Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2014
For me, this little book was love at first sight. The splash of title on the cover immediately brings a smile. It evokes my time in India, where signs painted on the backs of huge, multi-color trucks suggest, “Horn okay please”. Not a command, just gentle words that convey the message. Like Good Things Emotional Healing Journal: The promise is, Open this book and discover those “things” and that “healing”.
Beneath the title is the outline of a flying heart enticingly stuffed with colorful depictions of “fun things to do”—food, sex, alcohol, etc., etc.; these are entwined beneath a not-so-colorful, heart-spanning banner that broadcasts, ADDICTION. I get the picture. I expect good things inside this cover, fun things to combat my bad habits, whatever they are.
In the preface, Davies warmly proclaims it “an honor” to pass along the tools, strategies and insights she has learned from her years as a licensed therapist. “You are not alone”, she reassures us in the intro; 140 million people in the U.S. suffer from addictions—“unwanted habits and compulsive behaviors”. She lists a half-dozen of her own past addictions. Her experience, knowledge, and generous spirit are sprinkling sunlight on the pages from the git-go.
This book is easy going. You peruse a couple of simple, informative pages; then, on lines provided, you WRITE, following apt prompts. Chapters 2 through 4 ask you to complete short inventories and do some journaling to identify your addictive symptoms and their intensity; in Chapter 5, a succinct table guides you to personalized “Effective Strategies for Managing (your own) Addiction”.
The next important chunk of the book is fifteen chapters which outline fifteen Effective Strategies. I was led first, based on my inventories, to Strategy #5—“Soothe Your Moods and Emotions”. Perfect for what ails me.
After practicing one strategy, you re-take an Addiction Inventory to see where you are. Then you go on to another prescribed strategy, and another—as many as apply, as many as you want.
Even for this picky grammarian, tiny spelling and structure glitches do not detract a whit from the book’s punch. Its organization is strikingly clever and effective. Wonderful, black-and-white, cartoon-like graphics clarify content and lighten the 125 pages, as do Davies’ own brief, heart-felt poems. If you let this book guide you through its encouraging, enlightening pages, you will surely find Good Things and Emotional Healing.