Book Reviews

Jon Corzine   Governor Corzine from New Jersey gives thumbs up!

"I enjoyed reading Secrets from the Sofa and am impressed with the time, energy and thoughtfulness that went into the book's preparation. I'm going to forward a copy of your materials to the Department of Education and our policy team for review. I appreciate the time you have taken to educate the public on this most important topic."
Jon S. Conzine, Office of the Governor, State of New Jersey.

Recommended by Psychologists & Social Workers! 

"I'm a psychologist who has given Secrets from the Sofa to my patients. I've found that our sessions are more focused and their motivation for change is heightened. I believe this book is a tool for change. Initially, I thought the book was too short to have any impact but soon realized that it covers all the basic issues to stimulate readers to focus on change. Dr. Herman's years of experience and talent to communicate this with readers is evident." M.A, Clinical Psychologist. New Jersey.   

"Secrets from the Sofa presents essential aspects of the human condition amplified by lucid examples and equally lucid coping methods. I particularly enjoyed Dr. Herman's person-to-person informality, his manner of suggesting techniques for observing yourself and situations, and then applying solutions. The book's straight forward presentation is loaded with good sense. I have no doubt that this book will help many people."
Dr. Joseph Schenkel, Clinical Psychologist. Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

"Secrets from the Sofa is a practical read, with useful exercises. The book is useful for a number of audiences: self-help, psycho-educational, practitioners, and even graduate students. This book can help them with expanding their own issues." Dr. Helene Laurenti, Psychologist. North Carolina.

 

"Secrets from the Sofa makes it possible for you to find answers... simply by reading a chapter that addresses your concerns. This book is well-organized, concise and reveals a depth of knowledge and understanding. I recommend this book for anyone who is going thorugh a difficult time and needs help."
Norma VanDyke, Social Worker. Philadelphia.

Folks, it doesn't get any better than this!

secrets from the sofa"Secrets from the Sofa is an opportunity to sit down with an experienced psychologist and learn his game plan for becoming stronger, more confident and emotionally balanced. Folks, it doesn't get any better than this! Secrets from the Sofa is entertaining, eye-opening, and so compelling that it is hard to put down. Don't read this book in bed; you'll get so fired up and excited that you won't be able to sleep!

Dr Herman writes in a warm, understanding, and empathetic manner. You'll feel like he is sitting by your side, talking to you as you read. Dr. Herman writes from firsthand experience, having spent over 100,000 hours counseling people from all walks of life. What I liked best is Dr. Herman's optimistic and upbeat perspective. You can't help but smile as you read the doctor's case studies, real life illustrations and personal reflections. Dr Herman always inspires us to believe in ourselves (in spite of our shortcomings and challenges) as we set our sights on what we wish to accomplish.

Isn't the title of this book irresistible? It's a throwback to the old practice of lying on a couch and divulging your deepest and darkest secrets to a shrink. Of course, it's no longer standard practice. Perhaps, the title is Dr Herman's way of laughing at himself, and encouraging the reader to loosen up and not take ourselves too seriously. Yes, we can have fun analyzing ourselves. Plus, we should never underestimate our ability to cope with problems and come up with workable solutions.

Secrets from the Sofais the best book I've read all year. If you want to know Dr. Herman's secrets, get yourself a copy of this book! With most psychologists charging $40 to $60 an hour, this book is a real bargain at $20. Just think of the time, money and energy you'll save as you read this book. Plus, the sheer enjoyment you'll receive from reading the book (as you allow it to transform your life)... that's priceless! I highly recommend this book to anyone who seeking personal balance and harmony in their life."
 Nicky VanValkenburgh. Author of "Train Your Brain, Transform Your Life: Conquer ADHD In 60 Days, Without Ritalin."

Nun turns to "Secrets" for guidance & counsel
 
"Dr. Herman is a genius! He brings common sense to a world that needs it badly. Dr Herman opens eyes to the possibility that we can change and grow, despite failures and hard breaks in life. Secrets from the Sofa gives courage to all who find themselves locked in negativity and failure. It is a book that speaks to all ages. Many people carry heavy (emotional) baggage with them. More than one of our employees have relatives that committed suicide, and children that are on drugs and alcohol. They often come to me for comfort and help. Of course, I realize that God is our real helper in time of need. While I turn to God for guidance and counsel, I can also offer people help using Secrets from the Sofa." Sister Mary Vincent, Little Sisters of the Poor. Pittsburgh, Pa.

