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Resource List 1: Reviewed Psychotherapy Books

A COLLECTION OF RECENT ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PSYCHOTHERAPY BOOK REVIEWS

Complied under the direction of Jacqueline A. Carleton Ph.D. for the IJP (Jul 2013).

Abblett, M. (2013). The Heat of the Moment in Treatment: Mindful Management of Difficult Clients.

Andrade, P.Y. (2011). Emotional Medicine Rx: Cry When You’re Sad, Stop When You’re Done, Feel Good Fast.

Attlee, T. (2012). Cranio-Sacral Integration: Foundations.

Bollas, C. (2013). Catch Them Before They Fall: The Psychoanalysis of Breakdown.

Barnow, S.& Balkir, N. (Eds.) (2013). Cultural Variations in Psychopathology: From Research to Practice

Bohleber, W. (2010). Destructiveness, Intersubjectivity, and Trauma: The Identity Crisis of Modern Psychoanalysis.

Fehmi, L. & Robbins, J. (2010). Dissolving Pain: Simple Brain-Training Exercises for Overcoming Chronic Pain.

Fogel, A. (2009). Body Sense: The Science and Practice of Embodied Self-Awareness.

Graham, L. (2013). Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-being.

Grosz, S. (2013). The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves.

Hayes, J. (2013). Soul and Spirit in Dance Movement Psychotherapy.

Hedges, L.E. (2012).Overcoming Our Relationship Fears.

Hoyt, M.F. (Ed.) (2013). Therapist Stories of Inspiration, Passion &Renewal: What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Kaparo, R.F. (2012). Awakening Somatic Intelligence: The Art and Practice of Embodied Mindfulness.

Levine, P.A. (2013). “Coupling Dynamics.” Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute.

Linden, S.B.  (2013). The Heart and Soul of Psychotherapy: A Transpersonal Approach through Theater Arts.

Meares, R. (2012). Borderline Personality Disorder and the Conversational Model.

Meichenbaum, D. (2012). Roadmap to Resilience: A Guide for Military, Trauma Victims and Their Families.

Mullainaithan, S. & Shafir, E. (2013). Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much.

O’Hanlon, B. (2013). Becoming a Published Therapist: A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Your Book.

Ortner, N. (2013). The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary Stystem for Stress-Free Living.

Parravani, C. (2013). Her.

Prengel, S. & Somerstein, L. (Eds.) (2013). Defining Moments For Therapists.

Rabinor, J.R. (2002). A Starving Madness - Tales of hunger, hope and healing in psychotherapy.

Rabinor, J.R. (2012). Befriending Your Ex after Divorce: Making Life Better for You, Your Kids, and, Yes, Your Ex.

Rothschild, B. (2010). 8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery

Russell M.C. & Figley, C.F.  (2013). Treating Traumatic Stress Injuries in Military Personnel: An EMDR Practitioner's Guide.

Schwartz, J.M. & Gladding, R. (2012). You Are Not Your Brain.

Scott, E. (2013). 8 Keys to Stress Management.

Shalit, E.& Furlotti, N.S. (2013). The Dream and Its Amplification.

Shapiro, F. (2012). Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy.

Sheets-Johnstone, M. (2011). The Primacy of Movement.

Sussman, J.L. (2001). Images of Desire.

Sussman, J.L. (2003). Freedom From Failure.

Yeager, D. & Yeager, M. (2013). Executive Function and Child Development



Abblett, M. (2013). The Heat of the Moment in Treatment: Mindful Management of Difficult Clients. New York: W.W. Norton.
            Reviewed by: Nataliya Rubinchik, Hunter College  

Written for experienced clinicians in the form of a workbook, The Heat of the Moment in Treatment: Mindful Management of Difficult Clients is "looking to explore, reassess, and transform the way they treat their most difficult clients." Mitch Abblett begins with a personal story to reel the therapist in through empathy, reassuring him or her that it is normal to have felt defeated with difficult patients in the past. However his goal for the next 300 pages is to take the reader on a journey that will end with him or her looking "beyond the client and the challenges they present.
            Abblett describes therapy as a two way street that requires the client to follow advice from the clinician, but also the clinician to be influenced by the client and to change advice and therapy into what works for each individual. The clinician has to be willing to be influenced in order to individualize every case. Sometimes being influenced by clients means that the clinician experiences burnout, "exhaustion and depletion of one's physical and mental resources as a result of the work (Freudenberger, pg xxv)." Burnout tends to create negative feelings in the clinician towards his or her work, clients, and sometimes him or herself.
            Various exercises labeled "Lean In" are included for the clinician to work on analyzing his or her own behaviors, then amending them to fit difficult situations all the while working to get rid of the negative thoughts that are associated with these situations and with oneself. This allows the clinician to learn more about him or herself while also working on developing new skills and applying them to actual client interactions. Abblett warns that in order to experience the full impact of this journey, the therapist has to not only read the words, but to really apply the material to oneself and to one's work, even when it might feel uncomfortable at first to dig so deep.
            The Heat of the Moment in Treatment is organized in such a way that every chapter teaches the clinician a lesson. Personal stories, interactive activities, and thought-provoking questions move the reader along his or her journey. The therapist might have to think about the emotion he or she is feeling through a neutral, defused light in order to be able to deal with it better. A chapter might ask the therapist to think about, in detail, the most challenging clients he or she has had in order to learn to manage the negative reactivity caused by those encounters. Or it might ask for the therapist to work on accepting difficult clients by trying to understand them better. No matter what activity, through the interaction of writing thoughts and experiences in a first-person workbook, the clinician has the ability to really dig deep into him or herself and learn to manage his or her behaviors.
            Clinicians would find this workbook useful in understanding challenging clients. Sympathy is created for those who used to be associated with negativity because the therapist is forced to look deep into him or herself and think about clients from a new perspective. Intervention techniques such as perspective-taking are used to remind the therapist that he or she has a responsibility to his or her clients to try to truly understand what they are going through and to try his or her best to point them in the right direction. It is the responsibility of every clinician to use perspective-taking intervention in order to perceive and accept the client's position, even if one doesn't agree.
            This book has the potential to be a powerful tool for clinicians to connect with their clients, both challenging and not, on a level they never have before by teaching the clinician how to set limits while still keeping a compassionate and constructive relationship. If the clinician does as Abblett suggests in the beginning of the workbook and really applies him or herself to the material, the exercises can be very useful to learn something new about oneself and to learn to control the negative emotions that are associated with challenging clients. Therapy is a give-and-take relationship, which through perspective and emotional presence" can be one of "lasting meaning.
 
Abblett, M. (2013). The Heat of the Moment in Treatment: Mindful Management of Difficult Clients. W.W. Norton & Co.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-0-393-70831-8. 331 pages. Includes bibliographical references and index.
Key words: managing difficult clients, interpersonal psychotherapy, psychotherapist and patient
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Andrade, P.Y. (2011). Emotional Medicine Rx: Cry When You're Sad, Stop When You're Done, Feel Good Fast. New York, NY: Tenacity Press.
            Reviewed by: Julie Y. A. Cachia, New York University.

Penelope Young Andrade's book Emotional Medicine Rx: Cry When You're Sad, Stop When You're Done, Feel Good Fast takes a unique and somewhat counterintuitive approach to emotional healing. Too often, emotional expression is frowned upon in certain settings. Andrade argues that it is these very neglected and repressed emotions that can become the core of a profound healing process. Using a 12-step outline, Andrade creates a practical and compelling self-help book. Each chapter is dedicated to one step in this healing process, meaning that the format lends itself to a chronological reading. The extensiveness and specificity of each chapter allows the reader to truly explore each step. The first step, "One: Emotional Medicine" provides the reader with a general overview of what Emotional Medicine is, followed by the steps "Two: Find Resources Inside and Out", "Three: Get Out of Your Head," and "Four: Make Friends with Your Body." The rest of the steps unfold likewise until the last chapter, "Thirteen: Take it Back to Daily Life," in which Andrade neatly wraps up the process and reminds her readers how all of the steps are relevant to daily life. Every chapter is also interspersed with Action Tips, which supply readers with exercises that directly engage them with the theoretical framework of each chapter.
            As Andrade explains in her introduction, her method was first inspired by her past personal struggles. She recalls how she often found herself trapped in her own thought-driven breakdown. Upon reaching a point of emotional and physical exhaustion one day, her healer made a simple yet enlightening remark: "I think you're done now." Immediately inspired by this simple observation, she decided to explore the power behind the body and its ability to effectively discharge emotions when devoid of rational input. Since this early discovery, Andrade has allowed her method to evolve over the years through her clinical practice, resulting in a detailed account of additional effective strategies and tips. As one of her significant refinements, Andrade takes special care to establish a safe starting ground for her readers before proceeding with the healing process.
            At first, Andrade's theory seems self-evident. After all, emotional repression is generally known to be unhelpful, if not detrimental to an individual's well-being. However, Andrade's healing strategy is in fact expressly different from what most people experience during emotional expression. For most, emotional expression is led by thoughts, as opposed to by the body. As Andrade explains, the problem with thought-driven processes is that the body is forced to experience emotion (whether it be sad, mad, scared, or glad) every time the individual conjures those negative thoughts or memories. This results in an inescapable cycle of narrative-triggered emotions until the body becomes too exhausted to continue the cycle. In contrast, Andrade's body-led healing process allows the underlying emotion to surface and flow through the body for as long as is physically necessary: no more, no less. Of course, arriving at this level of somatic awareness is no easy feat, which is why Andrade's 12-step process is an informative read for those who strive to access this "emotional medicine."
            Emotional Medicine Rx: Cry When You're Sad, Stop When You're Done, Feel Good Fast allows you to do just that: feel good fast. It is an intimate and reliable manual for readers who are interested in establishing a therapeutic relationship with what she terms the "Big S Self," thereby securing a rapid and healthy path to inner peace.
 
Andrade, P. Y. (2011). Emotional Medicine Rx: Cry When You're Sad, Stop When You're Done, Feel Good Fast. New York: Tenacity Press.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-0-615-51708-7. 281 pages. Bibliography and index included.
Key words: emotion, body, mind, somatic, healing
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Attlee, Thomas. (2012). Cranio-Sacral Integration: Foundations. London: Singing Dragon.
            Reviewed by: Jazmine Russell, New York University.

The first of five volumes, Cranio-Sacral Integration: Foundation by Thomas Attlee, is a comprehensive guide to the cranio-sacral system and the therapeutic processes associated with it. This holistic therapy treats the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self by accessing the energy flowing through and beyond one's body. More than just a 4-step guide, the steps are: tuning in, opening up, core treatment, and completion, the book includes explanations of the many different systems of the body, including physiological descriptions, and pictures of the anatomy, making it quite easy to follow. However, since cranio-sacral integration is more than just a physical technique, the book centers itself around the inner energetic flow of the individual, how this flow or stillness may affect the body, and how that energy connects to the world around it. To provide more specifics, Attlee goes through the various parts and systems of the body with images to describe different diseases and injuries that may apply. He explains how to go about working carefully to treat these symptoms and repeats the importance of awareness and light touch for the practitioner. He aims to provide an overall theoretical and physiological approach to cranio-sacral treatment, but at the same time emphasizes the individual and varying physical and emotional needs.
            Cranio-sacral integration, according to Attlee, is relevant for people of all ages, from infants to the elderly, with all different kinds of symptoms, even chronic or incurable diseases. He gives detailed explanations for the therapist on how to proceed with a patient, how different energetic patterns may feel different to the therapist, or what skills a therapist needs in order to interact effectively in the therapeutic setting.  However, Attlee also switches to the perspective of the patient by describing the theoretical process one may undergo in this therapy, and what one can expect from this treatment. It is clear he treats his own patients with a gentle and caring hand, as many of his descriptions are thoughtful approaches to making the patient more comfortable, including which positions are better for their body and how to be mindful of your own internal state while interacting with the patient.
            Fundamental to his approach is what Attlee calls the universal matrix which is a submolecular energetic integrated system which unifies all matter. It isn't limited to your body but extends beyond it to interact with other people's energy systems as well as the world around us. With this, Attlee explains that, at the core, cranio-sacral integration is about the vital rhythmic and energetic motion within and around the body. Without using touch, 'we can still feel these movements, qualities, and asymmetries, and we come to the realization that what we are tuning into is the movement of something more subtle than bones membranes and fluids." What the therapist picks up on, according to Attlee, is this "universal force." He doesn't get much more specific than that, and uses very symbolic and fluid terms such as 'stillness', 'deeper tides', 'vibration', and 'currents', to explain the process. At times this can be more difficult to follow than his physiological descriptions, even for those unfamiliar with the scientific terms, since he provides a handy glossary for these terms in the back of the book. However, for his theories on rhythmic motion, Attlee understandably leaves it up to the reader to interpret and, more importantly, experience these subtle sensations for themselves in their own practice. This therapeutic approach is "not a matter of reading a book, nor a matter of technique or method," but rather a very personal journey for those willing to spend the time and practice.
            Attlee's aim to provide a "fundamental understanding and an overall treatment approach" is well met in this book. His further volumes on different regions or systems of the body, specific age groups and trauma may also be of interest to those seeking further exploration of this technique. Cranio-Sacral Integration: Foundation is a book for those interested in this energetic and holistic approach or those seeking guidance for a deeper engagement with patients and a further understanding of the physical as well as spiritual self.
 
Attlee, Thomas. (2012). Cranio-Sacral Integration: Foundations. London: Singing Dragon.
Paperback. IBSN: 978-1-84819-098-6. 464 pages. Includes index and glossary.
Key words: Cranio-sacral, physiology, energy, therapy;

Bollas, C. (2013). Catch Them Before They Fall: The Psychoanalysis of Breakdown. New York, NY: Routledge.
             Reviewed by: Julie Y. A. Cachia, New York University.
 
In Catch Them Before They Fall: The Psychoanalysis of Breakdown, Christopher Bollas advances a novel approach to treating clients on the verge of breakdown. Bollas' claim is that mental breakdown can in fact be transformed into an opportunity for breakthrough: "I regard mental breakdown, within the context of a psychoanalysis, as a potentially transformative event that can lead to a mental breakthrough if the analyst simply provides more psychoanalysis" (p. 104).                     According to Bollas, by maintaining the traditional psychoanalytical process while altering the structure (extended sessions), clients can avoid hospitalization, medication and CBT/DBT, all of which merely provide a short-term solution and ultimately end up being counterproductive. In fact, Bollas expresses strong disapproval of popular treatment methods and compares the hospitalization to "putting one's children into foster care because one is unable to manage them" (p. 104). In other words, the psychoanalyst's role is to discover and remedy the client's core issue, rather than resorting to an immediate and temporary solution.
            Bollas defines breakdown as a dissociation of self: "when a person is in breakdown it is as if the 'me' is lost, or as if there is no way to speak to it or to represent it" (p. 106). What's more, Bollas maintains that clients experiencing breakdown carry an unconscious purpose- to present the 'I' to the 'me' thereby unifying the separate, dissociated parts of the self. Clients in this state of breakdown have a lot at stake, for if the core issue remains unaddressed, it can result in a broken self, a term coined by Bollas. A broken person is characterized by states of indifference and resignation, including reduced affect. According to Bollas, once clients reach the state ofbroken self, they usually remain in this state for the rest of their lives, andit is almost impossible to treat. Catch Them Before They Fall, as indicated by the title, strongly advocates proactive attention,in lieu of reactive treatment. Indeed, proactive attention leaves room to transform the breakdown into a breakthrough, whereas waiting until the situation requires treatment results in a missed opportunity.
            As an effective replacement for inpatient treatment, Bollas proposes that the psychoanalyst and analysand find at least one more person, effectively creating a "team." Thanks to the extra support outside of the client-therapist relationship,it is proposed that inpatient treatment is effectively replaced by this "team," and therefore no longer needed.
            It is clear that the book is intended for psychoanalysts, and more specifically, for those dealing with clients on the verge of breakdown. Bollas admits that cases involving breakdown are relatively uncommon, but that its infrequency should not overshadow the importance of treating it effectively. Bollas also explains that clients must not consciously seek breakdown or ask for extended sessions themselves, which is why they would most likely not benefit from reading the book for themselves.
            As a psychoanalyst, Bollas understandably draws heavily from Freud's work in the field, and seems to use Freud to bolster credibility ("none other than Freud himself had argued that some analysands required extended sessions when clinical needs could not be met within their normal hours") (p. 6). Winnicott is another analyst that is frequently referred to, and Bollas credits him for pioneering the concept of extended sessions in psychoanalysis (as well as R.D. Laing, Cooper and Esterson), although he points out several areas in which he disagrees with Winnicott.
            Although Freud and Winnicott are referenced comparatively often, most of the text is ultimately based on his past experience and observations as a psychoanalyst. His main ideas are derived from his own practice, and as a result, phrases such as "it has been my experience" and "in thirty-five years of working with people on the verge of breakdown" are common throughout the text. This approach explains the rather short bibliography, in which six of the thirteen books listed are his own. His model is therefore rather personalized, perhaps rendering it difficult for other psychotherapists to adopt, especially for those with little experience. However, Bollas stresses the fact that his model is only a restructuration of psychoanalysis, with the process itself remaining the same.
            Catch Them Before They Fall outlines a model of treatment based on providing extended sessions to clients on the verge of breakdown. Intended specifically for fellow psychoanalysts who are unsure about how to navigate breakdown, Bollas uses his professional experience to assert that breakdowns are driven by unconscious psychological processes, while providing the field with a refreshingly optimistic view on the psychoanalytical process and shedding light on the hidden transformative potential behind breakdowns.
 
