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Emotional First Aid: Practical Strategies for Treating Failure, Rejection, Guilt, and Other Everyday Psychological Injuries
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Emotional First Aid: Practical Strategies for Treating Failure, Rejection, Guilt, and Other Everyday Psychological Injuries

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  2,437 ratings  ·  210 reviews
First aid for failure

Although we have bandages for cuts, chicken soup for colds, and ice packs for bruises, most of us have no idea how to treat day-to-day emotional injuries such as failure, rejection, and loss. But, as Guy Winch, Ph.D., points out, these kinds of emotional injuries often get worse when left untreated and can significantly impact our quality of life. In
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 25th 2013 by Avery (first published July 20th 2013)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  2,437 ratings  ·  210 reviews

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Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
**First aid for the psyche**

As a therapist, I’m constantly looking out for helpful resources for clients. This book has quickly been added to my list. It so clearly explores the seven most common—and inevitable, if you’re human!—psychological injuries and then provides specific “first aid” treatments for each:

1. Rejection—The emotional cuts and scrapes of daily life
Rejections can inflict four distinct emotional wounds, each of which might require some from of emotional first aid: l
Mar 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I first heard Guy on several episodes of The Mental Illness Happy Hour and his humor, easy approach, and intelligence struck a chord with me. Much of this carries over to his book, although I’d definitely recommend looking up the podcasts.

Emotional First Aid is divided into different chapters according to emotional “ailments.” Each then has a set of “prescriptions” (i.e. when battling low self esteem and the vicious cycle of negative thoughts such as “I’m a failure. I’m stupid. I’ll never be ab
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology
My true rating is 2.5 stars.

Overall the book is great guide for how to address the minor emotional scrapes and bruises in life. Most of the techniques describes are science based and I have heard about from other sources. I really enjoyed his presentation, he offers treatment plans for each malady. I liked that he cited research for each of the treatment.

The reason for a grading it down is that a few examples that the author puts into the book are far more complex and he uses them in attempt t
Alice Bendor
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enouth to put my hands on an advance copy of this important book. Dr. Winch gives us a tool box for life to deal with psychological everyday but distressing problems as well as how we can indeed benefit from them. Parents shold make a point to get the book for their kids as this is an amazing guide for adulthood, college years and throughout life. The outstanding book specifies very clearly when we can practice "self help" and when we should seek professional advice. My advice is to ...more
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written by psychologist Guy Winch, this book should probably be in your medicine cabinet, not your book shelf.

This book focuses on how ignoring emotional wounds makes them worse and how your emotional outlook on life is infected by that initial trauma.

It also sections out each emotional "infection" like guilt, anger, low self-esteem, failure, etc. and teaches you how to treat the wounds before they turn into full-fledged diseases.

Here's the TED talk by the author which is pretty useful in itse
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Buzzfeed likes to rec this book a lot and I get it because it's nicely written and easy to digest, but I felt it was repetitive and probably better to look at when you have a particular problem in mind than to just generally read. ...more
Heidi The Reader
Dr. Winch says that we should treat emotional pain like we do physical pain- with a good wash and a bandaid. The problem is that very few of us have had the training to know what to do when various emotional hurts occur. This book gives practical suggestions and exercises to help reduce and eliminate the lingering psychological pain and dysfunction from every day hurts and disappointments. It's an amazing little book and, potentially, life changing if the reader takes Dr. Winch's suggestions and ...more
Apr 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I wanted to hide my self-help books for fear of showing to public every inch of a wimp that I am.
This one I can hide because I read its Kindle edition on my phone. I know you think the cover screams "FOR WIMPS". I thought so too, but the fact that Guy Winch has the authority to speak on this matter, being a clinical psychologist with decades of practice, triggered me to start reading.
It only takes a few minutes of reading the Introduction before I bought Winch's idea that it's curious how well w
Sally Boyer
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Straightforward, delivering what the title promises. Some of my favorite tips include:

1. Our need to belong has some substitutability, meaning that new relationships and memberships can psychologically replace those that have ended, especially if they provide a better fit for our personality and interests. (P29) I did this over the past few months by joining a few meetup groups that align with my interest and it has truly made me happier.

2. Social snacking is good for you and can include things
We sustain frequent psychological wounds as we go through life. Unfortunately, until now, few of us have had the awareness and the know-how to treat them effectively. Instead we tend either to ignore them entirely or to unwittingly react in ways that deepen them and allow them to cause damage to our mental health over time. … this is the whole premise of Guy Winch's Emotional First Aid.

More and more people are become aware of mental health and the importance of taking the time to see about the
Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As we grow up, we sometimes forget to learn how to rightfully deal with our emotions. Some of these emotions are so common that we face them almost daily and yet, we never learn how to handle them. We push them down, lock them in and smile for people. This results in self destructive behaviour/decisions. Some of us end up sharing things with wrong people and some of us push away the only people who care about us. Emotional First Aid is what it tells us it is: a first aid kit. Something to help y ...more
Daniel Stern
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a therapist, I'm constantly looking out for helpful resources for clients. This book has quickly been added to my list. It so clearly explores the seven most common--and inevitable, if you're human!--psychological injuries and then provides specific "first aid" treatments for each:

1. Rejection--The emotional cuts and scrapes of daily life
Rejections can inflict four distinct emotional wounds, each of which might require some from of emotional first aid: lingering visceral pain, ang
Jess d'Artagnan
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
I seem to be one of the few people who didn't love this book. I whole heartedly support the underlying concept of "emotional hygiene" and "emotional first aid" but found that some of the "first aid" suggestions were not any different than other ideas offered in a plethora of other self help books. I was hoping for more of a research-based (rather than anecdotal) read, but I'm not necessarily the audience he was targeting. He's clearly targeting the general public and not those of us who have bee ...more
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mental-health
Good reference book, but didn't learn anything particularly interesting, but fairly applicable for most emotional "injuries". I was hoping for a chapter on jealousy and envy, but there was none. Also found Winch seems to shoehorn the book a bit too much into the "First Aid" analogy without giving too much information. Didn't like the bits of humor he included in his book either. ...more
I especially loved the chapter on ruminating. In addition to making it clear why we tend to think the way we do, Winch offers concrete ways to deal with those emotional "injuries" the instant they happen. ...more
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it
3 1/2 Stars.

