The Evaluation Of Self-Help Books For Therapy


A lot of people are trying to look for a book that is helpful and meaningful. It’s the search for different kinds of resources that can help the most out of emotional, psychological, and behavioral change. However, finding a lot of resources can entirely become so overwhelming. Some helpful books contain extreme promises such as attaining full mental wellness, having better relationships, understanding your emotions better, or getting rid of anxiety and depression. “It’s not surprising that a well-chosen book would aid self-improvement in the general population. But meta-analyses also report bibliotherapy’s effectiveness in helping teens with mild depression or anxiety, as do individual studies of mild depression with young adults, and of mild to moderate depression in older adults,” Marty Nemko, Ph.D. wrote. But how do you know which books to trust? Are they evidence-based or supported explicitly by science? How confident are you that all of these books can create an essential long-term quality of life increase? Let’s try to understand the relevant factors of self-help books for therapy discussion.

How To Choose The Right Self-Help Book

When choosing a book, there must be an evaluation so it can determine its beneficial approach to people in a randomized controlled trial. The books themselves should undergo a process of assessment to determine if they are evidence-based. There must be a trial because the materials that people will read could just be written by some random person who gets inspired by his ideas. There are tendencies that these ideas are not based or grounded at any particular theory. According to John C. Norcross, Ph.D., “Ninety-five percent of self-help books are published without any scientific evidence to support that they work as self-help.”


What science approves can unquestionably help in addressing severe issues, mental health in particular. The suffering from a mental health-related problem requires specific research and study. Therefore, some self-help books might not be appropriate for different types of situations. Self-help can indeed become harmful when it comes to decision-making, specifically when it comes to a significant transition in life. There are tons of bad pieces of advice out there, and not all of them apply to everybody. So figuring out what could help is a bit crucial for every person’s mental health.

Practice Vs. Advice

Rather than taking advice from the books that look interesting, people should consider looking at the content of practices that are scientifically helpful. Psychologist Barbara Markway, Ph.D. notes, “Look for a book that provides specific guidance for implementing the self-help techniques. Flip through the book and see if it looks like the book contains step-by-step, user-friendly instructions.” These are the practices or methods that they can introduce for adaptation in everyday life. These practices follow different stages that address a variety of mental, emotional, and behavioral struggles. There’s a procedure in practices that can help people interact with their pain and do new things rather than merely being told about what should and should not be done. The reality doesn’t support advice, but evidence-based practices are proven to help and empower people so they can make decisions and get through hard times with their wisdom and effort. However, given the books, a consideration for a little bit of followup with professional help is still required.


People’s mental wellness matter so there’s a need to take care of it. There are a lot of resources that help in positive thinking. Some books promote meaningful things that guide every individual to live their lives beyond the struggle of pain. In a randomized control trial, the chosen books must tackle discipline, self-evaluation, practices, recovery procedure, and long-term attainable mental health goals.


Teach Your Kids To Become Book Lovers

It may seem like an impossible feat, but it can be done. Kids can become book lovers if you, their parents, know how to introduce it to them. Why is it important for children to love books? Well, for one, it will prepare them for school. Second, it will enhance their vocabulary. Lastly, the most important reason for me as to why I push books to my children is that books can make them imagine. “Reading takes you beyond the easy way to communicate,” said Dominic Massaro, PhD, “It takes you to another world and challenges you.” In this day and age wherein digital technology is enveloping our kids, going back to basics is a must.




Anyway, here are some tips on how to teach your kids to become book lovers:


1.       Make it a game. Children love to play games. You can do a treasure hunt game wherein the “treasure” is a book. You can leave clues around the house and hide it in unexpected places. In this way, your child will get the idea that a book is to be treasured and valued.


2.       Support your child with their author choices. Some older kids already have their favorite authors in mind. With that, help them get to know their favorite authors better by following them online for news and other press release statements. You can buy the new books of these authors and encourage your child to write a letter for them. Who knows, the author might reply back.