Recommended for college students

"Our Counseling Center at Ramapo College bought a stack of Secrets from the Sofa to give to students struggling with personal issues."  Dr. Pamela M. Bischoff, Vice President for Student Affairs. Ramapo College. Mahwah, NJ

"People will find ways to improve their lives by reading Secrets from the Sofa. Let me offer congratulations on the book's publication and the national attention that it has received. I am passing this book on to our Director of Counseling and Psychological Services at Rutgers University." Richard L McCormick, President of Rutgers University. New Brunswick, NJ.

A+ for practicality, simplicity & common sense!

"I give Secrets from the Sofa an A+ for practicality, simplicity and common sense. It is a road map for personal transformation. In many ways, the book reflects the basic tenets of AA and Alanon programs, where the objective is to change yourself and focus on behaviors that lead to serenity, which is their catch phrase for peace." Joan, English teacher

"I love this book! I've ordered several boxfulls from Barnes & Noble, so that I can give them out at my office. I enjoy the insights, and the real life examples are quite direct, educational and easy to understand. I also appreciate Dr. Herman's stories about actual patient experiences-- especially the stories that deal with passivity, fear and courage." James Corrigan.

Contagious positive outlook

"I finished reading the last chapter of Secrets from the Sofa only minutes ago, and want to thank you for the book's good advice, penetrating analysis, and contagious positive outlook. Several of the suggestions began to take root in my life. Now, I want to read the book again. I'm thrilled at the notion of helping myself independently, armed only with this book." Gusatvo E. Godoy, JD.

"Secrets from the Sofa is a step-by-step guide that will empower people to look at their problems and create solutions.  Any one looking for emotional growth will greatly benefit from this powerful book."  Debbie Milam, Founder of "Best You Can Be Foundation," www.bestyoucanbe.org

 

Thumbs up for Secrets from the Sofa

finding coping strategies to achieving a healthy self-esteem "The heart of this book and Dr. Herman's therapy is a form of psychotherapy called Cognitive Therapy which was developed by Aaron Beck. The basic premise of cognitive therapy is that negative thoughts and attitudes affect our moods. Negative thinking causes depression. Cognitive therapy attempts to help people change their thought patterns.

Secrets from the Sofa is organized into five parts: (1) understanding why, (2) gearing up, (3) your Personal Peace process, (4) your emotions and feelings, and (5) emerging stronger.

In addition, there are nine exercises: (1) childhood log, (2) childhood misfortune checklist, (3) coping styles, (4) defense mechanisms, (5) hopefulness gauge, (6) life areas, (7) self-image, (8) problem list, and (9) goal worksheet.

Dr. Herman's principle of change is (1) treat yourself with respect and care, (2) face problems and conflicts directly, (3) identify, understand and let go of resistances. He states, "Each time you act according to these principles, you are redefining yourself and becoming a stronger person."

I love books from experienced psychologists, (and I'm) always hoping for something innovative. This book did remind me that the quality of our lives is largely the result of our thoughts. And, I think Abraham Lincoln said it most succinctly, "People are as happy as they make up their minds to be." I also appreciated being reminded that ... "Anger is a healthy emotion. If someone violates our boundaries or threatens to take advantage of us, anger can mobilize us to protect ourselves."

Secrets from the Sofa is a well-written, well-edited self-help workbook you may want to consider if you are thinking about making changes in your life. Kaye Trout, Pagosa Springs, Colorado 
From Kaye Trout's personal blog 

A "must-read" for if you wants to be all you can be!

finding coping strategies to achieving a healthy self-esteem    "Secrets from the Sofa by Dr. Kenneth Herman, a board-certified psychologist, is a book that will benefit adults of all ages. Why? Although there are many reasons, allow me to emphasize five very important ones:

1. Parents, in the process of rearing their children, will better understand the impact that their spoken words and display of emotions have on their sons and daughters. They are creating parental tapes that will replay in the minds of their children for the rest of their lives--whether the tapes are positive or negative. Dr. Herman offers sound advice in regard to parenting skills, providing examples on how to handle specific situations.

2. Adults who are suffering from childhood wounds are given information and exercises to complete that are emotionally challenging but necessary for healing. There are core effects that must be identified and addressed; however, the author reassures readers that what has happened to them in the past need not be a reflection of their future. What was learned can be unlearned!

3. Coping styles. Dr. Herman enables readers to identify their coping styles which are normally the result of false perceptions due to poor self-images. Some need to be eliminated in order for individuals to reach their full potential in life. Through the completion of written exercises, readers will identify coping styles as well as defense mechanisms.

4. Power to change. Once problem areas are identified, individuals are reassured that they have the power and courage to change. An exercise in which they check words to describe their positive and negative characteristics helps with such changes and enables these individuals to comprehend the importance of the cognitive behavioral approach.

