An intelligently crafted resource for pursuing emotional health.

READ REVIEW

ANGER MANAGEMENT

A comprehensive approach to the treatment of anger. 

Traditional anger management strategies are often more theoretical than practical, or they discount the moral and spiritual context of a person’s feelings. In their first collaborative effort, Bruteyn (Prisoner to Profiteer, 2014, etc.) and debut author Noblitt articulate a more holistic approach to anger management that includes an emphasis on a sufferer’s existential life—one’s moral beliefs, religious worldview, fears, and aspirations—as well as fitness and nutrition. They also incorporate principles of positive psychology, which concentrate on virtues that are conducive to personal happiness: “People developing strength related skills are likely to be happier. Happy people are less likely to succumb to anger.” With impressive clarity, the authors describe a 12-week program with each weekly session lasting approximately 90 minutes (not counting assigned “homework”). They provide strategies for addressing short- and long-term anger, including detailed breathing exercises, yoga, and music therapy. Each session also offers “Virtue/Strength/Skill” exercises, which are designed to help one tackle the causes of anger from a moral and spiritual perspective. The book also includes a tool—“Anger Control Today”—to chart one’s progress between sessions. The authors have eclectic backgrounds—Noblitt is a yoga master, and Bruteyn, who’s currently serving a sentence in federal prison for securities fraud, has a doctorate in psychology and Christian counseling—and their broad spectrum of experience surely contributes to this book’s thoughtful thoroughness. They’re also relentlessly practical, eschewing complex academic theories in favor of immediately actionable strategies. Along the way, they astutely distinguish between many different kinds of anger—including passive aggression, shame-based anger, and righteous indignation—as each demands its own treatment methods. The program was initially crafted to help counselors lead anger management groups, but it appears suitable for a self-directed program. It’s a useful combination of rigorous psychology, moral philosophy, and good common sense. 

An intelligently crafted resource for pursuing emotional health. 

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5320-6033-5

Page Count: 248

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more