3.       Always bring a book with you. Some moms carry a small book with them while waiting for a doctor’s appointment, or any similar situation. It is much more fulfilling than letting them play Candy Crush in their tablets.


4.       Graphic novels and comics are books too. According to Daniel Willingham, PhD, “parents should consider books that look fun. Go for books that have short chapters or go for graphic novels.” Don’t limit your kids when it comes to books. Bring them to a colorful novel shop or a comic book store. They might like one and start their reading adventure from Justice League or the Avengers.




5.       Bring kids to comic conventions. One mom was so thrilled when she reported to her mommy friends that her sons loved to read comics after attending a comic convention. Her teenagers were into graphic arts. One of her younger kids loved 3-D comics, and the other was so engaged in fantasy creatures. As mentioned earlier, books can enhance their imagination!


6.       Don’t force your kid to read. You just can’t hand your child a book and expect him to be interested in it. As they play, play with them and turn a book page once in a while, as you get their attention. It is how toddlers start to be interested in books.


7.       Turn the book page. I mentioned that in number six. Studies show that if you read with your child, your child will appreciate the whole gesture and it will get them to read. Jessica Montag, PhD also added: “shared book reading, which often begins in infancy, creates a learning environment in which infants and children are exposed to words that they would never have encountered via speech alone. By providing different word distributions than everyday child-directed conversations, shared book reading may play an important role in early language acquisition.” It doesn’t matter where and how you read the book as long as you’re reading together.


8.       There must be books everywhere in the house. My mother used to leave books lying around in every room. Snow White in the kitchen, Cinderella in the living room, Sleeping Beauty in the dining area, Beauty and the Beast inside her bag and so much more. It will entice them especially if the graphics are fantastic.


9.       Shop for books together. It is a bonding activity between you and your child or teen. Shopping for books is a great way to talk about things while browsing for new “treasures.” If you can afford it, let your child pick one book each month to jumpstart his reading hobby.




10.   Give books as gifts. What else is there to say? Practice what you preach, right? Read a book and give a book. It’s as simple as that.


There are many other ways to encourage children to be book lovers (check it out in Hopefully, you can do these things and ease your children into loving the books.




3 Vital Lessons In Life I Garnered From A Little Decluttering Book

Because Big Surprises Do Come From Small Packages


I never thought that I would learn big life lessons from one thin book – not more than 90 pages long – which, surprisingly, isn’t even about life at all.

How can a little paperback that’s all about decluttering seem to speak about how we live our lives as well?

I picked Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up out of whim one day as I was browsing through a local bookstore (see where to find in I’ve long wanted to learn a magical way or two to deal with the clutter my family has at home, and the title does claim that. So, I bought it, brought it home with me and read it for the better part of the afternoon.

It was that short. And it was that impactful.

Aside from the decluttering techniques I learned from it, I garnered these three vital lessons in life as well.

Don’t Be A Hoarder! Throw What You Have To Throw Away.


Author Marie Kondo, who has built a professional career out of decluttering, stressed out in her book (check this out) that before we can put things in order, we need to discard what requires discarding. These are the things that are of no use to us presently, but we hold on to due to guilt, we think we can still use them in the future, fear and, most importantly, because of sentimental meanings.

This is the same with life. We have so much emotional clutter because we hold on to the what-ifs, the could-haves and the many if-I-did scenarios in our lives. Over time, they turn into emotional chains that hold us down. Just as physical decluttering results to a cleaner and more orderly home, emotional decluttering brings cleansing and order in our hearts and minds.

Dubai’s LightHouse Arabia Centre for Wellbeing’s clinical psychologist, Tara Wyne, PsyD emphasized the importance of letting go. “Letting go liberates our energy and resources. When you have truly accepted and then let something go, it loses its power over you, and if that issue is ever triggered inadvertently, you won’t have the sensation of Alice falling down a rabbit hole repeatedly.”

The Little Things That We Have But We Love Better Than Having More But Which We Don’t Like.

