A gateway to understanding regression therapy that clearly depicts its power and potency.


Divine State of Mind


Lawrence uses accounts from hypnosis sessions and past-life regression exercises to compellingly illustrate the ways that such practices can change one’s mind and life path.

The debut author, a certified clinical hypnotist, offers a stunning series of dialogues between herself and her patients, ranging from successful authors to people with a history of self-harm. Each of them has something in common: a desire to move past a mental obstacle in life. Lawrence carefully guides patients into a hypnotic state and encourages them to unlock their keys to shame, pain, misery, and self-destruction. In one example, a woman who was abused as a child confronts her own pattern of abusive relationships and violent behavior. She recognizes the belief that she formed as a child—that love is synonymous with abuse. In another example, a man troubled by his desire to be a woman seeks to determine its origin, as it only developed in his adult life. Through hypnosis, he discovers a moment in childhood when he felt ashamed and came to the determination he would only be worthy if he was female. Once patients are able to locate the catalyst for their issues, the author says, they’re able to “re-wire” the memory by “healing” their young, past self. Lawrence explains that because the critical mind only develops after age 8, anything a child experiences before then is accepted as truth, with no judgment or analysis. Hence, the beliefs they form during this time solidify in their adult minds. Overall, the author skillfully weaves her clear explanations into the narratives themselves, so that any reader who’s intrigued by the practices shown here may better understand how memories are formed and “re-wired.” Readers who are already experienced in the areas of hypnosis and regression therapy will find these stories vivid and telling, and those who are more simply and generally interested in the topic will likely want to explore it further.

A gateway to understanding regression therapy that clearly depicts its power and potency.  

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5234-3944-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.


The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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A very welcome instance of philosophy that can help readers live a good life.


A teacher and scholar of Buddhism offers a formally varied account of the available rewards of solitude.

“As Mother Ayahuasca takes me in her arms, I realize that last night I vomited up my attachment to Buddhism. In passing out, I died. In coming to, I was, so to speak, reborn. I no longer have to fight these battles, I repeat to myself. I am no longer a combatant in the dharma wars. It feels as if the course of my life has shifted onto another vector, like a train shunted off its familiar track onto a new trajectory.” Readers of Batchelor’s previous books (Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World, 2017, etc.) will recognize in this passage the culmination of his decadeslong shift away from the religious commitments of Buddhism toward an ecumenical and homegrown philosophy of life. Writing in a variety of modes—memoir, history, collage, essay, biography, and meditation instruction—the author doesn’t argue for his approach to solitude as much as offer it for contemplation. Essentially, Batchelor implies that if you read what Buddha said here and what Montaigne said there, and if you consider something the author has noticed, and if you reflect on your own experience, you have the possibility to improve the quality of your life. For introspective readers, it’s easy to hear in this approach a direct response to Pascal’s claim that “all of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Batchelor wants to relieve us of this inability by offering his example of how to do just that. “Solitude is an art. Mental training is needed to refine and stabilize it,” he writes. “When you practice solitude, you dedicate yourself to the care of the soul.” Whatever a soul is, the author goes a long way toward soothing it.

A very welcome instance of philosophy that can help readers live a good life.

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-25093-0

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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