Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life: How to Get Through Life’s Holes Without Getting Stuck in Them

By: Judith A. Belmont, MS
       Lora Shor, LSW

The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life is a new, delightful book that was written by two ladies who work in the counseling field. This can be considered a “How-to of Happiness”.

An analogy is made between life and Swiss Cheese. The holes in the Swiss cheese are compared to times in our lives in which things do not go as planned. The holes in the Swiss cheese can be considered areas of the cheese that some might consider to be an area of failure in the cheese, but according to these authors, the more holes that the cheese has, the sweeter it is. The analogy points out that our lives may be sweetened by the things that we consider to be the holes.

This eleven chapter book is complete with numerous drawings that serve not only to entertain, but to become an island in a sea of text. For someone who is not accustomed to doing a lot of reading, these can maintain reader interest while minimizing fatigue.

Each chapter is complete with quotes from pop culture and leading experts in many different fields. Real life client examples are also included.
The three main characters are the “stinky cheese”, the “Swiss wiz”, and the “Swiss cheese fairy of life.” These are the guides for the reader throughout the book. The “Swiss cheese fairy of life” represents the affirming nurturer. The “Swiss wiz” is a wizard of sorts who is the mentor giving good advice and instruction. The “stinky cheese” are the bad habits and pitfalls that can plague people’s lives and limit or even prevent happiness and success.

There is also a metaphorical toolkit, which contains the items that represent each of the ten separate lessons. One of the items that goes into this metaphorical toolkit is a rubber band. This becomes a reminder to the reader to stay flexible.

I really liked this book. The authors have addressed the most frequent barriers that people have to happiness. They stress the concept of happiness being a choice, not a place or condition. They give good reasonable steps to follow to improve in every area of life.
Because of the light manner in which the subject matter is addressed I recommend this book for anyone from the fifth grade and older. A fifth grader might need and adult to discuss these concepts with, but is more than capable of understanding the writing.

I am sure that the authors will be able to use this book in their work, making it available to patients and clients. But every person gets out of balance in life from time-to-time, and consulting this book can help to move a person back toward the center of their lives.

copyright 2011 by Kathy Robbins


  1. Thanks for this review -- love the concept & may have to check this out!

  2. Thank you for stopping by, Susan. This was a good book!