Author: Jeffrey Schwartz, M.D. & Rebecca Gladding, M.D.
Genre: Non-Fiction, Psychology
Publisher: Avery (Penguin Group)
Pub. Date: June 9, 2011
Once again I haven't been the best reader (but I'm definitely getting there!) I didn't quite finish this book but I did read part and hope to finish it soon. Despite that, I've already read so much useful information and have even brought some of what I've read into my therapy with clients too.
The basic premise of You Are Not Your Brain is that a lot of the bad habits, anxieties, and other unhealthy issues that we have are things we can change by changing the way our mind (vs. our brain) looks at and deals with our issues. Ultimately, what these authors tout is cognitive behavioral therapy which, in my experience, many therapists use anyway. It's all about identifying your unhealthy cognitions and reframing or relabeling them so that your feelings eventually change and that leads to better behaviors. What Drs. Schwartz and Gladding do, however, is break the concept down even more so that it can be used more easily as a self-help book and is more readily accessible to the reader. They identify and re-label concepts such as your "wise advocate", your "true self", and the difference between emotions and emotional sensations. They also add the topic of neuroplasticity which is a way of actually re-wiring your brain to do things differently. This is what takes it another step past just regular cognitive behavioral therapy.
I think the authors did a great job of taking what can be some complicated concepts and ideas and break it down well for the average reader. The book is long enough to include all the information needed but is small enough to not feel too daunting. There are plenty of case studies throughout that vary so readers will likely relate in some way to at least one and may find it easier to relate the concepts to their own issues. There are also parts with worksheets for the reader to write in and participate in throughout the reading. It id in some parts feel a little repetitive, but I think that's partially a result of the book being written as a self-help for the reader. Were it merely a factual book they may have only needed to mention each thing once, but as a self-help or tool for the reader to use it really needs to make each concept as clear as it can.
So, even though I have a little left to read, I have already found this book immensely useful both for myself and for use with others in therapy. I look forward to finishing it and putting it all together. I would recommend this for readers who have issues that they would like to work on.
Check out the other stops on this tour:
Tuesday, June 7th: Silver and Grace
Monday, June 13th: The Book Faery Reviews
Tuesday, June 14th: Always Well Within
Wednesday, June 15th: Bookshipper
Thursday, June 16th: Guinevere Gets Sober
Friday, June 17th: Positively Present
Monday, June 20th: A Room of Mama’s Own
Tuesday, June 21st: By the By Books
Wednesday, June 22nd: Overstuffed
Thursday, June 23rd: Today’s Path
Friday, June 24th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Friday, June 24th: Luxury Reading
Monday, June 27th: Take Me Away
Tuesday, June 28th: The Scarlet Letter
Wednesday, June 29th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Thursday, June 30th: The Things We Read
Wednesday, July 6th: Arriving at Your Own Door