Self Help

Defining Moments, By: Dr. Dorothea McArthur – Book Review

Author, Dorothea S. McArthur, PhD, has 34 years of training and practice as a clinical psychologist. She has also trained other graduate students to become psychologists. In her book, Defining Moments she draws from this experience, her training and case studies to create a dynamic resource for those who seek personal growth from self-help sources. This volume was also written as a guide-book for today’s graduate student of clinical psychology.

For the individual, Defining Moments is a comfortable book, easy to read and filled with examples of unique insight into the human condition. It offers down-to-earth, practical advice on coping with complex human dilemmas. Since the beginning of creation man has struggled to understand his life in a way that made his day-to-day challenges more manageable. Our modern society is no exception. Depression, anxiety and anger exist in epidemic proportions and form the root causes for many of the problems we face as a community and a nation. Defining Moments offers a calm sea of alternative views and practical applications to help an individual to be more centered in their world and regain a sense of empowerment. It assures them they are equal to their life challenges, reducing their anger, anxiety and depression. When individuals are empowered, communities are empowered, then nations and, ultimately, society as a whole.

This book covers Defining Moments from several categories: Defining Moments from Nature, Defining Moments for Taking Care of Self, Defining Moments from Furry Friends, Defining Moments for Handling Life, Defining Moments for Children, and Defining Moments when Clients Speak Out. Each category has chapters that follow to make up 66 defining moments most of us have experienced or will experience in our lifetime. The main message is to help one to get going again when they’ve been knocked down by some life event. This may not be easy but, deep within each person, strength and encouragement can be found. The author reminds us, we are an amazing people and we can learn to cope with life’s most difficult challenges and take good care of our self in the process. And, we can take care of our children too, especially special needs children and adopted children.

Many unique approaches are given to address each Defining Moments category. It’s acknowledged that often nature is an excellent place to find peace and healing. When we observe nature with an open mind and an open heart it may reveal a solution we’ve been looking to find. And, we are encouraged to explore the wisdom our pets bring into our environment. They help us more often than we realize and give us true unconditional love. In addition, the author doesn’t shy away from tougher subjects facing our society; subjects like bullying and what can be done about it, and what our nation needs to become a great nation again. She allows her clients to speak out about this. She offers her own artistic approach too, and speculates what results we might see if our artists were given opportunities to solve more pressing and global concerns, at least to work with heads of states for more holistic solutions. She notes most artists do not seek fame and fortune, but, “an artist’s primary interest lies in making a difference by articulating what needs to be realized.”

Author Dorothea S. McArthur, PhD is also a wife and mother. And, she is an artist, herself. She draws, does sculpture, choral singing, gardening and she is a seasoned author with four other books to her credit. She is the co-author of the manual for the Roberts Apperception Test for Children (RATC). She has published Birth of a Self in Adulthood and she will soon publish Tomorrow’s Child and Love Beyond Love. I am amazed that one woman has accomplished so much in her life; also that her accomplishments have helped so many people to lead more productive lives. I believe her book, Defining Moments is a must read for anyone who loves psychology and self-help books. It is also a great and affordable resource for those seeking personal growth in almost any area of life. This book is also intended as a guidebook and reference for practicing psychologists who want to define their career path by learning from one of the most accomplished in the field of clinical psychology.

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