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The Portable Therapist: Wise and Inspiring Answers to the Questions People in Therapy Ask the Most... Paperback – July 10, 1994

4.6 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Drawing from questions her patients ask most, the author teaches how to deal with the issues you car about. With compassion, wisdom and enlightening ideas, this book encourages you to be true to yourself, develop social interests and discover the positive, capable, confident human being you are meant to be.

From the Inside Flap

Drawing from questions her patients ask most, the author teaches how to deal with the issues you car about. With compassion, wisdom and enlightening ideas, this book encourages you to be true to yourself, develop social interests and discover the positive, capable, confident human being you are meant to be.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Reprint edition (July 10, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440506034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440506034
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #463,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Portable Therapist is my savior and my Bible! Before buying this book, I was a self-proclaimed self-help book junkie. I searched infinitely for something or someone that would tell me what I had to do to become a better version of myself (since the present version never seemed to measure up, no matter how hard I tried to make changes in my life). Now that I have The Portable Therapist, my search is over. I have no intention of writing a critical, intellectual assessment of this book. Rather, I will speak only from my heart and say that this book has allowed me to find peace and has taught me that I don't need to change in order to accept myself. I could prattle on and reveal all of the lessons I have learned; however, instead I will say that this book, weathered, wrinkled and bound together with masking tape, accompanies me to the bathroom, to bed, on the train to Grand Central, on every vacation. In fact, it is permanently locked inside my soul. Whenever I'm feeling less than scintillating, I hear McMahon's wise words echo in my head, reminding me that I am okay and that I have the courage to deal with whatever comes along. My only advice, and this will not be difficult to do, is to revisit her words incessantly, to have the courage to practice what is taught, and to share her wisdom with friends, who will find it as inspirational as you will. This book is genius.
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Format: Paperback
It's a great, wise, simple, highly readable book.

Still, I cannot give it 5 stars because I found it at times a little simplistic -- probably a function of the book's restricitve format that keeps each chapter very short, and therefore generic and thus a little shallow. It's good reading for people who don't have time for big volumes and intellectually challenging explantions -- but at a price.

Things in life are often more ccomplicated than this book suggests. However, the priamry principle that it promotes (the crucial and necessary need for Self-Esteem that's not based on external factors) is very true. Kudos to the author for making it so clear. Any effort aiming to expose and undo the harm of most people's upbringing -- which overemphasizes high achievement and competitivenss while neglecting spiritual development -- is a valuable contribution to our culture.

I appreciated the author's effort to avoid references to God (she allows atheistic readers to replace the concept of God with the notion of Goodness) -- but then, alas, she forgot that rule in the last chapter. That last chapter was also rather disappointing in content, the weakest of all -- just a pep talk with no concrete advice.

Throughtout the book, the author ascribes the often harmful "Model of Doing" to the Western culture, and the more benficial "Model of Being" to the East -- but that is a simplification too. Anyone familiar with high-driving, competitive, and sometimes cruel Asian societies knows that the East is in the grips of the "Model of Doing" just as we are in the West. (One can also think of some western saints, like St.Francis, who were very much into a "Model of Being".
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By A Customer on April 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
I normally shun self-help books, but found this on a friend's coffee table & couldn't put it down. In a clear, loving voice, the author answers some of life's most basic questions, empowering the reader to take responsibility for his/her behaviour, perceptions, and way of living. It inspires, enriches, and intrigues. A wealth of wisdom in every section, this book does not shy away from the tough problems we all face, nor does it wallow in psycho-babble or preachiness; there are also none of those boring case histories most books of this genre seem to have. A gem -- EVERYONE SHOULD OWN A COPY!
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Format: Paperback
I've read countless self-help books before and this one really works. It is simple and presented complex concepts in very understandable language. I mean, we've always heard the terms guilt, anxiety, self-esteem. We also know when we experience them, but could we really truly define what they are and how they influence our behaviors. This book explains that all. Not only that, it will also tread along such concepts as pain, control, fear, etc... and that's just the first half of it.
I also loved the way it reinforced the importance of rewarding ourselves just by "surviving". Life is not easy and is almost always unfair, and this book unabashedly and eloquently drove these points home.
I can't wait to finish this book. I can't thank my friend enough for giving me this book as a present on my bday.
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Format: Paperback
I have read many self-help books, but without a doubt this is the one I recommend to my friends and family. It is simple, concise and practical and the author writes as if she is personally talking only to me. It covers the entire range from psychology to relationships to personal growth Even if you never have considered therapy, this book will help you discover the meaning of your life, the reasons that you have difficulties being happy, connecting to others or living a fulfilled life. It answers in a very few pages the most fundamental questions sof life--those questions that every one of us asks. Buy it, read it, you'll love it
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