After seeing all these positive reviews, I was very eager to read this book. The introduction (by Robert Anton Wilson) is fabulous - if only the book had carried on in that manner...
I am not a mental health professional, but I have a huge interest in psychology, philosophy, hypnotism, and related areas (such as NLP). The peculiar thing about this book is how spectacularly it failed to hold my interest. Given that this is a subject in which I am extremely interested (I've bought probably 20 similar titles in the last year), and given that the author makes such a concerted effort to engage every type of reader (with his mix of visual, kinaesthetic and aural suggestions), I was surprised to find my eyes continually slipping from the page, my interest pulled away by any small noise in the background or thoughts concerning my daily "to do" list. With grim determination, I pulled my eyes again and again back to the page, but it was extremely hard work. Finally, I finished it (hurrah!) - but I can't say I learned a whole lot. Very very odd, given that this book is aimed at professional hypnotherapists and therefore in theory should have been filled with information that was new to me.
Besides the fact that I found it so unengaging, the main problem I have with it is credibility. In one part of the book he describes an incident where he encounters a total stranger in a bad mood - and manages to completely win him over by saying, "I'm sorry you forgot that special night...with that special person.. those exciting things that happened... those very warm feelings it would embarrass you to talk about...". That just strikes me as so unlikely as to be almost certainly a fabrication. And the way he apparently speaks to his patients ("I'm glad you know how to feel good" being the typical sort of patronising statement to tumble from his lips. At least according to the case studies he's provided) - do people actually respond positively to that sort of thing? Or is it just a ploy to get repeat business? (hey, if you can get people to pay to be patronised, I suspect there's something else wrong with them that might need "fixing")
Ah well. I did thoroughly enjoy the introduction however, and will be seeking out other books by Robert Anton Wilson.
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