A New Age text offering alternatives to traditional medicine for practitioners and patients alike.

THE LISTENING CURE

HEALING SECRETS OF AN UNCONVENTIONAL DOCTOR

From Gilbert (Dr. Chris's A, B, C's of Health, 2010, etc.), an exhaustive guide to giving voice to the body for better health.

Suppressed emotions may be the root causes of common maladies like headaches, skin rashes, abdominal pain, joint pain, obesity, fatigue, and sexual disorders. By vocalizing and listening to these emotions, Gilbert believes patients can heal themselves. “Lasting cures, versus temporary symptomatic relief, come about only when the root cause of disease is addressed, and the root cause of disease is usually emotional,” she states. [11, italics original] Readers meet patients like Cynthia, whose sore throat seems to be a symptom of an unhappy marriage. “Part of her wanted to scream, and yet another part of her that wanted to save her marriage had restrained her voice and kept her from lashing out at her husband. This constant, unconscious tension inside her larynx stressed her throat, generating great pain,” Gilbert writes. [6] Her treatment involves using pillows as sounding boards – and as punching bags. Then there’s Peter, who feels trapped in his relationship. During an open seat Gestalt therapy session, four volunteers form a human wall around him, forcing him to confront this feeling and break free from it. Gilbert encourages patients to converse with their body parts, such as when she asks Amanda, an obese patient, to speak as her stomach “to uncover unconscious struggles that, once exposed, accepted, and even welcomed, allow patients to find their own long-term fixes,” Gilbert writes. [47] In cases of sexual dysfunction, Gilbert encourages couples to give voice to their genitals. When verbalization fails, Gilbert takes patients into nature, interprets their dreams, or asks them to draw. While her approach to health care is refreshingly unconventional, Gilbert may be overstating the mind-body connection at times. One patient’s back pain is attributed to anger when it could easily be due to his long commute and a desk job. (Indeed, Gilbert’s “prescription” is for stretching.) Sections like “Why French People Don’t Gain Weight” lean more on stereotypes and anecdotal experience than on science. Illustrations throughout are unnecessary and border on hokey, such as a banana and an oyster discussing sex.

A New Age text offering alternatives to traditional medicine for practitioners and patients alike.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-59079-437-1

Page Count: 240

Publisher: SelectBooks

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2017

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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