The book Try Softer by Aundi Kolber is a book written by a Christian clinical counselor for those seeking to deal with mental health problems or those who are currently struggling. When our natural orientation for dealing with difficult things to do more, work harder, and push through, sometimes the opposite reaction is actually better.
My initial expectations greatly exceeded as I got into this. I had expected one where boundaries were not firm, the focus would be more on spiritual coaching or guidance and not clinical application, and it would read to a more female audience. I could not have been more wrong and find this book to be a great resource for those who want to understand clinical counseling better.
It is very clear that Aundi practices from an Attachment Theory perspective that incorporates EMDR and mindfulness into her practice as this is the foundation for her Try Softer model. The book starts from a very clinical perspective and within a couple of chapters, moves fully into integrating faith into practices.
“The work of paying compassionate attention is, in a sense, learning to steward for ourselves what God already believes about us—that we’re valuable and loved.”– Aundi Kolber
For those that are trained in Attachment theory, much of this book is the basics that integrates faith, and so you may find it as a casual review at times. Yet for pastors who have very little experience and are able to, as Aundi says, not skip to the practical stuff, I find this is very well explained so no one is lost in the book. As someone who practices counseling from a different treatment modality, I found the book inspiring, inviting, and at times longing to have been trained in many of the same ways.
You can actually see her talk about some of these ideas from Attachment theory further on her YouTube channel. Here’s one of those videos:
No Bad, Just More
Many times, I’ll share some critiques of a book, I do not have any for this book. Instead, I’ll also share Aundi’s website that has Try Softer Guided Journey videos that she shares to go with the book. It also has her Instagram page that she is active on, podcasts she has been a guest on, and more.
We give this book a 5 out of 5 stars and definitely recommend you check it out.