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The Best Friend Technique and SUMMER ROMANCE by Annabel Monaghan

Cover of the book Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan used to describe the therapy skill the Best Friend Technique

Ali’s mom died two years ago. On the first anniversary of her mom’s death, Ali’s husband announced that he wanted a divorce. Ali, a professional organizer everywhere but her own home, grew depressed. She spent her days caring for her kids in a house that looked like a tornado hit it. It’s been a long time since Ali wore real pants.


Ali’s parents divorced when she was young, and her mom primarily raised her. Their relationship was incredibly close. Ali felt that her mom saw her for exactly who she authentically was in all the most positive ways: Mom / Best Friend. When life with kids was stressful Ali moved closer to her mom, who became part of Ali’s parenting team. Since her mom died, Ali sometimes felt like she was talking to her mom, as if her mom was coaching her.


Ali was (basically, with a twist) using a simple yet effective therapy skill, the Best Friend Technique.


Every day, we all have a running monologue going through our heads. “I don’t have time to put on real pants anymore,” “I’m too much of a hot mess for love,” and “People will judge me if they see the massive paper piles around my house.” These thoughts can be situation-dependent and mood-dependent, or they can be triggered by low self-esteem, anxiety, or depression. When our situation or mood is negative, our thoughts can become mean, angry, or dismissive towards ourselves.


The Best Friend Technique uses cognitive restructuring to re-introduce positive, confident, and loving thoughts. It’s a way for you to be as kind to yourself as your best friend would be to you or you would be to your best friend. Here’s how to alter your thoughts to change your feelings using the Best Friend Technique:


Spot: Recognize when your thoughts towards or about yourself are negative.


Engage: Decide that you will talk back to the negative thought.


Consider: Think about what your best friend would tell you, or think, “What would I tell my best friend if they were in my shoes.”


Embody: Tell yourself those messages in a best friend tone.


Re-examine: Recognize the new feelings following the positive messages.

Love Annabel Monaghan? Me too. Here are skills from a few of her other books:

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Summer Romance.


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