I am a big fan of hypnotherapy. I've gone to address my dermatillomania and also to deal with stress. In one of my visits my hypnotherapist recommended me this book. Albert Ellis was one of the most eminent psychologists in the US and helped to develop Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) a type of therapy that provides people with practical resources in order to change their thought patterns and habits.
In all honesty it took me an age to read. At the time I only read novels and the thought of having to wade through a book on therapy seemed dull. I left it in my bathroom in the hope I'd read it whilst I brushing my teeth and it developed a page curl.
It's written in quite a straightforward style and the advice in it is good. The main thing that Albert Ellis teaches you is to stop "awfulising". When something bad happens in your life often our reaction is to think that things are terrible. In fact, Ellis says, you should think about how terrible things really are. If you lose your job it's unfortunate and feeling disappointed and sorry about it are healthy reactions. But getting depressed is not. To stop yourself feeling depressed you should think of what the worst outcome could be and how you could still be happy in that circumstance.
He also teaches you to stop judging others and yourself. If you fail at something it does not mean you are a failure. It just means you failed on that occasion and not that you will fail in the future. Similarly if someone acts in a cruel way towards you instead of getting upset about that person you should merely think that their actions on this occasion was regrettable, but not that they are a cruel nasty person. In this way it's easier to live without hate in a happier way.
Ellis's book is littered with success stories of people he has given CBT therapy to. Sometimes you read it and think, "yeh great for them! I don't have a world famous psychiatrist giving me personal advice every week". Perhaps that's why Ellis ends his book with the message that CBT is something you need to keep working with and reading about in order to really make changes. There is no lazy solution, it takes dedication and work.
Perhaps that's why I have not felt any real benefits from reading this book yet. Perhaps it is the start of a journey into self-help. The problem is that life is busy. If I were to constantly work on studying CBT then I wouldn't have time to read other things. This idea makes me reluctant to try. But as Albert Ellis says, of course there is resistance to the work of change. If there weren't it would mean you're not really challenging yourself.
I give this book a 7/10. I believe it's a great book of it's kind but not exactly a rip roaring read.