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Stellar Book Review by Wayne Hurlbert of Blog Business World – January, 2013
Business World Blog
“Our poor attitudes and rocky relationships are caused by unexpressed anger and fear”, writes licensed marriage and family therapist, educator, and student of Eastern philosophy, Jude Bijou, in her inspirational and life transforming book Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life. The author describes how as children we expressed our emotions freely, but as we grew to adults we were told expressing emotions was inappropriate and unacceptable. Jude Bijou provides evidence that identifying and expressing our emotions is crucial to overcoming challenges, changing our behavior, and attaining happiness in life.
Jude Bijou understands that emotions are part of our nature as human beings, and that attempting to stifle them only leads to deep seated behavioral problems. As a result, the author provides an alternative approach to overcoming life’s challenges and changes in our behavior, through identifying our emotions and expressing them in positive and natural ways. Jude Bijou points out that the emotions of sadness, anger, and fear should be expressed and released for our own emotional and physical well being. To address these emotions, and to begin the process of overcoming problems, behavioral transformation, and attaining happiness, the author shares her concept of Attitude Reconstruction.
Jude Bijou recognizes that societal and parental pressure have taught people to ignore and hide their emotions. She points out that expressing emotions is often considered inappropriate, and is discouraged despite the the damage it does to a person’s life and behavior. The author’s principle of Attitude Reconstruction is a complete process for overcoming and working past emotional barriers and obstacles.
Jude Bijou offers evidence that people already possess the essential tools to achieve an emotional breakthrough, and offers the techniques and practices for refitting your emotions and rewiring your thought process. The Attitude Reconstruction tool kit is comprised of the following five tools:
* Emotions: Expressing them physically and constructively in a safe place
* Thoughts: Replacing destructive thoughts with new truths
* Intuition: Utilizing the wisdom in your own heart
* Speech: Changing your choice of words and tone of voice
* Actions: Change old behaviors to new one in small and steady steps
For me, the power of the book is how Jude Bijou combines a very strong theoretical framework for behavioral change, with the hands on tools and practices to make that transformation a permanent one. The author shares the latest findings and practices in psychology, therapy, and conflict resolution to provide background and real world experience and results for her concepts. The key idea that understanding and expressing our emotions constructively is a powerful principle that liberates people’s thoughts and mode of behavior. The idea that it is a good idea to express emotions freely and constructively, and in the right place and time, gives people the freedom to overcome their emotional blockades.
Jude Bijou presents the practical tools for addressing each emotional challenge, and to replace and transform the debilitating sadness, anger and fear onto positive and life changing emotions. The book is structured so the reader can navigate the chapters and problem solutions in any order, providing a free flowing system for understanding these groundbreaking principles.
I highly recommend the very hands on and wisdom filled book Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life by Jude Bijou, to anyone seeking a real world based and well grounded book for overcoming even the most daunting and persistent emotional barriers. This book will not only liberate your emotions, but transform the way you think, act, and behave when confronted by any emotional challenges, or personal and career setbacks.
KIRKUS BOOK REVIEW
Marriage and family therapist Bijou demonstrates how to turn fear, anger and sadness into peace, love and joy.
This isn’t a traditional self-help book; rather than studying every page and inspecting every chart, readers are asked to identify themselves within key areas and make their way through the sections that apply. In doing so, Bijou intends the reader to learn to listen to others, to express themselves without accusatory “you” speak and to accept people as they are. She provides guidelines for coping with feelings of fear, sadness and anger in a productive way, all without stifling the benefits that can be reaped from experiencing occasional bouts of negative emotions. Bijou coaches readers to expel negativity to make room for peace, joy and love, urging relief through words, new perceptions and physical actions (like punching phone books, crying or shivering). Much of the message here is what a reader with common sense will already know, such as breaking lofty goals into small steps and forgiving yourself if you’ve done something wring. However, for additional motivation, Bijou lists the positive results that will occur if those negative emotions are dissolved and replaced by their opposites. The difference between this book and similar self-help titles is in Bijou’s familiar, conversational tone as she shepherds readers through negativity with easily-applicable solutions. User-friendly reference charts will help readers gain understanding of what they’re feeling and finding an appropriate method of addressing their issues. With Bijou’s engaging tone, readers will learn how to listen to their intuition to successfully navigate through the life they’re meant to have.
MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
A positive and choice read, highly recommended.
The power of a good outlook is really something. “Attitude Reconstruction” is an inspirational guide from Jude Bijou as she advises people switch up their attitudes towards life, express their fears and anxieties and make the most of with realization of one’s life the understanding a few minutes of clear thought can bring every day. “Attitude Reconstruction” is a positive and choice read, highly recommended.
“Licensed marriage and family therapist Bijou has put together a compendium of work sheets, practical tips, and examples for dealing with the world in a healthier, happier way. She skillfully helps readers examine their feelings and replace destructive thoughts with truth (more constructive statements). Understanding one’s emotions can’t hurt.”
Because she firmly believes that most problems in life and relationships are caused by unexpressed and unacknowledged sadness, anger, and fear, licensed marriage and family therapist Bijou has put together a compendium of work sheets, practical tips, and examples for dealing with the world in a healthier, happier way. She skillfully helps readers examine their feelings and replace destructive thoughts with truth (more constructive statements). Bijou incorporates lessons on active listening and “I” messages as well as instructions for obeying one’s intuition. Whether the application of Bijou’s advice really helps readers to cure indecision, handle sarcasm, or successfully ask for a raise and get it remains to be seen. Understanding one’s emotions, however, can’t hurt.
Everyone yearns for more love and peace within themselves and in their families, but too often, people get stuck in a dreary cycle of isolation, fear, anger, and sadness. Despite wanting emotional health, individuals can fashion their emotions into weapons that hurt themselves, others, and their chances for a harmonious life, believes first-time author Jude Bijou.
“Dealing with our emotions constructively is the key to living a better life,” she writes. “I am continually astonished, however, at how much we resist doing so, even when we know how much good it will do.”
A marriage and family therapist, as well as a longtime student of Eastern philosophy, Bijou developed her theory of attitude reconstruction while working with clients to help them lead more fulfilling lives. She theorizes that every feeling derives from six primary emotions—sadness, anger, fear, joy, love, and peace—much like every shade in the rainbow can be made from the three primary colors.
Bijou believes that joy, love, and peace are fundamental aspects of our spiritual nature, but that all emotions spring from the human condition. When people allow sadness, anger, and fear to reign free, it corrupts their bodies, behaviors, minds, and overall sense of well-being. Stress runs rampant, and unreleased emotions can fuel addictions and violence.
With her “attitude reconstruction,” individuals are encouraged to express emotions physically and constructively, and replace habitual negative thinking with what’s true. Much like exercise will gradually get someone into shape, attitude reconstruction tactics will “tone the emotional body,” notes Bijou. By understanding how emotions work, and recognizing the potentially harmful effects of feelings like fear, people can clarify priorities, create more intimacy within relationships, tackle indecision, and handle others’ anger.
Bijou’s guidebook is comprehensive in scope, bringing together real-life examples of emotions gone awry, as well as the author’s experiences in helping clients. She includes possible goals for overcoming sadness, anger, and fear, and strategies on how to achieve those aims.
Particularly useful is a chapter on battling old habits, and she defines addictive behaviors as “any substance or activity that masks our emotions and provides an immediate but temporary dose of pleasure.” Alcohol and nicotine are included, but so is seeking approval, hypochondria, too many hours of television, or excessive exercise. Recognizing destructive behavior can lead to realizations about the underpinnings of emotion that drive those actions.
Bijou’s blueprint for finding joy, love, and peace is as solid as any architectural rendering, and her straightforward, supportive strategies can help anyone build their emotional dream home.
WRITER’S DIGEST SELF-PUBLISHED AWARDS
“I was impressed by the sheer amount of research that obviously went into this book. Attitude Reconstruction is an in-depth, well-written, and helpful book that takes the reader through chapter by chapter of life instruction generally via specific directions in how to communicate more effectively & how to think honestly. With a plethora of examples, the author has done a thorough job of helping the reader know how to “reconstruct” negative attitudes. Kudos! A wonderful book.”