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116 of 120 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2002
As a psychologist, I have read a lot of self-help books. Typically, I'm disappointed by the flimsy substance and empty "pump up" aphorisms. I was prepared to think the same of The Resilience Factor -- but I was wrong. The Resilience Factor is based on years of scientific research into the "ingredients" of resilience and seven skills that can increase your resilience no matter how resilient (or un-resilient) you are today. The authors describe the work they have done with children, parents, and corporate employees and how these skills can improve your productivity and happiness. Better yet, the book is filled with vivid, compelling case studies (and a lot of humor) which makes the book a pleasure to read. I will recommend this book to all of my clients (and my family and friends). It's a must-read.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2007
All self-help has the same message -- you can only make positive choices in your life if you can figure out what choices you are making without any thought and then changing course by adding understanding. Most processes expect you to figure out why you do what you do by yourself and then layer their method on top to solve your issues. This process has so many different ways to explore your old habits that you can not help but change and make better choices. My only caveat is that you read this book over a long period of time; perhaps one chapter a week to truly process all of the information.I also suggest reading that chapter before bed and letting your subconscious mull over its lessons overniight. Excellent!
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2009
I was anxious to read this book knowing that Reivich has worked with Seligman and being impressed by his books; and feeling the topic was an important one. I began reading with a highlighter in hand, but eventually put it away as 70 pages into the book I hadn't highlighted a single thing.

I trudged on and am glad to report that eventually the book does share some good information about the topic and how to achieve it in your life. I did have to force myself to finish the book, much like reading a college textbook to get an assignment complete. It just wasn't as good of a read for me as say Seligman's books were. Something about the way it was written seemed a bit stuffy and wordy to me.

I would recommend the book but will say they could have edited a great deal out of it and had the same results for me. Maybe the material I found uneccessary is there for those who have no previous knowledge of psychology or self-help. I'd give it a B-, but if this is a topic you are interested in you will get some good information from it.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
****
This book was an exploration, via cognitive behavioral therapy, of resilience, and gives the reader seven skills to master to increase their own resilience. The two authors, who are also resilience researchers, call these skills: emotion regulation, impulse control, empathy, causal analysis, self-efficacy, and reaching out. These seven skills can be measured (and the book includes self-tests), learned (through practicing concepts discussed in the book) and continually improved.

Although this book was enormously helpful to me, it does cover only the aspect of resilience that responds to CBT, and thus is somewhat narrow in scope. It doesn't explore spiritual aspects of resilience, or other approaches, just cognitive behavioral therapy. However, it does this quite well. In addition, the writing style was academic, so I felt as though I was reading a text, and it was a bit of work to get through it rather than fun. Note that in this paperback version the text is small; I struggled especially with the text size in the inset boxes. Still, with those limitations, it covered the topic well and will be very useful to me.

Recommended.
****
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2002
I agree that 7 is a lucky number, not just for book titles or subtitles. The authors focus on "the thinking rather than feeling side of the human psyche, but their intent is to ultimately affect readers' emotional reactions through helping them reprogram their thoughts." New directions in cognitive therapy, such as this book, are helping people live better lives. I recommend this book highly -- it is almost as good as my favorite, The Positive Power of Negative Thinking by Julie Norem. Resiliency is a good name for adaptive, constructive strategies for dealing with negative thoughts and feelings. For those of us who don't want to be optimists, being 'resilient' is as good a label as 'constructively pessimistic' or any other.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Here you will learn (among other things) the ABC method of raising your optimism (closely aligned with resiliency) which has the potential of curing what many people call "depression". This book is so important, that I selected it from among hundreds to use in a teleclass I am teaching to other coaches in the Professional Coaches Association of Michigan about Positive Psychology and Strengths-Based Organizations.

The book discusses the Resilience Factor index, a free online assessment that assesses your resilience along several factors. A very worthwhile book, to study as well as to simply read.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2002
Usually, I am highly skeptical of any psychology book. Most times, these works are either a smattering of feel good nonsense or a rattling of facts about theory that cannot be applied to life outside of the ivory tower unless you have a PhD.
This is NOT the case with The Resilience Factor.
The authors do a fantastic job identifying and conveying skills that a regular person can use in his or her day to day life. Each of the seven skills that they mention are rooted in past psychological research studies which they explain in layman's terms. What's more, they tell you how anyone can actually implement these skills in a useful way. The Resilience Factor is a must read!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2004
This is a self help book to enhance readers¡¦ ability to ¡§persevere and adapt¡¨ to adversities. Authors preached that thinking style is the most critical factor. They introduced 7 skills, which are pretty comprehensive ¡V before and after non-resilient events, short term and long term, physical and underlying belief. 3 of the skills are about knowing thyself, 4 are about changing thyself.
I find myself getting emotional easily, not persistent when facing challenges, shy from reaching out in life. The book is useful. First, it helps me to understand my problems better (A ha ! ¡K that¡¦s me ! ). Second, the materials assist me to develop a program to increase my resilience (e.g. be more conscious of incidents that turn on my emotions).
The book is motivational. It encourages people to believe they do have control of their life. It is easy to read, and properly structured.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2005
I never write reviews, however I must say that this book has very much opened my eyes to not only WHY I respond to situations the way I do, but HOW to moderate those responses and even change my response by simply changing the way that I think in the moment. This is NOT one of those multitude of self-help books that simply say to "let go" of your thoughts, or give asinine mantras to chant. The methods in this book work... but YOU must be willing to do the WORK necessary to benefit from the approaches that the authors describe...especially when you are responding to an adversity in real time. Give this book a good read to understand what the authors are saying, AND THEN re-read and STUDY and APPLY the methods. This is definitely a book that you want to re-read over and over. Good luck!
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2002
The information in this book is too important to wait. The Resilience Factor is an honest book; it does not underestimate the reader by pretending that making change in your life is easy. Instead, it admits that real change requires dedication and practice. Most importantly, it teaches you the necessary skills to make real, long-term change. It teaches you the skills to improve every area of your life, from work to your relationships with others. It teaches you how to help others you care about, such as children or significant others, do the same. It teaches you how to choose the changes you want for your life. It teaches you not only how to overcome obstacles, but how to make things even better when they are already good. That's why this book is important for everyone to read. On top of all this, it is fun to read, with many stories about regular people that we can all relate to.
So, if you want to feel uplifted for an hour or so, just read another empty self-help book. But, if you want to be empowered to change your life- read The Resilience Factor and do it!
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