37+ Brutally Honest Self-Help Books That Will Make You Laugh, Then Cry

According to a recent study, the U.S. market for self-improvement is $9.9 billion. Despite that, many therapists think that self-help books are useless. Gregg Williams, for example, says that change is hard, improvements happen unevenly, involve many steps and take a lot of time. Nothing even remotely close to what the self-help reads are preaching. Luckily, Johan Deckmann has something that’s way better. By day, Deckmann analyzes the human behavior; by night, he writes down his observations as titles for fictional self-help publications. Using books found in antique shops as a canvas, the practicing psychotherapist transforms their boring covers into witty jokes. Even though most of his pieces balance between the hilarious and the poignant, their faded color and worn texture take the readers on an emotional journey of self-reflection and soul-searching.

“Art is a good platform for psychological interaction or awareness,” Deckmann told The Guardian. “As I see it, I make only one half of the work – the other half is done in your head.” Johan explains that his psychological practice has great influence on his art. It not only serves as a tremendous inspiration for the content of his works but also as a constant reminder of personal responsibility. “I meet many people who suffer from a circumstance that they themselves have created but they choose not to take action,” he explained. “I think it’s tragicomic that underneath our frustration and self-slavery lies this beautiful opportunity.”

Titles like “How to gain instant success by lowering your standards” can resonate with anyone, but instead of remaining sinister, the work is made humorous by using the same language that you might find on a cookbook. “How to build a wall so high that nobody will ever get to know you” might be fitting for people working in an office, and, perhaps: “How to keep doing the same old mistakes and expect a different result” could be considered the most universally human of all one-liners.

“Humour is a pretty convenient companion, given humankind’s condition,” he added. “I think gratitude, appreciation of being here and a portion of self-irony are the main keys to a happy life.”

More info: deckmann.com | Facebook | Instagram

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Image credits: Johan Deckmann

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37+ Brutally Honest Self-Help Books That Will Make You Laugh, Then Cry 37+ Brutally Honest Self-Help Books That Will Make You Laugh, Then Cry Reviewed by High Broadcast on June 26, 2018 Rating: 5

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