Bollas, C. (2013). Catch Them Before They Fall: The Psychoanalysis of Breakdown. New York: Routledge,
Paperback. ISBN: 978-0-415-63720-6. 143 pages. Bibliography and index included.
Key words: breakdown, breakthrough, psychoanalysis, regression

Barnow, S. & Balkir, N. (Eds.) (2013). Cultural Variations in Psychopathology: From Research to Practice. Cambridge, MA: Hogrefe Publishing.
            Reviewed by: Jazmine Russell, New York University
 
Cultural Variations in Psychopathology: From Research to Practice is a must have for any researcher, clinician, student or therapist working with ethnically diverse populations or with an interest in the way cultural differences can affect their practice and study. The book was a result of an international workshop titled "Cultural Variations in Emotion Regulation and the Treatment of Psychiatric Patients" at the Institute of Psychology in Heidelberg, Germany. The workshop was intended for participants to share their culturally-oriented perspectives and techniques for both research and practice. This idea translates directly to the book, as it is a well-organized collection of articles discussing research, diagnosis, and treatment that takes cultural diversity into account in order to provide better mental health services to immigrant and minority communities.
            Editors, Sven Barnow and Nazli Balkir begin by explaining "globalization" and the sharp increase in immigration around the world. Not only are immigrants in general at higher risk for certain mental health issues, but because of the different ethno-cultural backgrounds they bring to different countries, particularly in Europe, these immigrants will also have varied perceptions of mental illness and the appropriate treatment plan to follow. They may be accustomed to different kinds of mental health care and have contrasting expectations, leading to high drop-out rates among immigrants and minorities in mental health services and programs. This creates a greater need for culturally sensitive research to promote a better understanding of these populations, as well as more informed clinical practices and mental health services to meet their specific needs, which is precisely what this book strives to encourage.
            The book includes many different articles which integrate and connect different subfields in psychology including neuropsychology (how culture shapes our brain), developmental psychology (how self-other relations develop in different cultures across the lifespan), social and emotional development (how different cultural expectations shape to emotion regulation), addiction, depression, and even psychotherapy.
            Perhaps one of the most interesting chapters is that on "Socialization of Emotions and Emotion Regulation in Cultural Context" which takes a developmental lens on self-other relations and its role in emotion regulation. The article states that beliefs about oneself and others are culturally and societally shaped, and that these beliefs eventually dictate how one reacts emotionally in different situations. Because of this, it is important to look at the cultural variation, particularly between societies where autonomy and independence are valued compared to ones where interdependence and collectivism are valued. These values can influence whether or not one  responds in a way that "fosters harmony", typically a more eastern mindset, or emphasizes "authentic expression", typically a more western mindset. Noting the differences can help us to understand that certain values, parenting styles, and emotional reactions, including the ones which are normally considered unhealthy, such as suppression, can actually be adaptive rather than maladaptive in certain circumstances and within certain cultures.
            Touching upon everything from research, the DSM, specific disorders, psychotherapy, and treatment plans, this book provides a wide array of information contributing to an increasing push towards "cultural competence" within all fields of psychology. Because "culture dictates expressions of illness as well as our understanding," it is all the more important to expand our knowledge so we can be sensitive to the mental health care needs of people from all different backgrounds and cultures. Cultural Variations in Psychopathology reveals the true importance of interdisciplinary research and understanding the "interplay between culture and psychopathology" in order to provide better health care services across the globe.   
 
Barnow, S. & Balkir, N. (Eds.) (2013). Cultural Variations in Psychopathology: From Research to Practice. Cambridge, MA: Hogrefe Publishing.
Paperback. IBSN:978-0-88937-434-8. 286 pages. Includes index.
Key words: culture, immigration, psychopathology, mental health, research

Bohleber, W. (2010). Destructiveness, Intersubjectivity, and Trauma: The Identity Crisis of Modern Psychoanalysis. London: Karnac Books.
            Reviewed by: Rachel Vitale, New York University
 
Peter Fonagy, who wrote the Forward to Destructiveness, Intersubjectivity, and Trauma: The Identity Crisis of Modern Psychoanalysis, describes its author as, "one of a handful of major intellectual figures in psychoanalysis" and claims that, "we owe a debt of gratitude" to the author for conjuring this volume.
            The book is divided into three parts: 'The Intersubjective Paradigm in Psychoanalysis and Late Modernity'; 'Trauma, Memory, and Historical Context'; and 'Psychoanalysis of Ideological Destructivity'. In the first part, developments in psychoanalytic theories are discussed, as well as attempts to conceptualize them against social change, with reference to approaches taken from both the social sciences and philosophy. Bohleber addresses the impact of the intersubjective field on both clinical theory development and clinical practice. By covering the concept of identity in social, cultural, developmental, and psychoanalytic clinical settings, he demonstrates the pertinent, most recent change in psychoanalytic approach. His thought process throughout the book is very clean-cut, which makes his writing, although potentially difficult to grasp at times, easy to follow.
            Part Two engages with how psychoanalytic trauma theory has evolved over time and problems that it has encountered. In addition to this theory, an entire chapter is devoted at the end of this part to a discussion of dissociation. The author's knowledge of trauma is a powerful factor in this book. He describes much controversy involving memories of trauma and recovered memories, but does so in a mature, even-handed manner. Bohleber's opinion is clear throughout the book, but he also leaves a fair amount of room for one to disagree. He claims that dissociation has not been well addressed by psychoanalytic writers in the past; especially those who are unfamiliar with the impact trauma can leave on an individual. This implies that he feels he has familiarity with trauma and he is confident enough to discuss the topic. This confidence in his knowledge and writing gives readers a feeling of security.
            The third and final parts of the book explore the interdependence between nationalism and anti-Semitism, along with  a comparison between Islamic fundamentalism and the terrorism it produces. Bohleber uses this final section of the book to tie together his thoughts previously covered in the other two parts. If certain things didn't make sense to a reader in previous sections, it is all intertwined and clearly summarized at this point. Part Three is also the most opinionated section of the book. Again, the author's thought process is very well-organized. He stated two different claims in the first two parts, and then integrates them while also giving his opinion at the end. Even if the reader doesn't necessarily agree with Bohleber's ideas, one will certainly respect his opinion based on his exceptional knowledge of the topics covered in his book.
            Destructiveness, Intersubjectivity, and Trauma: The Identity Crisis of Modern Psychoanalysis is equipped with an Acknowledgements section to commend all of those who helped translate certain portions of the book and also contributed excerpts of their own work, plus detailed References and Index sections to guide readers. The book is well-organized and from a grounded, respectable point of view. One of the most interesting characteristics of this book is that the reader sees psychoanalysis in a new light, tied to concepts one may not have imagined were relevant. Peter Fonagy was right when he claimed that readers owe Bohleber their gratitude, for this book gives psychoanalysts hope for the future of discipline.
 
Bohleber, W. (2010). Destructiveness, Intersubjectivity, and Trauma: The Identity Crisis of Modern Psychoanalysis. London: Karnac Books.
Paperback.  ISBN: 978-85575-672-4. 236 pages. Includes index.
Key words: dissociation, psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic trauma theory, trauma

Fehmi, L. & Robbins, J. (2010). Dissolving Pain: Simple Brain-Training Exercises for Overcoming Chronic Pain. Boston, MA: Trumpeter Books.
            Reviewed by: Julie Y.A. Cachia, New York University.
 
As the old saying goes, "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. This book Dissolving Pain: Simple Brain-Training Exercises for Overcoming Chronic Pain by Les Fehmi and Jim Robbins is a testament to this concept. At its core, the book helps readers attain a greater level of flexibility in their use of attention in order to alleviate chronic pain such as back pain, joint pain, headaches, muscle pain, tension, pain from traumatic injury, stress-related pain, and more. The technique is based on Open Focus, which works by redirecting the individual's attention from "narrow-objective focus" to a healthier, more mindful one. According to Fehmi and Robbins, most individuals experience Rigid-Attention Syndrome (RAS), in which inflexible approaches to attention worsen the present symptoms, such as pain. The techniques were devised not only from experiments conducted as a graduate student in the field of brain research, but also from thirty five years of treating patients at their clinic, offering an insightful perspective based on both direct professional experience and research.
            The book also comes with a Guided Exercises CD, with sections on General Training and Dissolving Pain in order to further encourage readers to utilize attention in a more liberating manner. Readers are instructed to listen to the spoken-word exercises in a quiet area until their targeted pain subsides. The exercises are mostly visualizations, and therefore exercise the imagination in order to shift the attention to the desired place.
            The techniques themselves are easy to grasp, and will be especially useful for those who are ready to step away fromthe reductionist biomedical model of treatment and explore the mind-body connection for the first time for a safer, non-invasive, and cost-free alternative. Moreover, the techniques explored in the book tackle various kinds of physical pain, allowing for a diverse readership. With plenty of intimate anecdotes and extensive reports on recent scientific research supporting the idea that pain resides mainly in the brain, the book provides novices with an inspiring and comprehensive background on the subject. Experts, on the other hand, may find this information to be too familiar for research purposes.
            Dissolving Pain contains 12 chapters, as follows: The Power of Attention; A New Approach to Pain; The Conventional Understandings of Pain; The Domain of Pain is Mainly in the Brain; The Role of Attention in Pain; The Miracle of Space; The Full Range of Attention; Dissolving Pain; Eye, Head and Neck Tension Pain; Emotions and Pain; Dissolving Tensions and Pain for Peak Performance; Living a Pain-Free Life. With the exception of The Role of Attention in Pain, every chapter is followed by an exercise, providing readers with the opportunity to personally explore the concepts covered. As evidenced by the chapter titles, however, actual techniques are not presented until very late in the book. Some may find that they need the extra preparation, while others may find the preceding chapters to be unnecessarily verbose and repetitive. However, once the techniques are introduced, the book provides both a long and short version of the exercises, allowing a higher degree of accommodation within the practice itself, which readers may find helpful. Regardless, the techniques themselves are empowering in that they give individuals the power to control many symptoms that previously may have been regarded as out of their control.
            One important argument made by Fehmi and Robbins is that, while the focus of the book is undeniably on physical pain, those who practice Open Focus experience benefits in other non-physical areas of their life as well. These peripheral yet significant benefits include alleviation of anxiety, depression, muscle tension, and attention deficit disorder, among others. Focus is also directed towards ambiguous or indistinct physical pain, for which there are exercises to locate its central source in the body before targeting it. According to Fehmi and Robbins, individuals also often experience liberation from pain that 
they were unaware of until its release. Therefore, the technique seems to also be relevant to those readers who are not particularly seeking pain relief.
            Although one may not consider Dissolving Pain to be particularly groundbreaking in its contribution the growing biopsychosocial literature, it is an undeniably instructive and informative self-help guide for novices who are interested in discovering more about how Open Focus can redirect attention for a variety of physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits. Moreover, it reminds us to appreciate the complexities of our nervous systems, which are too often taken for granted.
 
Fehmi, L. & Robbins, J. (2010). Dissolving Pain: Simple Brain-Training Exercises for Overcoming Chronic Pain. Boston, MA: Trumpeter Books.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-1-59030-780-9. 179 pp. Appendix and index included.
Key words: pain, attention, regulation, brain, Open Focus, training, mind

Fogel, A. (2009). Body Sense: The Science and Practice of Embodied Self-Awareness. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
            Reviewed by: Amanda Fisher, New York University.
 
In his book Body Sense: The Science and Practice of Embodied Self-Awareness, Alan Fogel discusses embodied self-awareness, our ability to sense our emotions and movements in the present moment, and its relationship to the neurological structure of the brain. As infants, before we can think in conceptual terms, we move towards what feels good and what our body wants, and away from what we do not want. Embodied self-awareness is fundamental to survival, because when we are aware of our bodies and our sensations, then we are able to take care of ourselves and our needs.
            Neuromotor and neurohormonal pathways use information about the body to maintain health and well-being, however if these pathways are impeded as a result of physical or psychological trauma or stress, then our judgement and our ability to regulate our well-being are also impeded. Long-term patterns of impaired embodied self-awareness involve a disturbed or distorted relationship of the person to the internal and external environment. If we feel uncomfortable feeling our emotions or expressing them to other people, we can "forget" our emotions, become more engaged in a conceptual self-awareness, and reduce interoception.
            When there is a disconnect between our embodied self-awareness, or our True Self, and our conceptual self-
awareness, or our False Self, a story about ourself that is removed from reality of our subjective emotional present, then a dissociation between our somatic experience and intellectual knowledge exists. These discrete selves can evolve from relationships with significant others during development.
            Restoring self-awareness in sensations and emotions can bring clarity to conceptual self-awareness. Fogel makes a point that, in modern society, the loss of attention to ourselves, because of our complex, distraction-filled culture, can damage our well being. Our somatic awareness is necessary for social situations and dealing with pain and trauma. Fogel supports these ideas using neurological explanations and scientific research, as well as case studies and self-help exercises. This book is creative and eclectic in that it investigates embodied self-awareness from many different angles, demonstrating the intricacy and nuance of the subject, and reinforcing the fact that expanding embodied self-awareness is a lifetime journey, as opposed to a straight-forward healing process.
 
