A series of conversations between a cardiologist and a psychologist exploring the human heart and mind.
Paul (Psychiatry/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School) and Chapunoff (Morbid Obesity: Will You Allow It to Kill You?, 2010, etc.) cover a wide variety of topics, including psychological disorders (e.g., obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, ADHD), universal human emotions (sorrow, jealousy, guilt) and societal ills (human cruelty, rape and incest, domestic violence). Neither a self-help book nor an educational text, the collection comfortably inhabits the space between the two. The text contains a great deal of general information, though there are also sections for practical application (e.g., warning signs that a partner may be an abuser, tips for parents on effective time-out procedures). Readers can browse the chapters in any order they wish without disrupting thematic continuity, and the authors fully explain psychological terms and jargon. On the whole the tone is warm and conversational, but occasionally the authors are too self-congratulatory, as they trade compliments about the insightfulness of their questions and the wisdom of their answers. Paul and Chapunoff are clearly experts in their fields, but they display a refreshing level of self-awareness and humanity. The text is further enlivened by illustrative case vignettes and pithy statements (e.g., “no level of undistorted thinking can make a bad thing good, but it doesn't take much to make a bad thing worse”; “happiness is, at some level, making peace with what we do not have.”)
An engaging overview of a variety of psychological topics, presented by accessible experts.