According to a recent study, the U.S. market for self-improvement is $9.9 billion. Despite that, many therapists think that self-help books are useless. Gregg Williams, for example, says that change is hard, improvements happen unevenly, involve many steps and take a lot of time. Nothing even remotely close to what the self-help reads are preaching. Luckily, Johan Deckmann has something that's way better. By day, Deckmann analyzes the human behavior; by night, he writes down his observations as titles for fictional self-help publications. Using books found in antique shops as a canvas, the practicing psychotherapist transforms their boring covers into witty jokes. Even though most of his pieces balance between the hilarious and the poignant, their faded color and worn texture take the readers on an emotional journey of self-reflection and soul-searching.

"My work is a portrait of human failure and self-sabotage," Deckmann told Bored Panda. "But my underlying motive is to mirror my audience and motivate change. I think my work resonates with people because many people in the western world are raised to believe that they are victims of their surroundings. I show through my works that they are not."

Johan explained that his psychological practice has great influence on his art. It not only serves as a tremendous inspiration for the content of his works but also as a constant reminder of personal responsibility. “I meet many people who suffer from a circumstance that they themselves have created but they choose not to take action," he added. "I think it’s tragicomic that underneath our frustration and self-slavery lies this beautiful opportunity."

Titles like "How to gain instant success by lowering your standards" can resonate with anyone, but instead of remaining sinister, the work is made humorous by using the same language that you might find on a cookbook. "How to build a wall so high that nobody will ever get to know you" might be fitting for people working in an office, and, perhaps: "How to keep doing the same old mistakes and expect a different result" could be considered the most universally human of all one-liners.

2018 is a busy year for Deckmann. His works are traveling from one gallery to another; from New York City and San Fransisco to Amsterdam. "Humour is a pretty convenient companion, given humankind’s condition," he concluded. "I think gratitude, appreciation of being here and a portion of self-irony are the main keys to a happy life."

More info: deckmann.com | Facebook | Instagram

#1

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Yvonne Bernal 1 year ago

Book #2 "How Low Can You Go?"

View More Replies...
View more comments
#2

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Yvonne Bernal 1 year ago

Better to be alone than to feel alone.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#3

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nnaemeka Egwim 1 year ago

This hit me harder than my parents.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#4

Fictional-Self-Help-Books-Johan-Deckmann

Johan Deckmann Report

Nnaemeka Egwim 1 year ago

Fast internet and surplus of junk foods.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#5

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nanni 17 1 year ago

Do these come together or do you need to buy them separately?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#6

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

JillVille 1 year ago

lmao - if only this could work!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#7

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Yvonne Bernal 1 year ago

Well, How do you?? (Asking for a friend)

View More Replies...
View more comments
#8

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

MysticSailora 1 year ago

did someone actually make these...? they look all the same!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#9

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Dian Ella Lillie 1 year ago

It's not actually any longer - it just feels that way...

View More Replies...
View more comments
#10

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Hans 1 year ago

Well...just die at the right time.

View more comments
#11

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Andres Tejeda 1 year ago

The Jared Kushner guide.

View more comments
#12

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nini Meow 1 year ago

One reason is enough

View more comments
#13

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nnaemeka Egwim 1 year ago

I love how it looks thoroughly used and worn out

View more comments
#14

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nini Meow 1 year ago

Sad reality

View more comments
#15

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B 1 year ago

This is so me. The key is, create your own extraordinary.

View more comments
#16

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B 1 year ago

You can't fly? You no friend of mine.

View more comments
#17

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Kiss Army 1 year ago

I think this is the employee handbook at my job...

View more comments
#18

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

athornedrose 1 year ago

my biography

View more comments
#19

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B 1 year ago

Or the opposite: How to panic when there's really no problems

View More Replies...
View more comments
#20

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Laugh Fan 1 year ago

Too late.

View more comments
#21

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nini Meow 1 year ago

This hits hard

View more comments
#22

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nanni 17 1 year ago

I need this one, been struggling with this since forever.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#23

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

SykesDaMan 1 year ago

The probable*... Scratch that: The sad story...

View More Replies...
View more comments
#24

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B 1 year ago

Hoooooooooooonesty... is SUCH a lonely word.... ♬♪

View More Replies...
View more comments
#25

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B 1 year ago

No, but this is so true. Dreams come true when you forget about it.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#26

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B 1 year ago

I know this is metaphoric, but... I must admit I find the literal meaning true for myself. The "where" part at least. Without GPS, I wouldn't be here right now.

