The Enchanted Self --- by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

Is THE ENCHANTED SELF Transformational? Part 1 of 2

 Recently, I was at a wonderful Labor Day Picnic with loving, caring friends. One of them asked me, "Where does THE ENCHANTED SELF land in the spectrum of mental health? Is it just a way to feel good or is it transformational?"

His question made me realize that it is important for me to take the time to explain more about THE ENCHANTED SELF, as it is truly transformational. THE ENCHANTED SELF is far more than a 'mental' happy pill. It is a mental health paradigm shift, long overdue. This paradigm shift is designed to be utilized in mental health care and in the world at large. It takes a slightly different shape in the two arenas.

In the treatment room it is an overlay designed to help the clinician move away from the disease model, borrowed years ago from the medical world. Instead, the clinician replaces this model with an emphasis on the client's positive, life-enhancing memories, her strengths, talents, and, of course, potential. The result is a more hopeful, encouraging environment where the client is really able to get in touch with what is right with herself, rather than what is wrong. She also finds herself able to work on many positive dimensions of herself, as she at the same time works on her problems and issues. The result is an opportunity to incorporate more pleasure and a sense of well-being into her life.

(I define THE ENCHANTED SELF as the ability to achieve positive states of being again and again, unique to that individual.)

The client can even work on what I call The Song of the Soul, which is a person's sense of purpose and mission in life.

An added benefit is that the therapist is happier and more filled with hope also, working from an encouraging position of what can work. Is it transformational for the client to discover what really works for her disposition? Is it transformational to feel in touch with a sense of well-being that you understand and know how to rekindle again and again? Absolutely.

Beyond the treatment room in the world at large, THE ENCHANTED SELF is also a paradigm shift that is transformational. Here the emphasis is on teaching the public to acknowledge what is right about themselves rather than what is wrong. People are encouraged to see the glass as half full, rather than half empty and to have hope that the future need not be a repetition of the past. Each is encouraged to see herself as the heroine of her own life and to find meaning in her own story.

A lot of the transformational work for the public involves teaching the public how to more successfully go through the seven portals of ENCHANTMENT. These gateways include:

1. Improving self-esteem

2. Learning to meet our needs

3. Recognizing pleasure

4. Retelling the stories of our lives

5. Belonging to tribes

6. Finding mentors

7. Taking positive actions

Once a person determines which gateways it is important to go through, the hard, yet fun transformational work begins.

For example, if I realize that I often diminish myself I may decide to tackle some self-esteem issues. If I am too isolated and often feel lonely, I may want to begin the process of becoming more involved in community. If I acknowledge that a lack of skills or negotiating abilities is getting in my way, I may have to go back to school or into counseling.

In order to put more positive action into my daily living, I may have to look for and have the courage to develop some of my lost potential.

Is this hard? You bet. Is it worth it? Yes. The experience of discovering that enchantment comes from within yourself and that you are in control of it brings courage, power and a profound perceptual shift in viewing your every day world.

Yes, THE ENCHANTED SELF is really life-enhancing work. You really get to know yourself all over again in positive ways. You become Mistress of your ship, no long controlled by earlier messages and perceptions of the world and yourself, given to you by others.

Next time, I'll share with you more about why I chose the name THE ENCHANTED SELF, how we are all warriors as we strive to live a more positive life day to day, and how renaming yourself as an adult can give you more freedom to live an enhanced positive life of meaning.

--- © Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

Recipes for Enchantment - The Secret Ingredient is YOU!", Dr. Holstein's newest book, has just been released and is available through! Or order your copy by contacting Dr. Holstein directly and receive a 10% discount! Dr. Holstein will also autograph your copy and write a personal message to you. With the 10% discount you pay just $13.46 U.S. plus shipping and handling. Standard mail: $2.00 U.S. or Priority Mail (2 days): $4.00 U.S.

Dr. Holstein's first book, The Enchanted Self: A Positive Therapy, is also available on-line in the SFPNN Bookstore or at

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In private practice since 1981, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, psychologist and originator of The Enchanted Self, has committed to bring the keys enchantment to the world.

Those interested in continuing their Enchanted Self journey, may head to my personal web site at where you can sign up for my free e-mail newsletter and learn about upcoming workshops, radio broadcasts, articles, exercises, stories and newsletters, and how to order books, audio cassettes, and T-shirts.