Joining us today is Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein. Dr. Barbara is the originator of The Enchanted Self(R) a positive psychology method for increasing happiness. She has been a positive psychologist in private practice and licensed in the states of New Jersey and Massachusetts since 1981. She is currently in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein.
The magic of the human spirit, with its capacity for survival, growth and joy, has always intrigued Dr. Barbara. As years went by and her practice grew, she longed to explore adult development even further–specifically how to overcome obstacles and bring pleasure into one’s life while living a life of meaning and purpose.
She began to document certain steps necessary to rekindle our talents, strengths and lost potential which she teaches and has labeled The Enchanted Self. Her research on women (not in her practice) initially focused around the negative messages that these women had received in childhood from their families and environment. However, she soon discovered that there was a magical capacity within these women to reinvent themselves in adulthood even with childhood experiences of internalized negative messages.
Her book The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy was published in 1997 by Harwood Academic Publishers and is now in its second printing through Brunner-Routledge, Her second book Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU! has received rave reviews as a wonderful inspirational story book with space to journal.
DELIGHT is Dr. Holstein’s third book. This book takes the reader on a spiritual adventure with Dr. Holstein. Reader’s love this book, getting to experience first hand celebrations and adventures that rekindle their own spirit of adventure. In two versions, paperback and a CD-rom version that includes music, art, and Dr. Holstein’s voice, either is sure to be a ‘Delight.’
Her book, The Truth, I’m Ten, I’m Smart and I Know Everything! is another first in positive psychology-perhaps the first positive psychology fiction book. Written by a ten-eleven year old girl as a diary, Dr. Barbara has imbedded lots of positive truths that we all need to remember and live by, regardless of our age.
The girl’s edition, is titled: The Truth, (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything). Edited for girls and moms, with a special introduction, and questions just for kids, the book is a great read for kids and their moms. Girls love the book as they identify with the girl and her adventures. Moms and Guidance counselors find the book helpful as it gives them an entrance way to discuss pressing and important matters of growing up.
Welcome Barbara. We are excited to have you here. Can you please tell our readers a bit about yourself?
I am a psychologist in private practice in New Jersey. I am very interested in positive psychology and how to help women and girls be resilient and live productive lives of meaning, geared to each person’s potential.
Are you a morning or an evening writer?
Usually I am an evening writer. I like to write around 11:00PM. Right now it is 10:59 PM!
Tell us about your latest book. What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
The Truth (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) is a fictional diary written by a girl. In it she shares her secrets, her concerns, her wisdom and her need to find a way to grow up while holding on to the best of herself. There is a mystery woven into the book that ties into how she can solve growing up in a way that suits her. It is an easy read, but deep and leaves most readers feeling they have identified with the girl and also been touched by some profound issues.
Have you always written in this genre?
No, this is my first fiction book. But I love the genre and I think it is right for me. I have a feeling I will be writing many more fiction books. I love combining my knowledge of psychology with the chance to invent and fantasize that fiction allows.
How long did it take you to bring this book from first draft to printed copy?
That took about two years. The actual proofreading and final editing is probably the most challenging step in publication for me. The writing of the draft is easy.
Do you have an agent or are you seeking representation?
Yes, I have a wonderful agent now. I am hoping I will find a great publisher for the second book in the Truth Series.
What is different about your book compared to other books out on the market?
This is a critical question. What is different is that the psychological development issues I present woven into the fiction are very important issues that must be tackled in life. The book brings up at least 10 issues that often come up as we move to the tween and teen years-issues such as crushes, loneliness, moving, death in the family, best friends, school problems, etc. By interweaving all these issues in a fascinating diary, I am able to give kids and parents and teachers lots of openers to talk about important subjects.
What was your favorite book growing up?
I think one of my favorite series was the Little House on the Prairie series. It was so real and genuine and they faced great challenges with courage, wisdom, humor and fun.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
Online at all the bookstores, of course Amazon. Also, retail bookstores and my website, www.enchantedself.com
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?
What is up next for you?
I have finished the second book in the Truth series, Secrets (You tell me yours, Maybe I’ll tell you mine). It should be available within six months. I’m also busy with the overseas publication of The Truth. So far it is for sale in China and soon it will be available in Vietnam.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would love to hear from my readers. I take their reactions, thoughts, feelings very seriously. Feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for joining us today, Barbara. We wish you continued success.