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The Woman who Changed Her Brain: Unlocking the Extraordinary Potential of the Human Mind Hardcover – 24 May 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Square Peg (24 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224095188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224095181
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.9 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 318,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"If you have a son, a daughter, a parent, a spouse, or a brain, this is a must-read book. It will open your mind to new possibilities on how to deal with 'traffic jams' in the brain" (Alvaro Fernandez, CEO & Co-Founder, SharpBrains.com)

"By her own fierce determination and passionate desire to learn, this remarkable woman changed her own brain and has since helped countless others to change theirs. This is an important book" (Mira Bartok, New York Times bestselling author of The Memory Palace)

"Moving, insightful and empowering!" (Elkhonon Goldberg, Ph. D, the author of The Wisdom Paradox and The New Executive Brain)

"A fascinating book that offers huge hope to people who are written off as not 'normal'" (Sally Morris Daily Mail)

"An inspiring story, bringing hope to people with cognitive conditions" (Alistair Mabbott Herald)

Book Description

In the vein of Oliver Sacks, the remarkable story of how one woman built herself a better brain - and how she created a learning system that would in turn change many hundreds of lives.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Colin Hart on 16 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book after reading an article in The Guardian and was hoping for some insight into the methods used to obtain the results described in that article. What I found instead were a selection of case studies which were almost evangelical in tone and predominantly along the lines of "Person A had these issues, came on the Arrowsmith program and now they're much improved" followed by a description of the brain area relevant to the story. I ploughed on through the book in hope of gaining insight into the methodologies behind the stories but other than the occasional fleeting mention I was ultimately frustrated.

It's a great book if you want inspiring stories or insight into the working of the human brain but not if you want to learn more about the workings of the Arrowsmith program or practical advice regarding neuroplasticity then I can't recommend it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By William Jordan on 14 Aug. 2012
Format: Hardcover
The author tells us how she developed brain exercises to correct her learning difficulties and then went on to develop similar programmes to help others with a wide range of similar problems.

Her own story and those of others are touching. The book gives a real sense of what it is like to have these problems. But there is little sense of how they are corrected. Tracing exercises for spatial problems and listening to Swahili for problems on hearing English. We dont learn why this works though. And the book is rather repetitive - each chapter follows the same pattern with lots of info on the learning difficulties but little on the science or the cure,
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Nautilous on 15 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just imagine how education could change if instead of finding ways of coping with learning difficulties we could actually eliminate them or at least reduce the effects. Barbara Arrowsmith describes her own amazing journey as she re-trained her brain to overcome a number of learning difficulties and then went on to share her technique with others in her specialist school in the USA. The potential of this type of treatement appears to be astonishing but if you are looking for details then you are wasting your time. Like so many books written by those with a commercial interest, you are given limited information and left with only a vague notion of how it works.
She lists a large number of success stories with details of symptoms and brief notes on progress but it is frustrating with so little information. Her own website and that of her school almost contain more insight.
The intensity of the excercises hinted at suggests that this a route for those aware of their problems and determined to overcome them - not perhaps not suitable for all sufferers. However, I am left feeling that there is potential here for so many children and adults around the world to be helped to a new life.
As an educator, I am left frustrated that a potentially life-changing treatment for so many people may remain the domain of those with the money or those who happen to live in the right place to explore.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By youhoo on 21 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As some others have said in their reviews this book sheds little light on the technique of neuroplasticity, except for the author's assertion that it works across a broad range of learning disabilities. I am surprised that given their reviews that the reviewers chose to give the book so many stars.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Garrett on 20 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover
At first glance I was so excited by this book and I still think it is significant and will change lives. It disappointed me because it supplied too few answers! I fell into the trap of thinking that was possible!!! My fault!

I have serious reservations when I read many of the findings elsewhere of what we have classified as 'science'. Present day humans appear to have a desperate need for categorisation, certainty and are always searching for elusive, evershifting 'truth', which may not exist as an absolute and is probably different for all of us. It looks to me that in thinking this way we limit our experience and inhibit our ability to develop further.

The Arrowsmith method appears to have gone a fair bit of the way to easing the process.
It seemed that this book had the potential to open up our minds to the connection between the brain, its divewrgence from what we call normal and how we can better adapt to the lives of the majority. Our societies have created a category of being that we call 'disability'. Here was a promise of techniques that could produce a 'cure'.
Only occasionally in the case studies are we given details of what actually happens in the courses and I suppose I was disappointed.... but,with hindsight, I realise that overdescription of the techniques would have been a distortion of the method.

I haven't visited the Arrowsmith school but I guess that a fundamental is that each participant is treated differently and to describe any one in detail would be to suggest that all in that category would benefit from the same treatment.
Few books have triggered so much new thinking in MY brain. Thank you.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An honest account of a person who in spite of opposition from traditional therapist proved there is another way of dealing with learning disorders by using the latest info from neuro science.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Hooper Hansen on 11 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fascinating, a remarkable story beautifully written of a very lonely and challenging internal adventure that opens a new frontier for education. For me, it represented the female way of using new neuroscience to deepen our perspective and approaches to childcare and education. What I would think of as the yang way of hooking people up to supercomputers to experience and internalise the alternatives available to them, undoubtedly works, but I love the caring and connection in this approach, which intensifies the healing and deepens the relational possibility of the child.
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