Reviews - The Formula for Happiness
The National Psychologist - November/December 2005
The Independent Newspaper for Practitioners
...The Formula for Happiness begins with a foreword in which
the author coherently sets forth his method of arriving at the
formula. He began with the thought that since the medical community
had arrived as a set of instructions to enhance the potential for
health; psychology should be able to arrive at a set of instructions
to enhance the potential for emotional well being. Discovering that
no such instructions existed, the author set about finding them.
His search resulted in the identification of 10 core values that
are the essential ingredients for happiness. In order to pursue
these values, 4 core principles must be followed. Self-defeating
behaviors interfere with following the principles. In turn,
self-defeating behaviors have underlying self-defeating thoughts.
During the course of his search for a formula for happiness, the
author developed questionnaires: the General Inventory of Life
Satisfaction (GILS) to evaluate a person's access to the core
values, and the Global Estimate of Life Satisfaction (GELS) to
determine overall satisfaction in living. The Forecasted Estimate
of Life Satisfaction (FELS) and the Forecasted Inventory of Life
Satisfaction (FILS) are derived from the GILS and the GELS to
help in personal strategic planning and momentous decision making.
The body of the book describes in detail, with numerous anecdotes
and examples, the core values and principles and which behaviors
and thoughts are likely to undermine the pursuit of happiness.
One chapter is devoted to guidelines on following the formula and
includes a decision tree, advice on enriching the lives of others
and advice on fostering faith in the Judeo-Christian tradition, as
well as a description of the hoped for psychological outcomes of
following the formula (mastery, optimism and enhanced self-esteem.)
Host of The Happiness Show
Aristotle considered happiness "the highest good," and the vast majority of us prize it as our strongest, most fundamental desire. After forty years of comprehensive, essentially correlational research, the science of happiness is rapidly advancing toward the key phase of widespread societal applications. Dr. Douglas Ramm's work, presented in his book, The Formula for Happiness, is leading this pioneering initiative as a visionary happiness-increase program especially salient within today's morally adrift world because it prescribes character development and reasoned decision-making as powerful happiness enhancing tools.
Dr. Ramm successfully uses the Formula to help his clients become happier, and is training other clinicians to use it in their psychotherapies. The program is also being extended beyond clinical applications. Plans are underway by several school counselors to incorporate the Formula into "self awareness and life skills" classes in public and private secondary schools, and Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania recently adopted the Formula as a mandated intervention for troubled adolescents. These implementations provide strong evidence that The Formula for Happiness is rigorous, effective and designed to work in "real life" settings.
www.thehappinessshow.com/drramm.htm and go to episodes 101, 102, and 103 to view a series of interviews in which Dr. Ramm provides an overview of core elements of the formula for happiness.)
Dr. Samuel Knapp, Director of Professional Affairs
Pennsylvania Psychological Association
The Pennsylvania Psychologist, October 2007
Recently several psychologists and behavioral scientists have written popular books on quality-of-life topics such as happiness or subjective well-being. . . These books are well above the average "make yourself happy" books that predominate self-help sections of bookstores. The quality of the writing was almost uniformly good. . . and a few could be helpful adjunctive readings for patients in treatment. . . . Psychologists who are treating patients and who want a book for adjunctive bibliotherapy may especially consider Ramm and Czetli or Fordyce. Although both books are very good I would prefer Ramm and Czetli because it is in printed form, and Fordyce is available only on the Internet.
Judith Fair, Psy.D.
FairWillow Integrated Psychology, Erie, PA
As the Editor of the Pennsylvania Psychologist I see many manuscripts come and go. Sometimes the content is clearly consistent with the title of the work. Other times the two are so far apart I scratch my head, wondering what the author's clouded and mysterious point might have been. Dr. Ramm's Formula for Happiness unquestionably falls into the first category: he says what he means, and means what he says.
Intended as a self-help book, he has drawn on the works and wisdom of many "Masters in the Field of Psychology". The Formula is evidence-based and well grounded in the theories, and particularly, in the methods of change in a positive, can-do approach to creating happiness and joy in one's life.
Dr. Ramm has applied these principles in his clinical and consulting practice across a variety of populations, as well as the juvenile justice system. The self-assessments and strategies in Formulas are client/patient-centered, easily adapted to the clinician.s approach, as well as interesting and attractive as take-home assignments.
As a clinician tinkering with the text and assessment, I gained some interesting new insights about myself, proof that an "old(er) dog can learn new tricks!". The Formula for Happiness is highly recommended for any one who wants to be grounded in peace and contentment in a 21st century of chaos.