Fogel, A. (2009). Body Sense: The Science and Practice of Embodied Self-Awareness. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-0-393-70866-0. 396 pages. Index included.
Key Words: Embodiment, neural integration, somatic awareness
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Graham, L. (2013). Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-being. Novato, CA: New World Library.
            Reviewed by Dawn Bhat, M.A., M.S., NCC
 
Many modalities of psychotherapy operate under the assumption that people heal, recover and transform when they are resilient. In Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-being, Linda Graham offers readers practical tools to condition the brain to be more resilient. Readers may be seeking self-help, personal growth, or ways to improve their clinical skills. Graham clearly explains complex brain science and theories of relational psychology and human development. As the material presented is backed by a large body of research, it is enriched by Graham's decades of experience as a psychotherapist and meditation teacher, and by her personal life experience. Graham graciously interweaves her accounts as a therapist and spiritual teacher who has utilized these experiential exercises with her clients.
            Resilience, the capacity to face challenges in life with adaptability and flexibility, is learned by early social experiences and promoted by two brain processes: conditioning (learning) and neuroplasticity. In this book, self-directed neuroplasticity is presented from two paradigms, that of Eastern mindfulness and Western empathy. These central ideas of the book are supported by research, which shows that strengthening the prefrontal cortex helps to rewire resiliency. Graham reiterates throughout the book the five C's of resilient coping: calm, clarity, connection, competence and courage. The experiential exercises enhance coping and resiliency and can be used with individuals, partners or small groups. The exercises target growth in relational intelligence, somatic intelligence, emotional intelligence, reflection and choosing options and the wisdom of simply being.
            Bouncing Back is broken down into the following eight parts: Part One: How the Brain Develops Resilience - or Doesn't; Part Two: Harnessing the Brain's Neuroplasticity to Recover Resilience; Part Three: Recovering Resilience Through Resonate Relationships; Part Four: Keep Calm and Carry On: Recovering Resilience Through Resources of the Body; Part Five: Recovering Resilience Through Emotional Well-being; Part Six: Shift Happens: Recovering Resilience Through Reflection and Response Flexibility; Part Seven: Recovering My Resilience Through Simply Being; Part Eight: Launching into a More Resilient Life.
            There is a large body of research, some of which is presented in this volume, indicating that healthy relationships and mindfulness practices promote resiliency. Bouncing back from stressful every-day events and traumatic stress, may be enhanced by being in a healthy, resonate relationship with others who are resilient.
            Mindfulness practices activates the prefrontal cortex and a mature prefrontal cortex allows one to focus, concentrate, attend and imagine. The prefrontal cortex regulates the autonomic nervous system, the flow of emotions and the surge of 
feelings, calms the activated amygdala, allows attunement to other people, empathy for self and others, and allows for insight and awareness. Implicit, automatic and reflexive pattern are brought into awareness and when one notices this, one can choose to change them intelligently and sensitively.
            Consistent with what practitioners of mindfulness meditation already know and what research corroborates, resiliency can be promoted by forming new neural connections and leads to changes in brain activity, perspectives on the self and engagement with others. The author teaches through the experiential exercises that resiliency allows us to shift perspective, which allows for more collaboration, tolerance, altruism and compassion. Resilience enhances one's ability to engage with the world. People explore more and become more creative and productive. The mindfulness practices develop self-compassion, which leads to a shift to left frontal activation and an approach-based stance. In addition, when one notices that the thoughts, emotions and sensations come and go there is less identification with them. Clarity, calmness and connection become possible.
            In this book, important survival skills and ways to cope with stress guide the reader to maintaining a calm internalstate under adverse conditions. As the automatic survival responses manifest into fight, flight or freeze, the exercises in this book help the reader understand experientially and intellectually how to remain in a window of tolerance. That is, one can be calm and relaxed as well as engaged and alert restoring the nervous system to natural state of equilibrium. In this state, resilience occurs as does the capacity for exploration, creativity and social engagement.
            Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being, makes an important contribution to the field of psychotherapy in general and somatic psychotherapy in particular. As a handbook for resilience and well-being, readers have access to numerous exercises designed to condition the brain and allow for self-directed neuroplasticity. Integrating up-to-date research on neuroscience, relational work, Eastern mindfulness and Western empathic practices, this new volume guides the reader toward mindful ways to live a more resilient life./div>
 
Graham, L. (2013). Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-being. Novato, CA: New World Library.
Paperback. ISBN: 13: 9781608681297. 431 pages. Includes index.
Key words: resilience, neuroscience, mindfulness, relational psychology

Grosz, S. (2013). The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
            Reviewed by: Rachel Vitale, New York University.
 
"'I want to change, but not if it means changing,' a patient once said to me in complete innocence." Change is precisely what Stephen Grosz aims to teach in his first book, The Examined Life. After twenty-five years as a psychoanalyst, it is safe to assume that he has quite a few stories to tell. He has treated patients in psychiatric hospitals, outpatient-psychotherapy and forensic psychotherapy clinics, child and adolescent units, and private practice. While he has seen children, adolescents and adults for consultation, the majority of his work has been with adults in psychoanalysis. That is, one person for fifty minutes, four of five times a week, over several years, as he explains in his Preface. Grosz has taken over 50,000 hours spent with patients, extracted his most memorable sessions, and compiled a series of vignettes on how to manage both losing and finding oneself. His stores are proof that change, although difficult, is sometimes necessary in order to move forward.
            The book is divided into five sections: Beginnings, Telling Lies, Loving, Changing, and Leaving, each of which touch upon the concepts of loss and revival. While each tale is unique, the underlying message throughout the whole book is that the most complicated of problems can be resolved through one process: talking, listening, and understanding. This process can bring an individual one step closer to the change necessary in his or her life. This common, yet underestimated, method is exactly what Grosz did as an analyst in the session room when he was one on one with his patients. He allowed them to speak, listened to their tales, and truly grasped the meaning behind their problems. This made patients more comfortable coming to terms with whatever was troubling them and made them more likely to introduce change into their lives. The idea of talking, listening, and understanding has proven to be the most effective, yet ordinary, therapy. This concept is a lot like Grosz's book: a very simple exterior, but an incredibly deep meaning behind the outer shell.
            The book reads almost like fiction, which helps give insight to the analyst's point of view, rather than just focusing on the clients'. The style Grosz chose to use makes the book both readable and relatable to almost any audience. The short stories seem fictitious-very exciting, even juicy at some points-yet they are too raw to be conjured up by one's imagination; that is clear. Each story is that of a real person. Each person's distinct voice rings loud and clear from page to page, it is almost impossible not to pick up on. While the book is extremely pleasurable because of its fictitious tone, it is even more relatable to the reader because of the real life tales it tells. There were times where I almost wished Grosz didn't choose to narrate each story. I feel that there would have been more of an impact if the prose did read even more like fiction by having each patient tell his or her own story. Even though that choice may have changed the book entirely, I feel it would have relayed Grosz's message and each individual message of his patients even clearer.
            The Examined Life strategically uses real life stories to teach people that loss will occur in one's life at one point or another, it is a matter of how one accepts, adjusts, and ultimately changes in order to keep moving forward. Change may seem impossible, as it did to the many patients in this book. It is often stated that one cannot force another to change. The beauty of Grosz's work as an analyst is that he did not push anyone to alter who they were. He listened to his patients' stories, allowed them to express themselves, and by understanding their perspectives, the patients each found it in themselves to make the decision to change. Most importantly, this book demonstrates that a fifty minute session can reveal as much to the analyst as it does to the patient.
 
Grosz, S. (2013). The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-0-393-07954-8. 225 pages.

Hayes, J. (2013). Soul and Spirit in Dance Movement Psychotherapy. London: Jessica Kingsley Publications.
            Reviewed by: Nataliya Rubinchik, Hunter College.
 
Dance movement psychotherapy was developed to create a bridge between the body and the soul. Established with Jungian ideas in mind, it views archetypes as part of who a person is. The belief that underlay this therapy was that people are not whole if all parts of them, body and soul, do not coexist. Hayes identifies the "spirit" as the coexistence of the body and soul. Body represents the modern cognition human beings share. Soul represents wild ambitions and instincts. Society, however, has created a taboo of wilderness, resulting in many people hiding their soul away.
            Without a whole spirit, there can be no true health. Hayes explains the flow that occurs between body and soul while one dances, repairing connections lost and pushing the dancer through issues on both a mental and physical level. She shows several ways a person can heal, relating all ideas to natural beings. Like a flower, first one must grow down, create a healthy body, and establish oneself in one's surroundings. Only then can he or she grow up, creating a healthy soul, and experiencing those surroundings.
            The pulse and the breath are woven together to create a starting point for the healing of the spirit. "This creative flow can surprise and inspire the mover as the dance of the soul passes through the body, set alight from energy to feeling, emotion and imagination." Hayes explains that transpersonal dance movement psychotherapy requires pulse and breath to work together with love and creativity in order to free the body of fear and control. Creativity and freedom to move as we will and be what we want is the reason for transpersonal dance movement therapy.
            It is a way to fix our outward conflicts by first creating peace inside. We must bridge our physical body/soul and our spirit; to recreate the connection that once existed. Only once there is peace and harmony between all parts of our inner self is it possible to peel back the shields and begin healing: usually wounds caused by loss or separation. Hayes advices that having sympathy with the brokenness that a client feels is helpful in understanding the client better.
            Hayes begins her book with definitions. She gives a meaning to previously only imaginable ideas. As we begin to understand what she means, she pulls us in further with case studies and her own propositions. Soul and Spirit in Dance Movement Psychotherapy was written as a framework for how dance movement can be applied to psychotherapy. Examples of situations and case studies allow for readers to experience different potential situations. Readers can range from experienced therapists to the every day person interested in dance movement. Most jargon is defined in the beginning, which makes it easier for readers to stay on point. Because most ideas are only conceptualized, the beginning of the book is also tedious to get through. Hayes makes our journey through her book as easy as possible with illustrations, explanations, and clear language.
            "By travelling through the personal, we can find spirit in the heart of self." This is a great way of explaining, in Hayes's own words, what "transpersonal" dance movement psychotherapy is. It begins with looking through own experiences and feelings, understanding them on a deeper level and using that understanding to connect the body and the soul. Transpersonal dance movement psychotherapy is necessary to reflect upon oneself, to see what archetype one fits at that moment and change it if it is broken or if it pushed him or her to do things they are not proud of. It is necessary to look inside and see the problem before it is possible to take the journey to its solution.
 
Hayes, J. (2013). Soul and Spirit in Dance Movement Psychotherapy. London: Jessica Kingsley Publications.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-1-84905-308-2. 224 pages. Includes bibliographical references and index.
Key words: transpersonal, dance movement, psychotherapy, archetypes

Hedges, L.E. (2012). Overcoming Our Relationship Fears. New York: Free Psychotherapy Books.   
            Reviewed by: Julie Y.A. Cachia, New York University.   
    
As we know, the original function of fear was an adaptive one, as it prevented us from recklessly entering dangerous 
situations, and thereby increasing our chances of survival.  Lawrence E. Hedges' Overcoming Our Relationship Fears revolves around the idea that fear can also be maladaptive and emotionally unhealthy. According to Hedges, unresolved trauma or negative experiences in our childhood emerge in the form of fear within the individual's mind, which then manifests itself through the body. Since most individuals subconsciously choose not to confront these fears, the fears often remain ingrained within the individual's thought patterns, perceptions, and body. As long as the fear is allowed to reside within the individual, it feeds and controls various negative patterns. With 40 years of experience as a psychotherapist, Hedges comprehensively describes and lays out seven most common fears that individuals experience, allowing readers to gain awareness of their fears before taking the necessary steps to understand and confront them. As explained by Hedges, the "Seven Deadly Fears" are as follows: the Fear of Being Alone, the Fear of Connecting, the Fear of Being Abandoned, the Fear of Self-Assertion, the Fear of Lack of Recognition, the Fear of Failure and Success, and the Fear of Being Fully Alive.   
            Hedges begins by describing his own harrowing experience on the day of the 9/11 attack, when his daughter called 
him from the site of the attack. Hedges recalls how he turned on the TV, and witnessed the second attack live, while knowing 
that his daughter was close to the scene. The intense helplessness and fear he encountered caused him to begin reliving 
other similarly traumatic and painful experiences buried in his past, and he observed this pattern emerge in his patients and 
those around him who were equally affected by 9/11. At this point, Hedges began to understand the natural human tendency 
to lump together new experiences and relationships with old, unresolved conflicts from the past. Unfortunately, this common tendency proves to be unhealthy not only for the individual but for the relationships surrounding him. Hedges discovered that understanding the old trauma in the context of one's current experience frees us from the insidious grip of fear. Finally, Hedges had an epiphany, in which he realized that both the mind and the body are equally involved in the individual's various relationships, especially as it pertains to fear (whether manifested consciously or unconsciously). One of the important techniques covered in the book is the daily use of the "Aliveness Monitor," through which individuals gain a greater understanding of what triggers their fear reflex, how long it is maintained, and how easily it is released. This process leads to the second stage, "Touching Base with Your Body." Paying attention to one's automatic fear responses is emphasized as the first step towards ultimately releasing the fear responses, resulting in a healthier life experience.
            The book also comes with a voluminous workbook full of detailed explanations and exercises for each of the "Seven Deadly Fears". Readers are encouraged to use the Aliveness Journal, through which they can further explore their BMR connection. The journal includes prompts such as, "Recall experiences of being devalued," and "Experience having your real self acknowledged." At the end of each section are affirming passages that are read aloud. Again, these exercises are specific to the individual's specific fear(s), allowing for an individually relevant strategy.
            Overcoming Our Relationship Fears is a thoughtful and extensive guide aimed at identifying and approaching our ingrained fears, while at the same time bringing awareness to the body-mind relationship (BMR) connection. Hedges moves slowly through the concepts, making sure that the reader is adequately informed and prepared for the techniques. An abundance of anecdotal accounts are provided in order to clearly illustrate the different fears, making them easily identifiable.
            Moreover, the book's user-friendly organization allows easy navigation across the various concepts and fear types. At its core, the book encourages readers to engage in regular reflection of their current relationships, and how these relationships in turn affect the body in meaningful ways. I recommend this book for those who are interested in exploring the mind-body connection, and are seeking to locate, understand, and ultimately release unresolved fears that they may not have been aware of previously. The full text is available online for free here.
 
Hedges, L.E. (2012). Overcoming Our Relationship Fears. New York: Free Psychotherapy Books.
Paperback. ISBN: 197 pages. Bibliography and index included.
Key words: fear, relationship, childhood, trauma, emotion, body

Hoyt, M.F. (Ed.) (2013). Therapist Stories of Inspiration, Passion & Renewal: What's Love Got To Do With It? New York: Taylor & Francis.
            Reviewed by: Julie Y.A. Cachia, New York University.
 
In Therapist Stories of Inspiration, Passion & Renewal: What's Love Got To Do With It? edited by Micahel F. Hoyt, reputable psychologists, clinical counselors, professors, and Buddhist meditation teachers come together to share personal experiences providing therapy. Initially brought forth from Hoyt's observation that psychotherapy had become dehumanized, the book's core purpose is to provide practicing psychotherapists with an inspiring collection of stories to reinvigorate their approach to the therapeutic process.
            From chapter to chapter, readers are welcomed with an intimate and unique story demonstrating the true power of love. The chapters range in format from first-person narratives of a few pages to extensive and structured interviews. Hoyt inserts his own chapter, Road Trip, in which he recalls being stranded in the middle of a desolate road at night with his father, following an engine failure. After hours of waiting and attempting to get help, a truck driver finally offers them help, inspiring Hoyt and his father to do the same for the next stranger in need of help. Hoyt's seemingly simple story is a powerful reminder of the incredible potential behind random acts of kindness.
            At My Mother's Kitchen Table: Who Are We, But the Stories We Tell?, is an interview with Donald Meichenbaum, who has been rated as "one of the ten most influential psychotherapists of the 20th century" (p. 195). The panoptic interview not only traces back to the seed of Meichenbaum's career during his freshman year at City College, but it also describes the ways in which his mother has had a defining role in inspiring his approach to psychotherapy.
            In another chapter, Up The Hurry Stairs, Tobey Hiller describes with striking detail the progression of one of her clients, a mother suffering from bipolar disorder. As Hiller bears witness to her client's incredible progress, she writes about being overcome with feelings of gratitude towards her client and her profession for helping her "encounter again the best reasons for pleasure in being human: the unexpected, indeed almost miraculous, capacity for change, for tectonic movement, where none has been expected" (p. 133).
            In the last chapter, Themes and Lessons: The Invitation Revisited, Hoyt identifies the common themes and messages he hopes readers have received from the various stories, including the importance of the therapeutic connection, feeling and passion, curiosity and the willingness to be open, hard work, words and creativity, humor, service, and of course, the inescapable power of love.
            Therapist Stories of Inspiration, Passion & Renewal: What's Love Got To Do With It? is indeed a unique patchwork of inspiration, passion, and renewal. At a time when clients tend to be given problem-defined prescriptions as opposed to unique, solution-focused identities, these stories trigger reflection and restore faith in the power of mutually therapeutic exchange between client and therapist. What's more, despite the fact that the book is exclusively written by those in the field of psychotherapy, none of the chapters are particularly technical, allowing the intended audience to extend beyond professionals in the field. In fact, thanks to the cultural, national, and vocational diversity of its authorship, readers are uniformly guaranteed to find a story that touches the innermost realm of their hearts.
            Currently a senior staff psychologist at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Michael F. Hoyt, Ph.D. is an internationally acclaimed clinician, professor, author and editor. He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, recipient of the prestigious APF Cummings Psyche Prize, and has been named Continuing Education Distinguished Speaker by both the American Psychological Association and the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors.
 
Hoyt, M. F. (Ed.) (2013). Therapist Stories of Inspiration, Passion & Renewal: What's Love Got To Do With It? New York: Taylor & Francis.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-0-415-50084-5.  295 pp. References included.
Key words: therapy, psychotherapy, inspiration, passion, renewal, love

Kaparo, R.F. (2012). Awakening Somatic Intelligence: The Art and Practice of Embodied Mindfulness. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
            Reviewed by: Amanda Fisher, New York University.
 
