jeffery saunders
The 12 Choices of Winners (Hard Copy)

Peer Reviews - The 12 Choices of Winners

Marie Meyer: Registered Psychologist, Counsellor, former Course Coordinator of the Diploma in Counselling, Vision College, Christchurch. Current chairperson of Canterbury/Westland branch of the New Zealand association of Counsellors.

Saunders, J. (2010). The 12 Choices of Winners: Being Who You are Designed To Be. Christchurch (NZ): Planetary Publishing.

I have really enjoyed several dips into "The 12 Choices of Winners" - a 'self-help' book with a difference - well, several differences from most self-help books. The combination of affirmations, cartoons, text and case-studies all pulled together with Jeff's experiences as a counsellor makes for lively reading. Jeff highlights the multitude of familiar old patterns most of us follow in our thinking and feeling reactions in our daily living. These habits keep us stuck in problematic cycles. Jeff briefly explains the benefits of being more intentional in our choices for daily living. The point is that most of us can be better and do better with more consideration of our choices and by selecting optimum outcomes.

This book encourages readers to focus on particular aspects of living better, drawing from a wide range of philosophical perspectives. Jeff's style of writing is crisp and to the point, describing familiar ways of thinking and practices that are problematic to many of us, then proposing options that are more effective for living our lives and relating better with others. I would be consulting this book often when I get stuck, feel upset or confused. If I were to take time to reflect on a page or two at any time, I would create a better pathway for myself. The affirmations in bold on each page serve as quick reminders to be true to and act consistently with integrity. Jeff challenges us to make time to consider options, then to make better decisions and to select the best use of our energy.

There are wonderful cartoons about 'hairy thinkers' that add a delightful dimension to nearly every page. The cartoons illustrate their points with a smile, making it easy to acknowledge bad habits, then read on about much better ways of thinking about being how and whom we prefer to be.These hairy thinkers tell you about how they grapple with personality development, mental health, relationships,personal growth, time management, motivation, goal setting, productivity, self-help, conscious living just as humans have to do. Whilst Jeff writes about "The 12 Choices of Winners" in themes for each chapter, this book reminds us that we have hundreds of small choices to make each day that serve us and others for better or for worse. "The 12 Choices of Winners" is a most worthwhile contribution to our community by encouraging us to become healthier, happier and thus contribute our better selves to our relationships with others. This book, used as 'bibliotherapy' is likely to both support and add to positive changes that come from therapeutic counselling relationships. In spite of our constant cultural referencing to individuals, winning includes relating well to others. Anyone who decides to regularly consult "The 12 Choices of Winners" is likely to gain good value from doing so, and act more like a winner in their own life. At the same time, their relationships with others will include integrity and trustworthiness.

Marie Meyer (Registered Psychologist, Counsellor, MNZAC), 15 August 2010.

Te Ruru: Counsellor, Head of Diploma in Counselling, Christchurch Polytechnic, New Zealand. Member of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors.

Saunders, J. (2010). The 12 Choices of Winners: Being Who You are Designed To Be. Christchurch, New Zealand: Planetary Publishing.

Occasionally one comes across a book that can be described as a real gem. The 12 Choices of Winners is such a book. This text is a unique combination of accumulated wisdom and experience, organised into a superbly useable format for individuals, therapists, coaches, counselling educators, and all students of the good life.

Jeffery Saunders has successfully distilled over two decades of experience as an educator, counsellor and life coach into an eminently practical guide for successful living. In this book he encourages his readers to acknowledge their own strengths and take responsibility for their personal growth in a way that mirrors what counsellors strive to facilitate for their clients. However, 12 Choices is more than just another motivational or self help book. The author has provided a practical map to guide individuals along the journey towards a purposeful and self fulfilling life. The subtitle, Being Who You Are Designed To Be signals the author's healthy presupposition that we all have within us the resources to generate that purposefulness and self fulfilment.

Based on over two decades of teaching, counselling and facilitating personal development trainings, Jeff has provided a very useful map to guide the process of personal and spiritual growth. His description of the Life Force as energy gives the contents an action orientation. This book has energy, in fact, because it focuses on doing rather than analysis. All 12 Choices are skilfully woven together by several threshold concepts. These key ideas appear in text boxes at the beginning of each chapter. Each threshold concept is followed by teachings and practices that will assist the reader to integrate those key ideas and walk through the portal of awareness. Life will never be the same after making The 12 Choices of Winners.

