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 6 months ago

Book #2 "How Low Can You Go?"

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#2

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Johan Deckmann Report

Yvonne Bernal 6 months ago

Better to be alone than to feel alone.

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#3

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nnaemeka Egwim 6 months ago

This hit me harder than my parents.

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#4

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Johan Deckmann Report

Nnaemeka Egwim 6 months ago

Fast internet and surplus of junk foods.

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#5

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Nanni 17 6 months ago

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

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#6

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JillVille 6 months ago

lmao - if only this could work!

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#7

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Johan Deckmann Report

Yvonne Bernal 6 months ago

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

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#8

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Johan Deckmann Report

MysticSailora 6 months ago

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

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#9

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Johan Deckmann Report

Dian Ella Lillie 6 months ago

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

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#10

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Johan Deckmann Report

Hans 6 months ago

Well...just die at the right time.

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#11

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Andres Tejeda 6 months ago

The Jared Kushner guide.

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#12

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Nini Meow 6 months ago

One reason is enough

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#13

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Nnaemeka Egwim 6 months ago

I love how it looks thoroughly used and worn out

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#14

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Nini Meow 6 months ago

Sad reality

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#15

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Daria B 6 months ago

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

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#16

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Daria B 6 months ago

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

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#17

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Kiss Army 6 months ago

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

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#18

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athornedrose 6 months ago

my biography

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#19

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Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B 6 months ago

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

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#20

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Johan Deckmann Report

Laugh Fan 6 months ago

Too late.

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#21

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Nini Meow 6 months ago

This hits hard

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#22

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Nanni 17 6 months ago

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

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#23

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SykesDaMan 6 months ago

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

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#24

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Daria B 6 months ago

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

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#25

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Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B 6 months ago

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

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#26

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Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B 6 months 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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Johan Deckmann Report

희별 송 6 months 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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Johan Deckmann Report

Yvonne Bernal 6 months ago

The bricks on the cover! HILARIOUS

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#29

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Nini Meow 6 months ago

And get back to it again

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#30

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Laugh Fan 6 months ago

This I would really love to know!

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Elizabeth Mitchell 6 months ago

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

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Daria B 6 months ago

Ahahahah! Thia should be at the top! ♥

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#33

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Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B 6 months ago

By worrying about useless things.

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#34

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Jouke Van 't Slot 6 months ago

This one's me.

#35

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Chad Kook 6 months 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

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Johan Deckmann Report

Daria B 6 months ago

Ask Google.

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Johan Deckmann Report

Chad Kook 6 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

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Nini Meow 6 months ago

I hope this works 😅

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Daria B 6 months ago

Give them a copy of your heart.

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Nnaemeka Egwim 6 months ago

Simply Follow Another Person's Path or Calling.

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Jilltdcatlady 6 months ago

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

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Ohio Hands 6 months ago

See *politics*

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Jilltdcatlady 6 months ago

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

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Mark Howell 6 months ago

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

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Kururi.Orihara 3 months ago

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

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Johan Deckmann Report

Kiss Army 6 months ago

Want in one hand...

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#51

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Johan Deckmann Report

Laugh Fan 6 months ago

Anti-vaxxers

#52

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KT Trondsen 6 months ago

yep haha

#53

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#54

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Susan Bertke 6 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?

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Rafaella Bueno 6 months ago

I really need to read that one

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Johan Deckmann Report

Damaris Weber 6 months ago

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

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#57

Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Abby Not Normal 6 months ago

This one is very clever.

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Fictional Self-Help Books

Johan Deckmann Report

Laugh Fan 6 months ago

Sat nav

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#59

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Johan Deckmann Report

Susan Bertke 6 months ago

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

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Katrin Richter 6 months ago

Well, but is it wasted by chilling?

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Johan Deckmann Report

Laugh Fan 6 months ago

Now who wants to do that?

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#64

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Johan Deckmann Report

Laugh Fan 6 months ago

Your copy is in the post.

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Alina Moldovan 6 months ago

Storry of my life

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#67

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Johan Deckmann Report

Chad Kook 6 months ago

Has this guy met me?

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Johan Deckmann Report

Kelly 6 months ago

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

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Mark Howell 6 months ago

CTRL+C then CTRL+V

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Lyone Fein 6 months ago

A little louder please

#73

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Jilltdcatlady 6 months ago

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

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Katrin Richter 6 months ago

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

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Chad Kook 6 months ago

yup

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Kelly 6 months ago

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

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#79

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Johan Deckmann Report

Chad Kook 6 months ago

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

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#80

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Johan Deckmann Report

Lyone Fein 6 months ago

so politically correct

#81

Fictional Self-Help Books

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