The Type E Personality: 10 Steps to Emotional Excellence in Love, Work & Life

The Type E Personality: 10 Steps to Emotional Excellence in Love, Work & Life. Rodale. Jan. 2004. c.336p. ISBN 1-57954-675-7. $24.95. SELF-HELP

Previously, Redford Williams (director, behavioral research, Duke Univ. Medical Ctr.) has researched the health risks of the Type A personality. Here, he and historian Virginia Williams put forth a new personality, Type E (as in “Emotional Excellence”), and show how readers can adopt its ten healthful traits (e.g., good cheer, long lives, and happy relationships). Their techniques–including tuning into, recording, and reviewing one’s feelings–however, seem much like cognitive behavioral therapy and hardly merit the authors’ smug, self-congratulatory tone. Attempts to replicate the sunny mood of books like Martin Seligman’s Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology To Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment point out multiple flaws. References to scientific studies clog the text and decrease readability; patient success stories, while expressive, are overemotional; and the brief self-survey is simplistic. Public libraries might instead acquire the authors’ earlier Life-skills: 8 Simple Ways To Build Stronger Relationships, Communicate More Clearly, and Improve Your Health and Even the Health of Those Around You or Albert Ellis’s How To Make Yourself Happy and Remarkably Less Disturbable.

This review appeared in Library Journal on January, 2004, p. 129; the galley was recycled on August 31, 2012.

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