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Mainstream - F*ck Feelings - Michael Bennett MD

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F*ck Feelings
Michael I. Bennett MD, Sarah Bennett
Simon and Schuster 2015
370 pages

If you can't find the self-help section in the bookstore on your own, you are beyond help. Fortunately, F*ck Feelings by Michael I Bennett MD features a highlighter-yellow cover so it is hard to miss from any distance. I personally loathe self-help books or books that promise solutions to your problem(s) but F*ck Feelings is different from the feel good pablum, follow-my-cult, or “this will work if you put in the effort and follow everything to the letter” books you find for a quarter at garage sales a month after Oprah mentionned them.

With humorous contributions from his daughter, psychiatrist Michael Bennett tackles the main ideals, obstacle, and expectations humans find in their way during their lifetime. These are self-improvement, self-esteem, fairness, helfpulness, serenity, love, communication, parenthood, assholes, and treatment. Bennett's answer is f*ck them all. None of these is a solution, that simple, or necessarily possible.

Each section is less than thirty pages and works independently from the others so a reader can go directly to the section most appropriate to his or her questions at a given time. The sections are so independent that the French, who have never shied away from milking a reader for every last centime, have released the F*ck Feelings translation as twelve separate volumes each costing about as much as the entire English version.

F*ck Feelings has a consistent and very useful structure. The topic is clearly identified for what it is and is not. Bennett then provides a Quick Diagnosis that includes “Here's what you wish for and can't have”, “Here's what you can aim for and actually achieve.”, and “Here's how you can do it.”. This is followed by story examples and sample letters to the person responsible for whatever issue you are trying to solve, including you.

In a rough nutshell (say that of a walnut), Bennett's approach is life, and any of its components, is not as balanced, logical, perfect as we expect it to be and it most certainly is never fair. What you can do about a situation is accept the parameters, see if you have done the best you can given the circumstances, and accept the fact some things suck and there is little you can do about them aside from moving on and realizing you have done the best you can and that is the best you could do.

If you are buying F*ck Feelings for a particular chapter, do not ignore the others as they are just as enlightening and lightening. The sections F*ck Assholes and F*ck Treatment (yes, a psychiatrist does write that) are particularly interesting.

F*ck Feelings is a good short term investement of your therapy dollar and a great long term return on it.

By the way, I would get the book version instead of the Kindle version of this book as it is easier to highlight, take notes, and mark pages.

Richard Lanoie

Kindle DX, Free 3G, 3G Works Globally, Graphite, 9.7" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology