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Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem Paperback – May 15, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-1572241985 ISBN-10: 1572241985 Edition: 3rd

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Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem + The Self-Esteem Workbook
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 3rd edition (May 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572241985
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572241985
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


McKay and Fanning recognize the complexity of the human tendency toward self- criticism. Their carefully written, cognitively oriented self-help book wisely avoids simplistic solutions, offering instead a systematic approach to self-eseem development.
—Robert E. Alberti, Ph.D., author of Your Perfect Right

Positive self-esteem is the centerpiece of a healthy personality. McKay and Fanning's new book offers us a valuable storehouse of tactics and strategies for constructing (or renovating) the foundation of our self-esteem.
—Philip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D., author of Shyness

Self-Esteem is truly a very special title. Good writing is especially necessary for self-help titles.... I feel a special enthusiasm in bringing it to the notice of our audience.
—The Midwest Book Review

From the Publisher

The original self-help book for building healthy self-esteem just got better with a catchy new package that connects it to The Self-Esteem Companion and the forthcoming Self-Esteem Guided Journal.

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Customer Reviews

It's easy to read, yet also very helpful.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in Psychology or in just building your personal self-esteem.
So many books deny that there are real serious problems in life, that there is pain and trouble, much of it ongoing.
T. Jackson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

252 of 254 people found the following review helpful By Andreas Fellner on August 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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88 of 89 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 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.
Read more ›
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192 of 204 people found the following review helpful By Copenhagener on April 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
The first half of this book is excellent and goes very well into the details about building up a solid sense of selfworth. From the middle of the book, I thought it would go even further into details, but to my disappointment, from then on it begins to look more like the regular quick-fix selfhelp books. That is, a lot of talk about visualisation and meditation, and some fluffy tips on improving communication and setting up some goals in certain areas of life.

The book has some contradictions:

In one chapter it says that one should become independent of other people's opinion. In another chapter it says that one should use other people's approval as motivation for achieveing goals.

In one chapter it says that one should get rid of unrealistic fantasies. In another chapter it says that it is okay to do so for motivation.

It also says that one should not stand up for oneself if being criticised, but just say "You are right!". And then think "But I know that he/she is not right" - ??

It also advices to use profanity against one self and physical self-harm in order to stop the inner critic. I allow myself to question whether this could possibly be any good advice at all, thinking of the overall issue that this book is trying to cover.

The first eight chapters are great (with some exceptions), but the rest of the book is too vague. It simply slides off the track. It should have continued with more details, examples and more of the great thoughts on building self-esteem. Especially the chapters on visualisation and meditation should have been cut out, as it contradicts the theories presented in the beginning of the book.
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