New Harbinger Publications

A Message About New Harbinger Publications Upon Their 40th Anniversary

Celebrating the Best in Psychology and Self-Help

When New Harbinger started 40 years ago, in a back bedroom, we identified four editorial principles to guide our growth. We still hold true to these principles:

We will only publish books that will genuinely help people. That means they have to

a) be scientifically sound with solid research support for their effectiveness, and

b) teach basic coping skills instead of inspirational baloney.

New Harbinger books have to be clear and user-friendly. We avoid theory and jargon in favor of accessible, step-by-step writing. To this end, we invest more money in developmental and copy editing than almost anyone in the business.

New Harbinger titles have to utilize effective teaching methods. As a result, we developed a house style that requires authors to teach each skill or concept three different ways — via clear didactic explanations, via examples, and via “homework” exercises. Readers are shown, step-by-step, how to put into practice everything the book preaches.

Our books have to focus on psychological or health problems that are real and important. We want our front list books to morph into a durable back list. To accomplish this, we identified key areas that had been underpublished, or had generated books which failed to help. Then we developed New Harbinger titles that were of the highest quality, and won the praise of therapists and health practitioners the world over.

From the very beginning, we believed that we had a covenant with our readers — that we would offer nothing but the best in self-help. And that our books would materially improve each serious reader’s life. We have kept faith with our principles by maintaining editorial integrity. There really was no other choice. To provide less to our readers would mean throwing away all that’s important to us — the conviction that our books help people.


Matthew McKay

About New Harbinger Publications

For forty years, New Harbinger has published accessible, research-based books for those seeking help with issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship problems, or medical conditions.


New Harbinger’s books offer techniques drawn from the most well-researched, proven-effective therapeutic models available, and are written by the foremost experts in psychology. Our editorial team ensures each book is accessible and useful to those who need them most—regular people who are either struggling with physical or mental health conditions themselves or searching for help for their loved ones. Here are a few of the therapies our authors use.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

is a type of hybrid therapy that blends aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness techniques drawn from the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program. In general, MBSR can be used by anyone, while MBCT is appropriate for those with specific mental health conditions.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
is an eight-week program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn that blends mindfulness meditation and yoga. It is based on the concept of mindfulness, or being fully engaged in the present moment rather than worrying about past or future events, an ancient concept in Buddhist psychology. Unlike traditional cognitive therapy, MBSR emphasizes focused attention to one’s thoughts without judgment.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
is a name used for a broad range of psychotherapies (including schema therapy) that aim to help clients overcome dysfunctional thought patterns and behavioral patterns. These psychotherapies have several characteristics in common, for example, all forms of CBT are based on the idea that thoughts primarily affect our emotions and actions. As a result, CBT focuses on changing and controlling the way the client deals with his or her thoughts.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
is a psychotherapeutic method originally developed by Marsha M. Linehan for the treatment of borderline personality disorder. It has since been successfully adapted for use with other mental health disorders that stem from problems with emotional regulation, such as eating disorders and bipolar disorder.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
is a type of psychological intervention that focuses on the development of psychological flexibility, or the ability to contact the present moment and accept negative thoughts without judgment. Created by Steven C. Hayes, Kirk D. Strosahl, and Kelly G. Wilson, ACT focuses on directing behavior in ways that match clients’ core values.

Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT)
is a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the development of self-compassion in people who are prone to feelings of shame and self-criticism. Created by Paul Gilbert and his colleagues, this therapy is rooted in Mahayana Buddhist psychology, which considers compassion and mindfulness to be central to healing the mind.

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