Friday, July 3, 2015

Give Yourself a Break by Kim Fredrickson

We can be too hard on ourselves, Fredrickson writes. We know that as Christians we are forgiven, but knowing it in our head is different than knowing it in the heart.

Fredrickson has written this book to help us understand self-compassion and why it is so hard to extend to ourselves. She wants us to learn how to relate to ourselves in healthy and gracious ways.

There is a great deal of good material in this book. I liked how she explained that we are to model ourselves after the way God relates to us. He has compassion on us as we confess our sins, and He corrects us with grace and truth. I appreciated that she explained how childhood experiences influence us throughout life. She has many suggestions for helping children develop good self-compassion. I also liked her insights from her thoughts on attachment theory.

I am really impressed with several of the topics she covered in this book. One was the importance of helping children learn how to handle it when they have done something wrong. A child's brain is not well enough developed to have balanced thinking. It must be taught to them. This is why some of us still struggle with how we see our selves from our childhood conclusions. Another topic that impressed me was learning how to accept a compliment.

Fredrickson includes several appendixes. I liked the one that was a “quick start” on how to bounce back after messing up. It is sort of a quick review of the whole book. There is also a good bibliography and some suggested resources.

She has added possible statements to make about ourselves now that we've read that particular chapter. She then gives Concluding Reflections which are good for journal writing or discussing in a group of trusted friends.

One might think how we treat ourselves in unimportant. “The way you interact with yourself has a greater impact on you than any interactions you have with others,” Fredrickson writes. It is important that we learn how to treat ourselves in a biblically sound way. It really makes a difference on how we treat others too as our inability to accept our own humanness affects our ability to accept it in others.

Food for thought:
What gets us into trouble aren't our failures, but what we do with them.”
When we have compassion for ourselves, we more easily show compassion to others.”

Kim Fredrickson, MS, has been a licensed marriage and family therapist for thirty years and is a certified Christian life coach. She and her husband have been married for thirty-seven years and have two adult children. She completed successful treatment for breast cancer in 2014, and four days later started a battle with a progressive lung disease that developed as a result of the chemotherapy and radiation. You can find out more at

Revell, 192 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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