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I was recently offered a copy of Shake It Off by Rafael Santandreu in exchange for a review. On reading the press release for this book, my immediate thought was that it sounded so interesting and relevant to me! So of course, I accepted, and I was delighted to receive a PDF copy of this book.
Who is Rafael Santandreu?
Rafael Santandreu is a renowned psychologist and author from Spain. His work includes heading two centres of psychotherapy in Madrid and Barcelona and he has written 4 bestselling books. Shake It Off! is the first of his books to be translated and published in English! Santandreu’s expertise is based on cognitive psychology and that is the main theme of this book.
What is Shake It Off! about?
Shake It Off! teaches us how to use cognitive, rational methods to improve our lives and achieve mental wellbeing. The premise is that by changing the way we think, we will get a more positive outlook on life and feel better. This is very much the premise of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (although Santandreu focuses mainly on the ‘cognitive’ rather than the ‘behavioural’ side of things) and it is one of the lessons I learned last year when I spent a little while studying CBT. It was great to read another book on this topic because it was good revision for me!
I had already come across a lot of the concepts in this book before. However, I learned some new things and got some useful ideas from this book. I have also noted down several quotes from it.
As I would expect with any ‘self-help’ book, certain chapters were more relevant and engaging to me than others. I think this is normal with self-help books because we all have different circumstances and issues. Other people would probably prefer different chapters. This is the kind of book that I could come back to and read again in the future, and I would get different things out of it, depending on my circumstances at the time.
Is Shake It Off! easy to read?
This book is very easy to read. As it explains in the first chapter, it is written for a mainstream audience and is meant to be easy to understand. Therefore for ease of reading, it leaves out scientific jargon and references to studies, but the author assures us that it is based on scientific studies and research.
This book is jam-packed with stories and anecdotes, some of which are lengthy and detailed. These include Santandreu’s personal experiences, accounts of his patients in therapy, ancient fables and fictional stories. I really like this because it demonstrates the author’s points in a relatable way, making the book example-based rather than just theory. The stories are also fun and engaging to read – in fact, Santandreu incorporates quite a lot of humour into this book.
The book is divided into fairly short chapters with additional subheadings within them. This makes it manageable to read. I like that each chapter ends with a summary of the main points learned in that chapter. This helps to reinforce the ideas and it is great if you are just skimming through the book to remind yourself of the key points.
Would I recommend this book?
I would absolutely recommend Shake It Off! to anyone who needs a boost in their mental wellbeing. It would be especially useful for anyone struggling with mental health issues including anxiety or depression. However, I think that anyone could benefit from reading this book.
This is my favourite book I have read on the topic of cognitive therapy so far and therefore I would rate it 5 stars! I will be keeping this book to refer back to in the future, and I will definitely be applying some of Santandreu’s advice in my life. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to read this book and I will be looking out for more of Santandreu’s works.
If you like the sound of this book, you might also be interested in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies by Rhena Branch and Rob Willson which I reviewed last year.