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Book Review: The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem

by Kimberly on December 1, 2010 · 4 comments

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know that I LOVE listening to podcasts and audiobooks. Between work, family, and kids, it’s hard for me to find time to sit and read. Instead, I listen to books and shows while driving and running.

I recently finished listening to a book recommended by the guys over at Internet Business Mastery. In The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, author Nathaniel Branden outlines six characteristics that serve as a guide for building better self-esteem. This higher self-esteem, in turn, leads to better living.

I read this book not as much for my personal self, but more for my “therapist” self. It’s common for therapists, music and otherwise, to have a goal of “increasing self-esteem” for our clients. I thought it’d be interesting to see how this information may inform–and hopefully improve–my clinical practice.

It’s clear from the get-go that Dr. Nathaniel Branden has done his homework. He has spent years studying self-esteem and working with hundreds, if not thousands, of clients. He has fleshed out his ideas and is able to explain them clearly, with depth and detail. I can’t say that any of his major ideas were profoundly earth-shattering for me, but Dr. Branden’s explanations gave me a different and deeper appreciation for the concept of “self-esteem.”

It seems this book is intended for the layperson. It’s a cross between a psychology text and a self-help book. Dr. Branden includes “exercises” designed to help the reader improve in each of the areas. Although the exercises are variations on one basic exercise, it may spark intervention ideas for working with clients.

One of my favorite characteristics of this book is that Dr. Branden weaves his own story into the text. His ideas are based not only on his work with clients, but on his own self-reflection on his life, his successes, his mistakes. It makes his theory much more relatable.

I recommend this book for any therapist–and non-therapist–who is interested in working on self-esteem, either personally or with clients. And even though the book gives you a very comprehensive, in-depth description of self-esteem, which may on the outside seem more appropriate for clients we’d call “higher functioning,” it will still help inform your clinical work with clients we’d consider “lower functioning.”

Interested in checking it out? Click here to purchase it now!


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Steven December 6, 2010 at 10:03 am

I’ve read a lot of self-improvement books and this one is one of my favorites!

Branden demystifies the idea that self-esteem is merely “self-boasting” or arrogance, and he shows us that real, healthy self-esteem means to feel capable, not necessarily have an inflated ego and think “I’m the best!”

I think Branden owes a lot of his philosophy to Ayn Rand, and her books like “Atlas Shrugged” which paint the picture that we as individuals are each in control of our own destiny. It is up to us to make things happen in our life, not convince or beg others to make it happen for us.

Great review- I am glad to see such an old, but classic book is still getting exposure.
.-= Steven´s last blog ..
Quotes on Criticism =-.

Steven December 6, 2010 at 10:04 am

Oops, I totally forgot to end tag that link. Sorry.
.-= Steven´s last blog ..Quotes on Criticism =-.

Kimberly December 15, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Thank you for sharing! I’m glad you brought up Branden’s idea that self-esteem is not self-boasting, but is necessary for self-actualization. ~Kimberly

Yudith August 16, 2017 at 12:11 pm

It is a great book about the vital subject of Self Esteem. The first pillar of self esteem Dr Branden calls it living consciously which is about self awareness than leads to self actualization. Another favourite pillar is Self Responsibility which is Self Empowerment.
Thank you for this recommendation
Yudith´s last blog post ..Free Yourself Of Low Self Esteem And Shine Your Greatness

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