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Elizabeth Buckley, Ph.D.
Gainesville, Florida
Recent Activity
Dr. Buckley discusses ways to look at the proliferation of self-help literature in 2013. Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2013 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
Looking back on my years of practice, it's hard to remember a trauma-resolution case where the impact of an antisocial character in the environment was not an issue somewhere in the client's emotional makeup. Martha Stout's 2005 book The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us (Broadway Books) explores the astonishing variety of ways sociopathy expresses itself in our personal narratives. We take for granted the existence of a bad seed neighbor, the creepy boss, the parasitic ex-spouse. Yet, if we look at the source of our most persistent emotional disturbances, the things we find it hardest... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2012 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
Take the time to edit with all five senses. Sight: You want to write a beautiful book. Anything less just is not fair to any trees that might die for your printed work. When print books were all you could get (many moons ago,) a writer fortunate enough to get published by a book company of any significance would have their work packaged by professional editors and designers. The result was a clean text proofread to the letter, intelligently selected fonts, and an artistic jacket that made buyers want to display the book like a status symbol. Now, sales to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2011 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
You are very welcome. Glad if it helped.
The Tao of Your Psychotherapy Practice: How to Best Serve Your Clients While Maximizing Your Professional Freedom (2011, The Paradoxical Press) is psychologist Rick Blum's testimonial on building and maintaining a successful cash practice during the managed-care era. While this book is aimed at all licensed mental health professionals, it comes at a moment when many private-practice psychologists are in an existential crisis. Do we succumb to what seems like a gradual de-professionalization through drastically lowered insurance reimbursement rates? Should we fight/negotiate for more? Will we have to perhaps go to work in settings we are not as well suited... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2011 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
Make sure your book is really about something. Books--like blogs--can be boring, unoriginal, lack a theme or direction, and sometimes they are not even about a problem. Don't be that writer. Pick a topic based on something you really have a passion for. People want to travel excitedly with you. Otherwise, the laundry awaits. You don't even have to have a thousand things to say about it, if your idea is really clear and compelling. Take, for example, John Gray. I've read two of his books, and they are so plainspoken and internally repetitive that I was able to read... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2011 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
I've been away from my blog for a little while. I'm taking a creative writing class at a local college, and seeing what else I can write these days that's not 'technical writing'. It has me thinking about what separates the great self-help books from the nice effort, but... ones. These days, anyone can publish an e-book or self-publish, and it seems like everyone is trying it. I'd like to find some really wonderful new self-help books to talk about on my blog that are not by established, big-name authors. I've been sent a number of self-published, or (very) small... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2011 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
Charlotte Kasl's If the Buddha Dated:A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path (2002, Penguin Group) reverently articulates the 'meaningful relationship' in the way only a spiritually enlightened psychologist can. Kasl encourages the interior search of the gentle reader with great sensitivity, acknowledging that finally entering the dating world with clear intention is stepping into "the sacred fire." I was delighted to see her illustrate the evolution of the personal ad from superficial to spiritual, finally capturing the essence of what you are/want, with many examples. But it's hard to flip through this book and just find that chapter.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2011 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
Thanks for your comments, Kebba and Shane. As Rob Weiss points out, relationship addictions are being brought to the attention of experts by the public, not the other way around. Now it is our job to help clarify and heal these issues sensitively so that we can all benefit from the information that's coming before us.
I agree with you, Kimberly. Often why a relationship isn't working is impacted more by lack of motivation than anything else. As long as someone is actively addicted to something (as opposed to being in recovery), it is hard to even attempt to change the relationship for the better.
Most therapists I know seem to now have at least a cursory understanding of these addictions, or are rushing to get some training in the subject, because of the scandals that have been in the news the last two years. They are getting to know, in more depth, the inherent addictive qualities--as well as their compulsive manifestations--of sex, love, and romance. Rob Weiss, MSW, a leading trainer in the field, recently tweeted how impressed he was with the expected turnout (in the hundreds) for his recent presentation in Orlando. (I have to believe that, although these addictions are often interrelated... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2011 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
Once upon a time, ADHD was adaptive. The author of ADHD Secrets of Success: Coaching Yourself to Fulfillment in the Business World (2002, SelectBooks, Inc.) is the first major proponent of the theory that people with the traits associated with ADHD were well adapted to prehistoric hunter/gatherer groups. In this book, Thom Hartmann discusses why farmers (the patient, detail-oriented folk who make up the rest of the population) have the advantage in middle management and other organizing roles, while hunters are natural at entrepreneurship and sales. The two do best in the modern world when partnered up for business, just... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2011 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
I've seen Coming Apart: Why Relationships End and How to Live Through the Ending of Yours (2000, Red Wheel/Weiser) recommended in the back of other books a dozen times, but nothing drove me to read it as much as I think the title of this post should compel some of you. But that's the question author and therapist Daphne Rose Kingma wants to ask. It's not a popular one these days. Divorce rates are still lower than they have been in previous decades, and therapy that (implicitly) promises a fix for nearly every couple abounds. We don't like divorce in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2011 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
It is increasingly common for parents of young adults to call my practice to try to make an appointment for their adult child. We have to redirect them to have the young person call for their own appointment, because I want to begin the relationship with the presumption of the younger person's ability to make his or her own decisions. The desperation in the parent's voice gives away just to what extent good decisions are not being made right now. Family therapy seems a likely recommendation at some point. Brad Sachs' Emptying the Nest: Launching Your Young Adult Toward Success... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2011 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
