The Feeling Good Handbook By David Burns came highly recommended to me by a mental health care professional last Spring. First, I checked out a copy from the library, but I soon found that it was one of those books. You know, the type of book you know you will want to refer back to many times. The type of book you can see becoming valuable in all sorts of new situations in the future. So, I bought my own copy and it has been so very worth it.
Overall, it's marketed as a self-help book for the average person and uses behavioral awareness and modification as the tools to help the reader improve. The author is a psychologist (he looks grooooooovy, right?) who has a very conversational writing style and uses many real examples as ways of illustrating personality types, flaws, and ways to improve.
On it's own, it's a fascinating read.
When you apply it to your own life, it takes on a whole new meaning. Somehow, Burns gets the reader to really see himself/herself as others do, but in a very gentle, non-judgemental way. He then leads you through all different types of exercises to show where you can improve and change. His very helpful explanations show you exactly how to change without feeling overwhelmed.
He devotes several sections of the book on how to deal with difficult personality types successfully. This was eye-opening, to say the least. Truly, I never realized that there are so many different ways of approaching a difficult person or situation and achieving a tolerable-to-good outcome. Not only do I wish I had this book as a young wife and mother, I wish I had it as a middle-schooler!
This book is laid out in such a way that jumping around from section to section isn't a problem, but I would definitely recommend reading it in it's entirety at some point.
Whether you are female or male, married or single, childless or a parent, this book can help you in all areas of your life. It certainly has helped me!