Co-created by Dr. Brian Kaplan and Hephzibah Kaplan, Almost Happy is a fun self-help book for the general public as well as a useful handbook on the humour approach for coaches, counsellors and therapists.
The book contains a unique collection of 114 original button designs that label and satirise common foibles that may be keeping us unhappy or only almost happy. Sometimes these foibles consolidate into strong-willed subselves and become too overbearing. These subselves or archetypes can be provoked with warm-hearted humour to quieten down. We use reverse psychology, paradoxical intention and absurd suJESTions to provoke a wake-up call to your voice of conscience leading to the potential for personal growth and everyday happiness.
The button designs were developed over many years. Marshall McLuhan’s tenet, ‘the medium is the message’ informed our graphic approach but the conceptual thinking and honing of the archetypes emerged from our real experience working with clients and patients over many years.
By encapsulating these archetypes into a graphic form, and turning them into wearable buttons, time and again, when we were testing them out, we noticed the visual impact on the readers. Some people smile, some laugh, and some go into shock as they recognise themselves, their friends and family abstracted into an array of buttons.
After a quick introduction, the book is divided into 5 chapters covering bad habits; sex, love and relationships; work, power and money; health and well-being; and a final chapter of miscellaneous buttons for us all. Each button graphic is partnered with provocative suggestions as to how change may be possible…and the Appendices offer more theory and background to this approach.
To buy the book, buttons and for more information, press reviews, and other articles, please go to almosthappy.com
We look forward to welcoming visitors to our interactive virtual exhibition – featuring the Almost Happy Show.
Each of the 100 buttons on display is accompanied by a 59-second voiceover parodying the subself that the button represents. The voiceovers will be available online, and will feature on the Almost Happy YouTube channel.
We thank voiceover contributions from Arnold Brown, Gina Feitelson, RIm Bim, Louis Whittal and Brian Kaplan.
Please note: some of these buttons are not for those of a more gentle disposition, and/or underage viewers!