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Introduction to Tools for

Handling Control Issues

Tools for Handling Control Issues

By: James J. Messina, Ph.D.


Over my career I have written a number of articles related to self-esteem. In 1992 Kendall Hunt Publishers published 9 books which were a summary of the articles which I had written related to self-esteem. In this book we will focus on the eighth of the 1992 version of the Tools for Coping Series. This book is Tools for Handling Control Issues.


This was the eighth book in the Tools for Coping Series (1992) by James Messina published by Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, Iowa. Tools for Handling Control Issues was then published on in 1999 where they remained until 2008 when we sold to Design Media which resulted in some of the chapters being transferred to in January 2009. What follows are the original order of the chapters from the 1992 version the Tools for Handling Control Book which have been edited, revised, updated and reformatted for placement on

The goal of Tools for Handling Control Issues

In the next fifteen chapters you will be exploring the various forms of control of other people, places and things you may be currently involved in. You will be given an overview of what the control issue is, why it is a control issue, the negative results of using this control technique, and how to handle or eliminate this technique from your behavioral repertoire so that you can grow in personal self-esteem, accepting personal responsibility for your own life and growing in personal self-control of your thinking, emotions, and actions.


An important message in this book is that the more you let go of the control over the people, places, and things in your life, the more control in your personal life you will gain. In order to let go of control over others, you must first be convinced that they are the uncontrollables and unchangeables in your life and that the only one you can control and change is yourself.


Control issues impact your relationships with others and for this reason the Tools for Relationships is a companion to this material. Since letting go of control results in loss and negative emotions, the Tools for Handling Loss and Tools for Anger Workout are essential cohorts of this material. In order to transmit to others a change in the level of your control in their lives, you may also need the Tools for Communications. You cannot pursue letting go of control over others unless you are fully committed to your growth in self-esteem. The Tools for Personal Growth is an important companion to this work. Finally, to better understand why you have a need for control over others, you need to explore the dysfunctional background in your life as discussed in Laying the Foundation.


In order to let go of control over others, you need the support of others and a program of recovery with a lifestyle which supports this recovery. The Self-esteem Seekers Anonymous- The SEA's Program Manual provides for you a twelve step approach to succeed in growing in self-esteem and thus letting go of control over others.


The Tools for Handling Control Issues is the last book written for the original Tools For Coping Series and, for this reason, it is a synthesis of all the concepts and principles contained in the previous seven books.


It is my belief that this book is a spiritual enhancing guidebook for you to grow in the ability to hand over to your Higher Power the need to control others so as to ensure things go the way you want them in life. It is humbling to admit our humanness and that only one being has power over us all.


Use this tool book to grow in personal awareness, emotional serenity, and responsible action toward yourself and others.


The guiding force for this book is the original version of Reinhold Niebuhr's Prayer for Serenity:.

God, grant me serenity

to accept the things I cannot change,

courage to change the things I can

and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,

enjoying one moment at a time,

accepting hardships as a pathway to peace

taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is,

not as I would have it,

trusting that You will make all things right

if I surrender to Your will.

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with You forever

in the next.