Book Review: Find Your “Self-Culture”

Author: Victoria Lorient-Faibish
Publisher: MASSenergy Press
Book Publication: 2014

If your life seems fraught with anxiety, anger, depression, or any other emotional disharmony, finding your self-culture is key to healing, says Toronto author and holistic psychotherapist, Victoria Lorient-Faibish. In her new book, Find Your “Self- Culture”: Moving from Depression and Anxiety to Monumental Self-Acceptance, Victoria brings the transformational work she does in her practice to a wider audience. The book features case studies, exercises, and other tools to encourage and support individuals in finding their true selves and to live a joyful life in their own way.

Part of the process towards discovering your self-culture is awareness. Are you listening to yourself and your needs, asks Lorient-Faibish? If you do not pay attention to messages from your body in the form of things like sleep and digestive problems, or feelings of anxiety and depression, it can lead you to seek validation from external means, which may show up as addictions and compulsive behaviour.

Awareness is not only important with respect to physical symptoms. “You need to be aware of your old beliefs, habits and thoughts [as well] to be able to catch them and challenge their validity, especially if the belief or thought is about what you think other people think about you,” explains Lorient-Faibish. Once you have awareness, it is in the conscious realm and that, she says, “is a place of power; that is the beginning of finding true self-culture.”

You can also be prevented from embracing and living your self-culture by approaching life from the perspective of what Lorient-Faibish calls “the hurt child.” This is someone who is always looking for love and approval, is hypersensitive to criticism, and willing to change and become just about anyone in order to feel a sense of love and belonging.

The main reason for hurt child behaviour, says Lorient-Faibish, is that the individual’s attention is constantly placed on the outside of the self. “Do others love me?”, “Am I accepted here?”, “What do I need to do in order to belong?” As a child they did not discover that love is unconditional and available to them at all times. As a result, they couldn’t relax and just be themselves, and the ‘authentic’ self was stunted.

Other areas of the book deal with ways to handle commitment phobia, co-dependency, guilt, shame, negative self-talk, and forgiveness. It also touches on how to foster healthy relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and even money.

The case studies featured in Find Your Self-Culture are enlightening and inspiring; pointing to the efficacy of Victoria’s multi-dimensional approach to healing (in her practice she uses bodywork and visualization, as well as talk). Her voice throughout is equal parts genuine, kind and wise; her message profound.

If you want to live your life in the best way you can, you must do the work. It will likely be a tough journey, involving “deep emotional mining.” Find Your Self-Culture offers life-changing strategies to help you find self-acceptance, and begin getting really good at being the real you.


Susannah Kent is a Toronto area Fitness and Healthy Lifestyle Instructor.

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