Book Review: Self-Coaching by Joseph Luciani

There is a book that I have taken to in the past few months which has made a world of difference in my own life, especially because of my recent struggles with my physical health and separation from my ex-girlfriend and the mother of my child. I’ve struggled nearly all my life with issues related to anxiety and depression, it’s nothing new to me and I’ve never really known how to tackle the issue. I’ve tried therapy, journaling, challenging fears, and a number of self-help books. Things will work temporarily and then they tend to just sort of fade into the past. Then I was suggested this book Self-Coaching by Joseph Luciani from a therapist that I had reached out to and boy did I like the way that it sounded different from the others.

So, to start, this book was written by a Doctor of Psychology with over 25 years of experience at the time that he had written it. Essentially he had started himself on this very same program to cure himself of his own anxiety and depression which had plagued his younger years. This book does not claim to be a quick fix or an easy fix, but it does give the reader all of the tools that they need to address the insecure thoughts in their own lives which feed their anxiety and depression.

First of all, the book does an amazing job of very simply breaking down the nature of the human mind and how it develops from a young age to protect itself from being damaged by all of the madness that is outside of its control, especially related to life at home. This is why it is so critical that children are cared for and nurtured and made to feel safe because every person’s history will shape the future of their thought processes.

The ideology that entire program bases itself around the idea that every individual has their child’s voice inside of them still, remaining a part of their adult personality but not defining who they are as a person. This “child-reflex” is responsible for the insecure self-talk that triggers anxiety and depression. This reflex had been developed from a young age as a way to deal with situations that feel out of our control. Anxiety and depression are actually our mind’s way of trying to control life by putting our bodies into either fight (anxiety) or flight (depression) mode. Our other expressions of control based around these insecurities can take the form of anger, withdrawal, manipulation etc.

Well, this book is not the same as other self-help books, where you will read through it once and feel good about yourself for a week or two then forget all about the important lessons that you had learned. This book is more of a therapeutic tool than a book, and it is full of exercises which are going to help the reader to begin to identify which of their behaviours are the result of insecure reflexive thinking and which of their behaviours are healthy and mature. After a person has begun to grasp the concept of separating the anxious insecure thinking from the healthy thinking grounded in reality, then it encourages shutting down the anxious thoughts the moment that they are recognized and encouraging positive self-talk with healthy reinforcement.

In my opinion, the best thing about this program is that you will get out of this book what you decide to put into it. If you are a highly motivated and determined individual than you will get better results sooner. If you half-ass your program and just give it a quick read through, it’s either going to take longer or it may not help at all. Stick to it.

It encourages self-reflection. It encourages building a deeper connection with yourself and your history. It encourages sensitivity towards your own shortcomings and it sets the blame, not on yourself, but on those feelings of insecurity which were developed inside of you at a young age. The book does not try to change who we are as people, yet it encourages recognition that some of our behaviours are simply the ghosts of our past demons. In recognising that simple truth, there is a beautiful opportunity to find freedom from this habit of feeding those demons.

The book then continues to share some insight into a number of different personality types, each with unique exercises to help and address their unique methods of control. Dr Luciani also shares some personal stories from clients that he’s helped to add context to all of the lessons that he teaches. These can often be both entertaining and relatable.

At the end of the day, I would recommend this book to anybody who suffers from some level of anxiety or depression, no matter whether it’s mild or severe. The psychological insights that it shares in it’s 250 or so pages are extremely valuable. If you care about understanding yourself or others better then it’s a worthy read, it’s also easy to understand and you can always return to the program in the future if you feel yourself beginning to slip away.

I believe it is well worth the 20$ or so that you will end up paying for this read on Amazon. A therapist may give you one exercise per session at 4 or 5 times that amount per visit!  So if you are a person that cares about your mental health, what do you have to lose? Give it a shot. Maybe it’s just what you needed.

I will not be receiving any financial kickback from this review, I simply believe in this program and would like to also share this discovery with others who might be able to benefit from the same program in their lives! 

Best of luck to each of you on your journeys to positive well-being and great mental health!