By  Toni Pieroni, MA, Registered Clinical Counselor

If you are a therapist and would like a springboard for individual or group work, consider using “Becoming” as a tool.  It can be a different kind of book club.


            As a therapist, I think Jill’s book is a very helpful therapeutic tool for clients.  One of the critical features of therapy is developing the capacity to self-reflect, i.e., to be able to step back into more of the “observer” role in one’s life and reflect on one’s internal experiences to life circumstances.  Many therapists recommend journaling as a tool for reflection.  However, my clients often get frustrated because they don’t know what to write about.  Jill’s book offers a variety of topics and issues that most people can relate to.  She tells her story as a way for people to think about their own life story.  She then goes one step further – she ends each chapter/story with questions that bring a focus to reflect upon.  She also offers suggested reading materials pertinent to the topic, that can direct people to further ways to reflect and think about their own life journey.

            I love that she uses the words “journey to authenticity”.  It communicates a powerful message that being “authentic” is a process and journey, not an event or destination.  It involves asking critical questions:  Who am I?  What’s important, what matters to me?  Why am I reacting the way I am?  What do I really want?  What is life? What is the meaning of my life?  If I were “myself”, how would I be responding to this situation?  As the poet Rilke says . . . “love the questions themselves . . . “  Jill’s questions allow one to enter more deeply into discovering one’s authenticity.

            Jill’s story of her own life changes, growth and wisdom offer inspiration and hope.  It also offers a methodology to help clients engage more actively with their own process of change.


Key therapeutic benefits of reading and using Becoming:

  • To help clients see their own life story as a story of “becoming”
  • To increase self-awareness and compassion for self and others
  • To develop and strengthen their “observer” self (brain science is showing the benefits to health/well-being in developing that capacity)
  • To help clients see that “how” they tell their story impacts their perspective and feelings about their life – and that there may be more than one way to perceive one’s life.
  • To help clients journal in a productive and meaningful way and help them break out of the circular looping the mind can often get stuck in.
  • To have a way of seeing life’s journey as a process
  • To assist clients in engaging more deeply with their own lives – to taking on the task of “authenticity”


Key benefits for using Becoming for couples or in a support group setting:

  • To provide focus for reflecting and sharing
  • To learn more about each other
  • To help deepen intimacy
  • To open curiosity about one’s partner or group members
  • To expand one’s capacity for accepting the difference and uniqueness on one’s partner or group member

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