Not long ago, I caught an episode of the sitcom My Wife and Kids starring Damon Wayans (of In Living Color.) In it, he plays the father of two teens and an elementary-age child. The story went that he was alone with them while their working mother was away on a business trip. The teens decide to reject his authority and earnestly request to go without the usual rules. To their surprise, he agrees. Gradually it unfolds that he has withdrawn all services provided to them in return. No car, no meal preparation, no housekeys. It isn't until the curfew-less... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2011 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
Many of us are not by nature organized or efficient in various areas of our lives. The popularity of television shows about hoarding attest to the widespread struggles people are experiencing around material acquisitions they have no clue what to do with. Watching--or knowing--a serious hoarder can put your own more 'average' mess in a different perspective. But it isn't comfortable or normal to live in a mess, even if it is common. And for those with diagnoses of Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, medications and therapy 'homework' may only address the problem in part. What makes... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2010 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
Cook Fight Re-ignite? I am sorely tempted to retitle author Jessica Bram's Happily Ever After Divorce: Notes of a Joyful Journey (2009, Health Communications, Inc.) You see, it isn't what I'd call joyful (and as a psychologist, I'd like to think I have an idea what joyful really feels like) but it is a fast, absorbing read because of her deep self-observation and appreciation for the full range of experience around her gradual emergence from a bad marriage. Overall, I'd characterize her experience of leaving as a relief, and without significant depression. This, of course, keeps the reader feeling excited... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2010 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples (2008 edition, Henry Holt and Company) by psychologist Harville Hendrix is an encouraging book for the highly motivated person(s) looking to enhance or salvage their marriage, relationship, or any possible future romantic relationships. You need motivation, as the bulk of this tome is based in (fairly modern) psychoanalytic concepts that get short shrift in some of the more popular self-help literature of today. As such, younger readers and the more concretely-inclined may get impatient before they get to the good part, which comprises the case examples from his workshops. Anyone who... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2010 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
Recently, I've seen a surge in the ability of smartphones to improve the quality of life for people dealing with all kinds of life problems from tedious wait times to social isolation to attention deficit disorder to adjustment to aging. Clearing away the smoke from the old worries about addiction to smartphones, they really do serve some healthy purposes. (Personally, I think if you have an addictive personality, you can get addicted to almost anything... ) This is one of those times--during a hot, dry summer of odd comings and goings in in my own life and those of others... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2010 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
Anthropologist Helen Fisher's bestselling Why Him? Why Her? How to Find and Keep Lasting Love (Holt, 2010) came out in paperback this year with an afterword. Since I would consider it easily my favorite self-help book of the past year, I thought it was worth reviewing in the context of its impact on my practice and to a degree my social circle, as well as to discuss the new afterword. Fisher's Explorer, Builder, Negotiator, and Director temperament types (determined by the relative impact of certain neurotransmitters--initially in utero--on a given individual) have easily caught on with my clients as a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2010 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
As mindfulness seems to take over psychology's town-hall talk of psychotherapy ideals, I find Shunryu Suzuki's Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (Shambala, 2006) a direct and unadorned way to "get" what I need to be doing to meditate productively, and can recommend it to my ever-mind-expanding clientele seeking relief from anxiety and other ills. I first encountered it on the writing table in my room at the San Francisco Zen Center (the late Suzuki was founder here) last year, where I went for a few days' retreat. There it sat, like a Gideon's Bible, necessary to deepen the welcome of a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2010 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
Melody Beattie's More Language of Letting Go: 366 New Daily Meditations (2000, Hazelden) is a cheery, brightly covered book that offers bite-sized inspirational vignettes from the mind of codependence's clearest thinker. It is organized by theme-of-the month. June's theme, for example is "Learn to Say Relax." I was encouraged to buy the book when browsing the book tables at an addictions conference earlier this year. I picked it up, and Claudia Black--a featured speaker on abuse recovery--looked over my shoulder and kindly offered that she recommends the book to many of her clients. Black is a very intense, tireless chronicler... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2010 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
I'm about to talk to you about another oldie-but-goodie, business and leadership consultant Steven Covey's The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (2004, Simon and Schuster, Inc.) Originally published in 1989, this book popularized some really annoying--yet somehow irreplaceable?-- buzzwords such as 'proactive', 'synergy', and 'win/win'. Unlike psychology research, however, (most of which ages out at about 10 years), a really good self-help book written during the Me Decade is like an old Rolling Stones song. Each time you re-experience it, it makes you want to stand up, shake the dust off your booty and... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2010 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
In the current climate of debate about whether people should strive to be happy or just content with their intermittent suffering, Crazy Time: Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life (1992, HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.) makes me glad to know someone has bothered to explore the inescapable inner turmoil of separation from a life partner. Fortunately, journalist Abigail Trafford's book (a classic in its revised edition) makes a lot of sense of this turmoil and gives hope for the healing and brighter days ahead. This book is still relevant and recommended by experts in the field of collaborative divorce who envision--and... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2010 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog
A little flighty, are we? Embarrassed around other parents who obviously have it together? ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life (2002, Routledge) is a great handbook for those of us who can't even count the many ways inattention has interfered with the smooth functioning of our households and cost us precious time and energy. This book was presented to me by a client staying home with several children. She boasted a graduate degree and the associated dreams, but the usual ADD medications had done little for her. This book, however, had made a difference. The authors of ADD-Friendly Ways did... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2010 at Dr. Buckley's Self-Help Book Blog