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Change Happens: When To Try Harder and When To Stop Trying So Hard (Hardcover book by Avrum Geurin Weiss)

Change Happens: When To Try Harder and When To Stop Trying So Hard (Hardcover book by Avrum Geurin Weiss)

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Most of us are unsure when to try harder to bring about change in our lives and when it is best to stop trying so hard. For example, if you have been trying to lose weight and get in shape for years, should you hire a trainer to push yourself to try harder, or will you keep failing until you understand more about your own internal resistance? Trying harder is the "All-American" approach. Whether it's dating, dieting, or dealing with a job crisis, we like to believe that we can change just about anything if we are only willing to work hard enough.

Not trying so hard is counter-intuitive; it may even seem like laziness or a lack of will power to stop trying so hard. Nonetheless, there are times when trying harder is the definition of insanity; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting something different to happen.

So how does one know when it is better to try harder or when to stop trying so hard? Extensive psychological research makes it clear that neither of these approaches used alone is as effective as learning how to integrate the two together. Action without insight frequently leads to disappointment. 

Change Happens successfully articulates common experiences that we rarely put into words, shows how the process of change looks in the lives of real people, and gives examples and illustrations of different kinds of situations to help readers identify and apply the insight to their own lives.

Weiss brings together some of the most compelling contemporary psychological thinking on the process of change and shows how these insights play out and help transform the lives of real people.

About the Author


In a sea of self-help books, Avrum Geurin Weiss, Ph.D., has written a gem with a message you don’t often hear. Change Happens: When to Try Harder and When to Stop Trying So Hard will be a relief to those who think, “If I want to lose weight or improve my marriage or stop smoking, I have to try hard, and if it’s not happening, I just have to try harder and I’ll succeed.” Most self-help books turn
on exactly this advice. But, Weiss says, that approach often backfires. “As a culture, we are obsessed with change,” yet “we are not very reflective about the process of change.” In fact, Weiss explains, people have a hard time taking responsibility for change, even though they desperately seek it.

Weiss, a therapist, adjunct faculty member of Georgia State University’s psychology department, and director of the Pine River Psychotherapy Training Institute, proposes that we evaluate different kinds of change (external, internal), then learn when to double our efforts—and when to ease up. Weiss packs his narrative with real-life examples of people doing one or the other. You may see yourself—and the change you want to make—within the pages of this smart, insightful book. (WebMD The Magazine)

I can assure you that once you've read this book thoroughly, more likely than not you'll find that change will happen in your experience of therapy, whether as patient or therapist. (AHP Perspective Magazine)

I can assure you that once you’ve read this book thoroughly, more likely than not you’ll find that change will happen in your experience of therapy, whether as patient or therapist.
 (Association for Humanistic Psychology)

We all know change is hard. Dr. Weiss has written a book about change that actually makes it a little easier. Change happens whether we want it or not, and this book can show you how to take control over the things in your life that you wish could be different. Finally, a path to our goals that seems reasonable and ultimately simple. This book gives great examples and clearly illustrates in down to earth language the secret to therapy; change is something we can make happen. (Dr. Tammy Nelson, author of The New Monogamy: Redefining Relationships after Infidelity and Getting the Sex You Want: Shed Your Inhibitions and Reach New Heights of Passion Together)

Reading Change Happens is like taking a personal journey led by a wise and compassionate master therapist, who along the way gently explains the universal truths of why we do what we do, points out where we can make different choices, and guides us to make thoughtful adjustments so that we finally reach our goals. Using a wealth of knowledge from psychology, philosophy, religion, and life experience, Dr. Weiss's enlightening metaphors and instructive case examples help readers to break through long-standing habits and hurdles to make meaningful, empowering shifts. A must-have read for every psychologically curious and self-reflective person, Change Happens is truly life-changing. (Roni Cohen-Sandler Ph.D, psychologist and author of Stressed-out Girls: Helping Them Thrive in the Age of Pressure)

When is enough enough, and when is it too much? Weiss makes a compelling case for lightening up. Change Happens is a must read for everyone who pressures themselves, even a little. (Ellen Weber Libby Ph.D, author of The Favorite Child)

Avrum Weiss provides powerful tools and ideas for persons who want to change and are stuck and unable to change, for those who hate change and wish they could avoid change and for those who love change and want to speed up the process. Change Happens combines the clinical wisdom and experience of Dr. Weiss with his long term study of how change happens. The book provides a new way to think about change. (Pauline Rose Clance Ph.D, author of The Impostor Phenomenon: Overcoming the Fear That Haunts Your Success)

Awash in the sea of self-help books, well-respected psychologist Avrum Weiss has created a gem of a ship that can help one navigate life's ever-changing tides and waves. Offering gentle wisdom, combined with practical tools, reading Change Happens helped me continue my personal transitions with a little less fear and a lot more courage. In a world where the only constant is change, what more could anyone want? Read it slowly. Read it fast. Read the part that speaks to you. Just read it. It just may help you change your life. (Dorree Lynn Ph.D, psychologist, life coach and founder of

Change Happens is a highly informative, fresh look at the process of change in everyday life. A master therapist and teacher-of-therapists, Dr. Weiss helps us determine when we should stop trying so hard, when we need to try harder, and most importantly, what actions to take that will bring about lasting change inevitably. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to learn new ways to support the change process in life, work, relationships and as an agent of change for others. (Kathy Caprino, M.A., president of Ellia Communications, National Women's Career and Executive Coach, and author of Breakdown Breakthrough)

Change Happens is generous to its readers, offering food for thought and growth in the future. (The Journal of the American Academy of Psychotherapists)


This book was originally published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (November 3, 2011) and has been released to the author, Avrum G. Weiss. Connection Victory Publishing Company is the retailer of this product.