People used their sense organs to understand the world around them more frequently and as a means of survival. Today, we do not have to use our senses as much to fend for ourselves, because of society's implements that protect us. In fact, in order to achieve goals, we ignore signals from our body, and instead engage in goal pursuit based on higher-order motives. However, we still have this sensory intelligence, and this truth begs the question, what is the purpose of engaging somatic intelligence today? In her book Awakening Somatic Intelligence: The Art and Practice of Embodied Meditation, Risa F. Kaparo, PhD provides an answer to this question, claiming that somatic experiencing engenders freedom, happiness, compassion, and love, or, in other words, feeling alive. It also aids healing from traumatic physical and psychological injuries.
            Kaparo discusses a practice called Somatic Learning, where, through practice, we can "turn urgency into gravity," or, in other words, transforming an "urgency" such as stress, pain, or trauma into an awakening, living in the present, and living into the unknown. She emphasizes the fact that the present is all we have, so we must use it for learning and transformation. Fostering our somatic intelligence, she claims, helps us enjoy life to the fullest through awakening, and leads to empowerment. Often, individuals who are in a state of pain are the ones who seek help; they want freedom from the state they are in and are more likely to value empowerment and a high quality of life, since an experience characterized by suffering is essentially the opposite. Most importantly, she is adamant in her emphasis on the value of changing pain, or order, permanently, instead of simply providing temporary relief.
            Part I introduces somatic learning. It is something that we are born with, and if we are currently disconnected from it, we have the ability to reclaim it. Kaparo explains her discovery of somatic learning and how her initial interest in this area was sparked, after a pelvic injury and enduring overwhelming pain. A reader with no previous knowledge about or experience with somatic experiencing is able to relate to her perspective during this phase of her life. Even though intense pain is traumatic and generally unwanted, this pain energized Kaparo's discovery of somatic experiencing. Curiosity and experimentation lead Kaparo to experience somatic awareness, which was ultimately the fundamental agent of her recovery. In this section she also shares other healing stories and personal accounts.
            Part II discusses breathing, the core of all somatic meditations that lead to somatic learning. She begins by explaining human anatomy and the lymphatic system in relation to breathing, and then goes on to explain different breathing methods. She discusses bedtime practice, to remove noise from the day, facilitating deeper rest, as well as morning practice. In Part III, Kaparo offers somatic meditations that can be practiced with flexibility, anytime and anywhere. Part IV asserts how to deepen practice using touch. Touch can offer feedback that increases awareness and helps create space.
            Humans, as Kaparo describes us, are self-sensing, self-organizing, and self-renewing. We are "evolutionary and intelligent," and must confront every dimension of our nature. This book provides a theoretical framework for somatic experiencing, but the somatic experiencing itself is defined by the individual's practice and experience, and grounded in embracing the present.
 
Kaparo, R.F. (2012). Awakening Somatic Intelligence: The Art and Practice of Embodied Mindfulness. Berkely, CA: North Atlantic Books.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-1-58394-417-2. 218 pages. Includes Index
Key Words: Embodiment, somatic experiencing, trauma, mindfulness

Levine, Peter A. (2013). "Coupling Dynamics." SE Master Class DVD. Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute.
Series: Interview conducted by B.J. Whelan: (Total Running Time:  00:22:04.)
            Reviewed by: Nan Goldstein, National Institute for the Psychotherapies.
 
This DVD, part of the Somatic Experiencing Master Class Series is designed to support SE participants and practitioners in expanding and refining their SE skills and knowledge base.  It is only available to Somatic Experiencing Practitioners. In this DVD Peter A. Levine, PhD, developer of SE, takes an in-depth look into one of the key concepts of the SE model, 
"Coupling Dynamics."  Interviewed by Brian J. Whelan, LCSW, CST, SEP, Levine explores and demystifies undercoupling, overcoupling, and interoceptive conditioning using specific case examples and practical explanations of how best to work with each state.  As Levine underscores, practitioners must work with precision when working with patients and just titrating is not enough. "Coupling dynamics," as interviewer Whelan points out at the onset, can be a difficult concept for students to grasp.  This DVD does an excellent job of explaining the dynamic relationship between undercoupling and overcoupling, and states that going back and forth between both states is often necessary to unlock interoceptive conditioning. This short and informative DVD is divided into four parts: 'Introduction', 'Overcoupling'; 'Undercoupling' and 'Interoceptive Conditioning'.
            Levine first takes on overcoupling, which he describes as relatively simple to understand. To elucidate the concept he uses as a case example someone who has a panic attack whenever they smell alcohol on someone's breath. (Levine, for simplicity's sake, shrewdly refers to this example later in the DVD when discussing interoceptive conditioning.) He takes viewers through a likely sequence of events beginning with smelling alcohol on someone's breath, then tightening of the muscles in the neck, tightening of the jaw, to feeling heaviness in the chest, which leads to difficulty breathing, and then to picturing an inebriated uncle entering the room. Levine carefully points out that any element of an overcoupling sequence can bring about a panic attack (e.g., if this person tightens their jaw for some reason it can cause the same loop to perpetuate and result in a panic attack). Consequently any element of the sequence can be used to do the work. He may begin by asking the person to slowly open and close their jaw. Using saltwater taffy as an analogy, Levine depicts the need to slowly stretch out any part of the sequence in order to help the patient to break the loop so it cannot keep feeding on itself. He points out that SEPs can work with tensional sensations, images or thought: any element can be overcoupled.
            The elusive undercoupling dynamic is explored next. To shed light on this dynamic, Levine describes the body's response to threat. Levine explains that the body's response to threat and stress is first to tighten to constrict; in preparation for the flight and fight response. If that fails, when we fear we are facing mortal threat, the body collapses, goes numb and disassociates. This is an example of the undercoupling dynamic. Using the frozen shoulder of a fireman as an example, (a case which should be familiar to SE practitioners from his books), Levine describes how best to work with this dynamic. He begins by passively moving the fireman's arm. He then asks the fireman to move his own arm as much as he can before he encounters any pain. This is done several times and eventually to the fireman's astonishment, his arm goes all the way out and sweat covers his forehead. The fireman then knew what was behind his frozen shoulder. The fireman recalled the details of an accident: rushing to a car that had crashed into a pole outside a supermarket; reaching into the car to turn off the ignition as he had been trained to do; and seeing a child in the passenger seat who was horribly injured. Levine said it was the extreme conflict between reaching into the car to turn off the ignition and the impulse to recoil in horror and to pull his arm out. In order to overcome that, his shoulder had become disconnected from the rest of his body. Levine adds that this is what Robert Scaer MD refers to as somatic disassociation. The disassociated state is undercoupled. To work with this, Levine helps the person to allow the parts to come back together. Levine states that with this work there is often a release of energy and the patient needs time to integrate that because often the energy does not all release at once. In these situations, Levine will ask his patient to wait in the waiting room for an hour or so after their work together and he checks in with them before they leave since more and more energy can continue to release. Levine says that this is very important not only in understanding the concept of overcoupling and undercoupling but also in understanding the amount of energy that is bound in the undercoupled and the overcoupled configuration. Very often the SE work involved is to go back and forth between overcoupled and undercoupled states - as energy is released.
            Interoceptive conditioning is explored last. The person molested or raped by their inebriated uncle is again called upon as illustration.  The person tries to pull away but they are overwhelmed. Now when the person sees someone who reminds them of the uncle or smells alcohol, the body tenses and this signals to the brain that there is a threat. The unconditioned response is the rape or molestation itself; the conditioned stimulus is the tension in the muscle. Every time the person has a tension in the muscle, that tension goes to the brain and says "threat." The brain sees threat and the muscle tightens even more. The tension pattern becomes locked. The SE practitioner learns to uncouple the interoceptive sequence in the same way as described in the overcoupling sequence. Levine goes on to explore this phenomenon citing other cases he has treated. He feels that this is very important to master, especially working with people with fibromyalgia or any kind of gastro-intestinal disorder (spastic colon syndromes). He cautions that conditioned responses in the viscera are very difficult to change. With visceral interoceptive conditioning it is critical to work slowly and carefully. The same is true with asthma: it is critical to work slowly and gently because if the person is overwhelmed, and too much energy is released, they can easily have an asthma attack. What Levine attempts to do is change the sequence, before it triggers the asthma attack, then the whole feedback loop begins to change - and therein lies what the work is attempting to do. As Levine emphasizes, the SEP needs to do precise work with these syndromes. This DVD should be incredibly helpful to SEPs wanting a deeper understanding of these concepts.
 
Levine, P.A. (2013). "Coupling Dynamics." SE Master Class DVD Series: Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute.
Key words: Somatic Experiencing, trauma, overcoupling, undercoupling, interoceptive conditioning, titrating.

Linden, S.B. (2013). The Heart and Soul of Psychotherapy: A Transpersonal Approach through Theater Arts. Trafford Publishing.
            Reviewed by: Maria Nomani, Stony Brook University.
 
The Heart and Soul of Psychotherapy: A Transpersonal Approach through Theater Arts, edited by Saphira Barbara Linden, introduces the intriguing application of transpersonal drama therapies to confront physical and mental illness. Her approach centers on the identification of one's soul and achievement of human consciousness, out of which wholeness is reached and health is regained. With a unique combination of influences from Sufism and Jungian individuation, the Omega Process of Transpersonal Drama Psychotherapy includes twelve essential steps that allow for healing by accepting the essential Self, identifying conscious thoughts and feelings, experiencing unity between oneself and the world, and ultimately concentrating this self-reflection into lasting interconnectedness through creative work and symbolic communication.
            The Heart and Soul of Psychology: A Transpersonal Approach through Theater Arts goes on to demonstrate the practical use of Transpersonal Drama Psychotherapy by Linden's students in an immense range of populations and settings. Linden's fundamental goal through these exemplifications is to solidify drama therapy as an effective and meaningful form of psychotherapy, through which spiritual healing and education can indeed reach both individuals and communities in all walks of life. Additionally, psychotherapists can develop an understanding of these techniques, their implementations, and future uses./div>
            Linden begins by chronicling her own journey into reaching her divinity and how this precipitated an expansion of experimental theater and creative arts therapy. A significant portion of the book focuses on the transpersonal aspect of drama therapy, providing details of the traditions which affected this view the most. The influences of Sufism, namely the use of breathing and the principle that reconnection with the essential Self will lead to the realization of strength and wisdom, thus evoking healing, are given special attention, as is the influence of Carl Gustav Jung's active imagination and access of the imaginal world. This proves crucial to the reader's understanding of Transpersonal Drama Psychotherapy and describes the transformation that occurs within the patient as a result of it. Linden emphasizes the spiritual and transpersonal nature of this drama psychotherapy and firmly establishes its potential for universal success. She does so by referring to previous cases of drama therapy utilized in the early 1900s, its establishment as a field in the 1970s, and its dramatic growth and development since that time.
            The precepts of Transpersonal Drama Psychotherapy are causal to its rapid spread across a broad range of patients and environments. Because of the willingness of Linden's students to explore new dimensions of drama therapy, many forms of role-playing have been employed, as well as other symbolic approaches, including using music and rhythm. As this diversity of media is expanded upon through further use of Transpersonal Drama Psychotherapy and in collaboration with dance and poetry therapies, the array of potential patients for this treatment will inevitably expand as well. More importantly, however, is that Linden's students have already established its effectiveness in both private and community practices. The flexibility of Transpersonal Drama Psychotherapy is detailed through demonstrations of its use with specific cases in private settings, as well as in couple sessions, with families and children, in therapy groups, and even in larger communities such as church, hospital, refugee camp, and inner city youth communities. The healers involved in drama psychotherapy can also be dynamic in their methods of treatment, as with two of Linden's students who became hospital clowns to treat sick children and their families. Not surprisingly, drama therapy has been shown to improve the health and artistry of actors as well, and has grown into a useful tool for those in the field of the performing arts. This adaptability allows psychotherapists to take Transpersonal Drama Psychotherapy in a variety of directions, as suited to their own concentrations or to the needs of individual patients.
            The drama therapy discipline, and particularly the methodology utilized in Linden's Transpersonal Drama Psychology, is shown to be an interesting new domain in which psychotherapists can attempt novel therapeutic approaches when aiding traumatized patients. The Heart and Soul of Psychotherapy: A Transpersonal Approach through Theater Arts is a collection of works which provides a comprehensive overview of this topic that sufficiently introduces it and the spiritual traditions that guide it. In addition, the numerous case studies and applications of drama psychotherapy invoke inspiration into innovative strategies through which therapists can engage and aid their patients. These applications also serve to authenticate the success of drama therapy by demonstrating its effectiveness on hundreds of people of different age, gender, socioeconomic status, and health condition. Thus, this book is a reliable guide to the distinctions of Transformational Drama Psychotherapy for its readers and decisively recognizes drama therapy as a valuable form of psychotherapy.
 
Linden, S.B. (2013). The Heart and Soul of Psychotherapy: A Transpersonal Approach through Theater Arts. Trafford Publishing.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-1-4669-7335-0. 511 pages. Index included.
Key words: creative arts therapy, psychodrama, drama therapy, transformational theater, transpersonal psychotherapy.

Meares, R. (2012). Borderline Personality Disorder and the Conversational Model. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
            Reviewed by: Nataliya Rubinchik, Hunter College.
 
Russell Meares and co-authors worked together to publicize how the conversational model can help patients overcome many symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) through therapy. The conversational model aims to correct "distortions of habitual maladaptive forms of relatedness," or the disturbance in their "sense of personal existence." Both therapeutic content in and form of conversation between a patient and a therapist are required in order to hope to reconnect the patient's self.
            Meares put together Borderline Personality Disorder and the Conversational Model as a companion book to A Dissociation Model of Borderline Personality Disorder, the manual physicians use to treat BPD. It is written in an organized fashion. Each chapter is broken down to describe the role of the conversational model in treating BPD. Individual studies add substance and explain further how symptoms of BPD can be treated and what hindrances can exist in treating individual cases. Meares concedes that a problem with this manual is the fact that tone, which is one of the most important factors of conversation, cannot be relayed on paper, thus leaving the reader with the responsibility "to read with this caveat in mind.
            This book is intended to be read by clinicians, psychologists, or other professionals in healthcare and psychology. With its numerous examples and well-organized chapters, this book is easy to understand even for someone who is only beginning his or her career in psychology. Jargon is defined and an example is given so that anyone who is interested would understand what is being said.
            In order for readers to see how the conversational model successfully works in treating symptoms of BDP, Meares wants readers to view BPD as a state in which "chronic dysphoric feelings of emptiness and boredom prevail, and the "broken-upness" and disconnection of psychic life are aspects of a persisting and subtle disconnectedness in ordinary relationships." Since Meares attributes BPD to a disconnectedness between "self and other" and the psychic life, it is easier to see how intimate therapeutic conversations with a therapist could help patients overcome many of their negative feelings, which in turn helps treat many symptoms of borderline personality disorder.
            This book serves as a general guide for how the conversation model can be used to treat patients with borderline personality disorder. It includes examples from therapy sessions with various patients and addresses general and individual issues that therapists can be met with while working with various patients. Transcripts help the reader put him or herself in the shoes of both the patient and the clinician, graphs and charts help to illustrate the authors' main points. In addition, this book takes the reader back to when BPD was only becoming acknowledged as a disorder and to when the conversational model was only an idea. Including different case studies also helps to support the authors' argument that the conversational model is successful in treating many symptoms of BPD.
            For example, a three-year study was conducted beginning in 1983 that used the first year as a control year to measure BPD symptoms of each of thirty patients, the second year for treatment of symptoms through the conversational model therapy, and the third year to follow-up with patients and compare the severity of their symptoms to prior to treatment. It was found that treating BPD with the conversational model significantly decreased symptoms as "the number of episodes of self-harm dropped to less than a quarter of their previous occurrence; violence dropped nearly the same amount; drugs, both prescribed and illicit, were used at only 13% of the previous rate; and time away from work fell by two-thirds.
            Patients who are borderline tend to have experienced trauma in their lives, often abuse at a younger age, and require a safe place to deal with these issues with their therapist. Therapists have to be careful not to push patients deeper into emotional trauma during their conversations, a potential problem with the conversational model. Therapists also have the responsibility of helping patients find the self, a "reflective awareness of inner events," in order to later reestablish a connection between the self, the patient, and the outside world through therapeutic conversation.
            Written in a coherent manner, Borderline Personality Disorder and the Conversational Model is a good tool to go to when researching how to treat symptoms of BPD. It is organized and each subsection supports the point that is being made. Meares and his co authors are not afraid to state issues that currently exist in their research. Further analyses should still be done on the conversational model, but what is known can be read in Meares' work.
 
