Stéphanie Hahusseau

How to Stop Yourself Spoiling Your Life Publication date : May 1, 2003

Our lives are governed by patterns and beliefs which we have inherited from childhood and which, without our knowledge, make us repeat the same mistakes and relive the same distress. These patterns and beliefs, sometimes known as our "toxic life", are what make us say: "Nobody loves me", "I’m worthless" or "People are always making a fool of me". In such cases, there is always a childhood event lurking in the background, something that caused suffering, or a basic need that was not met — to be loved, protected, esteemed, understood. Patterns are then established, such as one of "lovelessness" or of "inadequate self-esteem". In adults, such patterns have hardened to the extent that they are life-determining. For example, those suffering from a pattern of abandonment will adopt "needy" behaviour with friends and lovers, or, on the contrary, become aggressive. Either way, they will succeed in recreating a situation in which they will be abandoned. Stéphanie Hahusseau breaks down such patterns in this concise self-help book, which aims to help us change our lives. She first helps us to identify our "life patterns": What is our history? What emotional needs were not satisfied? She then helps us to change this pattern so that we cease to be victimised by it. How can we heal the wounds it has left behind? How can guilt be overcome? How can our thinking processes be restructured? How can we learn to assert ourselves? How can we control our emotions? Illustrated with numerous case studies, the advice offered here is always concrete and specific. It should help us embark on a journey of self-discovery and to put an end to what makes us suffer.

Stéphanie Hahusseau is a psychiatrist practising in Toulouse. She was formerly an intern in Bordeaux hospitals. She specialises in cognitive and behavioural approaches to personality disorders.