Sunday, July 7, 2024

True to You by Dr Kathleen Smith Book Review

About the Book:

When’s the last time you 
felt as composed as you portray to your boss, family and friends? If there’s a discord between the two, you’re not alone. Humans are master pretenders—we often seem stronger, calmer and more mature than we really are, while the truth is we’re full of doubts and self-criticism that pushes us to borrow reassurance from friends, beliefs from strangers on the internet, or attention that, in the moment, makes us feel successful, but leaves us totally hollow and burnt out.

True to You is a relatable self-help guide for people who want to learn to live less focused on others’ reactions and more confidently by their own principles. Readers will learn how to:

· Interrupt relationship patterns that keep you stuck.
· Rely less on praise and approval from others.
· Develop a solid sense of self in anxious times.
· Build more authentic and rewarding relationships.

Dr. Smith uses examples from the lives of her therapy clients to explain how we borrow confidence, calmness, and beliefs from our relationships and offers actionable steps and exercises for building a life with your own best-thinking. With a healthy dose of humor, she unpacks the science of our social nature, explaining why we try so hard to be what others want us to be and how we can start living from the inside out. By learning how to be more responsible for yourself, rather than over-responsible for everyone else, you can find the freedom to develop richer relationships, pursue what’s important to you, and feel steadier in this very anxious world.

My Review:

We need relationships but we need to be individuals too. Smith uses systems thinking to see the whole of relationship issues. The first part of the book looks at relationships and how we try to keep things calm by sacrificing our selves. I like that she give examples, stories that are composites of her therapy clients. The second part of the book deals with growing into the mature state of directing our selves as individuals. I really appreciate the review of chapter main points at each chapter end as well as practical exercises to personally investigate that chapter teaching.

As a people pleaser much of my life, I learned important ideas and strategies from this book. Investigating the family relationship systems was important to me as it revealed the basis for my actions. I like the insights into how we lose self and then what it looks like to act as an individual. I appreciate learning how to respect the people with whom I have relationships yet maintain my own individual person.

This is a book containing a great deal of actionable ideas and strategies. It is a good one to work through and there is lots of work to do. Reading and discussing it with a trusted friend may be the best was to incorporation the information into one's life.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Dr. Kathleen Smith
is a licensed therapist and mental health writer who lives in Washington, DC. An associate faculty member of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family, she teaches Bowen family systems theory to leaders around the globe. Breaking down therapy concepts into witty, relatable stories for readers, Dr. Smith is the author of 
Everything Isn’t Terrible (Hachette, December 2019) and a popular newsletter with over 10,000 subscribers. She has been interviewed by The New York Times and The Washington Post about anxiety and relationships, and her essays have appeared in Slate, Salon, New York Magazine, Psychology Today, and more. Photo credit: Amanda Joy Photography

St. Martin's Essentials, 288 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank You for the review.