Meares, R. (2012). Borderline Personality Disorder and the Conversational Model. New York; W.W. Norton, & Co.
Paperback. IBSN: 978-0-393-70783-0. 313 pages. Includes biographical references.
Key words: borderline personality disorder, conversation, therapy, disconnectedness of self

Meichenbaum, D. (2012). Roadmap to Resilience: A Guide for Military, Trauma Victims and Their Families. Clearwater, FL: Institute Press.
            Reviewed by: Julie Y.A. Cachia, New York University.
 
In Roadmap to Resilience: A Guide for Military, Trauma Victims and Their Families by Donald Meichenbaum, resilience is defined as "the capacity to adapt successfully in the presence of risk and adversity." With over 40 years of experience as a clinical psychologist, Meichenbaum has accumulated a profound understanding of how trauma can affect individuals and their families. This book emphasizes the fact that, in the aftermath of trauma, it is possible for people to heal and build closer connections with themselves and those around them.
            Meichenbaum begins his book by explaining the concept of resilience, and presents an abundance of research findings that reveal the incredible capacity for civilians, service members and their family members to adapt to adversity. These findings encourage hope and inspiration in the reader before the techniques themselves are introduced.
            The majority of the book examines resilience and fitness in six major areas: Physical Fitness, Interpersonal Fitness, Emotional Fitness, Thinking (or Cognitive) Fitness, Behavioral Fitness, and Spiritual Fitness. Evidently, the book explores a wide range of topics in relation to "fitness," resulting in a comprehensive guide for a wide trauma-affected audience. As an example, readers learn how to improve sleep, monitor alcohol consumption, build a more optimistic outlook, practice mindfulness, use breathing exercises, and decrease destructive cycles of rumination. In the section on spirituality, Meichenbaum encourages "personal connection with meaning and purpose in your life through something greater than yourself," in order to enhance resilience, whether this be through a set of personal values or a religious belief in a higher power. As such, the book remains respectful and accepting of each individual's choice of spirituality.
            Each chapter includes Quotable Quotes from returning service members and civilians, illustrating the extent to which an action can change people's lives. There are also Hinge Questions, which are questions that promote self-understanding, personal growth, and well-being. Finally, chapters also come with Useful information, which are sections that provide explanations as to why certain actions or behavioral changes can boost resilience. They also provide resources such as relevant websites, agencies, and hotline telephone numbers.
            As outlined by Meichenbaum in the introduction, this book can be approached in various ways. Some may find it more convenient to skip to specific areas of resilience that they want to focus on, whereas others who do not have such specific targets may enjoy reading it cover to cover in order to explore various concepts. Another approach is to skip to the appendixes at the very back of the book. There are two appendixes, Appendix A and Appendix B. Appendix A lists out all the 101 ways to enhance resilience, and is organized by type of "fitness," along with page numbers for details. Appendix B is slightly more general, as it provides a list of How-To subjects organized alphabetically. Both of these appendixes are incredibly practical for those who know what they want out of the book. The various ways in which this book can be approached allows flexibility and grants the reader great freedom in deciding what works best for them. In fact, beyond the approach itself, the book also allows readers to create their own individualized toolkit based on what they feel is most effective for them. As Meichenbaum points out, "There are many different pathways to resilience and what works best for one individual may not work for someone else."
            The steps outlined in this book are also practical in that they can be implemented immediately, which helps quickly effectuate the change that readers seek. At the same time, however, readers are allowed to take the necessary amount of time in processing their negative memories and experiences, thereby engaging in constructive grieving. It is evident that Meichenbaum recognizes the importance of processing these unresolved emotions in order to arrive to a healthier state of being.
            By far, the book's greatest strength lies in its organization, rendering it easy to use and navigate. Moreover, it is exhaustive in that it explores a vast number of techniques, from meditation and mindfulness to healthy food choices and exercise. However, this very asset may prove to be a hindrance for those who are interested in delving deeper into the specific techniques. In this case, readers would have to turn to a different source in order to explore specific concepts in greater depth. All in all, Roadmap to Resilience is a great foundation for individuals who are lost in their traumatic experience, and in this sense, it truly is a "Roadmap to Resilience."
 
Meichenbaum, D. (2012). Roadmap to Resilience: A Guide for Military, Trauma Victims and Their Families. Clearwater, FL: Institute Press,
Paperback. ISBN: 978-096988402-6. 207 pages. References included.
Key words: trauma, military, resilience, PTSD, physical, emotional, interpersonal, cognitive, behavioral, spiritual

Mullainaithan, S. & Shafir, E. (2013). Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much. New York: Henry Holt & Co.   
            Reviewed by: Nataliya Rubinchik, Hunter College.
 
The first lesson of every Economics 101 class is "scarcity," in other words, having to make choices because of finite resources. Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir wrote Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much for the purpose of relating the biggest lesson in economics to one universal problem that persists in society. Mullainathan and Shafir begin their lesson with the words, "We wrote this book because we were too busy not to." At first glace, this statement doesn't make sense, but in reading just a few more paragraphs their dilemma becomes clear - people always want more than they could possibly have.
            Psychology and economics have only recently come together to create a new field called behavioral economics. When economics was first being studied, it was done so through psychology. However, as the study of economics developed, its theories became good at estimating numbers only if things go as we assume. The purpose of behavioral economics is to bring back life to consumer choices, making economic analysis more realistic rather than based solely on theories. But because psychology and economics go hand it hand, it is possible to observe how economic ideas factor daily life. Scarcity is a problem that is seen in both psychology and economics.
            "Scarcity changes the mind," write Mullainathan and Shafir. Whether we're wishing we had more time, more food, more friends, or more money, the object of our desire becomes our only priority forcing us to orient our lives around our obsessions. The authors of Scarcity cite a number of studies that were conducted on hungry, thirsty, poor, and lonely participants to support their theory that the feeling of scarcity leads our actions. They then go on to explain just how scarcity captures the mind, sometimes focusing it to help us make good decisions yet other times burdening it, taking attention away from other important things. "It costs us: we neglect other concerns, and we become less effective in the rest of life."
            Why do most people wait until the last minute to work on their projects? Scarcity is the answer. We may have ideas circling around in our mind, but it often takes the pressure of the last minute, having a scarcity of time, in order to put everything together into one coherent thought. Constraints force us to act quickly and make the best decisions possible with what we have. Scarcity (time, money) is both the angel and the devil on our shoulder. When it feels far away, like we have what we want, the little devil might tempt us to misuse our resources. But when the pressure is hanging right over us the little angel keeps us on track, forcing us to make wiser choices with what we have.
            Of course such focus can come at a price, as Mullainathan and Shafir explain. When facing a scarcity, we focus entirely on the issue at hand, which may result in not seeing outside the box and expecting repercussions. The authors call this neglect of thought "tunneling," creating a frame around what has to be done and not seeing any other things. When we're a trade-off and both things are valuable and in the tunnel, we may think twice about what to give up. However, if our tunnel is so narrow that we only see the imminent deadline, we neglect things that we really value, that may be even more important than keeping up with our deadline.
            Interdisciplinary theories are valuable because they allow multiple things to be explained in a new way. This book, written by a cognitive psychologist and a behavioral economist, reinterprets an economic idea in a psychological way to then use it to further understand human behavior. "It raises a new perspective on an age-old problem," using multiple fields to come up with one universal solution. Scarcity is written in easy language that is understandable to those who have no previous knowledge of economics or psychology but are just interested in learning a little bit more about themselves. Studies and anecdotes are used throughout to illustrate the authors' point and apply it to real life.
            Each chapter is divided into subsections. The authors lead into each subsection by connecting the idea of that section briefly with the next and then moving on to the next section completely. This makes every term of their theory comprehendible, as each term has a section, which includes at least one example explaining clearly what they mean. In addition to just explaining their theory, the authors use their ideas to try to come up with a solution to the negative effects of scarcity, such as poverty. At the end of the book, Mullainathan and Shafir include a substantial Notes section, which they fill with studies they wrote about when demonstrating their ideas as well as studies that go further, in case the reader is 
interested in learning more.
            Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much is easy to read, full of interesting anecdotes and background information that add to the point, rather than steer the reader away. It is worthwhile for anyone who wants to learn a little more about human nature and about how to focus on the positives of the scarcities we face. After all, we're too busy not to.
 
Mullainaithan, S. & Shafir, E. (2013). Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much. New York: Henry Holt & Co.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-0-8050-2964-6. 288 pages. Includes bibliographical references and index.
Key words: scarcity, decisions, psychology, poverty

O'Hanlon, B. (2013). Becoming a Published Therapist: A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Your Book. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
            Reviewed by: Rachel Vitale, New York University
 
Bill O'Hanlon did not start out as what one would consider to be a "natural writer". In fact, he had neither a clue nor desire to write a book worth publishing. This mindset was not derived from incompetence, but more from lack of guidance. No one had ever offered him any information on where to begin and he, due to his utter lack of interest, never bothered to seek assistance. Today, he has authored or co-authored over thirty-five books and published sixty articles or book chapters, which have been translated into sixteen different languages. His work has successfully sold hundreds of thousands of copies all around the world.
            I'm sure there would be many questions running through a reader's mind after having read O'Hanlon's introduction: Why the sudden change of heart? How did he go from clueless to clued-in? It wasn't that O'Hanlon didn't have it in him to produce a published book-as one can clearly gather from his success-but more so that he hadn't a clue where to begin the process of both writing and publishing. It is because of this that he chose to write the guidebook, Becoming a Published 
Therapist: A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Your Book. This book serves as exactly what it claims to be: a step-by-step guide to becoming a published author. It is comprised of seven chapters, along with a CD-ROM that includes worksheets, audio files, and videos to accompany the book. Quirky little illustrations at the beginning of each chapter add to the book's charm.
            This guide is as much about O'Hanlon's background as an inexperienced writer as it is about how one should go about publishing his or her own book. It is because of the author's past experience as a non-writer that his advice is so useful. Not only are his guidelines useful, but the tone he takes throughout the book is relatable to anyone striving-yet too timid-to pick up the pen and go. He is incredibly concise and well-organized throughout the guidebook. Brief summaries of what was just covered are included at the end of each chapter. There are sample texts included here and there, some that have actually been published. The author has even sprinkled short fill-in the blank activities here and there for readers to really engage with the material. This forces readers to not only lock into the lesson O'Hanlon is trying to teach, but practice, which is a very important concept in terms of writing. The book is not terribly long. One could potentially finish it in one sitting. But reading from front to back is not mandatory with the given format; the reader has the freedom to skip around from section to section.
            This book speaks to therapists who wish to publish nonfiction, although some instruction might overlap with fiction work, O'Hanlon makes it clear that fiction is an entirely different dance that he has not dared to tango with. Not only does he simply lay out rules to follow, he also motivates readers to actually want to write their book. I can guarantee that even readers, who like O'Hanlon originally, have no desire to write whatsoever, will have a few sparks flying after putting this book down. "One can, I understand, have a perfectly fine life without writing or publishing a book. I had one for twenty-five years before my first book came out. Now, after more than thirty books, I can barely remember life before having been published." O'Hanlon is not intentionally persuasive in his language regarding the status of a published author, but he does make you wonder.
 
O'Hanlon, B. (2013). Becoming a Published Therapist: A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Your Book. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-0-393-70810-3. 192 pages.

Ortner, N. (2013). The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc.  
            Reviewed by: Julie Y.A. Cachia, New York University.   
    
At first glance, Nick Ortner's The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living seems too good to be true: 
a simple tapping technique that claims to solve a wide variety of problems in one fell swoop, from anxiety to unhealthy food 
cravings. Perhaps having predicted this reaction from his readers, Ortner provides a plethora of real-life cases in which 
individuals with various physical and emotional difficulties use the tapping technique to go above and beyond recovery. On 
top of these real-life examples, Ortner dedicates Chapter 1: A Monumental Discovery to explaining the recent scientific 
findings that support the legitimacy of this process. Indeed, it quickly becomes clear that "tapping" is not only legitimate, but 
also unquestionably effective. Also known as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), "tapping" combines Chinese acupressure and modern psychology, targeting eight meridian points on the head and upper body to remedy a vast number of problems.   
            From the first page, Ortner's enthusiasm about the effectiveness of "tapping" is contagious. He begins by recalling his 
first encounter with "tapping," which eventually led to his documentary film The Tapping Solution as well as this book. Thanks to his vivacious writing style, his book is easy to read, and caters to a wide audience. In Chapter 2: Quick Start: Experience Tapping Now, Ortner dives into the actual technique behind "tapping" by breaking down the process into clear parts. As early as the second chapter, readers gain direct experience with the effect of "tapping." The rest of the chapters delve deeper into how this practice can be useful, and targets various problems more specifically.
            As previously mentioned, "tapping" targets a wide array of both physical and emotional issues. Specifically, Ortner decides to dedicate individual chapters on curing physical pain (Chapter 7: Releasing Physical Pain), weight loss (Chapter 8: Losing Weight and Letting Go of Fear, Guilt, and Shame Around Food), finding love (Chapter 9: Creating Love and Healthy Relationships), attaining financial abundance (Chapter 10: Making Money and Achieving Your Dreams), and overcoming fears (Chapter 11: Eliminating Phobias and Fears). As evidenced by the organized categorization of these various areas, this book is easy to navigate, especially for readers with a specific concern in mind.
            At its surface, "tapping" provides immediate relief from recurring symptoms such as pain and food cravings. However, the true power of this book lies beyond its temporary remedial effects. Instead of "tapping" away these minor problems every time they resurface (which is certainly an option), Ortner also gently guides readers towards profound self-discovery in order to access and solve the root cause of their symptoms. Often, readers are not even aware that there even is a fundamental struggle underlying these symptoms, and as a result, this discovery process proves to be incredibly enlightening for those individuals. Chapter 5: Tapping Through Your Past, explores traumatic childhood experiences in order to gain more insight into oneself. The fact that negative experiences from as far back as childhood can so profoundly yet subconsciously manifest themselves during adulthood in the form of physical or emotional pain is itself an important and enlightening discovery.
            As a perfect illustration of this hierarchy, Ortner uses The Tapping Tree: the most superficial layer, the leaves, represent the externally manifested Symptoms such as weight issues, PTSD, and procrastination. Under these Symptoms lie the Emotions, as depicted by the branches. These Emotions, of course, include guilt, remorse, fear, stress, etc. Under these Emotions lie the Events, which can range from physical punishment to abandonment in childhood. These Events are represented by the trunk of the tree. Finally, underneath the Symptoms, Emotions, and Events, lie the Limiting Beliefs, which are make up the roots of the tree and therefore, ultimately of everything that grows from the tree. Limiting Beliefs are deeply engrained belief systems that are destructive in nature, such as "I'm not worthy," or "I can't do anything right.
            At its core, "tapping" is not a difficult technique. (In fact, one may argue that its simplicity is what makes it so appealing.) Regardless, Ortner's book is a helpful read because it presents the history and science behind the technique, anticipates possible obstacles such as resistance to change, and leads to a deeper sense of self-awareness that in turn sheds light on deeply-rooted issues. For those who are curious about the technique, this book will give them the necessary confidence to explore it fully for themselves, while experts in the field of EFT may find this book to be informative and helpful in improving their own practice.
 
Ortner, N. (2013). The Tapping Solution:  A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living. Carlesbad, CA: Hay House, Inc.
Hardcover. ISBN: 978-1-4019-3941-0. 229 pages. Index and Resources included.
Key words: tapping, solution, EFT, change, anxiety, body 

Parravani, C. (2013). Her. New York: Henry Hold & Co.
             Reviewed by Nataliya Rubinchik, Hunter College.
 
