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Recommended Book

101 Defenses: How the Mind Shields Itself

Jerome S. Blackman, M.D.

Defense is the name given to the brain mechanism of shutting elements of feelings out of consciousness. Defenses are sort of like circuit breakers, acting to relieve overwhelming emotions, sometimes adaptively, sometimes not so adaptively.

There are two basic defenses: repression, the mechanism that shuts out thought content, and isolation of affect, which shuts out sensations from consciousness. The other 99 listed in this book are essentially “helper” defenses. When defenses are maladaptive, they create symptoms such as phobias, compulsions, and depressions. They can also contribute to character problems like chronic passivity, obnoxiousness, shyness, and hypersexuality.

101 Defenses, aside from describing each defense and giving multiple clinical examples, also includes chapters on constellations of defenses in pathological states. In addition, other chapters discuss methods for finding defenses, the ways of approaching the defenses both supportively and interpretively, and how to use defense theory in determining suicide risk.


Get the Diagnosis Right: Assessment and Treatment Selection for Mental Disorders

Jerome S. Blackman, M.D.

Get the Diagnosis Right explains how to make an accurate diagnosis when people have emotional problems. The DSM manuals contain collections of symptoms and complaints that can be organized to form a preliminary diagnosis. The observer, however, can do more than collect and arrange complaints. Assessment should also be done regarding deficits in important mental functions (including organizing thought and checking reality), in basic capacities for containing emotions and impulses, in abilities to sustain close relationships, and in the intactness of the conscience. If deficits are not found, then internal conflicts among wishes, guilt, emotions, and defense mechanisms become more important.


Mind Over Mood, Second Edition: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think Dennis Greenberger PhD et. al. Discover simple yet powerful steps you can take to overcome emotional distress–and feel happier, calmer, and more confident. This life-changing book has already helped more than 1,000,000 readers use cognitive-behavioral therapy–one of today’s most effective forms of psychotherapy–to conquer depression, anxiety, panic attacks, anger, guilt, shame, low self-esteem, eating disorders, substance abuse, and relationship problems. Revised and expanded to reflect significant scientific developments of the past 20 years, the second edition contains numerous new features: expanded content on anxiety; chapters on setting personal goals and maintaining progress; happiness rating scales; gratitude journals; innovative exercises focused on mindfulness, acceptance, and forgiveness; new worksheets; and much more.

Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love

Sue Johnson

Heralded by the New York Times and Time magazine as the couple therapy with the highest rate of success, Emotionally Focused Therapy works because it views the love relationship as an attachment bond. This idea, once controversial, is now supported by science, and has become widely popular among therapists around the world. In HOLD ME TIGHT, Dr. Sue Johnson presents Emotionally Focused Therapy to the general public for the first time. Johnson teaches that the way to save and enrich a relationship is to reestablish safe emotional connection and preserve the attachment bond. With this in mind, she focuses on key moments in a relationship-from Recognizing the Demon Dialogue to Revisiting a Rocky Moment-and uses them as touchpoints for seven healing conversations. Through case studies from her practice, illuminating advice, and practical exercises, couples will learn how to nurture their relationships and ensure a lifetime of love.


Back Sense: A Revolutionary Approach to Halting the Cycle of Chronic Back Pain

Dr. Ronald D. Siegel et. al.

On occasion nearly everyone experiences short-term back pain from sore or strained muscles. But for many who come to treat their back gingerly because they fear further “injury,” a cycle of worry and inactivity results; this aggravates existing muscle tightness and leads them to think of themselves as having a “bad back.” Even worse is the understandable but usually counterproductive assumption that back pain is caused by “abnormalities”–bulging disks, a damaged spine, and so on. However, these abnormalities are frequently found in those who have absolutely no pain whatsoever. In reality, most backs are strong and resilient, built to support our bodies for a lifetime; truly “bad backs” are rare.

Drawing on their work with patients and studies from major scientific journals and corporations, the authors of Back Sense–all three are former chronic back pain sufferers themselves–developed a revolutionary self-treatment approach targeting the true causes of chronic back pain. It is based on conclusive evidence proving that stress and inactivity are usually the prime offenders, and it allows patients to avoid the restrictions and expense of most other treatments. After showing readers how to rule out the possibility that a rare medical condition is the source of their problem, Back Sense clearly and convincingly explains the actual factors behind chronic back pain and systematically leads readers toward recapturing a life free of back pain.

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