The Goal Keeper
Andrea Renaud
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buy *The Goal Keeper* online The Goal Keeper

Andrea Renaud
A Happy Friend Inc.
163 pages
November 2001
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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For those who have used self-help workbooks and want to experience a new way to search and examine their souls, Happy Friend's new motivational CD-Rom The Goalkeeper is a project manager with a spiritual motivational twist. The CD can also be used as a simple project organizer of practical goals. But however it is used, its electronic format is not for everyone. Those who are habitual computer users might like it. Those who prefer to do their psychological self-discovery work may prefer an actual book.

Curled Up With a Good BookThe CD-ROM's primary aim is to help its user achieve meaningful goals. To help in this aspiration, this multimedia CD-ROM uses creative drawings, music and insightful questions to enable the software user to feel safe as certain issues are explored.

Some of the CD-ROM's menu categories are:

  • an "Introduction," in which creator Andrea Renaud introduces herself and gives the user a bit of her philosophy and history.
  • The "Advice" link, which explores these philosophies even further. By clicking on questions such as "What makes me angry?", "What habits do I want to break?" and "What reasons do I have for living?" the user not only gets a chance to declare something about herself but to see many drawings and inspirational quotes.
  • The project manager aspect of this software can be found in the "To-Do List," "Goals" and "Wish List" sections.
The user's answers are saved to the user's computer.

The format is the problem. This is a program. It is not a book. To coin an old phrase, the fact that it is a computer program is its blessing and its curse. Interactive CD-ROMs are a treat for those who avoid books, or those who prefer a more interactive workbook. A teenager might be more likely to explore his/her identity as an interactive game than to read a self-help workbook. This is the computer generation, after all. But there are other complications. There is no accompanying workbook, for instance. In a workbook, one can access one's insights by simply turning the page. The idea of booting up one's computer simply to add some new realization about one's goals or anger or justice issues is hard to swallow for those of us who much prefer taking a book to bed. And aren't many workbooks usually worked on around bedtime? Movement through the program is intuitive -- for those who know computers. But for those people who are just learning basic computer skills, codes, and menus, the lack of adequate directions in the CD-ROM's jewel case will present a problem.

The program does not have a minimize button that I could find. This means that once you're in the program, you're in for the haul. Insights about the self and the world often do not come at the seeker's behest. They often come when one is least prepared for them. Likewise, most people who use computers often find themselves jumping from one program or another as insights or requirements lead them. The user of The Goalkeeper program may not like the idea of continually opening and closing the program. This program is for those who intend to sit down and devote long blocks of uninterrupted time to this.

Renaud is gently new-age, friendly and encouraging. The Goalkeeper would be a good gift for those who want to know themselves and need good insightful psychological tools to help them on their journey. Better workbooks are on the market. And more helpful project and goal managers. But none more encouraging and none more suited for this generation.

© 2002 by Carole McDonnell for Curled Up With a Good Book

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