Self-help books on Confidence, Self-Esteem & Assertiveness
There are so many popular psychology texts in the shops that it can be difficult to know where to begin. This set of book-lists was compiled by staff of the University Counselling Service to respond to those students who have asked us what they might read on this topic.
Our selection is not intended to be the 'final word' - we are sure that there are many other good and helpful books out there; in any case we recognise that what is helpful is very subjective and depends on personal circumstances.
Books are listed in alphabetical order by author. Copies of some of these books are available to borrow on a weekly basis from the University Counselling Service.
The descriptions given are intended to provide a summary of the contents but should not be taken to imply that the Counselling Service endorses the opinions expressed.
Confidence, Self-Esteem & Assertiveness
Date of information: Jan 2006, updated Feb 2010
The Highly Sensitive Person
Elaine N. Aron, Thorsons, 1999
Highly sensitive people often find themselves not fitting in with a society apparently dominated by excess and stress. This book seeks to offer such people solutions for a happy and fulfilling life.
Assertiveness at Work: a practical guide to handling awkward situations
Ken & Kate Back, McGraw-Hill, 2005
A self-training book designed to meet manager's needs for work situation applications. It provides practical suggestions for developing assertiveness in a range of familiar situations, in a way that minimises conflict and stress.
Believing in Yourself - A practical guide to building Self-confidence
Eric Blumenthal, One World Publications, 1997
Draws on real-life examples, offering strategies intended to help gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and more self-confidence.
Asserting Yourself: How to Feel Confident about Getting More from Life
Cathy Birch, How to Books, 1999
This book offers a variety of techniques to help transform unhealthy, defensive behaviours into productive and assertive ones.
Overcoming Social Anxiety & Shyness
Gillian Butler, Robinson, 2009
A CBT self-help book describing techniques to help you to overcome your social anxiety and shyness.
Overcoming Social Anxiety & Shyness: Self-Help Course
Gillian Butler, Robinson, 2007
A three-part CBT self-help programme to help you overcome your social anxiety and shyness.
A Woman In Your Own Right: Assertiveness and You
Anne Dickson, Quartet, 1982
Dickson defines assertiveness as the art of clear, honest and direct communication. An assertive approach builds self-esteem and strengthens our ability to make our own choices in life, by helping us to manage the anxiety and stress of communicating in difficult situations.
Overcoming Low Self-Esteem
Melanie Fennel, Robinson, 2009
A CBT self-help book describing techniques to help you to overcome your low self-esteem.
Overcoming Low Self-Esteem: Self-Help Course
Melanie Fennel, Robinson, 2006
A three-part CBT self-help programme to help you overcome your low self-esteem.
Johnson & Swindney, Element Books, 1999
Sets out to explain how to build self-esteem. Through examples and exercises, the author aims to help the reader feel more relaxed and more motivated and therefore more likely to behave confidently.
The Dance of Anger
Harriet Lerner, Harper Collins, 1998
A feminist psychotherapist aims to show how all women, regardless of age, background or experience can turn anger into a constructive force. Intended to provide the reader with the skills to begin to use anger to establish a more positive approach to significant relationships.
Gael Lindenfield, Harper Collins, 2000
This book seeks to provide a practical program aimed at making the reader feel more energised and self-reliant.
Gael Lindenfield, Harper Collins, 2000
Anger can be a dangerous force. It can lead to destructiveness, violence, bitterness, misery and guilt. Lindenfield seeks to explain the effects of anger on our minds and bodies, and suggests ways of dealing both with our own anger and that of other people.
Gael Lindenfield, Harper Collins, 2001
Aims to show readers how to improve their self-esteem and motivation, cope with unfair criticism and exploitation, and set goals for themselves.
Chris Mruk, Free Association, 1999
Dr. Mruk's analysis examines the literature on self-esteem with the intention of establishing practical and reliable treatment methods for both clinicians and researchers.
When I Say No, I Feel Guilty
Manuel J. Smith, Bantam Books, 1975
This book seeks to teach readers to stand up for themselves and to stop trying to solve other people's problems by giving readers the tools to stop other people from controlling their actions.