Loving Healing Press proudly announces Life Skills: Improve the Quality of Your Life with Applied Metapsychology, Second Edition, 2022 Author Marian Volkman has contributed to the TIR and Applied Metapsychology curriculum since the early 1980’s
Metapsychology, as developed by Frank A. Gerbode, MD, is a subject rich in philosophy and practical application. Applied Metapsychology is the practical application of this subject to fulfill personal goals, from relieving past pain to living more fully to expanding consciousness. Life Skills expands on this and the reader will:
- Learn handy brief remedies to assist another person after a shock, injury or other distress
- Learn simple methods for expanding your awareness on a daily basis
- Gain a deeper understanding of relationships and how to strengthen and nurture any relationship
- Learn the components of successful communication, what causes communication to break down, and how to repair breakdowns
- Gain vital keys to understanding those behaviors of other people that have previously been inexplicable to you
- Learn an effective tool for making important life decisions
- Explore human potential
“Marian Volkman’s Life Skills is a serious, impressive, and thoughtful work with one objective in mind: teaching how to reach one’s full potential in practical, pragmatic, easy-to-follow steps that will literally change one’s life. This masterpiece of a survival guide will benefit all who turn its pages. The chapter on the importance of relationships is worth the price of the book alone, as most problems in life are relationship-oriented.”
–James W. Clifton, M.S., Ph.D., LCSW
“If you liked the first edition of Life Skills, you will be delighted to know that in this edition, we find even more exercises to achieve the goals of each chapters, more context and explanations in each section to reach even deeper reflections and realizations.”
–Gina Michaud, B. Ed., OCT, Certified Traumatic Incident Reduction Facilitator
Forward to the Second Edition by Margaret Nelson MEd, RP
Certified Senior Trainer and Facilitator
I have been reading, learning from and referring to Life Skills: Improve The Quality of Your Life by Marian Volkman since its publication in 2005. This book has deepened and enhanced my understanding of the subject of Applied Metapsychology (AMP). The second edition (2022) improves upon this already valuable and highly useable work.
I am an AMP Senior Trainer at all levels of this work, as well as a certified facilitator. I have been working with clients and aspiring facilitators and trainers for 14 years. Anyone who has studied AMP (and those for whom this is new territory) will find Marian Volkman’s writing style a relatable and engaging way to immerse themselves in the subject. Her non-authoritarian style combined with personal anecdotes and enjoyable examples makes reading this helpful, knowledgeable work as easy as chatting with the author in person.
I first started referring to Life Skills, with clients in the early days of developing my private practice. I have always tried to bring realistic expectations to the session work that a new client is seeking. While we discuss the goals the viewer would like to achieve, I also state as the author does, something like “Awareness often increases before ability does.” Many clients experience, as they reduce the negative results of trauma, that they also increase or regain abilities. However other clients may remove barriers, but do not have the requisite skills to achieve their goal. It was for these clients that I first began to use Life Skills. I referred some clients to the sections of the book that they might find most relevant and helpful. Soon I began to purchase multiple copies of that first edition and when it seemed most useful, would give my client a copy of the book. With some I mentioned specific chapters and with others I indicated that I thought they would find the entire book helpful and enlightening.
Many told me soon, or sometimes many years later, that reading the book helped them to understand the work we had been doing in session and often that they continued to experience growth long after our sessions had concluded. I suggest this strategy to AMP facilitators and all therapists as a useful adjunct to session work.
For AMP trainers and trainers in training, I know that you will enjoy reading this book and also experience the book as a kind of one-on-one workshop with Marian.
For those who use the techniques of AMP, reading this book will enhance your understanding, give you new and useful examples and affirm the effectiveness of the work you do.
Second Edition Reviews
Branislav Chrenka, MD
Former National Crisis Intervention Team Director, Slovakia
Post-Traumatic Crisis Intervention Specialist
Certified TIR and Life Stress Reduction Facilitator
Certified Traumatic Incident Reduction Trainer
This book is exactly as its title says, it’s full of life skills, skills that can be known, understood, used and developed. Skills that if widely known and used, would make this Earth a much better place to live in. It’s fresh and easy to read and understand. It’s full of personal examples and challenges that you can undertake or just leave be and continue reading, but above all, it’s fun to read.
I have known Marian for several years and her gift of clarity of explaining difficult concepts in very easy and understandable ways is just striking to me. That’s what makes the book so readable. (Not only) if you’re new to the concept of metapsychology, Applied Metapsychology, and person-centeredness, this is the first book of many that I humbly recommend you to read in order to get acquainted with it. While reading it, I know you’ll have fun and lots of epiphanies. I believe it can broaden your horizons to such an extent that your life will become better and easier to some extent, especially if read, thought through, and applied in your daily routine. Because that’s what always happens when we understand something from our lives a bit better, whether it be trauma, emotions, relationships, why people act as they act, or what can we do to have a bigger impact in our own lives and those of others.
