Friday, September 27, 2013

What Are You Bringing to the Table?

Book Review: 

Title: What Are You Bringing to the Table?          
Author: Sheree
Pages: 201
Publisher: Self published
Date of Publication: February 13, 2013
Source: Publisher

Author Sheree is from Cleveland, Ohio and speaks on topics related to the process of healing from painful experiences, character & self-esteem building, and cultivating healthy relationships. What Are You Bringing to the Table is her fourth publication; the first three were collections of poetry in which she described as “narrative therapy.”

This work is a Christian inspired self-improvement book primarily aimed at women who are dealing with abuse in past and failed relationships. The intended purpose is to help them heal, to become stronger women, and better potential partners with something worthy to bring to the relationship table.

The title suggests that the baggage we bring to the table can destroy a new, potential relationship. The format is one that uses Christian principles as the guiding force in recognizing and correcting our own faults. It uses examples of parables and actual scripture references. The book is a straight-up woman-to-woman conversation, but has relevance for anyone looking for a committed long-term relationship, including men.
The main argument the author makes is that when seeking a potential mate we hold them to a high standard while we remain oblivious to our own flaws.
This work is targeted to women dealing with loneliness and unsatisfying relationships, but anyone can benefit from the self-improvement insights and suggestions made on how to improve ourselves and how to evaluate a potential mate.

The author's style is straightforward and easy to follow. Her use of analogies was especially helpful in explaining the points she was trying to make.
The writer takes the anti-feminist view and implies that women of the new millennium are doing themselves a disservice by acting as the aggressors and taking the position of the hunter when initiating relationships, “our emphasis can be so much on finding the right one that becoming the right one is seemingly an afterthought.” She goes on to say “get yourself” together so that when “the one” does show up, he too can say he found “The one!”

She offers both psychological and scriptural solutions on how to deal with the pain from past relationships before entering and contaminating new relationships. She also presents techniques on how to build ones character.

As a psychiatrist, I especially enjoyed reading her opinions on how to evaluate a potential mate and how to explore his or her character traits. Her views on multiple dating and soliciting opinions from close friends and family differs sharply from those of “the modern day matchmaker” Paul Carrick Brunson in his book “It’s complicated (but it doesn’t have to be).

The author acknowledges that the sexual attitudes commonplace in today’s society is at odds with the Fundamentalist Christian values she promotes regarding committed relationships and marriage.
I recommend this book for anyone looking for a committed long-term relationship; it will appeal most to those who are open to Christian values.


Alvin D. Pelt, M.D., Psychiatrist, writer, presenter, and therapist. Clinical assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Ohio University and The Ohio State University.

Blog: alvinpeltmd2educate1.blogspot.com

Twitter: @peltmkt

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sub-conscious and Self-esteem

The Pre-Relationship

Self-esteem develops from outward influences starting at the earliest age of human development. We have a mental mechanism to internalize outside influences and they effect and shape our self image. This mental mechanism according to Dr. Sigmund Freud is called a sub-conscious.

This sub-conscious state of mind must be guarded and protected because it is likened to a computer keyboard that programs information into the hard drive. The sub-conscious does not make judgment decisions about whether the information is good or bad, accurate or inaccurate it simply programs it in. Once the information has entered, it starts to impact our feelings and shapes our behaviors to conform to that which has been programmed in. As a child we have very little choice about the programmers; parents and other caretakers, as adults we have choice although sometimes difficult choices that must be exercised.