Review: The Mind Monster Solution by Hazel Gale

The Mind Monster SolutionThe Mind Monster Solution by Hazel Gale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book of strategies to deal with the roots of self-sabotage and burnout. It packs more value per square inch of page than anything else I have read on the topic. Of course, our reception of a book is also a matter of timing in life, but I have to say this one really spoke to me and finally nailed some nasty old habits. Its ‘modality’ is basically NLP/cognitive hypnotherapy, but the first thing I learned is that the hypnotherapy bit has almost nothing to do with ‘hypnosis’ techniques and everything to do with interrupting the ‘trance’ states in which we tend to carry out self-destructive behaviours. It takes application, but it is encouraging and doable! It’s comprehensive, and there are lots of angles. The author basically throws the kitchen sink and a couple of grand pianos at the issue.

I don’t know anybody who is not in some degree struggling with self-sabotage, but for me, recovering from burnout, terrified of going back to the way I was and treading the same old paths, it was crunch time. I am now recommending The Mind Monster Solution to everyone and referring to it frequently in training the team of support workers I supervise – for themselves and the people we work with.

What was good? All of it. Hazel writes well, and it’s got to be the next best thing to having a series of 1-1 sessions. The book is aimed at empowering the reader with the tools to be their own therapist. I think it saved me a lot of money. There are practical exercises to apply every chapter, and it’s worth doing them. The parts that had me on the edge of my seat were the telling of her own emotional battles as a competitive fighter. I’m not an athlete, but these were tantalizingly relatable to my own experiences of psychological shutdown and gave me huge hope.

The only thing that didn’t quite work, which didn’t matter in any case, is how the reader at the beginning is invited to skip or skim bits to home in on which of the many strategies appeal to them. I don’t think it’s easy to do this because the chapters do build on previous ones and, even though the material is cross-referenced, you’ll end up needing to refer back, so it’s best to read and apply from beginning to end – in my opinion.

I am profoundly grateful that Hazel had the skill, compassion and generosity to write this book. It’s worth ten of the others.

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