5. Peace Plan. The main purpose of this book, in my opinion, is to help readers establish a peace plan-a plan of action that will help change their thinking so they can lead fuller, happier lives. Using a goal worksheet, readers are asked to rank their problems and set a time-frame for bringing about what they believe are necessary changes and solutions. The author cautions them to be realistic and offers advice on putting their individual plans into action while avoiding common deviations. In order to bring about permanent changes, Dr. Herman's reading audience of self-help patients will have to confront many emotions; therefore, he devotes an entire section to help readers deal with their feelings of depression, anxiety, etc. He offers self-control techniques that I personally found helpful.

Although the author modified names and facts, he used actual case histories throughout the book, enabling readers to see themselves in other people. This provides great insight into therapy and offers interesting reading. Dr. Herman has successfully written and designed a book to assist people who truly want to help themselves; however, he wisely points out that there are times when professional help may be required, citing some questions to enable individuals to make such determinations.

As a book reviewer who has some background in psychology and someone who has successfully written a self-help book, I do not hesitate to recommend Secrets from the Sofa as a "must read." If you want to become all you can be--to achieve personal peace--buy this book, read it, do the exercises and change your life."
 Bettie Corbin Tucker, IP book reviewer, former radio talkshow host & published author

A "must-read" for if you wants to be all you can be!

finding coping strategies to achieving a healthy self-esteem "I confess. When I first started reading this superb book I thought it might be better suited to someone with more immediate problems. I began thinking of those other people, then of my children and finally I took a better look at myself. Dr. Herman uses clear exposition and dramatized case studies, but the author is of the cognitive school that rationally espouses: 1) identifying what formed a problematic attitude, 2) noting how it has affected you, 3) working through your anger, sadness and grief, 4) and, as an adult, now engaging in a healthier mode of behavior.

It was about a third of the way through that I realized this book was applying a bit of psychology to me, its reader. The author examines defense mechanisms in a very non-threatening way and then asks us to do some self-assessment now that we were aware of the methods we use for denial. How could anyone who up to this point has agreed to his common sense approach decline? The result--utilizing worksheets on eleven "life areas" and an extensive array of positive and negative characteristics of self-image--is a useful plan of action identifying problems, visions, short, medium and long-term goals. I found this incredibly helpful.

But, he is not done. The book identifies avoidance strategies people use, describes what someone who wants to change can expect when confronting his or her emotions and even presses us to clarify what we mean by success. One intriguing aspect Herman mentions is that emotions may not be what they seem (for some it is easier to feel anger than admit to hurt feelings that leave them vulnerable). But in my opinion his best advice concerns relationships: "Pick your relationships carefully and re-evaluate them often. Only maintain those relationships that make you feel good about yourself. The people with whom you associate should give you something of value in return. It can be trust, laughter, or simply some effective communication; but it should be something beautiful, relevant and meaningful to both parties." That's also great description of this book. It is beautiful, relevant and meaningful. Do yourself and those you love a favor. Buy it!
John Lehman. Madison, Wisconsin 
Book Review.comMad Poetry.org

Everyone will identify with this book & learn from it!

finding coping strategies to achieving a healthy self-esteem Dr. Herman has written a book to bring happiness and peace to each and everyone of us. I will be recommending this book to many of my own clients because it is down to earth and makes you look at the simple things in life in a different way. An example of this is a situation where a woman didn't receive a birthday card from her husband, but he did take her out to dinner. She was hurt and when Dr. Herman asked a few simple questions, she realized how she had not evaluated the situation correctly. I cannot tell you how many times I have done this myself and I am working on correcting my "quick judgements" of a situation when really they were not meant to hurt anyone. Everyone will be able to identify with this book and learn from it.
Yvonne Phillips. 
Feng Shui Practitioner. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Straight-forward, efficient & interesting read!

finding coping strategies to achieving a healthy self-esteem Dr. Herman reveals the insights and techniques developed during many years of counseling patients through the whole spectrum of psychological and emotional issues. The author is quick to note that there are no magic mantras or quick fixes. Instead, As he reminds readers throughout, using these tools successfully takes time, work and will. He begins by encouraging readers to examine their past to see how it impacts their present.

