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
Community Member
3 years ago

Book #2 "How Low Can You Go?"

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#2

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

Better to be alone than to feel alone.

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#3

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nnaemeka Egwim
Community Member
3 years ago

This hit me harder than my parents.

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#4

Fictional-Self-Help-Books-Johan-Deckmann

Johan Deckmann Report

Nnaemeka Egwim
Community Member
3 years ago

Fast internet and surplus of junk foods.

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#5

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Jilltdcatlady
Community Member
3 years ago

You buy the main book, and the "Me" is one of those "bonuses"you get at checkout. ( it's really a blank note book you fill with lists you never finish).

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#6

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

JillVille
Community Member
3 years ago

lmao - if only this could work!

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#7

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#8

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

MysticSailora
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#9

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Dian Ella Lillie
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#10

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Hans
Community Member
3 years ago

Well...just die at the right time.

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#11

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nini Meow
Community Member
3 years ago

If only this could work

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#12

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nini Meow
Community Member
3 years ago

One reason is enough

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#13

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nnaemeka Egwim
Community Member
3 years ago

I love how it looks thoroughly used and worn out

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#14

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nini Meow
Community Member
3 years ago

Sad reality

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#15

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#16

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#17

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Kiss Army
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#18

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

athornedrose
Community Member
3 years ago

my biography

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#19

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#20

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Laugh Fan
Community Member
3 years ago

Too late.

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#21

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nini Meow
Community Member
3 years ago

This hits hard

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#22

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Dennis Michalke
Community Member
1 year ago

story of my live, because others force me

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#23

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

SykesDaMan
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#24

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#25

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#26

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B
Community Member
3 years 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.

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#27

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

희별 송
Community Member
3 years 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

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#28

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Yvonne Bernal
Community Member
3 years ago

The bricks on the cover! HILARIOUS

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#29

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nini Meow
Community Member
3 years ago

And get back to it again

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#30

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Laugh Fan
Community Member
3 years ago

This I would really love to know!

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#31

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Elizabeth Mitchell
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#32

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago

Ahahahah! Thia should be at the top! ♥

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#33

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago

By worrying about useless things.

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#34

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Jouke Van 't Slot
Community Member
3 years ago

This one's me.

#35

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Chad Kook
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#36

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago

Ask Google.

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#37

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Chad Kook
Community Member
3 years 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

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#38

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nini Meow
Community Member
3 years ago

I hope this works 😅

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#39

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

#40

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

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#41

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago

Give them a copy of your heart.

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#42

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

#43

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nnaemeka Egwim
Community Member
3 years 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
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#46

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Ohio Hands
Community Member
3 years ago

See *politics*

#47

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Jilltdcatlady
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#48

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Mark Howell
Community Member
3 years ago

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

#49

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Kururi.Orihara
Community Member
3 years ago

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

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#50

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Kiss Army
Community Member
3 years ago

Want in one hand...

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Note: this post originally had 272 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.

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