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Posted June 22, 2002
READING 'SELF-MATTERS' WAS LIKE A SOAP OPERA - although I am sure Dr. McGraw's talk show will still go on and quite successfully. After reading the infamous Dr. Phillip McGraw's - previous book 'Life Strategies' - I was sorely disappointed in 'Self Matters' - (it should have come first - assuming that you have no clue of who you are or your caveats.) 'Life Strategies' was overall inspirational and assisted in one dealing from the heart, soul and mind and then to move on - if they wished to. It appeared by the time 'Self Matters' was written - it was like --'too late' - running out on a 'stuff to say'--'I paid to 'read this'?! How many times and ways you can you tell folks to 'snap out if it?' I think he ran out of truly helpful and rehabilitative ways after 'Life Strategies. The Book, 'Self Matters' I found, was repetitive and uninspirational (assuming you already know how messed up you are. Is he still hanging onto Oprahs' shirt-tails? Is he still in the legal profession of interrogation.? This is only my opinion - but - with no real personal understandings and real-time solutions in 'SELF-MATTERS', I got the feeling that Dr. McGraw is 'running out of things to sell' to us. - he better go back to the 'Strategies'. If you don't speed read - you will now.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 19, 2001
An Important Subject Badly Handled
Caution: This book contains many coarse words rarely found in self-help books, which are unnecessary to the main message and only serve to create cheap shocks to get readers¿ attentions. As someone who loved Life Strategies and Relationship Rescue (and the workbooks that go with them), I was astonished at how bad this book was in pursuing a very important subject . . . following your own inner voice and touching the inspiring passion within you. Dr. McGraw¿s main point is that you should fill ¿your life with what¿s genuinely important to you . . . .¿ Most people have been so negatively influenced by past experiences, negative self-talk, and social pressures that some archeology is needed to locate ¿your authentic self.¿ Most people, by contrast, run their lives through a ¿fictional self¿ which is the result of accidental events and what others want. The book contains many exercises to help you perform that self-learning, and then to act on your new insights. ¿If you don¿t fight for the chance to live that uniqueness, no on will.¿ I agree with these premises based on having attended many seminars and workshops in this area (the best ones were given by fiction author Dan Wakefield and self-help guru Tony Robbins), many years of meditation, and continuous work on overcoming my own social and self-imposed limits. What I don¿t agree with is the way that Dr. McGraw sets out to help readers. The book seems to build from the therapeutic process he uses with patients. But the book sets up a different situation. You are encouraged to do this work on your own. I think that shift is a big mistake. In the workshops I have attended on this subject, most of the benefit came from talking with another workshop attendee who listened to what I had to say and reacted to it in a helpful way . . . much like a therapist would. Most people have a lot of heavy duty issues to deal with, and expecting them to make progress in these painful areas on their own is a mistake . . . and could even be harmful in some cases. So, I don¿t think the book will work very well except for those who need help in this area the least. If you decide to read this book, I suggest that you find another person who will do it with you so that you can share your observations with one another. Please note that Dr. McGraw discourages you from doing this, and spends a lot of time describing the ways that friends and family may try to sabotage your progress. I disagree based on my experiences.. I also found the self-diagnostic examinations in the book to be either too obvious or unusable. After reading three questions, it was perfectly obvious what he was driving at. As the worst example of this problem, the book has blatantly obvious appendices A and B for the internal factors that influence you. Nowhere could I find a way to score these questions, while the text blithely discusses what your point totals mean. Other signs of sloppiness are everywhere in the form of mind-numbing repetition that serves little purpose. About a third of the book superficially covers the same material about your authentic self. Yet, the explanation of the concept stays at an extremely elementary level that may make it hard to grasp. For example, you shouldn¿t do what pleases others . . . unless it pleases you to do so. Now, a lot of people are going to have trouble differentiating from pleasing to avoid problems, and pleasing as part of a rewarding sense of self. The book is only clear about extreme examples, like those involving abuse. Without the annoying repetition, this book would be about half its size. By the way, the key elements of your authentic self are in chapter 11. I was also astonished at his use of unimpressive personal examples involving himself and Ms. Oprah Winfrey. I doubt if his single-minded development of a successful practice with his father will strike too many other people as a major sell-out and source of unhappiness. TheWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.