A friend of mine tends to say when she teaches crisis intervention, “I will teach it to you as a machine manual is written in order that you can use it step by step and it’s easy for you.” This book is exactly that; it’s a manual to life. A manual that many complain they weren’t born with. Well now you hold it in your hands.
Amie Dekold Elias, Doors To Healing
Certified Traumatic Incident Reduction Facilitator and Trainer
Life Skills by Marian Volkman is a must have in every personal development growth library. Each page of this delightful read is filled with techniques, awareness exercises and insightfully valuable life improvement reflections that can be done independently, with a friend or group and as often as you wish.
If you’re looking for a greater understanding of yourself and others, you will surely find the tools within these pages to assist you to look inward.
I have gifted this dynamite book to many clients in my private practice and it warms my heart when they report back having helped themselves with something they’ve found in Life Skills. It’s a toolbox in a book!
Life Skills is a gift that when opened and utilized can be the gift that never stops giving.
Cami Tiska Caton, LCSW
Certified Senior Traumatic Incident Reduction Trainer
Certified TIR and Life Stress Reduction Facilitator
State Assessment Director, Chrysalis Health
Life Skills is an incredible resource of easy-to-follow techniques to enhance the reader’s ability to improve the domains of their life in a person-centered way. Based on the concepts of Applied Metapsychology, the tools and strategies guide the reader through the steps to make real change within their life. The exercises enable one to be present, achieve more awareness of oneself, and improve the domains of life, enabling achievement of higher potential. I found the exercises for moving up on the emotional scale particularly enjoyable; these enable the reader to bring about positive changes within themselves and their relationships. The awareness enhancers and remedies are the cherry on top, outlining adaptable strategies for everyday upsets and stressors.
Carolyn Wilhelm, M.A., Midwest Book Review
Some people keep reliving the past and therefore face anger or addiction issues, according to theories discussed by this author, Marian Volkman. Do you know or see people who get angry beyond reasonable for some situations? Do you wonder what their problems might be? Do you know people who are dealing with addiction issues? Do you wonder why some people have anger management issues or become alcoholics? Repressed painful memories may manifest in this way, and until the fundamental problems are dealt with, people will not improve and find happiness in life.
Out of sight, out of mind is not something that works with people suffering from painful past issues or even PTSD. It takes a great deal of effort to repress such memories. If you know someone in this situation, Volkman tells you how to observe and realize what might trigger outbursts or physical illness. The problems demand resolution.
Chapter exercises explain what to look for, offer ideas for discussion or thinking, and better understand human behavior. Perhaps even our own! The author states:
“When we become aware of our own behavior, especially our own less-than-perfectly-rational behavior, we have greater understanding and more personal power to act in saner and more creative ways.”
Ask, don’t tell, is perfect for helping someone calm down. Several concrete ideas are also given so we can know how to de-escalate a situation. An emotion scale and a decision-making model are provided to help us all understand ourselves and others better.
Gina Michaud, B. Ed., OCT
Certified Traumatic Incident Reduction Facilitator
In those days, where people seek to take better care of themselves, to be more centered, present and as free as possible of life stress, Marian Volkman’s book Life Skills is timely and one of the most helpful books I’ve read.
Based on the Applied Metapsychology principles, not only is this book a reliable resource that I use in my private practice but even more interesting is that anyone who wants to better understand themselves and people in their lives can achieve this with the help of this book.
If you liked the first edition of Life Skills, you will be delighted to know that in this edition, we find even more exercises to achieve the goals of each chapters, more context and explanations in each sections to reach even deeper reflections and realizations and also information to understand how the concepts of Applied Metapsychology are transposed into the context of one-on-one support with a practitioner.
First Edition Best One-line Review Quotations:
- “If everyone read this book and practiced its exercises, people would relate better to one another and humanity would achieve the greater potential Volkman believes possible. Life Skills is highly recommended to anyone who wants to live a happier, more rewarding life.” …read the complete review
–Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D., author of The Marquette Trilogy
- “Life Skills offers a new and simple way to look at old situations and make life better for yourself and those around you.”
–Sue Phillips, Spiralthreads Book Reviews
- “…beyond just an excellent reference book Metapsychological philosophies and techniques and brings these methodologies into the realm of self-help for all individuals wanting to improve the quality of their life.”
–Tami Brady, Blether.com Book Reviews
- “This is the first time I read about Applied Metapsychology in clinical practice. I am lucky to have come across a concise, eminently-readable, empathic, joy-filled, hands-on text.”
–Sam Vaknin, PhD
- “The chapter on the importance of relationships is worth the price of the book alone, as most problems in life are relationship-oriented.”
