Most helpful positive review
254 of 264 people found the following review helpful
A Journal for Personal and Relationship Improvement
on October 3, 2000
Relationship Rescue is the best book that I have seen published so far in 2000. This workbook is a very helpful extension of that outstanding book, and one that I hope you will acquire, use, and share with others. Containing many of the same quizzes, assignments, and exercises as Relationship Rescue, the workbook will encourage you to write down your thoughts in more detail. There is also significant new material that will encourage you by deepening your commitment to change, and making it easier for you to change yourself . . . and through that, your relationship.
I recently finished reading Frankenstein, which wonderfully explores the pain that lacking loving human companionship brings. The pain of losing what was once loving may be even worse.
In Dr. Phil's own words, "The two books are designed to be companions." "The hardcover book offers you the information and the tools you need . . . ." "The workbook gives you a totally private place to complete a wide variety of exercises that are crucial to the process. Some of these exercises appear in the hardcover book, but many do not."
His promise to you is a significant one. "Read the book and do the work, and you will reclaim the power to shape the life you live . . . . you will reconnect with your old best self."
While many workbooks claim to be coordinated with book they support, this one does an excellent job of connection. Each section begins with directions of how to use the hardcover book as an introduction to that part of the workbook. So you will need both.
Like Relationship Rescue, this workbook deserves many more than five stars. Combined, the two are as close as you can get to having a hands-on guide for improving your relationships without having a trained counselor present. The combination is significantly better than just using either one alone. The workbook lacks the context, and the hardcover lacks all of the richness of these exercises.
It's too bad that most people will take on this workbook because they have a bad or failing relationship. It would be much better to start with the approach in the book and workbook in the beginning. As I mentioned with regard to Relationship Rescue, I hope marriage advisors, parents, living together couples, and engaged people will become familiar with this workbook and recommend using both books together to others.
Dr. Phil's approach is extremely direct. As in Relationship Rescue, he makes it clear that you have to first change yourself before you can change you relationship.
Relationship Rescue by itself is extremely well structured for easy use both as a book and as a workbook. This workbook is even better structured for use, because of the many directions inside for how to integrate the two books. Like Relationship Rescue, it is divided into seven steps (define and diagnose where the relationship is now; get rid of your wrong thinking about relationships; find out what you are doing to hurt the relationships; internalize the values needed to build and maintain strong relationships; the necessary format for a strong relationship; and how to reconnect and manage the relationship).
Each section is filled with diagnostic questions for you and your partner to use, as well as directions for implementing what you learn. I found that retaking some of the quizzes was very helpful to me in refocusing me on needed improvements, and encouraging me by letting me see how much change I had made since reading Relationship Rescue.
The process involved is a good one. It begins with identifying stalled thinking, works on stallbusting that thinking, and then builds new habits that will work better.
The steps are even more extensive than in Relationship Rescue, but you can take them in bite-sized amounts over a longer period of time. Before you are done, you will be sharing much of what you have done with your partner. I have to believe that anyone who was told that their partner had been working on these questions and exercises from the book and the workbook would be very impressed by the commitment to the relationship that all this effort represented. This credibility can help overcome a lot of thoughtlessness that may have preceded that sharing.
If your relationship is on the rocks, you may feel that the idea of reconnecting is scary. I was impressed to see that the book and workbook provide a 14 day program to help you with exercises that help reconnect you emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. The workbook expands the tools available to you during that reconnection period, as well as gives you great ways to monitor and improve on what you are doing. Most counselors would probably not give you this much guidance.
If you are like me, one of the finest things in life is to have a great relationship with other people. The combination of Relationship Rescue and this workbook gives you more than the minimum necessary background to move in that direction. The rest is up to you, as the author says. I urge you to give it a shot! You do have a lot to gain!