One of Marie Kondo’s secret to keeping an orderly home day after day is possessing things that may be lesser in number, but she truly loves. She stressed out the idea that if we don’t like the stuff we have, it’s better if we discard it as love brings contentment. This is very contrary to the secular ideology that having more makes you a better person.

Contentment is not supposed to be measured by how much we have. Rather, it is dictated by our internal self. Stephen Joseph, PhD, wrote, “Feeling good about ourselves is important to a contented life. But the secret to feeling good about ourselves is unconditional self-acceptance.”

Moreover, Alice Boyes, PhD, said, “Decluttering creates a sense of confidence and self-efficacy (seeing yourself as competent).”

Kondo’s idea speaks genuinely in life. What’s the use of having many friends when you can trust only a few? Or what good is a lot of money when you earned it by sacrificing the time you’re supposed to spend with your family? Love plays an essential role in the choices you make and the priorities you have in life. Let that be your guide.

Don’t Overcomplicate Joy. It’s Simple.


“Does this give me joy?”

This should be the yardstick of our possessions in life; Kondo pointed out. Feel the item, hold it in your hands and ask yourself the question mentioned above. If the answer is yes, keep it. If the answer is no, however, you have to discard it even if you haven’t gotten to use it before.

“If you make your guilt for not using a certain thing your standard measurement for keeping them, you’re going to end up with clutter as much as you have discarded earlier in this process,” Kondo wrote.

The question holds right with how we should deal with our lives. “Does this give me joy?” is the ultimate question we need to ask ourselves when we make our decisions, not on how much we’ll be earning if we take on this so-and-so job or what benefits we’ll be acquiring if we do this or that. Joy isn’t something we should attach to things, people or even memories.

I’ve long since given my little decluttering book away. I’m hoping that its new owner will find gems of wisdom from its pages like I did when I read it.

4 Valid Reasons Why You Should Read A Book




I know that this is a review site, but I wanted to discuss something fundamental. What’s the main reason why people should read books? Is it beyond pleasure and informative, and therapeutic? For me, and from what I have learned over the years, there are at least four valid reasons why a person should read a book.

Continue reading 4 Valid Reasons Why You Should Read A Book

10 Must Read Books On Mental Health

Every book you read has its own story and sometimes when you read various books with different genres, you get carried away with the thought. Some books are exact with history and can be considered as a short memoir which was published. With that said, here are ten books with different stories that can tell you the beauty of life (with mental health issues) and what’s beyond it.

Gorilla and the Bird by Zack McDermott




This memoir talks about Zack which portrayed to be the gorilla and the bird as his mom. The author confirmed that the gorilla is reflecting him as a person because he has excessive hair in his chest as with the rest of his body. Also, this book was inspired by his real experience of him having bipolar disorder which is very hard to manage.

The bird in the story is referring to his mom. She was a single mother of 3 kids who never failed to encourage him to recover from the disorder while he was confined in a manic spree in New York City.

“If you saw your child walking with a limp, you’d go see a doctor,” Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, MD, psychiatrist, says. “If you’re seeing a change in your child, don’t minimize it. Go see a doctor.”

Project Semicolon by Amy Bleuel

The “Project Semicolon” was inspired by actual events in the life of Amy Bluel. This memoir was released ten years after her father died by committing suicide. An organization named Project which is a non-project organization published this book to serve as an awareness to everyone on suicide.

“The idea isn’t that we shouldn’t talk about suicide. We should talk about suicide and we shouldn’t be afraid to ask people we’re worried about if they’re thinking of killing themselves,” Stacey Cahn, PhD, said.

Alice and the Fly by James Rice

This memoir starts by talking about a teenage guy named Greg who developed schizophrenia at an early age. “Schizophrenia can present at any age, but is rare in childhood and early adolescence. Most cases are diagnosed in late adolescence or early adulthood,” writes Neel Burton, M.D. Greg also has a phobia of spiders which are both real and existing only in his hallucinations.