–James W. Clifton, M.S., Ph.D., LCSW
- “If you take the trouble to do the exercises the way the author suggests, they will change your life.”
–Robert Rich, M.Sc., Ph.D., M.A.P.S., A.A.S.H.
- “Marian Volkman’s ultimate objective is to help each reader to achieve maximum fulfillment of human potentialities…”
–Bob Morris, Five-Star Reviews.
- “I recommend this book to anyone who’s setting out on their personal life’s journey and adventure. I rate Ms. Volkman’s book 5 stars!”
–Lillian Caldwell, Internet Voices Radio
- First Edition Reviews
- Sue Phillips, Spiralthreads Book ReviewsThere are books for reading and then there are books for studying. This is one of the latter, and is worth studying by everyone who would like to live more happily. It offers insights into the relatively new science of Metapsychology developed by Frank A. Gerbode M.D., an American psychiatrist whose university qualifications are sufficient to share around three or four eminent experts with a few to spare. He found a way to simplify the world view to its most basic, person centred form and developed this into metapsychology.Marian Volkman has been studying the subject for many years and was among those assisting Gerbode in the creation of the technique of Traumatic Incident Reduction. Life Skills offers a new and simple way to look at old situations and make life better for yourself and those around you. Be warned, this book will probably affect the way you view everything and everyone around you. People who annoyed you previously will become more comprehensible, stressful situations will be less so and wise decisions will be easier to make. Most terrifying of all – you will be more likeable as you begin to like yourself more.There is a section on a kind of psychological first aid that I found particularly intriguing. The system is so simple a child could use it and the author cites cases where a children have. In one, a three year old fell and banged her head. Predictably she began to scream loudly, bringing family members hurrying to her aid. The first to arrive was her four year old brother who used a technique called “Then and Now” in which a series of simple questions are asked repeatedly: what happened; where were you then; where are you now: until his sister calmed down, when he asked how she was. This took only a few seconds, after which she was happy to go off and play. As luck would have it, my little granddaughter had a similar accident the following day and I had the opportunity to test the technique. It worked wonderfully and just as quickly. No lingering sobs, no clinginess after the initial “make it better” cuddle. Just a happy little girl ready to play.In another chapter, the emotions are explained by way of a scale standard amongst psychologists, where the lowest point “0” is apathy and the highest elation with anger and contentment somewhere in the middle, but in Life Skills, the author goes on to suggest a mirrored scale running beneath “0” in the same order to suggest reasons for criminal tendencies, something that the usual scale does not.There is so much in this relatively slender book that one wonders how Marian Volkman squeezed it all in and it definitely merits careful reading.
Richard A. Singer, Jr. Author of Your Daily Walk with the Great Minds
Marian Volkman has created an excellent tool for inner growth. She presents simple, practical, and extremely useful skills one can use to improve one’s self, relationships, and environment around them. Highly recommended.
On a daily basis I utilize an excellent concept I picked up from this book: I am able to embrace and appreciate the beauty in objects, people, and things around me without having to make them my possessions. This one concept has provided a great deal of serenity and peace. Just this one practical tool has changed my life. Practice all the exercises and reap the benefits that are in store for you.
Tami Brady, Blether.com Book Reviews
Rating: 9/10Life Skills: Improve the Quality of Your Life with Metapsychology is a book in the Explorations in Metapsychology Series edited by Robert Rich, PhD. The books in this series focus on the healing of the mind and the spirit using Metapsychological philosophies and methodologies. Several of these books have looked at the philosophy and therapies associated with Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR). These methodologies are particularly useful for individuals suffering from the aftermath of traumatic experiences and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders. Though good research resources for individuals suffering from such afflictions, the information within these books focuses on educating therapists about such philosophies and techniques.
Life Skills also aims to focus on healing the mind and the spirit. Though this book has a chapter on TIR, this book looks at a wider range of subjects to improve quality of life. These subjects include topics such as the definition and realities of quality of life; the predicting and understanding of emotional levels; relationships; the idea of success; understanding the negative aspects of human behaviour; and becoming more aware of yourself and the world around you.
Likewise, though this book will serve as a good resource for therapists, the general public will also find this book helpful. Topics are discussed in everyday language and explained without jargon or hidden superior attitudes. Furthermore, readers will find that the exercises that accompany each section of this book will not only help further solidify the concepts explained but will also allow the reader to tailor his or her new findings to his or her life and particular situation. This aspect makes takes this book beyond just an excellent reference book Metapsychological philosophies and techniques and brings these methodologies into the realm of self-help for all individuals wanting to improve the quality of their life.
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D., author of “Malignant Self Love – Narcissism Revisited”
“This is the first time I read about Applied Metapsychology in clinical practice. I am lucky to have come across a concise, eminently-readable, empathic, joy-filled, hands-on text. Replete with examples, exercises, episodes from the author’s life, and tips – this is a must for therapists (the book uses a much more benign term: “facilitators”), clients, and anyone who seeks heightened emotional welfare – or merely to recover from a trauma.”
