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Book Reviews

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F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

The Heart & Soul of Psychotherapy: A Transpersonal Approach through Theater Arts

April 6th, 2014
Can you act our your mother’s behaviors? How about pretending you’re that high school crush that broke your heart? Have you been called incompetent at work? Assume the role of Mr. Incompetence and let him speak for himself via your theater skills. Transpersonal drama therapy is a fresh approach to healing that offers transformation through ...

Trouble Is a Gift: A Story of Addiction, Recovery & Hope

BOOK REVIEW.
“But finally, there I was alone in this apartment, sitting in a chair, staring at the radiator waiting for the little guy to crawl out from behind it. Knowing the bottle was going to be empty in another minute. Wondering how I’m going to get money to buy a new one or if I should ...

Book Review: By All Means

BOOK REVIEW.
A few pages into this “Zen cautionary tale,” the dramatic stakes are set high and our attention is arrested when its main character, Edward, barely manages to extricate a piggy hand-puppet from the jaws of a neighborhood feline -- just as the interloping cat tries to slink out Edward’s side door. We soon learn that Edward ...

Better Days: A Mental Health Recovery Workbook

BOOK REVIEW.
“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”  ~ Albert Ellis, PhD Mental illness is a tricky beast in which the problems in one’s life seem ...

Retelling the Stories of Our Lives: Everyday Narrative Therapy to Draw Inspiration

BOOK REVIEW.
This book began as a project between author David Denborough and the creator of narrative therapy, the late Michael White. Denborough worked alongside White for 15 years, then carried the book to fruition following White’s death in 2008. He has written an excellent work that provides guidance in how to both tell and change your ...

What Makes a Hero? The Surprising Science of Selflessness

BOOK REVIEW.
Are heroes born, like Superman, or are they made, like Spiderman? Elizabeth Svoboda investigates this question in What Makes a Hero? The Surprising Science of Selflessness. Is altruism nothing more than genetics, or can a person compile a heroic identity “like a puzzle, piece by piece, over time?” Svoboda tackles this with the craft of a journalist such ...

The Birth of Intersubjectivity: Psychodynamics, Neurobiology & the Self

BOOK REVIEW.
“The moment a child is born, a mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” ~ Rajneesh, spiritual guru To be human is to engage in relationships with other humans, and, by these interactions, to be transformed. In The Birth of Intersubjectivity: Psychodynamics, Neurobiology, and ...

One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life

BOOK REVIEW.
Regardless of whether you believe in positive thinking or view of it as a hokey concept, you almost cannot go a day without seeing or hearing some example of it. In One Simple Idea, Mitch Horowitz takes us into the history of the movement, exploring the science of it (while noting that researchers have never ...

Everything Is Workable: A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution

BOOK REVIEW.
Ever been stuck in a conflict, unable to let go and unable to forgive others? Ever felt like conflict permeated everything? In Everything Is Workable: A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution, Diane Musho Hamilton, a Zen teacher and priest, helps us get through these problems. Hamilton explains the benefits of conflict — even when we see ...

Overcoming Mobbing: A Recovery Guide for Workplace Aggression & Bullying

BOOK REVIEW.
Mobbing, as Maureen Duffy and Len Sperry explain in their new book, is a “destructive social process in which individuals, groups, or organizations target a person for ridicule, humiliation, and removal from the workplace.” It is different than bullying, Duffy and Sperry argue, but like bullying, it is ugly. In Overcoming Mobbing: A Recovery Guide for Workplace ...

Bullying Under Attack: True Stories Written by Teen Victims, Bullies & Bystanders

BOOK REVIEW.
I heard my share of mean comments about my weight, height, and personality while I was in school, but as someone who has never truly been “bullied,” I always just saw it as part of the growing up process. Thus, I never truly understood what bullying is and the impact it has. As a result, ...

The Riddle in the Mirror: A Journey in Search of Healing

BOOK REVIEW.
Author Jayni Bloch was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, during the era of apartheid, and that painful period is the context for her story of psychological and spiritual growth. Having grown up myself in the segregated American South, I found Bloch’s story particularly interesting. Not only were there racial divisions in South Africa between black and ...