Her, a memoir by Christa Parravani, tells a story of a twin who lost her sister and herself, and yet managed to come out the other side alive. This narrative of the life and loss of twins is a important addition to psychological literature. Identical twins live not just their own lives, but the lives of their sibling as well. Thoughts, memories, entire lives become a jumble. This is why when one twin dies, the other becomes lost and sometimes turns into this lost sibling through their shared looks and memories.
            After Cara died from an overdose, Christa felt obligated to follow in her sister's footsteps and somehow become her." One twin goes and the other must follow. The big temptation after my sister died was to overdose or shoot myself. I got ready to die... I turned myself into Cara. I wanted to chase my sister into the afterlife." Despite this desire, she lived and went on to tell her through writing, beginning with this novel. "Cara had begun her own memoir. No one can finish it... With my findings, I've patched together our tale."
            As Christa tells her readers, there is a fifty-fifty chance that a twin will die within two years of their sibling's death. Christa survived, carrying with her the memories of her sister, which she created into a truly inspirational novel worth reading. Her gives readers the ability to see deep into the relationship between twins and to feel the happiness and pain that comes from such intimacy. "My fall would be her pleasure, not because she didn't love me, but because she did - she wanted me for herself..." Readers will find themselves looking at life through Christa and Cara's eyes, gazing into what hardships accompany being part of a broken family and being a twin.
            The Parravani tale begins with their conception, of course, which led indirectly to the breaking of their family. They grew up with Mom and mom's boyfriend, a life that many readers will, unfortunately, be able to relate to. Christa tells the story of the twin's childhood and adolescence with the help of Cara's journals. When pieced together, every sentence of every chapter, even when it does not come from the same person, makes perfect sense. We read about Cara's rape, the turning point of their lives, in Cara's own words straight from her journal. She addresses herself in third person, seemingly wishing to separate the girl who was assaulted from herself, which in turn allows the reader to connect with her on a deeper level. The rape catapults Cara into a short life of drugs, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, rehab, and depression.
            And when Cara dies, we take a new journey next to Christa, who is battling her inner desire to die or to disappear... to become Cara and at the same time, be her exact opposite. Her addresses a psychological variety of issues: how an identical twin lives in respect to the other; how one can survive having lost his or her half; loss; grief; drugs; survival. "While she was alive I was vibrant... I was her opposite. In the wake of Cara's death I became her.
            Her is impossible to put down until the very end. Christa takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster, which at times makes the novel seem like a perfectly written work of fiction, but the raw emotion behind every word reminds the reader that this is possible. In fact, Christa meets a therapist who was experiencing the same loss and grief over a twin as she was, making the world seem a little smaller because loss of a twin, while not the same, can be related to losing a family member or a friend. As Christa says, "It was difficult to appreciate the ocean without my twin; to see the world apart from her was to be there only by half.
 
Parravani, C. (2013). Her. New York: Henry Hold & Co.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-0-8050-9653-8. 308 pages.
Key Terms: twin, biography, loss, drugs

Prengel, S. & Somerstein, L. (Eds.) (2013). Defining Moments For Therapists. New York: LifeSherpa.
            Reviewed by: Julie Y.A. Cachia, New York University.
 
Eleven psychotherapists come together to share their accounts of personal epiphanic discoveries in Defining Moments For Therapists, edited by Serge Prengel and Lynn Somerstein. Behind each of these stories lies a unifying concept- that therapists are not merely neutral beings during psychotherapy, but that they experience personal growth and transformation as a result of their relationship with clients. In Prengel's words, "therapy is an intersubjective experience: It is not just that interacting with a client happens to affect the therapist; it is actually very much part of what makes therapy work" (p. 156).
            In her introduction, Somerstein explains that the book was born out of her realization that her training in both yoga and psychoanalysis could be combined to create a more effective mode of treatment, thereby creating an integrative approach to psychotherapy. Somerstein recalls her initial discomfort with the idea of integrating two separate practices, feeling "a little worried that the psychoanalytic police, the cops who live in my head, would tell [her] that a 'real' psychoanalyst would never do such a thing" (p. 1). However, speaking to Prengel led to the understanding that each form of therapy brings its own unique form of healing. Together, Prengel and Somerstein decided to create a compilation of "defining moments" experienced by other practicing psychotherapists, in which various epiphanies led to novel and improved approaches to therapy.
            Aside from the Introduction and Afterword, written by Somerstein and Prengel respectively, every chapter is written by a different therapist. Each chapter therefore possesses a different voice and writing style, keeping the book refreshing and absorbing in its unique way. Regardless of their various core themes, all stories prove to be courageously intimate, some authors even deciding to share their own personal traumatic history. Each chapter is an inspiration in and of itself, touching on an eclectic range of concepts such as space, spirituality, lucid dreaming, and touch. Various modes of therapy are also explored, including body therapy, pre and perinatal psychology, art therapy, musical therapy, somatic psychology, among many others.
            In one of the first few chapters, The Music of Awakening, Merle Molofsky speaks about her encounter with the power of music, and how it allows her to unveil her clients' true underlying needs and emotions by listening to the spontaneously occurring melody inside her head. From Sponge to Firm Container: A Therapist Grows in New York by Cheryl Dolinger Brown describes the challenge Brown faced as a budding psychotherapist when her relationship with her self-mutilating client led her to experience vicarious traumatization. She explains that attempting to soak up her client's pain through empathy, much like a "sponge" was not only painful but counterproductive. Eventually, as the title of her chapter suggests, she grows from this experience and succeeds in transforming her "sponge" approach to psychotherapy to a more effective and mutually beneficial "firm container". In yet another especially moving chapter, Soul Geisha, Linda Marks recounts her harrowing and life-threatening encounter with attempted rape and murder at the age of 16, an experience that ultimately inspires her to pursue psychotherapy as a profession. Although all writers face their own personal struggles, the focus is on improvements and personal growth, rendering the text invigoratingly optimistic overall.   
            Of the eleven who shared their stories, Mary Giuffra, Marjorie Rand, Linda Marks, and Claire Haiman are USABP members, including the co-editor Serge Prengel. Moreover, several chapters investigate the integration of somatic approaches, including Claire Haiman's chapter, An Extension of Everything Else We Do: Bringing Touch into an Integrated BodyMind Therapy.
            Although this book seems to be oriented towards other practicing psychotherapists in order to inspire personal development and discoveries throughout their client-therapist relationships, it is an inspiring read for any reader - regardless of profession - who is interested in reading about those who have been able to turn obstacles into enlightening learning 
experiences.
            In order to make the book available to all who are interested, a formatted PDF version of the book has been made available for free download on the following website here. Serge Prengel is also the host of "Creative Conversations" Audio Series for the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy, a series of informal interviews conducted monthly with various psychotherapists. Together, the diverse voices of Prengel's "Creative Conversations" offer a unique window into the soul of psychotherapy itself.
 
Prengel, S. & Somerstein, L. (Eds.) (2013). Defining Moments For Therapists. New York: LifeSherpa.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-1-892482-25-9. 160 pages. Bibliography included.
Key words: therapy, defining moment, psychotherapy, growth

Rabinor, R. (2002). A Starving Madness - Tales of hunger, hope and healing in psychotherapy. Carlsbad, CA: Gurze Books.
            Reviewed by: Samah Ahmed Ikram, Mills College.
 
Judith Ruskay Rabinor's A Starving Madness -Tales of hunger, hope and healing in psychotherapy is a collection of touching stories that illustrate the relation that develops between an eating disorder patient and therapist. Rabinor focuses on eating disorders and body image disorders as she tries to understand the reasons they are caused. She argues that the reasons are multiple and are the symptoms of a deeper issue that must be excavated before the patient can feel relief. Robinor explains that a disorder could develop for a variety of reasons such as neglect and sexual abuse, the most common predictors. For Rabinor, the best source of expression is story telling. Each chapter centers around the stories of one of her patients (whose names have been disguised). Among them is a fifteen year old girl who suffers from anorexia, a woman in her fifties who secretly suffered from bulimia for more than ten years, a thirty year old compulsive eater traumatized by her childhood memories and, a patient who despite therapy remains anorexic.  Also compelling are stories about a college aged woman and a man who battles over weight and struggles with compulsive exercise, sexual abuse, and self-mutilation.
            The book includes quotations about self discovery and hope (The world breaks everyone, and afterwards some are strong in the broken places- Ernest Hemingway ). The act of telling personal experiences as stories helps some of her patients. Others create poems expressing their emotions without feeling as if they have been exposed. The poems and stories allow the therapist to cautiously penetrate defenses and provide empathy and guidance. This helps patients feel that they can trust the therapist who helps them understand their pain and enables them to begin their healing process. Rabinor also uses other psychotherapeutic methods such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), journal writing and guided imagery.
            Rabinor provides a comprehensive guide for professionals in the field as well as those wanting to help themselves or a loved one with an eating disorder. The lack of medical terms and theories make the stories more accessible for those without a science background. Rabinor creates vivid images of therapy sessions and enables the reader to enter the otherwise confidential walls of a therapists office.
            In addition, the personal anecdotes Rabinor reveals as she deals with each patient are insightful. The compassion she has and the deep thought and dedication she gives to each patient is extremely moving. She does not have one technique that she tries to use uniformly on all her patients but instead treats each one as an individual and guides them based on the problem they are trying to counter. She does this by delving into their history and exposure to events such as the interplay of familial, cultural, biological and psychological factors that she believes significantly contribute to the problem. However, Rabinor makes it clear that dealing with the root of an eating disorder can expose the patient to a lot of open wounds. Thus the process of healing requires a gradual buildup of trust and security between the patient and therapist.
            The personal stories run through a sequence of events, from the reason why a patient came to therapy (whether forced by a parent or teacher because of their eating habits for example) to their self understanding of why they do it to understanding the root cause of their disorder. This gradual shift illustrates to readers the time it takes for a patient to reach some semblance of healing. The book is structured in a way that enables it to target not only professionals but also those who need a guide book  as it allows one to vicariously step into the position of those in the book. It also makes clear the patience and dedication needed on the part of the therapist.
            Overall, this book is easy to understand and a good reference. It could help parents become aware of eating disorders and the symptoms they should look out for and the steps they should avoid and those they should take to allow the healthy growth of their children.The language and style are creative and intriguing and create a desire to continue reading.
 
Rabinor, R. (2002). A Starving Madness: Tales of hunger, hope and healing in psychotherapy. Carlsbad, CA: Gurze Books,
Paperback, ISBN- 0936077417. 212 pp. References and index included .
Key words: eating disorders, body image disorders, psychodynamic psychotherapy, modification theory

Rabinor, J.R. (2012). Befriending Your Ex after Divorce: Making Life Better for You, Your Kids, and, Yes, Your Ex. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
            Reviewed by: Julie Y.A. Cachia, New York University.
 
Judith Ruskay Rabinor's Befriending Your Ex after Divorce: Making Life Better for You, Your Kids, and, Yes, Your Ex focuses on establishing and improving the ex-spousal relationship post-divorce. As a previously-divorced psychologist, Rabinor uses her professional experience as the backbone of her book, while at the same time drawing from her personal experience. She has also conducted her own research on the topic and has interviewed those in her close circle who have successfully befriended their ex-spouse prior to writing her book. The result is a comprehensive treasure-trove of inspiring stories, information, key strategies and self-discovery exercises that ultimately inspire optimism in what would otherwise appear to be an impossible healing process for those who are struggling through the aftermath of divorce.
            Specifically, the book is aimed towards divorced parents who want to successfully establish a healthy co-parenting relationship with each other for the sake of their children. Rabinor emphasizes the fact that by befriending an ex-spouse, one does not only become a better parent to one's kids, but that it also improves one's own well-being. With the understanding that every divorce is unique, Rabinor considers a variety of situations, from resentment over financial matters to successfully navigating holidays. Moreover, Chapter 7, "Predictable Pitfalls: What Keeps Exes Enemies" outlines the myriad of ways in which potential problems could arise during the ex-spousal befriending process. By warning the reader about these classic pitfalls, the chapter renders itself especially helpful in helping the reader prevent them.
            At the same time, however, a lot of what is covered in the book is not only relevant to divorced couples with or without children, but also to those experiencing general instability in their relationships, whether they be friendships, parent-child relationships, professional relationships, etc. In fact, Rabinor writes at length about how to deal with difficult emotions such as grief, anger, anxiety, guilt, and shame, which are all emotions that are often encountered outside of martial relationships. Chapter 3, "Grief as a Pathway to Resiliency" can also be relevant to anyone struggling with grief and seeking healthy outlets for its release. In this particular chapter, readers are encouraged to use grief as a tool for emotional growth. Chapter 5, "Letting Go" is about accepting what happened as a couple, in order to emotionally clear the way for a fresh start. As general relationship and emotion-related issues are extensively addressed, it would not be surprising if divorced readers found that their other relationships also naturally improved as a result of reading this book.
            The concepts explored in this book should equally interest practicing psychotherapists who work with divorced clients, as it provides a relatively non-traditional yet effective perspective on how to resolve trauma resulting from divorce. Moreover, Rabinor consistently backs up her ideas with scientific research, making the book particularly relevant to current experts in the field of couples therapy.
            The literature on divorce, specifically in the area of self-help books, is becoming increasingly important in the face of a rapidly rising divorce rate, as more and more children are growing up in broken homes. Despite living apart, divorced couples with children must face their parenting responsibilities. Although some couples give in to a lifetime of difficult or awkward encounters with their ex-spouse, Rabinor's book allows readers to learn from and gain inspiration from others who have achieved a healthy and positive relationship with their ex-spouses. Readers will realize that ultimately, beneath the pain of the divorce, love and compassion for their partner can still be found. By the end of the book, the message rings clear - although it may initially seem daunting, it is in fact possible to achieve a healthy friendship with one's ex-spouse.
            While Befriending Your Ex after Divorce: Making Life Better for You, Your Kids, and, Yes, Your Ex recognizes the tremendous capacity of human resilience in the face of traumatic events such as divorce, it emphasizes the fact that even a relatively peaceful divorce can, if left unaddressed, be an invisible yet ever-present weight for people to carry around for the rest of their lives. By providing a personal yet insightful perspective on how to mend post-divorce relationships, Rabinor gently guides the reader towards emotional healing and happiness for both partners and their children.
 
Rabinor, J.R. (2012). Befriending Your Ex after Divorce: Making Life Better for You, Your Kids, and, Yes, Your Ex. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-1-60882-277-5. 203 pages. Appendix and references included.
Key words: divorce, marriage, ex, children, healing, relationship, friendship

Rothschild, B. (2010). 8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.
Reviewed by: Jazmine Russell, New York University   
 
Often times in trauma treatment, re-remembering the incidences or events of the past which caused the distress is believed to be integral to one's recovery, however, Babette Rothschild challenges this idea with what she calls the principle of "common sense". To Rothschild, no two individuals are completely alike, and it makes sense that with different experiences they will have different roads to recovery. Because of this, re-remembering and experiencing the past may be useful for one person, but not the next. Therefore, she promotes above all a "safe" recovery, which does not mean it is painless, however, she believes it is possible to heal without intensifying or provoking suffering. She emphasizes the idea that one's quality of life should be of utmost priority, and it is around this idea that she develops her guidebook: 8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery.
            Outlining her strategies, beliefs, and concerns from the start, Rothschild also gives a small "disclaimer" at the beginning of her book. Her intent is to give the reader control, or to put them "in the driver's seat" of their own recovery. She leaves it up to the individual to decide what feels right to them, what goals seem achievable, and which steps seem unnecessary. Therefore, because the main readers will most likely be non-professionals who are also consumers of research and theories set forth in this book, Rothschild makes sure to explain that everything she writes is on the basis of hypothesis and speculation. There are no hard facts, and consequently the reader must "chew on" the material at their own discretion and pace. Rothschild's ability to meet the reader at an honest and humble level, I believe is her biggest strength. She makes her role clear, and that is to be a provider of information and act as a guide in building the capacity to listen to one's own inner thoughts, sensations and feelings in the recovery process.
            Throughout the entire book, Rothschild attempts to instill autonomy in the reader. Every chapter ends with sections dedicated to helping the reader evaluate if they may or may not be in the right place to explore that particular key, which exercises or variations may work better, and what questions or tools to keep in mind while exploring each key. It isn't surprising that the very first key is "mindfulness" as Rothschild uses this technique to help readers focus on their inner sensations and implicit feelings to make healthier decisions and to gauge whether certain activities or steps are too strenuous or if they seem manageable. No treatment or technique should be considered unless it feels right to the patient, and while reminding readers of this, Rothschild even turns her book into an exercise of this lesson by encouraging readers to flip through it, pick only the sections they think will be useful, and implement them in any order or at any pace.
            To supplement her ideas on decision making and mindfulness, Rothschild gives great example stories from her own sessions with patients. My favorite is the story of Janice, a client of Rothschild who was struggling with dissociation and staying present during different levels of physical touch. Rothschild goes through the beginning steps of mindfulness with Janice and helps her to find different "gauges" that can assist her in making decisions by informing her of how her body and mind are feeling about these possibilities. They start slow with everyday decisions like what foods to eat or cloths to wear, and Janice finds it's easiest to draw her attention to her stomach and heartbeat as gauges for how her body is doing with these decisions. Perhaps most interestingly, Janice also finds a mental representation for her feelings in the form of a rabbit. When Rothschild and Janice work towards feeling okay with different kinds of touch such as a hand on the shoulder or a hug, Janice can first gauge how she feels by picturing the rabbit and describing it as seeming guarded, scared or calm. Through this story, I realized just how creative one can get with the mindfulness process, and how useful it can be to check in with your body, even for everyday decisions.
            Providing relevant theory in bite-sized portions, giving clear and inspiring real-life examples, and supplying the reader with the power to "direct their own healing," Rothschild successfully creates a guide to trauma recovery which emphasizes manageable and safe healing.
 
