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Life Changes Newsletter:
LIFE CHANGES Book Reviews (Continued)

by David L. Johnson, Ph.D.


If I'd Only Known...Sexual Abuse in or out of the Family:
A Guide to Prevention, Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, Genesis
Consultants, Inc., Nov., 2000
Online at:

The Sex-Starved Marriage: A Couple's Guide to Boosting Their Marriage Libido, Michele Weiner-Davis,
Simon & Schuster, 2003
Online at:

Writing Wide: Exercises in Creative Writing, Billie A. Williams,Filbert Publishing, Kandiyohi, MN 2003
Review of the Month posted in Fall, 2003

Almost Home: Embracing the Magical Connection Between Positive Humor and Spirituality, Jacki Kwan,
Cameo Publications, 2002
Online at:

Embracing Uncertainty: Breakthrough Methods for Achieving Peace of Mind When Facing the Unknown
Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. St. Martin's Press, 2003

Powerful Self-Talk: Change Your Self-Talk Change Your Life, Michael J. Russ,
Powerful Living International, L.L.C., (CD)2002
Review of the Month posted in January, 2004 at

Why Men Won't Commit:Getting What You Both Want Without Playing Games
George Weinberg, Ph.D. Atria Books (Hardback/2002) (Paperback/2004)

Raising America: Experts, Parents, and a Century of Advice About Children, Ann Hulbert,
Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, (hardback), 2003; Vintage Books (Paperback/2004)

Book Review of Stop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco for LIFE CHANGES:
In our modern-day, addictive culture it is no small wonder that quick-fix approaches for stopping tobacco use are often ineffective. Typically, these approaches reflect the instant-gratification orientation of our society. People pay big money for patches, pills, formal programs and purges while expecting an addiction that may have taken a lifetime to develop to just suddenly go away. For those who understand that ending tobacco addiction is not having results served like a fast-food entree, there is a powerful option that offers a high predictability of success.

Stop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco for LIFE CHANGES, by David L. Johnson, Ph.D. & Carole A. Johnson, ID, is an original, definitive manual for those who truly wish to recover from their tobacco addictions. Written with candor, erudition and wit, the book takes the smoker (chewer, or dipper) by the hand and authoritatively walks him or her through a comprehensive, but doable, process that not only fleeces the person of a life-threatening habit, but builds in life-enhancement skills that surpass any rewards perceived from past tobacco use.

This 206-page, quality paperback pursues a step-by-step process that begins with an orientation to the program and includes a convincing review of current knowledge about the health, social, and economic consequences of tobacco use. These consequences should strip away every last vestige of motivation for tobacco use in a sane person. We discover preparations for stopping tobacco which cover every aspect of an individual's lifestyle that supports use and may undermine the stopping process.

Throughout the book the authors include worksheets that facilitate insight, individualize understanding of the quit-tobacco process, and personalize applications of the program to ensure success. The comprehensiveness of this approach flows from explanations of every strategic option that can be included in a person's individualized program including the responsible, effective inclusion, or not, of nicotine-replacement products like patches, gums, inhalers, and cessation pharmaceuticals that are less effective when used alone.

Once understanding, confidence, and a sense of competence have been established in the reader, the book moves into program strategies and exercises. These imaginative routines include aversive, powerful hypnotic imagery which undermine desires for and weakens attractions to tobacco products plus many other tools to effectively replace destructive habits daily with life-enhancing activities. Indeed, just reading the exercises - without taping and playing them in a relaxation/induction process - is enough to sicken this reader against the use of tobacco products for life! However, the authors recommend the reader individualize the exercises and follow the authors' instructions, suggestions, and cautions. Incidentally, without going into current research, the design of the exercises - including content and strategies - reveals a sophisticated, balanced understanding of subconscious learning and the power that imaginative processes can have on habits and behavioral changes.

Finally, knowledge, process, and competence blend into a creative integration. LIFE CHANGES provides each individual the opportunity to develop a healthier lifestyle that leaves no openings for a return to tobacco-use behavior. This 'leave-no-stone-unturned' approach to tobacco cessation impressed me as the most comprehensive and reliable option available on the market today.

Throughout the book the user's self-defeating thinking patterns can emerge, then broken down and replaced with positive, life-enhancing ones in a process that makes
LIFE CHANGES a hallmark in the annals of stop-smoking strategies. Each individual needs to take a personalized, total lifestyle approach to manage ultimately this daily health threat. This total lifestyle approach demonstrates the authors' understanding of what is necessary to tackle tobacco addiction in the way a surgeon understands cutting away a cancer. Every part of the threatening tumor (thinking/feeling/behavior) must be removed or a life-threatening condition may spring anew and attack with a vengeance.

Unlike less effective, quick-fix approaches to tobacco cessation, Stop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco for LIFE CHANGES offers lifestyle-oriented, self-paced, cognitive- behavioral strategies that address the unique needs of each user in a warm and readable format that offers the best of what's out there. Unlike approaches that require a full commitment before purchase, this book has such a powerful introductory message and comprehensive content, I would recommend it to any one seriously wanting to quit tobacco, in the process of quitting, and even those who may be just thinking about stopping in the future. At a modest $19.95 retail (USA) price, I cannot suggest a more economical, yet powerful approach to effectively stop nicotine addiction and prevent relapses. Learning these self-regulation, stress-management, performance, humor, creativity tools and underlying cognitive-behavioral skills will save lives and deepen, quality relationships.

Granville Angell, EdS, LPC, NCC
Addictions Counselor/Author of The God-Shaped Hole

Self-help CD Review of the Month:

Michael J. Russ's Powerful Self-Talk CD describes the key ingredients for understanding, moving, and unleashing the emotional power of positive, intentional, and supportive self-talk. Russ identifies unsupportive, negative self-talk that reduces confidence, dampens esteem, and defeats effort and, even in talented performers. He provides dynamic visual images and energizing music with specific examples of purposeful, responsible, and pro-active self-talk.

Russ prescribes a six-step model that focuses on more awareness on self-defeating thoughts and their links to external behavior. The author wants every concerned listener to apprehend negative thoughts and reframe them into 'here and now' opportunities for alternative choices and verbal pro-active affirmations beginning with "I am ___________. I can do ___________. I will __________."

Powerful Self-Talk potentially enables one to consciously plan, produce, direct, and perform valued self-talk scripts and modify problem-solving roles applicable to daily life and problem situations. First, you can rehearse what you specifically want to do. Second, you can, through practice and repetition, come to appreciate the inherent power of your thoughts and claim them as valid approaches to living a renewed life-style. Third your thoughts can be more focused and consistent suggesting new pathways to mood regulation, self-expression, relationships, and achievable behavioral objectives. Finally, by owning more consistent thoughts, you can bring energy and direction more effectively into your behavior and establish healthier habits for living your life.
I recommend this excellent CD on self-talk for any one interested in realizing the importance of "walking the talk" in order to make meaningful, healthy, and enriching cognitive-behavioral changes for life.

Reviewed by David L. Johnson, Ph.D. Director,
Center for Applied Psychology and Human Services,
Akamai University, Hilo, HI