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Self-Esteem: A proven program of cognitive techniques for assessing, improving and maintaining your self-esteem

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  487 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Self-esteem is essential for our survival. Without some measure of self-worth, life can be enormously painful, with many basic needs going unmet.

One of the main factors differentiating humans from other animals is the awareness of self: the ability to form an identity and then attach a value to it. In other words, you have the capacity to define who you are and then decide
Paperback, 313 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by New Harbinger Publications (first published 1986)
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I've never read anything quite like this before. It was interesting, but the self-talk is a little foreign to me. I think about stuff, but I don't regularly "talk" to myself. I did learn some things about myself and about what I can do to improve those areas of self-esteem that I have a more difficult time with. I'm writing out below what I learned for my own benefit, although I don't mind if you read it :)

I learned that I have a fear of rejection and often tell myself that people will reject m
This book is straightforward, and clearly a result of psychological research, especially in the field of cognitive development.
It guides you through a process of repairing self-esteem, which starts off by analyzing how you view yourself. Later, you dissect your "weaknesses" and decide which are true reflections of yourself, and which are merely exaggerations - ones that you've convinced yourself to believe in through years of self-criticizing. The second half of the book provides mediations and
This book has a lot to offer in building self esteem. I especially liked the chapter on helping children build their self esteem. I will include some thoughts from his book. "Every action your children make is an attempt to meet their needs. This is true whether or not the behavior is successful at meeting their needs. This is true whether or not the behavior is acceptable. A child who picks fights with siblings, shows off in an obnoxious way, baby-talks, or acts regressive needs something. It m ...more
Chris Munson
My original motivation for purchasing this book was to re-familiarize myself with the topic of self-esteem, how to foster it and how to make sure that I support the self-esteem of those around me (particularly in light of the team I was set to manage). However, I found that this book applied to myself much more than I would have anticipated. I learned more about myself by reading this book than I have through hours of self-reflection and contemplation. I always considered my humility and lack of ...more
Emlyn Chand
I learned a lot about myself while reading this book. Mostly that self-help books are fully capable of giving me nightmares. YIKES!

While I saw notable improvement in some areas of my life after reading this book (for example: asking for what you want and learning to deflect the inner critic), there were some areas that I found to be utter hogwash.

I do not/ cannot believe that everyone is "simply doing the best they can given the circumstances" when applied to murderers, rapists, and other dete
Starts off really, really well. The mantras, etc. are too limiting however and the book doesn't go into many topics in nearly enough detail. Radical Acceptance goes much further and really addresses deeply rooted issues of self-esteem.Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha
This was a very useful book that used a lot of the same techniques my PTSD therapist uses (such as separating feelings from thoughts and figuring out core beliefs). There are a lot of things I hope to apply to my own life and interactions with other people. Hopefully by following some of the ways of thinking shown in this book I will have less cognitive distortions and will be a more understanding person.
So far I've only read the second edition, but this book serves as a valuable resource for anyone whether a self-loathing or someone without any apparent need for therapy, and also for therapists for their clients. It's organized in a way to allow you to move through the sections relevant to your needs. McKay takes a cognitive behavioral approach to the work on self-esteem which focuses on a systematic analysis of thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and the objective facts themselves. We all have an i ...more
Listened to half of this book and stopped. Found it insensitive. The book manages to insult the people who are its case studies while suggesting ways they can improve their self-esteem. It puts a premium on physical attractiveness -- a man is approached by an "attractive woman," for example. The ideas it offers are outdated, suggesting that the reader challenge negative self-talk using equivalent neutral phrases and then listing phrases that are equally judgmental. Besides, the advice that the r ...more
Some time ago, a friend offered to go through this book with me, and, though I didn't learn anything startlingly new in its pages, it was a great help in getting me though a rough time.

It's the "real-est" self-help book I've ever read. McKay and Fanning don't talk down to you, and don't go on ad nauseum about someone else's case history (that doesn't even apply to your problems). Also, and this is the best part, unlike 99% of similar books, the authors actually go one step further and give some
Joy H.
Apr 06, 2013 Joy H. marked it as to-read
Added 4/6/13.
Found while browsing books.
Self-esteem is one of my favorite subjects.

