The Self-Talk Workout
Six Science-Backed Strategies to Dissolve Self-Criticism and Transform the Voice in Your Head
by Rachel Goldsmith Turow
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Pub Date 29 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 29 Nov 2022
Shambhala Publications, Inc., Shambhala
Perhaps you want to be nicer to yourself but don’t really know how to get there. Or maybe you’re someone who assumes self-criticism is a permanent part of your personality. Rest assured you’re not alone—millions of people struggle with the toll that excessive self-criticism takes on their minds, energy levels, jobs, and relationships. And problems with self-talk vary dramatically from one person to the next: they can appear as mild but persistent inner criticism, full-blown self-loathing, or the pain of internalized oppression or abuse.
After over twenty years of working with individuals, groups, and classes on self-criticism and related challenges, psychologist and mindfulness teacher Dr. Rachel Goldsmith Turow offers the “self-talk workout”—six doable exercises that can help you replace self-criticism with self-kindness and self-encouragement. Specific self-talk strategies such as “Spot the success,” “Fail forward,” and “Allowing all feelings, skillfully,” require just a few minutes a day. These skills can be practiced individually to transform your self-talk, or you can choose to combine two or more exercises to enhance your self-talk workout. Each chapter features a core exercise, variations on the strategy that might feel right for you, scientific studies supporting each approach, and success stories to inspire your own practice.
Turow includes examples from her own life and experiences as a psychotherapist, as well as lessons from her students and respected public figures such as Michelle Obama and Thich Nhat Hanh, to show that the burden of harsh self-criticism need not go on forever: the way that we relate to ourselves can be changed.
“Rachel Turow offers simple, transformative exercises that you will return to again and again.”—Tara Brach, author of Trusting the Gold
“The Self-Talk Workout describes clear science-based pathways to cultivate self-compassion. This is a great resource for anyone looking for new sources of hope and friendliness.”—Shauna Shapiro, author of Good Morning, I Love You: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Practices to Rewire Your Brain for Calm, Clarity, and Joy
“Here you will find skillful ways to quiet the mind and open the heart. This is good medicine.”—Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
“If you have ever asked yourself ‘Am I good enough?’ or thought ‘I should be nicer to myself,’ then you will want to read The Self-Talk Workout. Rachel Turow has experienced and researched the effects of self-criticism, and her book is written with compassion and a basis in science.”—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Change
“Given the prominence of our inner voice in the economy of our mental life, it is very fortunate that we can turn to Dr. Turow’s wise and compassionate guidance. Some words simply jump off the page and you can taste the relief contained in these practices. Dr. Turow demonstrates that our inner life is more malleable than we assume, and even a little more freedom around our self-talk can make an enormous difference in our lives.”—Matthew Brensilver, author of Teaching Mindfulness to Empower Adolescents
“In The Self-Talk Workout, Rachel Turow provides an accessible, sustainable, and scientifically-backed process to understand and to skillfully work with the voice within that causes us so much suffering. Turow’s comprehensive examination of the origins and impact of self-talk on the many aspects of our lives—personally, socially, and globally—behooves us to take action with wisdom and compassion for the benefit of ourselves and all beings. And Rachel is a phenomenal writer—clear and easy to follow.”—La Sarmiento, guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ Sanghas
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 10 members
I haven’t finished this book yet, but I’m so impressed that I wanted to review it immediately. I like that it’s science-based and not “woo woo”. I think the techniques will be extremely helpful not just to me, but to anyone reading this book. I’m going to start practicing “Inhale, my friend, exhale, my friend” right away. Highly recommended for people who struggle with negative self-talk!
A lovely book with an excellent premise, it made for a refreshing self-help read that made me feel I might be able to pivot some people toward and actually feel it could help. I enjoyed every sampling of what I read, and appreciate that Turow seemed dedicated to sourcing her work.
Rachel's "The Self-Talk Workout" is a brilliant self-help book on the topic of self-criticism. Anyone who struggles with shame and a harsh inner critic will want to pick up this book. Chock full of real life examples and contemporary psychological principles will help people feel more sane and more whole!
We all have an internal voice, also known as, self-talk. Self-talk can have positive or negative effects on one’s self. Positive self-talk can be encouraging and hopeful. Negative self-talk can have detrimental effects on your self-esteem, job/school performance, and psyche. The Self-Talk workout by Rachel Goldsmith Turow shares evidence based tips and strategies that one can use to improve your self-talk. Improving the way that talk to yourself can improve your outlook on life, your performance in everyday life, and even your health. This book provides “workouts” that are based upon research based strategies that help readers to improve their self-talk in order to decrease stress and improve overall well-being. I highly recommend this book. Thank you the publisher and NetGalley for the advance review copy in exchange for my honest review.
“The Self-Talk Workout: Six Science-Based Strategies to Dissolve Self-Criticism and Transform the Voice in Your Head” (Shambala Publications, 2022) quells questions about self-talk and mental health, best practices for kinder self-talk, and differentiating self-talk from self-esteem and self-compassion. Dr. Rachel Goldsmith Turow (psychologist, research scientist, and adjunct faculty member at Seattle University and Mt Sinai) braids her myriad professional experiences with mindfulness practices to present science- and practice-based techniques to minimize the chatter of each reader's negative self-talk.
Even those who find mindfulness, breath work, or lovingkindness techniques far outside their comfort zones should find Turow’s examples of “self-talk” evidentiary-based, similar to Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) books and courses.
Readers of Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Judith Orloff, Valerie Kaur, and Brene Brown may also enjoy “The Self-Talk Workout.”
Thank you to Shambala Publications, NetGalley, and Dr. Rachel Goldsmith Turow for the advanced e-reader!
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