The Self-Talk Workout: Six Science-Backed Strategies To Dissolve Self-Criticism and Transform the Voice in Your Head

Shambhala. Nov. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9781611808483. pap. $19.95. SELF-HELP
Most humans struggle with a particularly harsh critic: themselves. Turow (psychology, Seattle Univ.; Mindfulness Skills for Trauma) recognizes that self-criticism remains extremely strong in society. As a clinical psychologist and professor, Goldsmith Turow has often witnessed that self-criticism by students and patients can worsen depression and stress. She addresses this issue by providing a variety of exercises and other techniques. The series of “workouts” promote healthy self-talk so that readers can lower stress and improve mental health. Each chapter includes a brief background on a topic/technique, a core exercise, anecdotes from anonymous patients who tried these practices, and reflection questions. Practices include breathing exercises, creating gratitude lists, mindfulness/meditation strategies, such as lovingkindness meditation and self-compassion breaks. Most exercises only take five to 10 minutes a day but require repetition. Readers can choose one exercise or combine them. Goldsmith Turow underscores the importance of noticing feelings without judgment, especially when one loses focus and also recognizes that some issues may require more therapy.
VERDICT A final chapter that included a brief synopsis of all the exercises found in this book would have been helpful. Recommended for anyone needing techniques to pacify their inner critic.
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