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VINE VOICEon 14 March 2012
One of the other reviewers points out that this book is rather 'long winded'. That's putting it mildly. The author beats you death with the same facts for page after page. It's like a bizarre form of Aversion Therapy, she mentions words such as 'Mindfulness' so many times that you feel like screaming or running out the house and punching the first Buddhist you see. You may've heard of the saying 'If you meet Buddha on the road, kill him.' Well this is how it came about.

You'll need a greater degree of tolerance than I possess to stick with her and I found myself skipping quite a lot. It's a shame that an editor didn't take this sprawling book in hand because the author has a lot of interesting information to get across and can be a very engaging writer at times.

The book is essentially about Buddhist mindfulness (uh, that word again!) filtered through the lens of psychoanalysis and it provides an in depth study of the way in which negative patterns of thought and behaviour are capable of controlling our lives. If you're a therapist reading this as part of CPD work, you may find it interesting but ultimately her case studies don't tell us quite enough to be particularly useful. If you're reading it simply to try and understand your own inner drives there is much of value in the pages but you'll need a fair amount of patience to keep at it.

The other thing I didn't like about the book was her tendency to name dropping. Is there a single Tibetan lama who hasn't taught her? And when she refers to the Dalai Lama as 'my teacher' .... well, he's everyone's teacher, dear! Also the fact that she lives in a privileged world where she and others in her circle can take themselves off to spiritual retreats for months at a time or go to Japan to learn the etiquette of Tea Ceremony sets off a few warning bells. It doesn't necessarily devalue what she says but makes me question how grounded some of her recommendations actually are.
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on 4 January 2012
My GP recommended this book to me when I was suffering a severe bout of stress and anxiety.

This book has taught me more about myself in the 15 hours it took me to read, than I have learnt in my 25 years of life.

The author is a clinical psychologist first and a Buddhist second. The empirical style of the book really gripped me. Most points are supported by a real life experience the author had with a client or a scientific study.

The book provides a manual on how to adapt disturbing emotions, deal effectively with malapative schemas and bring about lasting change. I think to really understand this book you have to think about it, re-read it and practise mindfulness and meditation. I've been studying it for 2 weeks. My physical symptoms have greatly diminished. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to develop better ways of dealing with stress, overcome unhealthy emotional habits or generally lead a happier, healthier life.
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on 28 March 2005
Although it's written in a fairly long-winded style that doesn't really suit me this was nevertheless a great book.
It explains Jeff Young's "Schema Therapy" appraoch in a simple form that anyone could understand. It also shows how Buddhist psychology and even the most modern kinds of Therapy are very similar in many ways; the key to many emotional problems in both approaches is awareness (or mindfulness).
It goes on to explain the Buddhist way of thinking and how this could be benficial in life for those who are interested but it's by no means a religious plug.
If you had to read one self help book ever, this wouldn't be a bad choice.
See also J. Young and J. Klosko "Reinventing your life" for the approach that this book was 'based' on.
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on 6 October 2003
Tara writes a wonderful book that explores and explains the relationships we make of our early non-verbal experiences and post-verbal meanings.
She takes a rather complex theory and presents a new way of considering the way we navigate our "meaning-making" in the world with easy to understand explanations and examples. Tara uniquely identifies similarities and differences in Buddhism and Schema Therapy developed by Jeffrey Young who was her mentor (cognitive-behaviour therapy).
A poignant read for those looking for answers about long-standing feelings/experiences that do not translate easily to words.
Highly recommended for self-help students interested in an excellent approach to working with long-standing issues (psychotherapy).
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Alchemy - the science and art of transforming the seemingly worthless into the priceless. Bennett-Goleman draws mainly from the Bhuddist philosophy and psychology of "mindfulness" (also familiar as to fans of Star Wars) - taking the time to examine our negative (seemingly worthless) states in order to find what lies underneath them which brings with it an awareness of *why* we feel the things we feel and think the way we think. And with awareness comes choice. This book is a very good introduction to the concepts and application of mindfulness, majoring on using it to examine our 'schemas' - patterns of negative thought, emotion and action. I found it to be engaging and well-written in a very accessible style and flow too. I like texts that provoke thought, and this one certainly did. If you want to rethink the way you think, or are just interested in an alternative to running away from your fears, read it.
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VINE VOICEon 13 August 2012
One of the other reviewers points out that this book is rather 'long winded'. That's putting it mildly. The author beats you death with the same facts for page after page. It's like a bizarre form of Aversion Therapy, she mentions words such as 'Mindfulness' so many times that you feel like screaming or running out the house and punching the first Buddhist you see. You may've heard of the saying 'If you meet Buddha on the road, kill him.' Well this is how it came about.

You'll need a greater degree of tolerance than I possess to stick with her and I found myself skipping quite a lot. It's a shame that an editor didn't take this sprawling book in hand because the author has a lot of interesting information to get across and can be a very engaging writer at times.

The book is essentially about Buddhist mindfulness (uh, that word again!) filtered through the lens of psychoanalysis and it provides an in depth study of the way in which negative patterns of thought and behaviour are capable of controlling our lives. If you're a therapist reading this as part of CPD work, you may find it interesting but ultimately her case studies don't tell us quite enough to be particularly useful. If you're reading it simply to try and understand your own inner drives there is much of value in the pages but you'll need a fair amount of patience to keep at it.

The other thing I didn't like about the book was her tendency to name dropping. Is there a single Tibetan lama who hasn't taught her? And when she refers to the Dalai Lama as 'my teacher' .... well, he's everyone's teacher, dear! Also the fact that she lives in a privileged world where she and others in her circle can take themselves off to spiritual retreats for months at a time or go to Japan to learn the etiquette of Tea Ceremony sets off a few warning bells. It doesn't necessarily devalue what she says but makes me question how grounded some of her recommendations actually are.
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on 28 January 2015
Amazing book, combines compassion and empathy with really clear ways for introducing mindfulness and CBT based tools - accessible and I have recommended this for many friends as a way of coping with painful emotions that have been tricky to deal with.
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on 7 December 2013
I thought it would be more grounded in science, it kept using the word 'spiritual' which I found to be bad practice!
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