According to Business Insider, self-help books are, “designed to help us improve a specific aspect of our lives.” So whilst I am not personally a fan of the cringe-feeling term ‘self-help’, the reality is that my first two books are – gulp – self-help books.
In my counselling profession I am known for my practical guidance and make-things-feel-simple approach and so my books follow form.
The Story Behind My Books.
The 5-Minute Guide to Emotional Intelligence was written at the request of numerous clients when I was working at The Sanctuary, a health, yoga and wellness centre in southern Thailand. After working together or attending my workshops or courses clients would often say, “How can we take you home? Can’t you write a book?” And so the book was born. But of course it couldn’t just be a ‘reading book’ – For those who know me, I love homework! So it became a journaling book of self-enquiry.
(Disclaimer: I was already writing my memoir so asking me to write a book was not so outlandish).
The Key, A Social Emotional Toolkit for Teens has a different story. About 10 years in to my counselling career and countless adult clients later, I came to the realisation that the biggest issue, the biggest problem, was not ‘the problems’ themselves but that we, the adults, did not learn the life skills necessary, the self-enquiry and self-awareness practices, and the coping strategies to handle ‘the problems’ whatever they may be. Nowhere at school did we learn these skills (and they are skills), or empathy, or mental health, or how to understand friendships and communicate in relationships. I could go on but you get my point. I was baffled by the lack of soft skill learning in schools and made it my mission to do something about it.
I took this idea to one of the top schools in Victoria, they agreed with me and we made a deal that I would go away, write the book, write the course and come back and teach it. So I did. I ran ‘The Key’ as a 10-week in-school program for teenagers, tweaked and refined it … and The Key was born. Now it is a book, a resource, a workshop, a conference presentation and professional development in schools.
And on a totally separate note? I hope to have my memoir – Hip Hop & Hope out in 2023.