Complete Confidence: A Handbook

Sheenah Hankin, Author William Morrow & Company $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-06-009647-2
In this snappy self-help manual, the author of Succeeding with Difficult Clients takes a tough-love approach to teaching readers how to move beyond self-pity, shame, anger and anxiety and can embrace self-confidence. A media-savvy New York psychologist, Hankin argues that, contrary to popular belief, self-confidence has nothing to do with self-esteem. Rather, it's""the ability to overcome ... immature emotional responses and calm them down quickly that separates confident people"" from everyone else. Those who want to achieve emotional maturity, she says, must shed the ""Losing Hand"" of bingeing, pleasing, whining, procrastinating and avoiding, and stop drowning in the belief that they are""stupid, fat, old, ugly or a loser.""""Do not trust your feelings,"" she writes. Her""brain retraining prescription,"" which she dubs the Winning Hand of Comfort, instructs readers to calm down, clarify their emotions, challenge their thinking, comfort themselves and embrace the belief that life is manageable. Hankin's combination of cognitive and behavioral therapies appears quite convincing, but occasionally her prose slips into to glibness, as when she suggests that even depression is a form of immaturity. And while it's refreshing to see a professional psychologist share details about her own battles with whining and self-pity, at times the manual edges too close to memoir. Nonetheless, Hankin's book is filled with sound advice and her no-nonsense tone should particularly appeal to fans of Dr. Phil.
Reviewed on: 05/01/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
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Paperback - 259 pages - 978-0-06-009650-2
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