 All Things New by Lauren Miller




Inspired by actual events, this book talks about surviving a mentally and emotionally broken down life. The beauty on how to recover from it by merely having hope on everything is revealed in the story. It focuses on a teenage girl who is feeling very damaged and doesn’t know what to do and who to tell. She hides it from everybody and then, hope became her strongest shield to conquer the dark side of giving up.


Shooting Ghost by Thomas Brennan and Finbarr O’Reilly


The book tells of an inspiring story about a man who suffers a traumatic brain injury from the war in Afghanistan where he serves as an army officer. It was the lives of the authors – Brennan suffered depression and PTSD while O’Reilly struggled a year of the study documenting human brutality because of conflicts from all around the world. The title explains the invisible injuries of war which includes brain trauma and the likes.


Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone


Although Sam is one of the famous girls in the junior class, this doesn’t take her OCD away. Her condition leads her to think dark thoughts that she can’t get out of her mind. She also worries about losing her friends at any time if she doesn’t live up to their fashionable ways.


Depression & Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim


Admittedly a lot of people can relate to this book by Sabrina Benaim. It talks about the struggle of having depression and how to deal with it in your everyday life. Live with or overcome it – those are the two choices.


Mental by Jamie Love


This is an inspiring story for those with bipolar disorder. The author of this book suffers from bipolar disorder and is taking medications. Later on, it was confirmed by the author’s doctor that it already affected her kidneys. She then decided to research for new alternatives to overcome her disorder naturally.


Must-Read Books On Love And Relationship

Literature has evolved through the times to cater to many audiences. Classics are timeless regarding their context, writing style, and other more characteristics.

Nowadays, one of the more popular topics that authors love to write about and people would prefer reading is love. The emergence of this genre has created a pool of readers interested in relationships thus making them crave for other plotlines related to the topic such as love affairs. This style has produced some of the most exciting plots that could race your heart or make you fall in love and here are ten books to name a few:


1. John Gray Ph.D.’s, Men Are from Mars; Women Are from Venus




This book is one of the highest-selling literature pieces due to the writer’s understanding of the nature of women and how men master their strength in maintaining the relationship. It doesn’t merely focus on the man alone, but for both sexes. The insights of this book are so relatable that many people bought it and read it for themselves after so many great reviews.

“Maybe there is some truth to the saying that ‘Men are from Mars and Women from Venus’ after all. Remember that Mars is the highly revered Roman god of warfare. Yet — paradoxically — to win a war actually requires men to work closely together and this explains the evolution of male solidarity,” writes Mark Van Vugt, Ph.D.

2. The 100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships (David Niven, Ph.D.)

As the title suggests, the book can help you work on yourself for a better future relationship. The book features tips aiming to help people in keeping a relationship longer and stronger. By following what is in the book, people can answer their questions on where they went wrong and why their partners left them.

“Passionate, romantic love is very important, but long-term couples also engage in deliberate acts of love that nurture their partner and their overall couple relationship,” says Mudita Rastogi, Ph.D.

3. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman





In every relationship, there is no doubt that people will come across your way asking “what have you seen in him/her that made you stay that long?” And only you can answer it. This book talks about how someone can express their love to somebody else as well as that unconditional feeling people have for the one they love. There are things that only lovers can understand, and that is the language of love.

“Healthy adult love exists when both partners are emotionally interdependent; meaning that both partners love one another, care for one another, desire physical closeness with one another, but respect each other enough to have their own identities as well,” says Meredith Hansen, Psy.D.

4. Chad Stone’s, The Love Magnet Rules: 101 Tips for Meeting, Dating, and Keeping a New Love


Are having a hard time finding that certain someone? If it is, then, it will help you to read this book. It contains a lot of tips on how to find new love and how you can make it last longer.


5. Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man (Steve Harvey)


For sure, you’ve already heard about Steve Harvey because he is one of the most promising TV and radio personalities in the United States. Despite his fantastic job on TV, he also published a book from the insights of love that he learned. It talks about women; how to be smart as well as how to be understanding to their partners since understanding is the key to a prosperous relationship.


