Book Review: Enhancing Performance and Quality of Life Book & Guide

Review of Enhancing Performance and Quality of Life by Drs. Danish and Forneris

Now that Positive Psychology and the Positive Youth Development movements have become the approach of choice for many practitioners, Drs. Danish and Forneris’ Enhancing Performance and Quality of Life provides a timely resource for both aspiring and seasoned helping professionals. Based on years of experience providing consulting services with organizations ranging from youth sport to the military, Danish and Forneris illustrate how their life development intervention approach promotes self-awareness and life skill acquisition in both children and adults. A companion workbook contains easy to apply activities that can be used with individuals or groups.  

Unlike other life skill-oriented books, Enhancing Performance illustrates the importance of using age appropriate strategies to help both youth and adults acquire skills that can assist them in achieving success in sport, school, and other life domains. The emphasis on the process of internalization and transfer of learning separates this book from other competing resources. For example, many researchers have described various goal-setting paradigms, but Danish and Forneris’ process for identifying and overcoming roadblocks to goal attainment goes beyond these other models and demonstrates their real-world experience in helping individuals reach their potential.

Although seasoned professionals may be familiar with many of the life skills that are described in the text and guidebook, they are likely to benefit from the user-friendly worksheets and the emphasis on how skills are learned. In addition, a section on the ethics of helping and self-care provides an important reminder of practitioners’ obligations to provide quality services to all of their clients.

Overall, I belief that Enhancing Performance and Quality of Life fulfills its promise of providing students and practitioners in a variety of health and behavior-related fields a useful tool in understanding how to teach, apply, and evaluate positive development in youth and adults.

Al Petitpas, Ed.D.

Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Youth Development and Research

Springfield College

Springfield, MA 01109