James W. Clifton, M.S., Ph.D., LCSW
“Marian K. Volkman’s Life Skills is a serious, impressive, and thoughtful work with one objective in mind: teaching how to reach one’s full potential in practical, pragmatic, easy-to-follow steps that will literally change one’s life. This masterpiece of a survival guide will benefit all who turn its pages. The chapter on the importance of relationships is worth the price of the book alone, as most problems in life are relationship-oriented.”
Robert Rich, M.Sc., Ph.D., M.A.P.S., A.A.S.H.
“Life Skills by Marian Volkman is not to be read once and then put away. It is a guide to living a full, satisfactory life, a philosophy, a challenge. If you take the trouble to do the exercises the way the author suggests, they will change your life. When I edit a book, I look at words, sentences, and the way ideas are expressed and related to each other. With this book, I continually found myself thinking about the meanings the author discussed, relating them to my own experience, applying them to my own life. I think this shows the book’s power. As a psychologist, I know that my work will have been improved through my reading of Life Skills.”
Bob Morris, Five-Star Reviews
Frankly, I had certain apprehensions as I began to read this book because I did not understand terms such as Applied Metapsychology and Traumatic Incident Reduction. I soon realized, however, that Volkman wrote this book for therapists and practitioners of all kinds [and] their clients but also for others such as I who wish to use the tools which she provide, either individually or in a group. In layman¹s terms, Applied Metapsychology unifies mental and physical experience. Its purpose is to discover rules that apply to both. As for Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR), it involves a brief, one-on-one, non-hypnotic, person-centered, simple and highly structured method for permanently eliminating the negative effects of past traumas. TIR is thus part of the larger subject of Metapsychology.
Volkman¹s primary objective in this volume is, as the subtitle suggests, to help improve the quality of her reader¹s life in all of its dimensions (mental, physical, emotional) by explaining various ³Life Skills² which anyone can acquire and then strengthen. Volkman¹s ultimate objective is to help each reader to achieve maximum fulfillment of human potentialities, whatever the nature and extent of those potentialities may be. More specifically, she helps her reader to become fully present in all experiences, to increase knowledge and awareness of how life works, to bring about positive mental and emotional change and then to enable those personal changes to assist positive changes in the outer environment, and finally, to help each reader access more of her or his potentialities through a series of eminently practice exercises. Volkman hastens to add, however, ³We all process information in our own ways. The exercises are suggestions only. I invite you to read and use this book in whatever way suits you best.
Many years ago, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes¹s observed “I wouldn’t give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity but I’d give my life for the simplicity on the far side of complexity.” To Volkman¹s great credit, she helps readers such as I to understand certain terms and techniques which would otherwise be difficult (if not impossible) to grasp, much less apply. Presumably she would agree with me that it would be a serious mistake to proceed from one exercise to the next, completing each without careful consideration. My suggestion is to read her book from beginning to end to gain a sense of what it offers, then re-read those portions which resonate with one’s own specific needs, interests, fears, concerns, and (yes) hopes. Only afterward should some (but not necessarily all) exercises be completed and in whatever sequence seems most appropriate. Any process of self-discovery is necessarily a rigorous, difficult, and sometimes a frustrating and lonely journey. Volkman cannot accompany anyone during that journey but she can indeed help to guide and inform those who embark on it.
Lillian Caldwell, Internet Voices Radio
The voyage of life is on everyone’s minds. How you handle it is something only you, the Captain of your fate, can determine and eventually carry out – whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent. The choice and responhsibility of that everlasting tour of life depends on a great many things. In Life Skills: Improve the Quality of Your Life with Metapsychology, by Marian K. Volkman, she provides you with a master blueprint. It’s up to the individual to pick and choose, and then follow their heart’s desire, passion, or resolution. It’s also up to that person to turn back if one’s road ahead becomes blocked, overgrown or denied continuance.
Ms. Volkman makes you think about all those endless possibilities. She provides exercises of choice. A person can transcend life when equipped with the proper skills and tools, and puts them to use. I recommend this book to anyone who’s setting out on their personal life’s journey and adventure. I rate Ms. Volkman’s book 5 stars! Lillian Cauldwell
Jenny Ayres, Sheffield, UK
I just wanted to drop you a line to say how much I really, really enjoyed your book – ‘Life Skills’. My lovely mum passed it to me a couple of weeks ago, and I found myself reading it cover to cover, whilst working away in Sheffield! It was so lovely to read something so clear, accessible and life enforcing! I found myself dipping into it regularly after a hard days rehearsal, and always feeling lifted and refreshed by your “little gems of clarity and wisdom”!