Step Out of Your Story:
Writing Exercises to Reframe and Transform Your Life

by Kim Schneiderman

New World Library, 2015. ISBN 978-1-608-68232-4.
Reviewed by Khadijah A.
Posted on 08/04/2015

Nonfiction: Life Lessons

To be honest, I am not much for self-help books. It seems like so often they all cover the same ground, simply stating the same old ideas in what the author hopes is a new way. This isn't the case for Kim Schneiderman's Step Out of Your Story. Instead, Schneiderman has taken something familiar—writing about our experiences—and given it a new twist: shifting your perspective on your life into the third person narrative.

Schneiderman's book is organized in a clear, logical manner, leading you step by step into a new way of looking at and understanding your life. When I first began reading it, I thought it looked a little overwhelming, but once I plunged in and started doing the exercises step by step, I found that it really is very manageable and easy to follow.

One thing that I liked about Step Out of Your Story is the fact that Schneiderman doesn't promise that your world will become instantly rosy and perfect; nor does she say that the journey will be an easy one. Rather, she is an encouraging and supporting presence, providing her readers with a tool chest of possibilities for making change in their lives. I found some of the exercises to be quite helpful, others less so, but Schneiderman's experience and compassion come through and add value to the program she presents.

The arrangement of the book makes it easy for the reader to move step by logical step through the exercises, but I think that there is also value in paging through and choosing the exercises that you feel would help you the most at any given time. This is especially valuable for those people who don't have the time or the motivation to learn the whole process. The greatest value is in the whole, but there are many gems in the different chapters and exercises that can be implemented without all of the others.

Step Out of Your Story is a refreshing approach to making positive change in one's life.

Kim Schneiderman, LCSW, MSW, is a psychotherapist, workshop facilitator, former journalist, and spiritual essayist who lives and works in New York City. When she's not seeing clients, Kim writes a psychological advice column for the New York, Boston, and Philadelphia Metro daily newspapers. She has written dozens of freelance articles, including cover stories, for major Jewish newspapers, including The Jewish Week, the Baltimore Jewish Times, and the Northern California Jewish Bulletin. Visit her website.

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