Many behaviors that inhibit our growth and happiness as adults are connected to some negative influence in childhood. Fear, anxiety and anger are often coping strategies one adopts as a child to deal with situations out of their control. But when carried forward into adulthood, these reactions can become dysfunctional. By looking back and identifying the source of such feelings-- traumatic experiences, abusive or neglectful parents-- one can put them into proper perspective and move on. Dr. Herman advocates making a step-by-step plan for achieving one's goals and present ways to overcome the stumbling blocks that may be encountered along the way-- internal defense mechanisms used to resist change, painful feelings that must be confronted-- and illustrates points with stories about patients he has treated in his practice. These examples demonstrate how readers can apply analytical techniques to their own lives, using several exercises in the book. Dr. Herman concludes with advice on how to deal with anxiety, guilt and anger in healthier ways and make positive change permanent. This straight-forward, efficient book enables readers to understand their personal problems in a context conducive to change, and those considering therapy may find it useful preparation to make sessions more productive. (This book is) an effective tool to improving mental health.
 Kirkus Discoveries, Nielson Business Media, New York.

Secrets from a Sofa can lead you to a happier, more fulfilling life!

finding coping strategies to achieving a healthy self-esteem    If what everyone really wants from life is happiness, success, and peace of mind, then why do people stay at unrewarding jobs or in destructive relationships? Why are people neglecting their physical and mental health? Why do we sometimes have so much trouble just getting through the day?

Unfortunately, people feel safe and secure with familiar emotions. Even misery is preferable to the anticipated anxiety associated with change. Intellectually, we would like to change; emotionally, we question if change is necessary—or even possible. As a practicing clinical psychologist for over 45 years, Dr. Kenneth Herman shares his “Secrets from the Sofa”—his proven step by step approach to helping people change and achieve a greater sense of purpose, happiness and peace. He offers readers the chance to be their own psychologist; to look at their problems, to address where they are coming from, to make a plan to overcome the issues, and then to execute that plan. With motivation and determination, you will find that your personal peace plan can make a change for the better completely possible. Secrets from a Sofa can lead you to a happier, more fulfilling life. And if you really put your mind to it, it will. Book review from I-Universe.   

Clear, logical, interesting and provocative!

his book reflects Dr. Herman's 45 years in practice as a clinical psychologist, and it is intended to serve as the next best thing to a series of personal sessions. The word "Secrets" in the title should not be misinterpreted to mean that Dr. Herman is dishing about his patients. Rather, he is presenting the tools and skills that he has found effective in his treatment plans. Dr. Herman belongs to the cognitive behavioral school of psychotherapy, and his emphasis is on change. How do persons with problems correct those thoughts, perceptions, and habits that stand between them and happiness?

The organization of this book is clear and logical, beginning with a section on understanding the etiology of one's difficulties, followed by a section on preparing to correct them. The most crucial section of the book is the third, "Your Personal Peace Process." This emphasizes embarking on a new course in life, dealing with obstacles that arise, and maintaining changes after they are implemented. The book includes a number of useful exercises, and it also contains a thoughtful discussion on when to seek professional help.

Secrets from the Sofa embodies a comprehensive plan that can be used to accomplish major changes in one's life. It is mercifully free of jargon and oversimplification. However it does challenge the notion that a person capable of undertaking its rigorous curriculum is probably the person who needs it the least. Nevertheless, many individuals who fall somewhere between the extremes of mental well-being will find Secrets interesting, even provocative, and potentially helpful. F. M. Lupinetti, 
US Review of Books.

Swamy from India gives his thumbs up!

'Secrets from the Sofa' is an attempt by a Board Certified Clinical Psychologist to share the lessons that he learned from nearly 50 years of practice. In his long career, Dr. Kenneth Herman had the opportunity to listen to the problems of many people and thus gained a deep understanding of human nature and he shares with us the readers, that understanding.

Change is difficult but is not impossible. That is the message that this book gives. The blurb on the back cover says, "With motivation and determination, you will find that your personal peace plan can make a change for the better completely possible. Secrets from a Sofa can lead you to a happier, more fulfilling life. And if you really put your mind to it, it will." I agree with that statement.

The book has eighteen chapters spread over five parts. Part One is titled, "Understanding Why", Part two is titled, "Gearing Up", Part three is called, "Your Personal Peace Process", Part four deals with "Your Emotions and Feelings" and the final part is "Emerging Stronger." Chapter six has detailed checklists to help you understand yourself better.

The book has a number of case studies and the style is easy and interesting. Names have been suitably changed to protect the privacy of the individuals. It is easy to relate to many of the problems (lack of confidence, indecisiveness, anger etc.) faced by the people in the book.

Additional resources are listed at the end of the book to help you explore specific topics in more detail. The book is edited and printed well. The book makes an useful addition to the many self-help books in the field and is recommended.

Swamy Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. (Physicist, Metallurgist, Quality Management & General Management expert, etc.)
  http://swamyreviews.blogspot.com:80/