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The Psychology of Self-Esteem: A Revolutionary Approach to Self-Understanding that Launched a New Era in Modern Psychology Paperback – January 2, 2001
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How people experience themselves affects every moment of their existence. Their self-evaluation is the basic context in which they act and react, choose their values, set their goals, meet the challenges of life. Their responses to events are shaped in part by who and what they think they are-how competent and worthy they perceive themselves to be. Of all the judgments they pass in life, none is more important than the judgment they pass on themselves. To say that self-esteem is a basic human need is to say that it makes an essential contribution to the life process, that it is indispensable to normal and healthy development, that it has value for survival. Without positive self-esteem, psychological growth is stunted. Positive self-esteem operates, in effect, as the immune system of consciousness, providing resistance, strength, and a capacity for regeneration." (Nathaniel Branden)
From the Inside Flap
In the more than thirty years since Nathaniel Branden first published The Psychology of Self-Esteem, psychologists, counselors, educators, and the general public worldwide have come to appreciate the extraordinary power of the ideas expressed in his classic work. Since the book first appeared, the self-esteem movement has fundamentally transformed our culture.
This new edition of the original text reveals how Nathaniel Branden's landmark book broke the rules of conventional behavioral theory and promulgated his revolutionary ideas on the critical role that self-esteem plays in living a healthy, fulfilling life. The book offers an in-depth exploration of the need for self-esteem, the nature of that need, the conditions of fulfillment, and how self-esteem (or lack of it) affects our values, responses, and goals. Branden also debunks the misguided notion that self-esteem is a "feel-good phenomenon" and shows instead how self-esteem, rationality, perseverance, self-responsibility, and personal integrity are all intimately related.
This edition includes a new epilogue, Working with Self-Esteem in Psychotherapy, in which Branden presents his more recent thinking on the topic of self-esteem. As a testament to his own theories, Branden has spent four decades working as a psychotherapist guiding clients who constantly test his ideas about self-esteem. In all, this publication reveals how the basic conceptual structure presented in The Psychology of Self-Esteem is as relevant today as the book was when it was first published in 1969.
Nathaniel Branden is the author of many books on self-esteem including the perennially best-selling The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem (1995), A Woman's Self-Esteem (Jossey-Bass, 1998), and Self-Esteem at Work (Jossey-Bass, 1998). He is also the author of the memoir My Years with Ayn Rand (Jossey-Bass, 1999).
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If you read books like this, how will you be able to talk to women, to dance, to relax, if you have any other demands in life. I can think. I like to think I can think. I'm in mensa. But to hell with all that mapping and categorizing and labelling and rationalizing. You don't have to be so concise like Nietzsche but you could make a book on self esteem more humane. In the end what did I want from such a book? Understanding of : do I have self esteem issues, that effect me, my life. I think I might, but reading this type of book doesn't help me near as much as going to the gym and doing dumbbell presses or squats, and I'm not a big guy but I started lifting. So that's one thing I wanted to get from this, but instead it's like an ambitious campaign to convince everybody self esteem matters and make him sound smart. I'm not carrying his cross sorry.
Also being single I'm often looking for a night companion in the form of a book or show, so I was seeking pleasurable distraction, as he describes pleasure as a real human need. That was a good quote of his worth saving. But I'd much rather have romance or something as he describes but when I do I need something to fill the time.
I think this book fails. It doesn't give me pleasure to put people down but it does to tell the truth.
Buy this book if you are a huge nerd, or if youre the type that has to learn the hard way.
Note: As Braden developed, and found this career/life niche, despite different titles, there's not always a tremendous amount of difference between all of his books, especially if you jump in and buy four of five at once. Be selective at the start.
At the same time, note that the sentence completion work requires a bit of mental discipline. Those he berate that, in lower-ranking reviews, may deserve scrutiny of why they aren't in to that.
That said, as with any Branden book, this is not a substitute for professional counseling. And, self-esteem work like this will not touch major endogenous depression, nor externally-driven things such as the aftereffects of PTSD. Unfortunately, Branden doesn't always make that clear.
His most basic dictum is to commit to rationality, to treat reality seriously. To never sabotage the functioning of your mind in its most basic function, which is to apprehend reality. If you repress and distort your awareness the inevitable result will be a loss in the indispensable feeling of trust in yourself and that will lead to catastrophic suffering.
You earn your way to maturity by carefully reviewing the total edifice of your basic understanding of reality and your relation to it, never allowing fear or pain to dictate the way you deal with your life.
If you are willing to work, this will be, perhaps the most important thing you can do for yourself. But for most, it will not be easy and often painful. Go ahead if you really want to grow
Most recent customer reviews
I'm reading more psychology books--this is not one of the better ones. There is some interesting material in it, but it got too windy and repetitive.Read more