Sunday, October 2, 2016

Take Your Life Back by Stephen Arterburn & David Stoop (book review)

Take Your Life Back: How to Stop Letting the Past and Other People Control You by Stephen Arterburn & David Stoop (Tyndale House Publishers)

Take Your Life Back by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop is designed to help you recognize and acknowledge the ways in which you lead a reactive life, in order to help you move toward a responsive life. This is an excellent starter book for people who have hit bottom and know that they have problems dealing with life, but aren't entirely sure as to the root cause or how to proceed in order to find healing and growth. It also has a lot of good general information in case you think you know the foundation that's led to your current problems, but don't want to read a lot of different books in search of the perfect one that'll relate to what you're going through. It covers various kinds of trauma, mental abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, spiritual abuse, dependency, co-dependency, narcissism, and borderline personality disorder. It's not really an action plan (although a 12-step plan is included); consider it more of a guidebook to point you in the right general direction and give you the encouragement you need in order to recognize that healing is possible and to take those first (and hardest) steps toward recovery from your seeming brokenness.

Having read several similar personal growth/recovery books, I didn't really learn anything new from this book. But, as stated, it is a great starter book full of information and comforting stories to encourage someone to begin a very long journey. I'd also recommend it as a good guide to hand to someone who is acting as a safe person/support for anyone taking the journey toward healing/recovery. It will help others understand the path you're on, the problems that have led up to this point, and the steps you need to follow in order to reach a better place. 5/5 stars. There is a companion workbook, which I have not had the pleasure of looking at.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for this honest review.*

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