Helping Me Help Myself: One Skeptic, Ten Self-Help Gurus, and a Year on the Brink of the Comfort Zone

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Grappling with her lifelong phobia of anything slick, cheesy, or remotely claiming to provide self-empowerment, Beth Lisick wakes up on New Year's Day 2006 with an unprecedented feeling. She is finally able to admit to herself that she's grown tired of embracing the same old set of nagging problems year after year. She has no savings account. Her house feels unorganized and chaotic. She and her husband never hang out together. The last time she exercised regularly was as a member of her high school track team almost twenty years ago.
Instead of turning to advice from the abundant pool of local life coaches, therapists, and healers readily available on her home turf of northern California, Beth confronts her fears head-on. She consults the multimillion-dollar-earning pros and national experts, not only reading their bestselling books but also attending their seminars and classes. In Chicago, she gets proactive with The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In Atlanta, she tries to get a handle on exactly why "women are from Venus," and in a highly comedic bout on the high seas of the Caribbean, she gamely sweats to the oldies on a weeklong Cruise to Lose with Richard Simmons.
Throughout this yearlong experiment, Beth tries extremely hard to maintain her wry sense of humor and easygoing nature, even as she starts to fall prey to some of the experts' ideas, ideas she thought she'd spent her whole life rejecting. Beth doesn't think of herself as the typical self-help victim. But is she?

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (January 1, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0061143960
  • ASIN: B001PO6AXQ
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds

Customer Reviews

The Key to enlightment is focus

8 people found this helpful.
 on March 23, 2008
By Bennet Pomerantz
The Key to enlightment is focus, which this book does not have. The author attempts to find her way using different methods, most with humorous results.

Interesting book about one woman’s plunge into the pool of self-help

6 people found this helpful.
 on December 3, 2007
By Reviewer Dr. Beth
This book starts with an interesting concept: after waking up on New Year’s Day to a life in shambles, a self-appointed skeptic decides to get things in order by sampling the best that the self-help industry has to offer. So, for an entire year, she focuses on a different area of self-improvement each month, from using John Gray to assist with marital issues to taking the advice of Suze Orman to improve her financial situation. Lisick can be irreverent, and she shares her exploits with plenty of sarcasm. However, she also expresses a more genuine curiosity, and many readers are likely to relate to her experiences; as a psychologist myself, I enjoyed the consumer perspective on an area which has a direct association with my career. Recommended as a fun insider’s trip into the land of self-help.

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