“There is something wrong about the fact that we know so much about brushing and flossing but so little about how to take care of our emotions and our psychological well-being.”
We all have experiences that damage our emotional dimension and there are things that we could do, but we barely are conscious of them. We care about our body, society forces us for a sexy and unreal physical shape, we try to choose what we eat carefully, but nobody simply gives a fuck about his or her mind(ma
Aziza Aouhassi
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A reference book and psychological medicine cabinet to have at hand for daily aches.
I read it as an ebook. I'll definitely have the paper version to keep and review as much as necessary.
As a review of the content, I found it highly efficient, based on scientific researches and extremely simple (not effortlessly though) to implement.
I hope this will help more people to spend more time on making their psychological well being a priority.
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think this book is best read on an as-needed basis. Required reading, IMO. Always good to get a refresher on how to apologize, how to manage rumination, how to heal from grief, etc. Insane that this stuff is not taught in schools. Not the most in-depth, insightful, paradigm-shifting book you read on the topic, but that's not what it is supposed to be.

Samantha Kappes
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometime in the last year, I realized that someday, my beloved therapist of 10+ years is PROBABLY going to want to retire SOMEDAY, and in the time I have now, I should probably start working on self-care. So I did what any smart and self-sufficient millennial would do.

I turned to BuzzFeed!

And voila, there it was-- "Just 15 Great Books That'll Genuinely Change Your Life For The Better". Out of everything on there, this book stood out- it reminded me of all of my weird long-winded titled Psychol
Kelsey Meranda
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am obsessed with this book. It’s connected so many dots in my head to help me be happier and healthier mentally. Also, a lot of the stuff that the author talks about are things that I’ve worked on in therapy, so the advice is very legit imho. If you’ve got some free time, I highly recommend putting this on your reading list.
Aug 18, 2013 rated it liked it
it was good, simplified and practical, aimed at the general readers and not for scientific researchers.

I'm not sure if it's the first of its kind or not, but I think it's a good and important topic to be discussed.

the book is divided by the emotional symptom and then at the end of each chapter he gives the prescription.

Although giving anecdotes supposed to bring the meaning closer to you and to your understanding, the stories of the people -for me- was annoying. and I couldn't tell if they wer
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really, really liked this. It's given me a lot to think about and makes me feel better equipped to deal with my problems in the future. The way Dr. Winch writes is clear and straight to the point. His examples are great and very illustrative. This book really does apply to everyone and the patients he uses for his examples are in situations that anyone can relate to. I appreciated the empathy and sensitivity he took to the variety of things that can cause failure, low self-esteem, etc. I liked ...more
I came across this book after watching Guy Winch's TED talk about emotional first aid. This book expands on the information the author presents in his TED talk. While the book is based on psychological research, Winch writes for a general audience using anecdotal stories from his counseling practice. Each chapter also ends with suggestions and strategies of how to handle common emotional challenges. Besides the advice being practical and research-based, what I liked about this book is that the a ...more
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An amazing book and tool to psychologists!! I definitely recommend this book not only to people with work with mental health but to everyone!
Curtis Lowton
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm a huge fan of Guy Winch's TED Talk on Emotional First Aid, and so it was a no-brainer that I would eventually read this book. Emotional First Aid offers many interesting case studies, research, and interventions related to loneliness, rejection, low self-esteem, guilt, failure, etc. However, I couldn't help but wonder who Dr. Winch's intended audience was. He wasn't writing for mental health practitioners, because he ended each chapter with "if you are experiencing ______, see a mental healt ...more
Melody Schwarting
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: r-nf-gen, r-2019
Guy Winch sets some clear categories, responses, and guidelines for handling the emotional stresses of human life. He helpfully explains psychological studies and data, while making his advice concrete through stories. Emotional First Aid is really helpful for those of us who are not going through major psychological issues (he recommends professional help for that!) but would like to be more resilient and emotionally developed.

The emotional first aid kit I now have will help me, but it'll also
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Some things felt a little obvious, but this is a GREAT reference for general mental health with a lot of dry humor thrown in. Will be trying extra hard to practice some mental care around the subject of ruminating. Might end up buying this one as a reference.
Kholoud Fathi
Sep 03, 2019 rated it liked it
A recommended book 😃
Chareon Xanthavanij
Good book

I will translate and summarize to help people. Psychologists are better than psychiatrists in prevention field. thank you for your great contribution.
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Shiri by: Guy Winch
Great advice, with Guy Winch's funny style, definitely a great book to have around. I heard the author talk about this @ Google over the summer and his funny, quip style truly comes across in the book as well. The book is a fabulous compendium of "first aid" tips and practices that are good to know and to practice when you find yourself falling into trouble with self-esteem, failure, rejection and so forth.

Why 4 stars then? Honestly, I didn't enjoy it quite as much as The Squeaky Wheel, probabl
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Guy Winch is a licensed psychologist, speaker, and author whose books have been translated into fourteen languages. He received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from New York University in 1991 and he has a private practice in Manhattan. He writes The Squeaky Wheel blog for and he also blogs for Huffington Post. On the occasional dark and moonlit night, you might find him perform ...more

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