Rothschild, Babette. (2010).8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Paperback. IBSN:978-0-393-70605-5. 174 pages. Includes index.
Key words: Trauma, PTSD, recovery, self-help

Russell, M.C. & Figley, C.R. (2013). Treating Traumatic Stress Injuries in Military Personnel: An EMDR Practitioner's Guide. New York: Routledge.
            Reviewed by: Tina R. Lee, New York University
 
Those who actively protect society from the dangers of war and violence are warriors in the truest sense. These individuals make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that others have the opportunity to make the most out of their lives. For military survivors, their sacrifice continues beyond the battlegrounds. In the study of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), there have arisen various evidence-based treatments considered to be highly effective by professionals, one of which is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR was first developed by Francine Shapiro in 1987 upon noticing that stimulating eye movement in a back and forth motion, with exposure to a representative scene of the worst aspects of a trauma, leads to the removal or reduction of the emotional salience for the trauma victim. Recently, EMDR has begun to gain acceptance in the military for its concrete strategies in addressing Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS), such as chronic fatigue syndrome. Instead of being limited to a handful of neuropsychiatric diagnoses, according to Mark C. Russell and Charles R. Figley's Treating Traumatic Stress Injuries in Military Personnel, EMDR has paved the way to address and hopefully treat the full spectrum of war stress injuries.
            Russell and Figley, being veterans as well as psychologists, recognize the knowledge deficit of MUS and effectively offer a broad lens covering topics that impact both clinical practice as well as applications within the military circle. To that 
end, they are highly successful in covering an extensive range of issues pertaining to MUS. The authors discuss the importance of treating the whole individual; for example, addressing histories of sexual or childhood trauma (27). In a randomized study comparing EMDR, prolonged exposure (PE) and a wait-list control with 74 female rape victims, the results indicated that both EMDR and PE produced significant treatment effects with 75% of EMDR victims no longer meeting PTSD diagnostic criteria at post-treatment. Furthermore, the book covers topics such as terrorism and cultural issues, including the stigma of receiving treatment in the military.
            Treating Traumatic Stress Injuries in Military Personnel is organized with specific case studies, beginning with the history of resistance to EMDR; then going on to EMDR treatment and protocol for military populations. The book goes in depth into each EMDR step and covers an array of challenges for the clinician. Finally, the authors discuss treatment for chronic war/traumatic stress injury, which is a particularly interesting section delving into the psychology of traumatic grief and the importance of building rapport with the returning warrior who usually holds a distrust of mental health professionals.
            In addition, the book addresses the perspective of the military client with detailed scripts and clinical case studies. One of the strongest arguments in favor for the application of EMDR is its unique adaptability to military life. EMDR emphasizes client control over the amount of exposure to traumatic events and demands little of client self-disclosure, which is in line with the military's values of strength and confidentiality. Thus, on top of being highly practical, cost effective and efficient, EMDR is more "in line with military culture and its realities than any other available psychotherapy" (50). However, Russell and Figley fail to distinguish why the history of childhood trauma is so significant, other than high reports of childhood trauma in military personnel. The book fails to discuss other possible factors such as socioeconomic background or other types of trauma. However, Russell and Figley fairly reference and cite works critical to EMDR throughout the book.
            At its core, Treating Traumatic Stress Injuries in Military Personnelis a guide to the treatment of MUS within the structure of operational settings and medically-focused treatment centers, i.e. U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. 
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Systems, for active military and combat veterans. The book builds upon the contributions of another series, Combat Stress Injury (Figley & Nash, 2008), focusing on the process of rehabilitating an injury, but is unique from its predecessors in that it not only introduces various treatment strategies but also discusses issues in military life that may be not obvious to a clinician. In Treating Traumatic Stress Injuries in Military Personnel,Russell and Figley effectively synthesize the perspectives of the clinician and the warrior to provide an in-depth analysis and argument for the benefits of EMDR treatment.
 
Russell, M.C. & Figley, C.R. (2013). Treating Traumatic Stress Injuries in Military Personnel: An EMDR Practitioner's Guide. New York: Routledge.
Hardback. ISBN: 978-0-415-88977-3. 285 pages. Includes bibliographical references and index
Keywords: EMDR, PTSD, Military, Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS), evidence-based treatments, war stress injuries, sexual trauma, childhood trauma.

Schwartz, J.M. & Gladding, R. (2012). You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life. New York: Penguin Group.
            Reviewed by: Julie Y.A. Cachia, New York University.
 
As the title indicates, You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life, by Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding, is about becoming aware of and eliminating destructive brain messages in order to gain more control of one's life. According to Schwartz and Gladding, a lot of us are unconsciously allowing our brains to control our lives, instead of rewiring our brains in order to connect to our inner Wise Advocate, thereby creating a healthier, more mindful way of thinking. This book targets readers such as those who find themselves overthinking problems that are out of their control, panicking about illogical fears, blaming themselves for things outside of their control, and trapped in unbreakable cycles of unhealthy behaviors as an escape from stress. In order to help readers break free from these familiar problems, a four-step process based on mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral therapy is outlined and developed throughout the chapters.
            The four-step process begins with Relabeling, or becoming aware of deceptive brain messages, followed by Reframing, or naming this deceptive brain message in order to change one's perception of it. Next comes Refocusing, where attention is focused more appropriately, and finally, Revaluing, during which one's own perspective able to be correctly aligned. Readers are encouraged to use these steps to tackle one problematic brain message at a time. Thanks to the organized structure and colloquial language, the steps are easy to understand and execute.
            An important message that this book delivers is the idea that the brain does not define the individual's personhood. According to Schwartz and Gladding, most people wrongly and unconsciously allow their brain to inform their self-perception. In contrast, the four-step process works to uncouple the brain from the self, and instead treats the brain's deceptive thought patterns as symptoms of deeper, unresolved problems, rather than part of the individual's identity. As the book claims, rewiring the brain using the four-step process ultimately allows the Wise Advocate within you to take control over your brain instead of the other way around.
            Throughout the book, Schwartz and Gladding describe the personal journeys of multiple individuals who have successfully broken free from destructive brain messages using this four-step technique. All of them have struggled through a different concern, including fear of rejection, depression, self-doubt, paranoia, jealousy, insecurity, anxiety, and alcoholism. Deceptive brain messages affect us all at some point in varying degrees, which makes this self-treatment method relevant to a rather vast audience.
             Unfortunately for those who have some experience with mindfulness, the concepts covered in the text will be unsurprising and perhaps unoriginal, as the book seems to be geared toward novices. However, for those who are unfamiliar with the biology behind it, the first few chapters of the book will offer some insight into how Hebb's law, the quantum Zeno effect, neuroplasticity all contribute to the formation of habits, and why these habits are so difficult to alter once they are 
formed.
            Secondly, perhaps because of its dual-authorship, the text seems to lack some of the voice that characterizes and invigorates most self-help books of this kind. As a result, some may struggle to stay connected to the text. Moreover, the text may begin to feel redundant at certain times, which, while it may help novices retain information better, may feel unnecessary to those who are already familiar with these ideas. In fact, it seems as though the book could have been shortened significantly without it forfeiting much of its impact.
            Regardless of its minor shortcomings, the book includes a variety of exercises that keep readers on track by directly engaging them with the material, along with diagrams that illustrate certain concepts. The book also anticipates major stumbling blocks many have encountered in the past while progressing through the four-step process. The bullet-point summaries at the end of most chapters also help keep the reader on top of the concepts. For those who are curious about the four-step process and have the time to go through it, You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life is undeniably a worthwhile read.
 
Schwartz, J. M. & Gladding, R. (2012). You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life. New York: Penguin Group.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-1-58333-483-6. 362 pages. Index included.
Key words: brain, mindfulness, mind, habits, thoughts, feelings

Scott, E. (2013). 8 Keys to Stress Management. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
            Reviewed by: Julie Y.A. Cachia, New York University.
 
Elizabeth Anne Scott's 8 Keys to Stress Management takes a comprehensive approach to stress and stress management techniques, drawing from various branches of psychology. The text's balanced emphasis on both physiological and mental processes makes it a holistic and thorough guide for a broad audience. What's more, Scott's use of relatively colloquial language makes the text easy to understand regardless of academic background, which suggests that it is most likely oriented towards the general public, as opposed to an academic audience.
            Before jumping into any specific techniques, Scott begins by explaining the subtle yet important nuances inherent in words such as "stress", "stressor", "stressing", and "stressful"- words that are used on a daily basis, yet somehow seem to evade specific definition. The different kinds of "stress" are also outlined: eustress, distress, acute stress, episodic stress, and chronic stress. Despite the fact that stress culturally carries highly negative connotations, Scott takes the time to point out that stress can be healthy (Eustress), a fact that is often overlooked. Readers are then introduced to the Stages of Change that they may experience, facilitating the development of realistic expectations and mental preparation for the ensuing process. Finally, Scott introduces readers to the various ways in which readers can make use of the book: reading it from cover to cover or selecting relevant chapters. (Although the chapters are organized so as to provide readers with information in the most effective way, it is made easy for readers to skip or pick sections depending on personal relevance. In fact, Scott herself encourages this kind of flexible approach, especially for readers with time constraints.) This introduction is vital, for it creates a solid foundation from which readers get a grip of the topic and processes being dealt with, and how to best make use of the book.
            The bulk of the text consists of the eight key stress management concepts, beginning with work on first identifying the stressors, practical short-term advice on how to deal with the stressors, and ending with broader practice for long-term resilience, thereby ensuring permanent improvement. The key concepts range from advice on eating, exercise and sleep ("Key 3: Take Care of Your Body") and managing relationships ("Key 6: Cultivate Healthy Relationships"), to practicing positive psychology ("Key 7: Put Positive Psychology into Action") and altering toxic thought patterns ("Key 4: Get into the Right Frame of Mind"). By effectively targeting both environmental and personal realms, Scott covers virtually every kind of stressor.
            After the eight key concepts are laid out, Scott includes a final, yet crucial chapter, "Creating an Action Plan". This chapter guides the reader towards creating a short- and long-term action plan for stress management, thereby integrating the eight key concepts into the reader's life.
            The book's strong suit lies in its organized structure, making it extremely easy to navigate. Although every chapter dedicates significant space to theoretical explanations for each concept, each chapter concludes with specific implementation strategies (under "How to Manage") and exercises (under "Activities to Try"), which provide readers with ways to initiate immediate positive change. Moreover, the abundant use of headings - and headings within headings - allow for easy self-tracking as one reads along.
            At the same time, this categorical structure seems to encourage a systematic and straightforward method to solve stress, which somewhat detracts from the personal voice of the text. Ironically, this lack of reader-author connection could render the process itself more stressful for some (as opposed to a narrative-style of writing with less headings, for example).
            Scott's Resources section at the end of the book displays an eclectic array of sources, ranging from the popular self-help book Getting Things Done by David Allen, to works by leading psychologist Martin Seligman. As a writer for the website, About.com, she also lists her articles on stress management as a resource. Indeed, her past experience writing about this topic shines through in this book- her approach is collected and confident, a writing style that is ideal and even perhaps essential for readers experiencing issues with stress management.
            On the whole, Scott's work seems to be based on broad ideas from various fields in psychology and health. Her decision to dedicate equal time to both mental and physiological processes seems to indicate an underlying concept that the mind and the physical body are inseparable, that stress can only be conquered by taking care of both realms. Conveniently organized and easy to read, 8 Keys to Stress Management is a convenient self-help tool for those looking to manage their stress more effectively.
 
Scott, E. (2013). 8 Keys to Stress Management. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-0-393-70809-7. 203 pages. References and index included.
Key words: stress, management, stressors, strategies

Shalit, E. & Furlotti, N.S. (2013). The Dream and Its Amplification. Skiatook, OK: Fisher King Press.
            Reviewed by: Rachel Vitale, New York University
 
Shalit and Furlotti have taken a single topic - in this case, the dream -and have broken it down into fifteen chapters of pure detail. In The Dream and Its Amplification, seemingly every angle of the dream and how it affects the human psyche is discussed. While the amount of analysis displayed throughout the book is impressive, the aspects that the editors chose to highlight are fascinating. They chose to accentuate certain aspects that magnify the function of a dream, some that most people would have never thought to be relevant. The difference between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind is contrasted, as well as the relationship between two states. A large portion of the book is based heavily upon mythology, while some of it derives from the authors' own experiences.
            The book is comprised of many different voices spinning very different tales, all on the same subject. Every chapter is written by a different author, some consisting of analysis, and others containing stories of personal experience. In Chapter Twelve, Bi-Polarity, Compensation, and the Transcendent Function in Dreams and Visionary Experience, Kathryn Madden analyzes C.G. Jung's The Archetypes and the Collective Unconsciousness, while in Chapter Fifteen, Dreams and Sudden Death, Gilda Frantz speaks of the dream and sudden death based on her own experiences. In both situations, dreams play very strange role. They are complex, almost frightening. Both Madden and Frantz explain the dark impression that dreams have given them.
            C.G. Jung's work is heavily utilized in each chapter. He is often quoted and excerpts of his work are analyzed. In the first chapter, The Amplified World of Dreams, Shalit and Furlotti discuss Jung's views on the dream and its relationship with the unconsciousness. In Jung's opinion, the unconscious mind cannot be fully understood, even by one's own consciousness. He also believes that the unconscious is the source of both the conscious mind and dreams. Shalit and Furlotti also use this chapter to contrast the difference between Jung's interpretation of dreams and Freud's point of view. While Jung feels that dreams emerge from the unconscious, Freud believes that it is the opposite; the unconscious mind is derived from dreams.
            Certain chapters were quite unique. In Chapter Five, Wild Cats and Crowned Snakes: Archetypal Agents of Feminine Initiation, Furlotti describes dreams specific to women. She discusses two dreams of wild cats and two dreams of snakes, both specific to important transitions in a woman's life. In Chapter Six, A Dream in Arcadia, author Christian Gaillard does not discuss his own dreams, but instead takes readers on a journey through a dream that he paints. The dream is a very complex topic, which is why readers can appreciate the unique angle these two chapters take. It is always easier to understand a concept that is relatable. By dedicating a chapter to the effect dreams have had specific to women, Furlotti has made this book all the more appealing to the female gender. The creative strategy that Gaillard used to draw readers into his chapter can also be highly appreciated.
            Dreams are far more complex than one might have imagined. There is more to them than just vague, odd scenarios that we can barely remember the next morning. Not only do Shalit and Furlotti do a fine job of expressing the complexity of the dream in their book, The Dream and Its Amplification, but they also do an exceptional job of presenting this concept to readers in a creative, comprehensible way. Each author who contributed to this book should be commended for his or her unique effort to make not only the idea of dream itself, but all dreams that float around in our unconscious minds every night, all the more grounded in our consciousness.
 
Shalit, E. & Furlotti, N.S. (2013). The Dream and Its Amplification. Skiatook, OK: Fisher King Press.
eBook.  ISBN: 978-1-55643-798-4. 232 pages. Includes index.
Key words: dream, conscious, Jung, mind, unconscious

Shapiro, F. (2012). Getting Past Your Past -Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy. New York, NY, Rodale Press, Inc.
            Reviewed by: Samah Ahmed Ikram, Mills College.
 
