Book Review ‘If I were you: a psychologist puts himself on the couch’ by Peter Quarry


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book review meredith fuller oam psychologist & author          ‘if i were you: a psychologist puts himself on the couch’ by peter quarry
Book Cover

Curious to make sense of your life?

Want to understand who you are and why you’re here? Need to make peace with the past and get re-energised about the future?

In this fascinating and original book Peter Quarry skilfully deconstructs his own life, showing how you can unpack and reboot yours.

As sex and drug addicted Pete, he describes his sometimes shocking, always colourful background. Then, as internationally recognised psychologist PQ, he analyses it with compassionate, yet clinical, objectivity. The result is a work of insight and practical wisdom.

In putting himself on his own couch, Quarry will inspire you to reflect on your life’s journey and give you a toolkit to confront the curveballs inevitably heading your way.

What this book does:

Provides a unique step-by-step method for describing and appraising the life you’ve led so far, utilising a range of psychological theories and techniques.

Cleverly combines memoir with self-help: Peter reviews his own turbulent life to demonstrate how you can assess and improve yours.

From a psychologist with decades of international experience in training and education comes a compendium of practical answers to life’s most common problems.

Recommended for those coping with personal or professional challenges (eg: significant birthday, mid-life crisis, career disruption, relationship breakdown, illness, etc.), who want to find a new direction.

book review meredith fuller oam psychologist & author          ‘if i were you: a psychologist puts himself on the couch’ by peter quarry
Young Peter

What a clever idea – write a retrospective of your life integrating your personal and professional self! Using humour and easy to follow exercises for the reader, Peter takes us on a roller coaster of a life that is exciting, heartfelt, and poignant. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can see that it will be intriguing for anyone of any age; particularly those of us who are questioning what our life is about and if there is anything we wish to change with the years we have left. He uses an engaging technique – writing as two people; Pete and PQ, his examination of the 3 Acts of life (Act 1 to 30 years, 2 30-60 years, and 3 over 60) using narrative, interpretation, reflection, and challenging questions.

Some of us are disinclined to visit a psychologist or counsellor, but would dearly love to reflect on ourselves. Here is an opportunity for a private life audit with the prurient bonus of a rollicking good read. Some readers may recall Peter from his various television appearances; in a series called QUANDRY or during his seven years as resident psychologist on Good Morning Australia with our beloved Bert Newton. Human Resources and Organisational Development practitioners may be more familiar with his training videos with the exacting Eve Ash.

His writing is honest, funny, and intriguing. As both naughty and nice Pete, he leaves nothing out; his complex relationship with mother, his significant partnerships, and a warts and all acknowledgement of his personality traits. His exploration of his relationship with his mother and brother is particularly illuminating.

I particularly like the way his book enables us to enliven the years that we have left – however few or many. I highly recommend it, and you don’t have to do the exercises to get a lot from it. But I reckon that you will want to!

book review
Peter Quarry today
Peter with his mother
Peter Quarry

PUBLISHER: Hardie Grant Books RRP: $35.00 E:BOOK: $12.99 ISBN: 9781743798621

Meredith Fuller
Meredith Fuller
Psychologist, Author, Theatre Director, Spokesperson on psychology for the media, radio and TV.

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