View more comments
#27

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

희별 송 1 year ago

All my dreams. I had a dream that I had achieved my dream for my career, only to wake up in the morning to reality that I would always be fated to follow my parents

View more comments
#28

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Yvonne Bernal 1 year ago

The bricks on the cover! HILARIOUS

View More Replies...
View more comments
#29

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nini Meow 1 year ago

And get back to it again

View more comments
#30

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Laugh Fan 1 year ago

This I would really love to know!

View more comments
#31

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Elizabeth Mitchell 1 year ago

You are the stones in my kidney. The toothache making me cry.......

View more comments
#32

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B 1 year ago

Ahahahah! Thia should be at the top! ♥

View more comments
#33

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B 1 year ago

By worrying about useless things.

View more comments
#34

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Jouke Van 't Slot 1 year ago

This one's me.

#35

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Chad Kook 12 months ago

How to try and be the dream employee by neglecting every personal need and still wind up failing miserably...

View more comments
#36

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B 1 year ago

Ask Google.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#37

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Chad Kook 12 months ago

I'd like to say I could teach this class or write this book, but I am sure people would find it underwhelming and disapointing

View more comments
#38

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nini Meow 1 year ago

I hope this works 😅

View more comments
#39

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

#40

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

#41

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B 1 year ago

Give them a copy of your heart.

View more comments
#42

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

#43

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nnaemeka Egwim 1 year ago

Simply Follow Another Person's Path or Calling.

#44

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

#45

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Jilltdcatlady 1 year ago

Is this the handbook for Life? That annoying time from birth to death...?

View more comments
#46

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Ohio Hands 1 year ago

See *politics*

#47

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Jilltdcatlady 1 year ago

This looks kind of small... Are there more volumes?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#48

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Mark Howell 12 months ago

Charles Dickens got it right. Yay for 19th century Victorians. ;o)

#49

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Kururi.Orihara 9 months ago

I'd rather be alone then surrounded by idiots...

View more comments
#50

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Kiss Army 1 year ago

Want in one hand...

View More Replies...
View more comments
#51

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Laugh Fan 1 year ago

Anti-vaxxers

#52

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

KT Trondsen 1 year ago

yep haha

#53

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

#54

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Susan Bertke 12 months ago

Question: Are you sure the "good things" are what YOU "want really bad," or are they what you have been TOLD you should want? Or are you just lying to yourself?

#55

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Rafaella Bueno 1 year ago

I really need to read that one

#56

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Damaris Weber 1 year ago

Oh... sounds like"I'm so insecure because my mother couldn't breastfeed me".

View more comments
#57

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Abby Not Normal 12 months ago

This one is very clever.

#58

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Laugh Fan 1 year ago

Sat nav

View more comments
#59

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Susan Bertke 12 months ago

How to enjoy your life by not caring what others might think

#60

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

#61

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

#62

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Katrin Richter 1 year ago

Well, but is it wasted by chilling?

View more comments
#63

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Laugh Fan 1 year ago

Now who wants to do that?

View more comments
#64

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Laugh Fan 1 year ago

Your copy is in the post.

#65

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

#66

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Alina Moldovan 12 months ago

Storry of my life

View More Replies...
View more comments
#67

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Chad Kook 12 months ago

Has this guy met me?

View more comments
#68

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Kelly 12 months ago

Give me back my feelings! I would buy this one.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#69

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

#70

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

#71

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Mark Howell 12 months ago

CTRL+C then CTRL+V

#72

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Lyone Fein 12 months ago

A little louder please

#73

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Jilltdcatlady 1 year ago

I need the addendum, "Giving up when the S**t has really hit the fan."

View more comments
#74

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

#75

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Katrin Richter 1 year ago

Just asking questions that can be answered with yes or no...

#76

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Chad Kook 12 months ago

yup

#77

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

#78

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Kelly 12 months ago

Where can I buy it? It's a good present for Christmas for a lot of people I know...

View more comments
#79

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Chad Kook 12 months ago

twin? Pfft the evil things in the back of my mind are triplets

View more comments
#80

Fictional Self-Help Books