Francine Shapiro's book, Getting Past Your Past is a guide for those who's past life impacts their present way of life and experiences.  Shapiro argues that no one is devoid of these feelings: at some point every person endures the emotions of guilt, shame, or neglect. Shapiro introduces EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which focuses on amelioration and/or eradication of disturbing memories as a possible cause of psychopathology. Its origins of the method lie in REM (Rapid Eye Movement), which Shapiro explains is a stage in sleep when we process our memories, and are why we feel at ease when we wake up.
            According to Shapiro, a traumatic event can hamper the normal cognitive functions of the brain that enable automatic coping mechanisms. This is because the memory and stimuli are not completely processed. Ozne of the main distinctions she makes in this book is between 'processed' and 'unprocessed memories'. EMDR therapy processes memories in a fashion that enables the disturbing events to unravel and allows the clients to develop mechanism to cope.   
            The book is divided into chapters, each with subheadings preparing the reader for what is to come next.  Shapiro uses a wide variety of examples to explain the concepts she argues. For instance, her book begins with an analogy between the nursery rhyme 'Roses are Red' and the brain and its storage capabilities. We learn behavior and internalize it, even if not intentionally. A client, Ben, is an example of the impact learned behavior and conditioning later in life. Ben is a successful businessman who would get extremely anxious before a presentation. Although he was able to make it through presentations and meetings, he would find himself very unhappy afterwards. EMDR therapy targets the unprocessed memories that contain negative emotions, sensations and beliefs. By activating the brain's information processing system the old memories can then be "digested" (p 7). EMDR processing reminded Ben of memories he had forgotten. For instance, that he had a stutter in school and while presenting his teacher kept laughing at him. Thus, although he had come into his class confident, he was now anxious and afraid. These emotions were negative and unprocessed, so any time he was going to present, his body felt the same emotions he felt that day. Once he was able to process this heretofore-unconscious memory, he was able to live a less anxiety stricken work life. The book is clear and comprehensible, it enables even those with little academic background to use this book and get help. It is straightforward, conversational and targets many different readers. The headings in each chapter make it easier for the reader to understand the context and the direction the book is taking them in.
            Shapiro shares stories that seem likely to influence others' desire to get help.  As they are problems of real people and their emotional healing of past traumas. The back of the book contains a section of glossary words which further explain the different techniques readers can try on their own to improve mental health (For instance the 'Breathing Shifts' which lowers distress level by changing breathing patterns) and a Personal Table to keep track of how they treat their bodies (How much they exercise / meditate, how they sleep at night, ate in full awareness) which are factors that help determine if a person requires professional assistance. In addition, the book ends with Appendices, which provide further information for readers according to their level of interest. As a whole, this book is a great resource for all those who feel they need to acquire a better understanding of the self in trauma.  It presents stories of different clients and solutions to problems.
 
Shapiro, F. (2012). Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy. New York: Rodale Press, Inc.
Paperback. ISBN-13: 9781609619954; 352 pages. References and index included.
Key words: EMDR, self help, techniques, memories

Sheets-Johnstone, M. (2011). The Primacy of Movement. Philadelphia, PA: Benjamins Publishing Company.
            Reviewed by: Larissa Lai, New York University
 
Human movement, the mind, and the body - these are all intricately linked with each other and often contemplated by scholars with interests spanning the humanities to the physio-biological sciences. Arguably, studies in psychology stand somewhere in between these fields, but regardless of whether the focus is on neuroscientific research or clinical therapy, this question is central to a psychologist's engagements - in trying to understand the human psyche, its relevancies, and more.
In The Primacy of Movement, Sheets-Johnstone gives us a comprehensive trans-disciplinary examination of human movement and the long withstanding mind-body debate. A philosopher herself, Sheets-Johnstone uses her analytic ability to tackle the question in a deeply critical and precise manner.
            On the philosophical side, Sheets-Johnstone presents ideas from the classics - the Aristotelian school - to contemporary ideas in philosophy of mind, covering phenomenology, metaphysics, and epistemology. These are the tools she employs to explore the question of mind, body, and movement throughout the book.
            Sheets-Johnstone takes us on a journey through time to unlock understandings of the animate form and concepts of mind-body. The beginning chapters bring our attention to findings in evolutionary biology, the primitive humanoid, archeology, and anthropology. With that starting point, Sheets-Johnstone explores the meaning of "consciousness" - especially that of a pre-linguistic consciousness that is less conceivable for us in the 21st century. This directly connects to ideas of kinesthesia - sensation of the body. Here, Sheets-Johnstone helps us rediscover the human being as an animate 
object, and movement - the awareness of body and its sensations, is a key link to self-conceptions of identity when we try to think about consciousness outside of language. The book explores philosophical concepts of object identity, tying it in with a discussion in human perception and how organs are understood to be part of the process in relation to the brain/mind.
            Sheets-Johnstone discusses images concerned with the mind and the machine, and the role of PET/MRI brain-imaging technology in our understanding of the mind-body problem. Chapter 14, playfully titled "Embodied minds or mindful bodies?" draw our attention to modern neuroscientific advancements and the road of psychiatry - how these have led us to become physical reductionists. From the religious pursuit of souls, Cartesian dualism, to materialism where "mind" is only an imagination generated from physical matter, people have taken different sides of the debate over time. Our loyal belief in and reliance on science, especially that of neuroscience in the psychological realm, have dangerously put our contemporary focus on matters of the psyche at the side of materialism, where the brain is stripped from the body to become the mind, reducing the human psyche to a clump of nerves that could be qualitatively studied and measured.
            A good way to sum up the discussion of The Primacy of Movement would be to borrow from its Chapter 10 header "Why the mind is not a brain and a brain is not a body." The whole book is a precise argument surrounding this idea. While this statement may sound "unscientific" on the surface, and one may automatically link the idea to religiosity or point it out as outright "illogical", Sheets-Johnstone argues in a most analytical and intelligent manner as she does throughout, drawing evidence and inspiration from a variety of reputable sources and distinctive areas. She directs us to think about the question in a new way: while science can explain how movement occurred - the correct question to ask is why. This provokes us to think beyond our usual comfort zones and to explore the possibilities of the mind-body as we have never before. Sheets-Johnstone's book, as cliché as it might sound, merits a reiteration of Aristotle's famous quote - "The whole is greater than the sum of parts." Any scholar, scientist, researcher, or therapist would find it helpful to keep this in mind as they become flooded with daily routines and papers of studies that might numb the senses to the vastness of the body-mind. Such a reminder that the body-mind is way beyond a mechanical mass of mere figures and brain-scanners is refreshing, and useful 
for all of those who are actively contemplating and intrigued by the body-mind question   
 
Sheets-Johnstone, M. (2011). The Primacy of Movement. Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Paperback. ISBN: 9789027252197. 574 pages.
Key words: Movement (Philosophy), Psychology of Movement

Sussman, J.L. (2001). Images of Desire. New York: Forge Books.
            Reviewed by: Larissa Lai, New York University
 
With the abundance of technology and the ever-expanding realm of pop culture, our minds are saturated with images from the media - from standards of beauty to expectations of what romance should be like. Along with our personal interactions and experiences, these seem to shape our relational patterns and behavior. In Images of Desire, author Jacqueline Lapa Sussman, as an experienced expert in the application of the Eidetic Imagery technique, introduces this method to help readers get past these cultural influences and return to a healthy "natural sensuality" - beneficial to the intimate, love, sex, and romantic aspects of their lives. Sussman explains her application of Eidetic Imagery as a way to "reclaim our original nature" by replacing negative images provided by culture with positive ones that can be rediscovered by use of this technique.
            Eidetic Imagery, with its roots in ancient Greece, was first developed into scientific framework for modern therapeutic use by Dr. Akhter Ahsen. The technique involves the use of mental imaging, and encourages an introspective scrutiny of emotional connections and physiological associations evoked with the image. An example would be sensing the temperature of a parent's body in his or her imagined presence as it corresponds to the reader's attachment and bonding experiences. With the use of mental images and associations, Sussman claims that Eidetic Imagery is able to examine the somatic - bodily reactions to the images that would provide users with deeper insight - something that traditional language-based talk therapy would not be able to provide. Apart from using Eidetic Imagery to examine personal emotions, Sussman also introduces specific methods such as "The Walk-Around Image," "Story in the Eyes," and "Co-Consciousness" to readers as a way to understand their relations to other people. She directs readers to imagine a "three-dimensional" presence of a loved one in their mind's eye, referenced from the many subtleties and signals we pick up from interacting with this other person in real life, both consciously and subconsciously - and through that, try to understand and picture how they perceive the world.
            Although such methods may have the effect of allowing readers to see and empathize with objects and people around them in multiple perspectives that they have not been aware of before, the disparity between the imagined other and "reality" undoubtedly exists. The projected image of the other may not provide accurate insight, and the imposition of such possibly misguided and hugely subjective understanding may cause users to fall into prejudice and avoid actual external communication all at once.
            Of the many suggested images and scenarios Sussman presents, she references characters from Greek mythology - which despite being poetic in their forms, may appear rather irrelevant for the reader. In "Aphrodite," Sussman suggests the female reader imagine her own naked body and appreciate its beauty under the impression of Aphrodite's beauty and power.
            Similarly Sussman uses the character Zeus in her images to depict and embody (male) power and control. While such images may be empowering, they ironically allude to cultural symbols and ideations of sex, love, power, and beauty, which she simultaneously critically condemns. Many of Sussman's images and concepts also refer to classic psychoanalytic developmental concepts such as that of mother-fetal issues and child genital exploration theories that again, may seem to be dated and are open to question. The book comes with an appendix of 40 suggested image scenario exercises crafted by Sussman, most of which revolve around images with parents, partners/spouses, and childhood scenarios. While the technique of Eidetic Imagery is an interesting approach that many may benefit from, readers have to be careful when navigating through Sussman's interpretations and the images that she present. Her lack of socio-cultural considerations - that culture may both positively and negatively affect a person - places her view on a single-sided plane, as she searches for a  "nature" that is completely internal and withdrawn from these significant contributors to an individual's experience. Her concept of how social influences, especially that of parents and culture, are the main sources of negativity in our lives, appear to be somewhat of a dramatic generalization. Sussman imposes her perhaps personal identifications in her advice, recommending conformity to male-female gender roles for the procurement of "healthier" relationships and self-image. She conceives the entirety of male-female sexuality to be the achievement of "wholeness" through the unity of the sexes, and a woman's beauty and attractiveness (to men) as essentially stemming from her reproductive role - her possession of the womb - thereby making a man want to "go home" to a woman. In light of these issues, Sussman's positioning in her work may therefore make her approach inapplicable to many, if not most of the readers
 
Sussman, J.L. (2001). Images of Desire. New York: Forge Books
Paperback. ISBN: 0-312-86911-8. 288 pp.
Key words: Sensuality, Sensuality - Problems, exercises, etc., Eidetic imagery

Sussman, J.L. (2003). Freedom From Failure. New York: Forge Books.
            Reviewed by: Larissa Lai, New York University
 
Published two years after her previous book Images of Desire, Freedom From Failure is a similar manual put together by author Jacqueline Lapa Sussman with the goal of using Eidetic imagery to benefit readers in various aspects of their daily lives. Eidetic imagery is the technique of visualizing images and scenarios, and from that, to feel one's own emotions and body sensations evoked from the particular image. While Images of Desire covers topics on sexuality - in respect to what Sussman calls "natural sensuality," Freedom From Failure covers a variety of topics, ranging from improvement of self-image to career advancement and creativity.
            In Freedom From Failure, Sussman fleshes out how Eidetic Imagery could be used in a practical manner. She gives in-depth accounts of her experiences with clients, from the everyday Joe to the high-profile CEO. She quotes her conversations with them and narrates their progress with remodeling their thinking in different aspects of their lives through the use of the technique. Once again, as in Sussman's previous book,this book, Freedom From Failure comes with the same Appendix of Images - 40 image exercises for the reader's use. These image exercises were put into place by Dr. Akhter Ahsen, who developed Eidetic Imagery for modern therapeutic use.
            Sussman's approach to Eidetic Imagery is mainly grounded in classical psychoanalytic theory. The images that she works with largely relate to either that of one's childhood or parents. One of the imaging frameworks Sussman uses a lot in the book - the Filter Image - asks the user to imagine himself or herself in a (perplexing) scenario, and then to imagine what would his/her mother and father think, feel, and do respectively. The next step would then be to "become" the parental 
character that would be able to deal with the situation/event in a better way. Sussman's clients were able to resolve their problems with this method as illustrated, but then if we consider that each person has a different background and possesses a different history of relationships, we can quickly realize how these specific images are not one-size-fit-all, cookie-cutter solutions that could help most people. What if one is not close with either parent and is unable to think in his/her parents' perspectives? What if neither parent has desirable personality traits that would be valuable or inspiring for tackling the situation at hand? What if one only grew up with a single parental figure? The heavy reliance on cultural symbols - that the father is strong and firm, while the mother is softer and more sensitive - or even one may say, stereotypical standards and roles, greatly limit the general usability of a lot of the images and the imagining technique itself. Sussman's continuous heavy use of images from Greek mythology may also seem foreign and not relevant to those who are not familiar with the characters from the myths. The selection of Sussman's images comes with a prerequisite that the user is another standard character in her books, and her images are tailored for this specific audience.
            Despite with what is said above, the images (and the Eidetic Imaging technique itself) may be useful and empowering for those who fall within Sussman's clientele population. The imaging technique, although not an instant problem solver for all, is a good training tool for one to look at a single event with multiple, previously unconsidered perspectives, as well as for developing a greater sense of empathy, the ability to think in someone else's shoes. Apart from performing some kind of cognitive rewiring, using Eidetic Imagery could also allow a person to become more in touch with his/her own deeper thoughts and emotions, cultivating a greater capacity for self-contemplation. An emphasis on body sensations instead of mere mental feelings could allow users to foster a better connection between their "body-feelings" and their "mind-feelings" - this dual understanding of thoughts and emotions, body and mind, reunites the two for a more efficient channel of introspection. Acquiring all these possible skills through practicing Eidetic Imagery could most certainly help one to overcome various challenges in daily life.
            This book is a decent window for those who are interested in looking at the method of Eidetic Imagery. A question worth thinking about while going through Freedom from Failure is: what would be a good way to make full use of Eidetic Imagery to benefit more diverse populations?
 
Sussman, J.L. (2003). Freedom From Failure. New York: Forge Books.
Hardcover. ISBN: 0-312-86910-X. 320 pages.
Key words: Self-image, Love, Creativity, Career, Potential, Eidetic imagery, Exercises

Yeager, D. & Yeager, M. (2013). Executive Function and Child Development. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
            Reviewed by: Rachel Vitale, New York University.
 
At their child and family counseling practice, Daniel and Marcie Yeager often run into clients who suffer from issues of self-regulation. Self-regulation, as explained in the Preface, is the inability to bring one's behavior in line with the expectations that others, and even oneself, have over how he or she should behave. While this behavior is baffling to parents, teachers, and even the children suffering, the Yeager's have gained an understanding of the disorder from three different sources of information. These three sources, theories of executive function, theories of child development, and the field of play therapy, are all discussed in depth in the couple's book, Executive Function and Child Development.
            The book is divided into three parts: 'Understanding Executive Function', 'A Developmental Perspective', and 'Interventions That Support Executive Function'. Theories of executive function, mostly from the writings of Russell Barkley, are the authors' primary focus. Executive functions involve several mental processes, some of which include, working memory, response inhibition, cognitive flexibility, self-monitoring, and goal orientation. All of these processes involve the ability to understand one's behavior in terms of how it may affect his or her actions, as well as those surrounding. Poor self-regulation can lead to a chain reaction of unfortunate developments. The Yeagers explain that lack of self-regulation can lead to behavioral problems in school, which can lessen chances of academic success, which can in turn lower social competence. All of these can ultimately result in utter frustration and stress for the given individual.
            The book reads like a textbook at times. It is well-organized with sources to back up any theories, such as citations from Vygotsky. It even includes scenarios in each chapter that act as examples to clarify all explanations of executive function and child development. There are easy to read charts, diagrams, and tables that help explain any theories that are not those of the Yeagers. There were moments where I almost wished the Yeagers incorporated more personal experiences dealing with children who have developed executive function. Although there were many what-if examples, I would have liked to see actual scene from inside the session room. The scenarios given do an excellent job of highlighting executive function and how one can manage it, but real life experiences would have been more eye-opening to the parental audience. Regardless, if one desires to learn more about executive functions, this is certainly the book to read.
            Executive Function and Child Development was designed to explain how executive function develops in children, what the hardships of dealing with executive function look like, and most importantly, different ways to go about dealing with children who possess the condition. The methods for managing executive function speak directly to the child who may be suffering. It is important to take away from this book the idea that the child acts as an active partner in his or her own process when treating executive function. The writers have written this book ideally to serve as an informational guide to other mental health professionals, but also hope it can serve a purpose in the lives of concerned parents, teachers, and pediatricians.
 
Yeager, D. & Yeager, M. (2013). Executive Function and Child Development. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Paperback. ISBN: 978-0-393-70764-9. 250 pages