Te Ruru, 30 August 2010

Mark Murphy: Counsellor, MindBody Therapist, Lecturer in Human Development and Counselling Studies in the Diploma in Counselling at Vision College in Christchurch.

Saunders, J. (2010). The 12 Choices of Winners: Being Who You are Designed To Be. Christchurch (NZ): Planetary Publishing.

I have worked with Jeffery Saunders - or Jeff as I know him - for over three years in the field of counsellor education and personal development. I consider Jeff to be one of the best teachers I have ever worked with. Jeff is warm and compassionate - his eyes sparkle with the knowledge of one who has travelled the path and radiates self-acceptance. Jeff speaks and writes with confidence and clarity on a vast range of topics - from what to do with unwanted emotions and early childhood trauma, to managing intimate relationships in complex family systems, and improving one's financial health. Time and again, I have witnessed individual students and whole classrooms of learners who have been warmed, stretched, sharpened, and invigorated through their contact with this special teacher. For these reasons, and many more beside, I am delighted that Jeff's many years of teaching, coaching, and accumulated therapeutic wisdom are finally being put into print and offered to a wider public.

The 12 Choices of Winners: Being Who You are Designed to Be is an inspiring read. While many of the ideas, strategies, and connections may sound novel and surprising to some readers, the book is ultimately written to help us remember what "we already know", what the truest, deepest, and widest parts of us know spontaneously - what it feels like to be alive, strong, creative, and free. And yet, this natural birthright often seems so distant, so difficult to get in touch with. Our contact with our true, whole selves often feels so fleeting, so unpredictable, or even, somehow, outside of our control. Perhaps our parents never knew enough about their own selves to teach us about ours, or our school systems and employers were much more concerned about other areas of knowledge and expertise.

Jeff Saunders has devoted his life to exploring the knowledge and workings of our authentic, creative selves - in other words, what our education system left to our parents, and what our parents never taught us. In The 12 Choices of Winners, he integrates his knowledge of a wide range of ancient and contemporary systems and wisdoms (including humanistic psychology, cognitive therapy, neuro-linguistic programming, transactional analysis psychotherapy, contemporary research on human intelligence and brain function, systems and attachment perspectives, energy models, and spiritual wisdom from both east and west). The book includes chapters on developing personal power, cultivating satisfying relationships, developing emotional intelligence, identifying and meeting needs in life, developing and integrating authentic values, healing deep childhood wounds and life-scripts, learning how to respect and channel our life-energy, and turning our dreams into life-enhancing realities. While many self-help books are written on these topics, The 12 Choices is different in at least three ways. First, it has been solidly 'road-tested' in life: it represents a system of teachings, knowledge and strategies that have formed the core of a successful counselling and education practice, and have helped thousands of people remove blocks to self-knowledge and growth. Secondly, it is truly comprehensive: the book addresses the physical, emotional, relational, financial, and spiritual dimensions of our being. Third, as with Jeff's oral teaching, the book is written in exceptionally clear, down-to-earth, contemporary language. As such it will introduce 'the perennial philosophy' - those core truths and wisdoms concerning human nature and flourishing - to a whole new audience of present-day readers.

It is rare to find such a wealth of psychotherapeutic and spiritual wisdom integrated and brought together into one whole book, and conveyed to the reader with such warmth, earthiness, and clarity. The 12 Choices of Winners can be worked through systematically from start to finish, or it can be dipped into from time to time - like an encyclopaedia of personal guidance - when the moment arises. I recommend it to all who are seeking a sincere, reliable comprehensive guide to the path of self-knowledge and growth, to those who are well-versed on the path but need a one-port-of-call touchstone and refresher, and for all counsellors, therapists, life-coaches and personal development guides searching for solid resources, psycho-educative materials, and homework sheets for clients.

May this book, and the knowledge contained within it, go forth and bless many lives.

Mark Murphy Counsellor, MindBody Therapist, Lecturer in Human Development and Counselling Studies.