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Happy at Last


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About the Author

RICHARD O'CONNOR, M.S.W., Ph.D., is the author of Undoing Depression and Undoing Perpetual Stress. For fourteen years he was executive director of the Northwest Center for Family Service and Mental Health, a private, nonprofit mental health clinic serving Litchfield County, Connecticut, overseeing the work of twenty mental health professionals in treating almost a thousand patients per year. He is currently a practicing psychotherapist with offices in Connecticut and New York.


A practicing psychotherapist and former executive director of a mental health clinic, O'Connor (Active Treatment of Depression; Undoing Perpetual Stress) suggests that it's possible to increase happiness and decrease misery without pills, chemicals, or years of therapy. In a graceful blend of philosophy, research, and practical advice, he argues that happiness is a life skill that can be learned. O'Connor begins with a discussion of happiness that is followed by chapters on why being happy is not the normal human condition, strategies for increasing happiness and joy, and useful thoughts on coping with unhappiness and inevitable losses in life. O'Connor concludes with discussions of the essential but elusive search for meaning in life, a review of key points of the book, and a reading list. He succinctly summarizes current relevant research in psychology and brain science as well as key concepts like mindfulness for his intended audience of educated general readers and counselors; others could benefit from selective reading and practicing the simple but rewarding exercises he presents. Substantive yet accessible and engaging, this is highly recommended for public libraries and general psychology collections.--Antoinette Brinkman, MLS, Evansville, IN Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"Many self-help books are wildly unrealistic and not grounded in any kind of scientific evidence about how the mind actually works. Not so with Richard O'Connor's book. The author provides a clear roadmap through the opportunities, obstacles and complexities of happiness, drawing on the latest scientific research as well as his long and compassionate experience as a therapist. This is a book that leaves you wiser and better equipped to face the future." --Daniel Nettle, Newcastle University; author of Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile"Richard O'Connor, having already helped us to undo depression and chronic stress, now helps us to do happiness. Filled with humor and humanity, this book gives an up-to-date summary of the best of what research and clinical experience has to tell us about being happy. O'Connor is an engaging writer who holds the reader's attention while providing real substance." --Bill O'Hanlon, author of Change 101..".a graceful blend of philosophy, research, and practical advice...substantive yet accessible and engaging." --Library Journal"After such a frenetic year, this book is rather a small pleasure." --Winston-Salem Journal

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