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The Last Self-Help Book You'll Ever Need

Book Description

Although the tenets of self-help have been attacked before, Pearsall is the first psychologist to expose these deeply entrenched ideas to scientific scrutiny. And unlike other debunking books, The Last Self-Help Book You’ll Ever Need goes beyond skepticism to propose a set of life-affirming (and refreshingly contrarian) axioms that can help anyone lead the Good Life.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Dedication
  3. Acknowledgements
  4. Introduction
  5. PART I - Why Self-Help Hasn’t Helped
    1. 1 - Self-Help Needs Our Help
      1. FIND A PITCH AND PULP IT
      2. THE SELLING OF SILLINESS
      3. THE FATHERS OF SELF-HELP
      4. DONAHUE, DR. RUTH, AND THE KINSEY INSTITUTE
      5. THE GURUTOCRACY ELITE
      6. THE TONO-BUNGAY EFFECT
      7. CLOSED MIND, OPEN WALLET
      8. LETHAL PLATITUDES
      9. WHO SAYS SO AND HOW DO THEY KNOW?
      10. SCIENCE OR SCIENTISM?
      11. WITHIN OR BETWEEN?
      12. THE MONSTER BETWEEN
      13. WHAT KIND OF A PRISON GUARD WOULD YOU BE?
      14. I’VE HAD MY FILL OF DR. PHIL
      15. CREATIVE SELF-HELP
    2. 2 - The Facts of Life?
      1. THE “WIDENING CIRCLE” PHENOMENON
      2. FARFETCHED MEMORIES
      3. SUPPRESSING THE IDEA OF REPRESSION
      4. THE ESTEEMED CONCEPT OF SELF-ESTEEM
      5. GUILT: THE NOBLE EMOTION
      6. NEGATIVITY AS STRATEGY, NOT SYMPTOM
      7. THE ADDICTION FICTION
      8. A LESSON FROM RATS IN PARADISE
      9. SELF-HELP HERESY
      10. MAYBE, MAYBE NOT
    3. 3 - Savoring Your Own Good Life
      1. THE SILENT EPIDEMIC
      2. MINDFULNESS VERSUS EVALUATION
      3. WHY POSITIVE THINKING IS DEPRESSING
      4. THE WISDOM OF A FOUR-YEAR-OLD MIND
      5. HAPPINESS STRESS
      6. DARK CLOUDS WITH GRAY LININGS
      7. TRANS-PARENT SURGERY
      8. DR. BUDDHA’S FOUR TRUTHS
      9. RE-MINDING OURSELVES
      10. THE WISDOM OF BEING “LIGHT”-HEADED
  6. PART II - ... And How It Can
    1. 4 - Developing a Contrarian Consciousness
      1. HOT AND COLD RUNNING PEOPLE
      2. THE POWER OF THE MADE-UP MIND
      3. QUITE THE CONTRARY
      4. SOME IDEAS OF MINE THAT YOU SHOULD NOT ACCEPT
      5. SHATTERING THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
      6. TEN CONTRARY COMMANDMENTS OF SELF-HELP
    2. 5 - Love Lies and Why We Believe Them
      1. PROPOSITIONS ABOUT LOVE
      2. MISMANAGED UNIONS
      3. LESSONS FROM TERMITES
      4. WHY HAPPILY MARRIED PEOPLE AREN’T IN LOVE
      5. WHY CAN’T WE STAY TOGETHER?
      6. BLINDED BY THE LIGHT OF YOUR LIFE
      7. BONDING, BOREDOM, AND BLISS
      8. LOVE’S TWO SIDES
      9. REJECTION SENSITIVITY
      10. A HEALTHY LOVE TRIANGLE
      11. TOO SELFISH FOR LASTING LOVE?
      12. OPPOSITES DISTRACT
      13. PROPOSITIONS OF LOVE
      14. THE LOVE-WORTHY TEST
    3. 6 - Committed to a Family Asylum
      1. PROPOSITIONS ABOUT “FAMILYING”
      2. DELIGHTFULLY DYSFUNCTIONAL
      3. SAFETY IN THE MADHOUSE
      4. FAMILIES AREN’T FOR CHILDREN
      5. THE PROBLEM AND PRIVILEGE OF PARENTING
      6. FAMILY LESSONS FROM THE IRON MAIDEN
      7. TOO MUCH CREDIT, TOO MUCH BLAME
      8. RESILIENT TWIGS
      9. LOST CHILDREN
      10. GROWING DOWN INSTEAD OF UP
      11. THE QUESTION OF A LIFETIME
      12. THE DECISION TO DIVORCE
      13. PROPOSITIONS ABOUT FAMILYING
    4. 7 - A Lively Livelihood
      1. PROPOSITIONS ABOUT WORKING
      2. WORKING TOWARD POVERTY
      3. TOXIC-SUCCESS SYNDROME
      4. WIST-FULL
      5. SPIRITUAL UNEMPLOYMENT
      6. THE PRIVILEGE OF DOING GOOD WORK
      7. ROSY THE HEALER
      8. PSYCHOLOGICAL ABSENTEEISM
      9. THE BLISS AND BENEFITS OF BEING TYPE A
    5. 8 - Escape from Health Hysteria
      1. PROPOSITIONS ABOUT HEALTH AND HEALING
      2. HOW ARE YOU?
      3. THE GREAT DIET SCAM
      4. PERPETUAL PATIENTS
      5. ARE WE ALL CRAZY?
      6. FIVE PROPOSITIONS ABOUT HEALTH AND HEALING
    6. 9 - Overcoming the Burden of Youth
      1. PROPOSITIONS ABOUT AGING
      2. THE GIFT OF A THIRD LIFETIME
      3. WHAT’S WRONG WITH LOOKING YOUR AGE?
      4. AGING IS A LAUGHING MATTER
      5. GERONTOLOGY OR PATHOLOGY?
      6. FEELING OUR AGE AND SAVORING IT
      7. SAME PERSON, DIFFERENT BODY
      8. THE CIRCLE OF OLD LIFE
      9. GRAYING OR GLOWING?
      10. FIVE PROPOSITIONS ABOUT AGING
    7. 10 - Healthy Dying and Good Grieving
      1. PROPOSITIONS ABOUT DYING AND GRIEVING
      2. A QUESTION FOR EINSTEIN
      3. WHAT DOES DYING MEAN AND WHAT’S THE BENEFIT?
      4. SELF-HELP’S WORST FEAR
      5. THERE WAS AN ELEPHANT IN MY ROOM
      6. CLAUDIA’S GENTLE DEATH
      7. THE DEATH DELUSION
      8. NOTES ON NARCISSISM
      9. THE MAGIC OF MEMORIES
      10. WATER LOGIC
      11. TIMELESS SOULS
      12. FIVE PROPOSITIONS ABOUT DYING
  7. EPILOGUE
  8. Notes
  9. Index
  10. Copyright Page