Jesse Ranee Decker
Emerald Tablets Writers' Services
Finally! A commonsense approach to improving one's life!
Unlike other authors and psychologists who insist that one's
level of happiness is dependent on how you were raised, your station
in life, or biochemistry, this book puts it firmly in the reader's
control. In simple, down-to-earth terms anyone can easily follow,
the authors outline a step-by-step course of action toward obtaining
happiness in life from right where you are When this "formula" is
applied on a day to day basis it can improve anyone's quality of
life, regardless of education level, social standing or religious
or philosophical belief system. I've just finished reading
The Formula for Happiness for the first time and it's given me a
lot to think about. It's also given me the motivation to look at
the areas of my life that could stand improvement, as well as the
hope that I have the ability to change those things for the better
and enjoy a greater level of happiness and contentment in life.
If you aren't completely satisfied with you life at the moment,
or anticipate making changes that will affect you life for better
or worse, I STRONGLY recommend this book!
Jackie Graham, North Carolina
Amazon.com Customer Review - December 2004
I just finished reading The Formula for Happiness, and wanted to thank
the authors for presenting a very easy-to-read, practical manual for
learning about what makes us happy and how we can become happier by
taking very simple steps toward that goal.
I'm a 62 year old grandma who is always looking for ways to help my
grandkids grow up healthier, happier and more successful. I will
insure that all my grandchildren read this book and believe that
if they use the formula presented, they will be much better prepared
to handle the choices they must make along the way to be happier
and more sensible adults.
Mother of 4 and Undergraduate Psychology Major
First let me say that I am so happy to have access to the invaluable
information contained in this book. I feel that the information in
this book could be beneficial to the world. This book takes
decision-making and breaks it down into manageable criteria. I cannot
tell you how often in life I have WISHED for something like this when
I have been faced with important decisions. It was also VERY eye-opening
to areas in my life that need improvement and could lead to a more
happy, balanced life.
I feel very honored to have received the wealth of information that is
contained in the book. I truly feel that it will be life-changing
for me and gives me a better guide to life's choices.
Karen J. Stickel, LCSW, BCD, DPP
Licensed and Board Certified Clinical Social Worker
Diplomate in Professional Psychotherapy
Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania
In The Formula for Happiness, Douglas Ramm, Ph. D. gives the reader a world map called a .Matrix of Happiness. by which to define the quality of life as the degree to which we are able to maintain or have continuous access to ten core values, more or less simultaneously. Dr. Ramm has constructed a quality of life theoretical framework based upon a set of requirements which we may use as a guide toward obtaining and maintaining both satisfaction and contentment in living.
I find Dr. Ramm's "Matrix of Core Values", combined with principled reasoning and utilized when making choices in daily living, to be both universally applicable and highly innovative. Building on a number of longstanding, widely accepted theories in psychology and related disciplines, as well as synthesizing several schools of philosophical thought, he ultimately makes explainable, in elegantly simplistic fashion, an understanding of the relationship between circumstances and quality of life. In sharing with the reader his insight and brilliantly original contribution, this work considers an historical perspective, while combining current research from his applied clinical practice, giving us a new perspective on this basic yet elusive subject.
The Formula for Happiness is not only easily accessible to individual readers, but highly applicable to many professional disciplines, providing synthesized and interactive tools to self evaluate, plan for active personal change leading toward actively raising ones. overall contentment and satisfaction for living. The book is replete with instructions for becoming and remaining happy.
As a psychotherapist, I find this work of major value in my practice and in assisting patients toward identifying their inefficiencies, self defeating beliefs or negative behavioral patterns and supporting them in applying the specific self-evaluation process of the workbook toward acquiring a positive course of action for corrective measures and raising their actual level of happiness.
Dr. Ramm's contribution is of inestimable value to both lay person and professional alike - a genuinely positive step forward.
Publishing Executive, Texas
Very interesting. Insightful. Thought provoking. Recommended reading for
everyone. Dr. Ramm has made The Formula for Happiness easy to read, yet
I've known what a lot of my "problems" were, and have a mental list a mile
long on how to achieve the perfect life. But the problem was that it was so
long and finding a starting point was nigh impossible. The GILS and GELS
pinpointed the actual root of most of my problems and I was able to form a
concrete goal and a doable action plan. By focusing on
the plan, I'll be able to raise my overall level of happiness without having
to try and achieve and impossible to-do list.
HB, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Amazon.com Customer Review - January 2007
This book is one of my favorites. It.s easy to read, full of insight and accurate information. This book literally changed my life, I take it everywhere I go and have purchased additional copies for my friends.