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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2013
Excellent book , just so, so helpful for me. I think one of the best help books out there, it gives you a new perspective on things and a better way to think - very, very helpful, JUST GET IT AND READ IT
Mostly for me, it helps with the social side of things, anxiety, relationships and the way you view other people and yourself. but it has also given me the tools to apply to other areas of my life, to be more positive and constructive, making the most out of them. Again, a must read, it explains in detail what to do and what doing these things will do. I don'd know much about psychology or self help stuff, but this is totally worth it; just a shame i only discovered it in the kindle sales, and so late, it should be up there with the best.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2012
After the first few chapters I would have plumped for a rating of two, though the 'meat' of the book is more of a four.

As a psychologist I found that the science referenced wasn't done very well but maybe this will appeal to the less well versed in psych academia. After reading Jonathan Haidt and Daniel Kahneman's respective takes on the two cognitive systems of the brain, it felt that Philippa stated the evidence too quickly and then ran away fitting the theory to leas scientific support or ideas.

That said I found the later content quite pleasing, and think this book serves well to offer you a new perspective on yourself, and nicely introduces CBT and some of the more agreeable elements of psychotherapy. The therapy case studies used are always insightful and intriguing and Philippa shares some personal anecdotes which endear her and add to her credibility.

The rating I've given maybe reflects the fact that I was hoping to be blown away by the school of life series of books. Nevertheless, give this a read if you're interested in the principles of psychological therapy or want something a bit meatier than the usual self-help drivel.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2012
This is a clear and straightforward account of a certain way of thinking about the mind, and practical ways to think that help one to avoid falling off the end of the pier. I especially like the early chapter. The author describes the brain as being split into three. There is the reptillian brain that generally keeps us alive and stops us from walking head on into speeding racing cars. The right brain governs emotions and is generally in charge. The left brain governs reasoning and generally thinks it is in charge.

This account really built a few neural pathways back to my review of Daniel Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life (Penguin Science). That book discusses the lengths people will go to to pick holes in the theory of evolution. Now it becomes clear. Many people's right brains are oozing in a cranial fluid of distate for Natural Selection. The task of coming up with post-rationalizations of this is delegated to the left brain.

I also like idea that our emotions are not there to be judged as good or bad. Our emotions are to be acknowledged and respected, but reflected upon carefully before we decide - rationally and morally - how (and indeed whether) to act upon them. I worked this out for myself - or at least it seems like the counselling played little role - about twenty years ago and it has helped down the years. I shall however gloss over the bits of advice that I stuggle with such as the value of small talk.

The book ends with simple exercises.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2014
This little book describes brilliantly the two extremes we must navigate - chaos and rigidity and methods we can use to do so - self observation; nurturing relationships; stress management and examining the stories we create for our lives. The time I have spent thinking about the points raised is several times greater than the short time needed to read the book
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2012
A lot of good common sense here, put across in a lighthearted way. Lots of suggestions for exercises. Overall quite entertaining but not deep and places rather too much emphasis on relationships as a sine qua non of staying sane.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2013
This is the mos accessible book on how to survive by keeping your feet on the ground I have ever read. Useful exercises included. And a book which gives itself to re-visiting - in fact I wish I had a paper copy which would lend itself better to more constant use.
Very much recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2013
Got some great tips from this book, very well written & explained simply. We are all driven insane by a number of things and this book does help you step outside yourself & see thing more clearly. Plus it helps to recognise when the mind & your thoughts play tricks on you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 July 2014
Very interesting 'user guide' about how anxiety causing personality traits are formed and how we can learn to recognise ours and retrain ourselves to be more positive. So many moments that resonated with me. The activities at the back of the book very useful too.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2012
This book is short and brilliant, just enough information to keep up with and lots of
common sense. Now working my way through some of the written the exercises at the end .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2013
This book goes in to the inner workings of why we think the way we do. I found it very enlightening. I will be trying the exercises in the the back of the book to help me think more clearly.
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