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The Psychology of Self-Esteem: A Revolutionary Approach to Self-Understanding that Launched a New Era in Modern Psychology

ISBN: 978-0-7879-4526-8
304 pages
January 2001, Jossey-Bass
The Psychology of Self-Esteem: A Revolutionary Approach to Self-Understanding that Launched a New Era in Modern Psychology (0787945269) cover image


This new edition of the original text reveals how Nathaniel Branden's landmark book broke the rules of conventional behavioral theory and promulgated his revolutionary ideas on the critical role that self-esteem plays in living a healthy, fulfilling life. The book offers an in-depth exploration of the need for self-esteem, the nature of that need, the conditions of fulfillment, and how self-esteem (or lack of it) affects our values, responses, and goals. Branden also debunks the misguided notion that self-esteem is a "feel-good phenomenon" and shows instead how self-esteem, rationality, perseverance, self-responsibility, and personal integrity are all intimately related.
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Table of Contents

Preface to the 32nd Anniversary Edition.


Part One: The Foundations.

1. Psychology as a Science.

2. Man: A Living Being.

3. Man: A Rational Being.

4. Man: A Being of Volitional Consciousness.

5. Emotions.

6. Mental Health.

Part Two: The Psychology of Self-Esteem.

7. The Nature and Source of Self-Esteem.

8. Pseudo-Self-Esteem.

9. Pathological Anxiety: A Crisis of Self-Esteem.

10. Social Metaphysics.

11. Self-Esteem and Romantic Love.

12. Psychotherapy.

Epilogue: Working with Self-Esteem in Psychotherapy.



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Author Information

NATHANIEL BRANDEN is the author of many books on self-esteem including the perennially best-selling The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem (1995), A Woman's Self-Esteem (Jossey-Bass, 1998), and Self-Esteem at Work (Jossey-Bass, 1998). He is also the author of the memoir My Years with Ayn Rand (Jossey-Bass, 1999).
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How people experience themselves affects every moment of their existence. Their self-evaluation is the basic context in which they act and react, choose their values, set their goals, meet the challenges of life. Their responses to events are shaped in part by who and what they think they are-how competent and worthy they perceive themselves to be. Of all the judgments they pass in life, none is more important than the judgment they pass on themselves. To say that self-esteem is a basic human need is to say that it makes an essential contribution to the life process, that it is indispensable to normal and healthy development, that it has value for survival. Without positive self-esteem, psychological growth is stunted. Positive self-esteem operates, in effect, as the immune system of consciousness, providing resistance, strength, and a capacity for regeneration." (Nathaniel Branden)
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