Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein Interview

About the Author:

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein is the originator of The Enchanted Self(R). 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.

Taking this information back to the treatment room, Dr. Holstein discovered that her clients thrived when she helped them glean from their memories what was positive in their past, rather than focusing on the negative elements. She also discovered that affirming her clients' talents, coping skills, interests, longings, wishes, and even dormant potential, ultimately led to each client flowering, regardless of real problems and issues. She has helped many, many clients and the public overcome adversity and discover that life is worth living. Her methods help people have more positive emotions while understanding how to cope with daily living, so that it is indeed a good life. Mental wellness combined with a true understanding of how to retrieve and recreate positive states of mind again and again are top goals for Dr. Holstein.

Dr. Barbara saw that she was committed, also, to bringing to the world the techniques she developed to help people access their Enchanted Selves. These core principles and techniques, called the Gateways To Happiness have brought insight and inspiration to countless women. Dr. Holstein believes that no one should be denied hope or a joyful life. Yes, happiness takes work, but no more work than living a life without hope, repeating negative thoughts and habits that lead to a life that feels less than inspiring.

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. This book is Dr. Holstein's pathfinder book where she outlines the best in Positive Psychology treatment techniques, two years before the term was coined!

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.

There Comes A Time In Every Woman's Life for 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.'

Dr. Barbara speaks regularly on radio programs around the country, and appears on television in New York and New Jersey. Her inspiring audio shows and podcasts can be found on the web. Her articles and stories appear on the web on hundreds of sites. She also gives lectures, seminars, and tele-classes on happiness. Listen to her e-radio show, The Enchanted Self on http://www.ladybuglive.com/. Also, listen to her e-radio show, Happiness for Women Only! on http://www.internetvoicesradio.com/

Her newest book, The Truth, I'm Ten, I'm Smart and I Know Everything! is another first in positive psychology. Written by a ten-year-old girl as a diary, Dr. Barbara has been able to imbed lots of positive truths that we all need to remember and live by, regardless of our age.

The girl's edition, titled: The Truth, (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything)http://www.enchantedself.com/.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Barbara - here's what she had to say:

Could you please tell us a little about your book?

“The Truth: I'm a Girl, I'm Smart, and I Know Everything,” is written as a diary by a young girl. She starts off ten years old, and the book ends when she is almost twelve. Through the course of the book, the reader learns the girl’s thoughts on everything from bad language to her first love, from her parents’ fights to how she will stay true to her dreams as a grownup. The pages are filled with simple truths, wise and innocent at the same time. Girls, tweens, and teens love the reinforcement they gain from The Truth’s diary entries. They also enjoy really connecting to the girl and finding out how she solves a personal mystery involved in growing up. Parents love the opportunity to finally have a fun way to discuss with their kids so many issues around growing up.

Did something specific happen to prompt you to write this book?

Rather than something specific, it was a build up of all my knowledge and wisdom as a positive psychologist, as well as my own introspection. I began to realize that there is so much energy and wisdom in kids that goes by the wayside as we grow up. We forget who we were and what our own potential really is. We even forget the promises we have made to ourselves about correcting things when we grow up. I wanted to find a way to help kids feel safe and excited to hold on to the best of themselves and grown-ups to find a way to get back to the best of themselves from when they were kids. Fiction and a girl's voice began to emerge as the best way to do this.

Who or what is the inspiration behind this book?

The inspiration behind this book is the memories I carry of being 10 and 11, the memories shared by my clients of the child they were, and the actual children I have worked with over 25 years as a psychologist.

Who is your biggest supporter?

That is a good question. I guess myself. My husband is second. I say myself because I have carried these 'truths' inside of myself for 20 years and persisted in finding ways to bring them to the public. I have had to really believe in myself again and again and what I have to teach others. My husband because he has financially been there for me.

Your biggest critic?

Rather than being aware of a critic I am aware of people who are indifferent that I wish were interested in my books. My first book, The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy, is extremely well written and very deep. Many people that I had hoped would read it haven't. I think because it is dense. It has profound things to say and says them. I'm pleased that in The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything) I have finally found ways to say profound things in simple ways.

What cause are you most passionate about and why?

I am most passionate about helping women feel good about themselves, seeing themselves in a positive light, taking time to meet their own needs and being proud of the story of their own lives. Of course, girls, tweens and teens get included, as that passionate response to one's own gifts has to be held on to from childhood on.

Do you have any rituals you follow when finishing a piece of work?

After my first book I bought a pair of earrings. Since then I haven't done anything special except breath a sigh of relief. I think I am due some treats!

Who has influenced you throughout your career as a writer?

I don't feel that there is one person who has most influenced me in my career as a writer. I've had some mentors and I've enjoyed reading books by certain authors, but my greatest insights and influences have come from my own introspection and my own spiritual and emotional journey. Now, that I've said the above, I would say my clients have been my greatest influence as a writer as they have shone me the pain, pleasures and passions of being a human being. They have also reminded me again and again of how many talents we each have, yet how easily we can get discouraged. Every day by just being themselves they help me stay focused on my life work to increase hope, resiliency, and happiness.

What is the most important thing in your life right now?

Aside from time with family and friends, good health ,personal happiness and peace in the world, I would say the most important thing in my life is the success of The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything) and the anticipated sequels in the Truth Series. This book is a major part of my life's work, so it stays right in the forefront of everyday.

What are you currently working on?

I am working on the sequel in which the girl goes from 12-14. I am also working on a Chinese version for China, which is a little different. The girl ages from 11-14 in the book and a lot of the diary focuses on her schooling and other related interests, such as playing the violin, which I didn't incorporate in the American version.

Do you have any advice for writers or readers?

If you are a writer-keep writing. Never let it go. If you are a reader, be selective and truly enjoy what you read for pleasure. If you don't like a book, unless you are reading it for a course, don't always finish it. Find another one. There are plenty out there.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Please come and find me at

www.enchantedself.com, www.enchantedself.com/blog, www.thetruthforgirls.com and www.positivepsychologyforwomen.com I'm delighted to be interviewed by you. Your questions were great. Thanks so much. And to everyone-never let go of your passion!

About the Book:

My new book, THE TRUTH, (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) is a delightful, humorous secret diary, written by a girl who is 10-11years of age. She is wise and yet so innocent. She makes us laugh and cry and know that we are secretly heroines. This easy read for girls, (the mother’s edition has a different introduction, different questions at the end, and some pages that are slightly more sophisticated) has within it a psychological message for girls, that they can and must hold on to the best of themselves as they grow up. Girls love the book and so do their mothers. Girls recognize themselves and finally feel totally understood while their moms remember themselves, feel closer to their daughters and everyone has lots to talk about.

THE TRUTH VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR NOV '08 will officially begin on November 3 and end on November 26. You can visit Dr. Barbara's blog stops at http://virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in November to find out more about their latest book!

As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available. The winner will be announced on November 30 at http://pumpupyourbookpromotion.wordpress.com/!



Cheryl said...

Thanks for hosting Dr. Barbara today. I love her books and I hope others will check out her website and see what she has to offer.