Top positive review
Well done! A joy to use. Difficult to put down.
Reviewed in the United States on March 7, 2019
I am a licensed psychotherapist who received this journal as a free sample from the publisher without any requirements to provide a review.
This said, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this journal! I hope providing a review for this fun, pretty, helpful/ therapeutic gem of a journal will encourage more people to go out and get this journal and to use it! Who couldn't benefit from a more positive and grateful outlook on life?
I wish I had the idea to write this journal myself! Trying out "Getting to Good" gave me one of those genuine "Why didn't I think of this?!" moments. More importantly, "Getting to Good" is so much fun to use that I often found myself having trouble putting it down. I am restraining myself because I would like to use it over the span of a year so the journal can function as a keepsake journal. (A kind of snapshot of my feelings for a year in time).
I truly love the fun concept, the overall pleasant and good mood inducing design, and the therapeutic value of "Getting to Good."
FYI. fellow therapists, from a technical standpoint, the journalling prompts are compattible with multiple therapeutic methods including CBT, behaviorial activation for depression, CFT, MBCBT, ACT, DBT, Rogerian, and more.
Getting to Good" would be enjoyable for anyone not engaging in therapy but looking to cultivate a more positive mood, increased self awareness, and more gratitude. Of course, this journal would be loads of fun for people who just enjoy journalling too!
I especially appreciated and enjoyed how the journalling prompts would be very doable for someone suffering from major depressive disorder. MDD often causes feelings of profound hopelessness, amotivation, and an inability to concentrate, among other symptoms. MDD transforms all activities, with the exceptions of maybe sleeping for long periods and crying constantly, into nearly impossible, dreadful, and unpleasant tasks.
It seems the author intentionally crafted the journalling prompts in "Getting to Good" with this in mind. Most of the journalling prompts are very light, fun, and flexible. Many of them could even be responded to in a one word list format. For example, someone who is feeling exceptionally negative and hopeless could write a very basic less emotionally charged response to prompts like this one: "These are a a few of my favorite things." Broken down into these categories: "Places, Activities, Foods, and Sounds." At the same time, someone with a more positive outlook could choose to write more elaborate responses. A good portion of the prompts in this journal have this sort of flexibility. This is a very nice feature which makes the journal appropriate for a much wider range of people than many other guided journals out there.
The prompts do become a bit more emotionally demanding of the reader towards the back of the journal. However, I like that the author built up slowly to these more emotionally challenging prompts. In my opinion, the author made a very wise choice therapeutically by doing so. The title "Getting to Good" probably reflects this choice. Furthermore, the slow progression to more emotionally demanding prompts adds to the therapeutic value of the journal by helping the reader build up to a more positive attitude. Also of note, the format allows for jumping around for fluctuating mood states.
I found the the pastel colors, and the cheery, friendly, and calming look of the layout very appealing. Additionally, the overall design was a smart and appropriate choice for a journal which is designed to increase positivity and improve the mood of the user.
I very much loved the inclusion of uplifting and affirming quotations on full pages with the same cheery, calming design. The quotations are a pleasant and a powerful therapeutic addition in stimulating reflection on positivity and gratitude. The overall look of the journal is a bit reminiscent of the popular "Erin Condren" and "Happy planners" which adds to the overall joy creating effects of this particular journal.
The only possible improvement I could imagine making would be for the publisher and the author to offer additional "enhanced joy" editions along side the current version as hardcover versions, and a spiral bound option. It would be nice to offer both special version options with lay flat pages, and built in silky or velvet ribbons as place holders.
The journals could even include a few cute little stickers (Some with affirmational quotes) and a pen loop to make the journal feel more similar to high quality bullet journals and fancy yearly planners. Perhaps the author would consider releasing new versions of "Getting to Good" with new prompts and quotations on a yearly basis.
Giving the journal a more fun feel would necessitate a higher price point. But, a more fancy planner feel could be very appealing option appealing to a much wider range of people. Releasing subsequent journals with new prompts and new quotations would offer users even more chances increase their happiness, positivity, and insight. A journal of with more of a popular planner feel could potentially become a very important and helpful therapeutic tool for some while functioning as an enjoyable daily habit or hobby for others.
Everyone should get this journal. Seriously, it is well done and very much a joy to use!