You Are Not Your Brain

Monday, June 27, 2011

Title: You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution
Author: Jeffrey Schwartz, M.D. & Rebecca Gladding, M.D.
Pages: 338
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


Zibilee said...

This does sound like a rather helpful book, and one that might actually be able to help me get over some bad habits that I am continually caught in. I like that it seems to be the perfect length, and that it is accessible to the layperson as well. Great review, as usual, Jenny! :) I want to check this one out!

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

I've been curious about books like this because goodness knows I could use help at times.

heathertlc said...

I love that you are finding the book so useful and that you're using in your work!

Thanks for being a part of the tour. I hope you find time to finish the book soon.

I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

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