'd say it was well under a year of work, though once internalized, it is an ongoing skill I am grateful this book gave me. I wish these lessons had been taught in schools, and I've enjoyed helping many others find (& privately use) this book over those years, which is how I ended up back here reviewing the book today. The previous reviews give little information or correct information on this book, how it is to be used, whether it in fact does work & what results one can expect if one uses the book as intended. Even just a read through is enough to get one started in becoming aware of the beliefs one holds, so whether one actually does the work or not, this book can effect changes in one's thinking, but of course actually doing the work is the best way to experience the benefits of changed perspectives.
17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Luke warm,
My first problem concerns the core beliefs inventory that consist of 100 true or false questions about yourself. After the first 15 or so questions I realized that the "ideal" answer was a T for the first 10 questions and then each 10 questions alternated the answer. The inventory totally lost its value.
I had a greater problem with question #12 that said "Life is dangerous - a medical, natural, or financial disaster could strike at any time. The ideal answer was false. However, I live in the New Orleans area and there are a few hundred thousand that can tell you a natural disaster can and in fact did alter our lives in one day.
It is easy to tell people to develop a budget and they can get their financial life under control. But how many can do that? Very few. Likewise it is easy to tell someone to do the exercises that is recommended. However there are very few people who will do the exercises on their own. It might be a fine exercise for therapy, however I do not see the average person jumping in and doing the back to childhood exercises.
I just do not think the book is a practical guide to changing the mindset of most people. And if most readers are not inclined to follow the exercises, then the book is of little value to them.
5.0 out of 5 stars Prisoners of Belief review,
4.0 out of 5 stars ok I am satisfied with my purchase,
Interesting with good tips in order to change your beliefs.
It gives a good insight for your beliefs.
2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing,
5 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the Publisher,
"Deeply held core beliefs are the bedrock of personality. Prisoners of Belief offers groun[d]breaking techniques for uncovering your basic core beliefs, evaluating their accuracy, and shifting a limiting core belief in a healthier direction."--Amazon UK
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Prisoners of Belief: Exposing and Changing Beliefs That Control Your Life by Matthew McKay Ph.D. (Paperback - July 1, 1991)