Saturday, September 3, 2011

More from a Therapist and Organizer

I wrote about Cindy Glovinsky's One Thing at a Time a few weeks ago. I visited her website and saw that she has written several other books which I acquired through an Interlibrary Loan. These books are a complimentary pair. Both her second book, Making Peace with the Things in Your Life (New York: St. Martin's Griffen, 2002) and her third book, Making Peace with Your Office Life (New York: St. Martin's Griffen, 2010) are owned by the South River Public Library. According to the biographies in her books, Cindy Glovinsky is a licensed psychotherapist and an expert on organizing and mental health. Her books are more than de-clutter books; these are really self-help books based on psychotheraputic research and observations. Like several others we have discussed, these books are definitely designed to get the the root of the mental conditions that result in living a cluttered, disorganized life. If we can get to the root issues, it is hoped that the task of de-cluttering won't be so overwhelming and the sufferer will achieve that peaceful, ordered life that seems to always be just beyond reach. That is, of course, if we believe in being helped by psychotherapy.

She starts Making Peace with the Things in Your Life with this famous couplet by Robert Louis Stevenson from A Child's Garden of Verses, "The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings." We all know that things don't make us (or kings) necessarily happy! Most of the de-clutter books preach that the only way to truly be happy is to break our attachment with things so that we can truly be free to do what we want and to enjoy life. This is the premise of these two books.

Making Peace with the Things of Your Life covers subjects like Rethinking Things, Taking Inventory, Why Things Keep Overwhelming You and What to Do About Things, which are the headings for each of the four parts of the book. Part I is a kind of overview of the psychology of possessions and material objects. Part II starts to personalize the issue, giving you ways to access your thoughts and actions that have brought you to this point. Part III looks at particularly how you think about these issues and what your relationship is with the objects in your life and the power they hold over you. The last part is where the psychotherapy comes into play in getting you to confront these thoughts and try to rethink where you have been and where you are heading in life. There is a certain amount of practical information contained in these pages, but primarily, it is a plan to help you clear your thinking about things so that you can take control of your life.

The second book, Making Peace with Your Office Life is, I believe, the first whole book I have encountered that is dedicated to organizing your work life and improving your happiness at work. I find this to be the one that I am drawn to first since most of us spend far more of our waking day in an office of some kind. It would be interesting to know if the behaviors that incline us to gather things is universally brought to the workplace. Does anyone know of someone who lives a cluttered home life but has an ordered work space? Of vise versa? Because your work life is more than the things on and around your desk, this book gets much more into the task of decluttering and organizing your thoughts, actions and relationships at work.

I would say that these are both books that you would need to sit down with in some quiet place over a period of time to truly absorb the message that Cindy Glovinsky is imparting and remember, psychotherapy is not a short term process but for some, it can be life changing.

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