6. First Love Comes, Then Comes Money by Bethany and Scott Palmer


When you first date, you tend to impress the person the best way you can, even if you’re on a tight budget. This book focuses on helping couples who are just too shy to talk about expenses. One cannot deny the fact that in a relationship, you spend money. If you are ready to settle down with your current partner, it might be best for you to start saving. Read this book if you are unsure of how to do it.


7. How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships (Leil Lowndes)


This book talks about what you should do if you want to start talking to someone and making a good impression on them. It works for people who are in a relationship, to help it grow stronger and as well single people for them to have a better perspective when entering a relationship.


8. Getting Over Getting Mad at Judy Ford




When you’re in a relationship, fights and arguments are always on the way. If you want to overcome the anger that you feel when you’re fighting with your partner for you to have a long-lasting relationship, then opening this book will be a great suggestion.


9. Mali Apple and Joe Dunn’s – The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships


A relationship enveloped in trust, love, and honesty can undoubtedly last longer. If you are not yet fully committed to your partner and you want to find a way on how to tell him or her everything, then you can read this for good advice.


10. Getting to “I Do”: The Secret to Doing Relationships Right by Dr. Patricia Allen


As people mature, they are now searching for partners whom they can settle with for the rest of their lives. If you are this person who is still unsure of how to make things right with your lover, then reading this book will help you a lot for that current partner to be your lifetime partner.

What Made Me Love The Tao Of Pooh

Reading books is one of the things that I enjoy doing. I make it to the point that I have at least one novel or reading material on my bag wherever I go. That is just how I am. I find comfort in knowing that I can start reading at any time of the day. One of the recent books that I fell in love with is The Tao of Pooh, which was written by Benjamin Hoff.




The book used the fictional characters of the classic Winnie The Pooh story to introduce the concepts and principles of Taoism. It was first published in early 1982. Every page of the book will surely captivate its readers. I have to say that it has become one of my favorite books of all time. Allow me to share the quotes that changed me life:

“Do you really want to be happy? You can begin by being appreciative of who you are and what you’ve got.”

We all want to achieve genuine happiness, right? The Tao of Pooh tells us that to make this happen, all we need to do is to practice the art of appreciation. We must notice all the right things we have in our lives. We have to learn how to appreciate ourselves and how far we’ve traveled in this life. Sometimes, we just want to have contentment so we can expect more blessings to come.

“Gratitude creates positive emotions, like joy, love, and contentment, which research shows can undo the grip of negative emotions like anxiety,” writes Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D.

“The main problem with this great obsession for saving time is very simple: you can’t save time. You can only spend it. But you can spend it wisely or foolishly.”




This line struck me the most. Have you noticed how we always keep on complaining that time isn’t enough? We think that twenty-four hours a day are insufficient to do everything we want, Well, maybe it is about time to change the way we think about time. Instead of doing everything all at once, why don’t we start doing the things that matter first? Take note; we can spend time wisely.

“It’s just so helpful to know where every hour is going because then you can really control your time better,” Nicholas Scheidt, PsyD, says.

You’d be surprised how many people violate this simple principle every day of their lives and try to fit square pegs into round holes, ignoring the clear reality that Things Are As They Are.”

There are times when we experience depression or frustration only because we are not getting what we want. We try our best to change the natural course of life, which is why we often end up getting hurt or finding ourselves broken. The Tao of Pooh reminds us of the fact that things are as they are. We need to be aware that no matter what happens, there are just some things beyond our reach. We need to understand that square pegs will never fit into round holes.

“This same principle of acceptance being healthy and healing is true for whatever emotional pains you contend with through life,” writes Leslie Becker-Phelps, Ph.D.

The book is indeed a great treasure. No wonder it has stayed in the New York Times bestseller list for forty-nine straight weeks. The author, Benjamin Hoff, succeed in presenting Taoism to everyone. Your life will undoubtedly change after reading this excellent novel. If you are looking for a new story to read, make sure to include The Tao of Pooh next in line.