The Bliss Experiment: 28 Days to Personal Transformation

BOOK REVIEW.
Would you like to change the world in 28 days? How about something more manageable, like becoming a more relaxed, gracious, and loving person? Sean Meshorer’s The Bliss Experiment: 28 Days to Personal Transformation is designed to guide the reader through 28 bliss-enhancing practices. While the book, and especially its tone, did not earn my ...

Blind to Betrayal: Why We Fool Ourselves We Aren’t Being Fooled

BOOK REVIEW.
It would be hard not to judge Blind to Betrayal by its cover. Readers could be forgiven for thinking it’s a how-to book on catching unfaithful spouses. But while there are several stories of infidelity, what’s most pressing to authors Jennifer Freyd and Pamela Birrell is the way that otherwise observant and intelligent people can ...

Mental Health for the Whole Child

BOOK REVIEW.
>Children make 3 billion new connections in their brain every second. That is 3 billion opportunities for growth, or 3 billion missed connections.  With rising rates of ADHD, autism, and other mental health disorders in American children, it seems like more and more of these connections are being missed. And medications that we give our kids ...

Child Temperament: New Thinking About the Boundary Between Traits & Illness

BOOK REVIEW.
Are you the firstborn child of your family? Did you turn out to be the most responsible, the parent-pleaser, or the motivated one? According to Alfred Adler and researchers of personality and temperament, firstborns tend to “outperform” their other siblings. In fact, about 21 of the 23 astronauts and the majority of U.S. presidents have ...

Book Review: Divinely Attuned

BOOK REVIEW.
Couples can face a myriad of issues through the course of their relationship. For some, being unable to communicate effectively creates walls between partners. In an effort to be understood, some may lose sight of trying to understand their partner. Conversation loops begin to develop; unhealthy habits that sabotage progress become harder to break. As ...

The Trauma of Everyday Life

BOOK REVIEW.
How many times have you heard someone say, That was the straw that broke the camel’s back? We can try to rally to face big obstacles, but sometimes the day-to-day “little things” add up until, finally, one of those small things overcomes us. Then, it turns out, they were not such “little things” after all. In ...

Mastering the Art of Solution-Focused Counseling

BOOK REVIEW.
There are exceptions to many rules in life. Whether it is a fashion decree about wearing black and brown or the parking law in various neighborhoods, there are many instances where the “rule” does not actually apply. These sorts of exceptions to behaviors, habits, and thoughts are a core part of the process in solution-focused therapy. ...

The Department of Lost & Found

BOOK REVIEW.
Allison Winn Scotch’s The Department Of Lost And Found is a captivating read that depicts a young woman battling breast cancer. However, Scotch’s words are inspirational. She relays the message that once we take life into our own hands and hone in on our most authentic selves, we can grasp what’s important and ...

Your Best Life Yet: A Journey of Purpose & Passion

BOOK REVIEW.
“There I was, on a Broadway stage. Naked with the rest of the cast of Oh! Calcutta! The drugs and alcohol must not have been working because I was literally crawling out of my skin.” So begins the preface of Marcia Ullett’s book Your Best Life Yet: A Journey of Purpose and Passion. This sets the tone ...

The Spirit of the Heart: Stories of Family, Hope, Loss & Healing

BOOK REVIEW.
You never forget your first patient who dies. When I entered medical school, I knew death would be part of my education, that not every patient could be saved. I was in my third year of medical school and had recently come back from talking with a patient, assessing him for a possible surgery, when the ...

The Effortless Sleep Companion

BOOK REVIEW.
Having recently reviewed Sasha Stephens's incredible (in my opinion) book, The Effortless Sleep Method, I'd like to share my opinion of her follow-up, The Effortless Sleep Companion. Again, I'm very impressed. Stephens knows her subject matter, and makes sure that the reader is left in no doubt about her approach to beating ...