I already own an excellent book on self-esteem entitled:
Women And Self Esteem: Understanding And Improving The Way We Think And Feel About Ourselves (1984)
by Linda Tschirhart Sanford.
I'd like to compare the two books.
Haytham Badawey
This book was the second book that actually changed my life in my college years, thank God. I'd like to meet that author and give him a million dollars for changing my entire life with his very rational, helpful and interesting book!

After reading book I realized that before I had a really low self esteem and always self-sabotaged myself, which had adverse effect on my confidence, but this book teaches you how to respect yourself, value your psychological state and raise your self confidence and
Pedro Brescia
Excellent exercises. Good insights.
Must read. Practical, easy to read (but tough to think about). Basically very effective, practical and compassionate therapy in a book. Will help you unravel messages you may not even realize you got as a child so that you can live more honestly and happily now. Read it!
Adela Carmona
The cognitive training/reinforcing techniques are very practical and effective. This book is written in a very straight forward manner, which makes it very easy to read. The exercises contained in the book make it a very complete self improvement manual. I find myself randomly picking it up and doing the exercises as a refresher. We all could use a little self improvement, this book really changes the way we see and talk to ourselves.
Self-esteem is essential for our survival. Without some measure of self-worth, life can be enormously painful, with many basic needs going unmet.

One of the main factors differentiating humans from other animals is the awareness of self: the ability to form an identity and then attach a value to it. In other words, you have the capacity to define who you are and then decide...more
This is a great book on building your self esteem. It really helps you understand why you think the way you do and how to help become a more confident person. The techniques really work, but it's not's not just a read and your better kind of thing. You have to practice the techniques, it's a mental process.
Tara Calaby
I had to read a couple of chapters of this as psych homework so, me being me, I decided to read the whole thing. I found some of the chapters interesting and helpful, but others rather dull. I shall go back and read some in a more focussed manner at a later point, I think.
Since the author tended to put herself as the example in this book, I got tired of her personal life. It could be better if the author could bring more examples from focus group or her clients.

This book is very detailed and has a well-prepared structure.
Jan 10, 2014 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Self-help gurus; those suffering from low self-esteem/confidence.
Recommended to Mark by: at least 2 people
This book is recommended for anyone working through low self-confidence and self-esteem challenges.
The exercises in the book may be helpful, if practiced consistently over time, in slaying the inner pathological
Read this years and years and years ago, and little bits a few times since. Probably the most helpful book I've ever read. Have owned several copies, lent them out and eventually replaced them.
Christine CC
Self-Esteem is a practical guide for understanding and conquering our own inner demons; self-judgment and fear. It's a very easy read with steps that we can take immediately to enhance our lives.
Ok...generaly not into self-help style books...but this one is good (and you might notice Im into the personal growth thing)... and I learned the joy of self-hypnosis! How fun and new-agey is that!!
This was one of the initial books which aroused my deep-rooted passion for psychology. The amount of self-realization I derived from reading this has been priceless.
This book, especially as an audiobook, does exactly the opposite of what it purports to do. Do not undergo this book unless you want to hate yourself.
Amy Antcliffe
Terrific text for training clinicians as well as a valuable self-help resource. No jargon, creatively written and applicable for diverse cultural groups.
Richard Stephenson
I liked it!

A very important topic for anyone who wants to live life instead of just coast through it. At least a handful of good take-aways here.
Rabia Riaz
The book does not present ingenious ideas to the readers, however it is a great help for the beginners who want to improve their self esteem.
I read this book last year while going through counseling. Helpful. I would recommend it to anyone that could use therapy or counseling.
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Matthew McKay, PhD, is a professor of psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, and author of more than 30 professional psychology and self-help books which have sold a combined total of more than 3 million copies. He is co-founder of independent self-help publisher, New Harbinger Publications. He was the clinical director of Haight Ashbury Psychological Services in San Francisco for twenty ...more
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