The Transformation by James S. Gordon, MD |HarperOne {Book Review}

Book Review-76

The Transformation by James Gordon

Book Summary:

 A world-recognized authority and acclaimed mind-body medicine pioneer presents the first evidence-based program to reverse the psychological and biological damage caused by trauma.

In his role as the founder and director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM), the worlds largest and most effective program for healing population-wide trauma, Harvard-trained psychiatrist James Gordon has taught a curriculum that has alleviated trauma to populations as diverse as refugees and survivors of war in Bosnia, Kosovo, Israel, Gaza, and Syria, as well as Native Americans on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, New York City firefighters and their families, and members of the U. S. military. Dr. Gordon and his team have also used their work to help middle-class professionals, stay-at-home mothers, inner-city children of color, White House officials, medical students, and people struggling with severe emotional and physical illnesses.

The Transformation represents the culmination of Dr. Gordon’s fifty years as a mind-body medicine pioneer and an advocate of integrative approaches to overcoming psychological trauma and stress. Offering inspirational stories, eye-opening research, and innovative prescriptive support, The Transformation makes accessible for the first time the methods that Dr. Gordon—with the help of his faculty of 160, and 6,000 trained clinicians, educators, and community leaders—has developed and used to relieve the suffering of hundreds of thousands of adults and children around the world.

Publication Date:

September 10th, 2019

Genre:

Self-Help, Healing, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Book Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

discovering wholeness and healing after trauma

When I was offered a copy of The Transformation in exchange for an honest review, I jumped at the chance. Trauma is often misunderstood and not only does Dr. Gordon give a wonderful explanation about what it can look like, but he also shares how we can indeed heal from it.

This book is readable while also being informative. Gordon shares a wonderful balance of stories, research, and techniques which as the reader can help you feel heard while also feeling like a proactive step in your own healing. His writing is also very accessible as someone who does not work in the medical field.

Gordon starts off by discussing the misconceptions of psychological trauma. He has a wonderful way of explaining that while it may look very different for people, it is something that can or will affect almost everyone in some capacity throughout one’s life. While this may sound dire, it can also help someone feel less alone.

“Trauma comes to all of us, and its consequences can be terrible. That’s the truth and the bad news. The good news is that all of us can use tools of self-awareness and self-care to heal our trauma and, indeed, to become healthier and more whole than we’ve ever been. If we accept the pain that trauma inflicts, it can open our minds and bodies to healing change-Our broken hearts can be open with tender consideration and new love for others, as well as ourselves.” -James Gordon, MD

Instead of subduing our fears, anger, and sadness, which can cause us to feel stuck, Gordon teaches us that there are alternatives. These new processes allow us to express emotions, become aware and deal with these emotions and also learn from them. When we learn how to use this emotion cycle, it can become a way for us to not only deal with past trauma but navigate it in the future.

trauma healing

Gordon incorporates many things like soft belly breathing, movement(shaking and dancing), connecting with nature and diet into his practices and it was fascinating how powerful these tools can be.

As someone who successfully uses medication for anxiety, I also appreciated that while Gordon emphasizes the importance of these more natural coping mechanisms, he isn’t against medication which can often be a very important part of someone’s healing and ongoing wellbeing. His approach is well rounded and I appreciated his balance between both traditional and more holistic practices.

I loved learning more about this thoughtful and compassionate approach towards something that has affected not only my life but many people around me and I highly recommend this.

Thank you to Dr. Gordon and FSB Associates for an advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own. 

self-help books, healing

Permission to Feel by Marc Brackett | Celadon Books | Book Review

Unlocking the power of emotions

Permission to Feel by Marc Brackett, Ph.D.

Book Summary:

“Marc Brackett is a professor at Yale University’s Child Study Center and founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. In his 25 years as an emotion scientist, he has developed a remarkably effective plan to improve the lives of children and adults – a blueprint for understanding our emotions and using them wisely so that they help, rather than hinder, our success and well-being. The core of his approach is a legacy from his childhood, from an astute uncle who gave him permission to feel. He was the first adult who managed to see Marc, listen to him, and recognize the suffering, bullying, and abuse he’d endured. And that was the beginning of Marc’s awareness that what he was going through was temporary. He wasn’t alone, he wasn’t stuck on a timeline, and he wasn’t “wrong” to feel scared, isolated, and angry. Now, best of all, he could do something about it.

In the decades since, Marc has led large research teams and raised tens of millions of dollars to investigate the roots of emotional well-being. His prescription for healthy children (and their parents, teachers, and schools) is a system called RULER, a high-impact and fast-effect approach to understanding and mastering emotions that have already transformed the thousands of schools that have adopted it. RULER has been proven to reduce stress and burnout, improve school climate, and enhance academic achievement. This book is the culmination of Marc’s development of RULER and his way to share the strategies and skills with readers around the world. It is tested, and it works.

This book combines rigor, science, passion, and inspiration in equal parts. Too many children and adults are suffering; they are ashamed of their feelings and emotionally unskilled, but they don’t have to be. Marc Brackett’s life mission is to reverse this course, and this book can show you how.”

Publication Date:

September 3rd, 2019

Genre:

Self-Help/Parenting

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

Permission to Feel is a wonderful guide to recognizing our own emotions and those of others. Author Marc Brackett has spent years researching this important topic after his experiences as a child showed him how life-changing it was to have someone see, listen and truly recognize the things you have gone through as an individual.

While Brackett has spent decades studying this important topic, he presents the information in this book in an attainable and accessible manner for his readers. The first part of this book dives into how understanding emotions and determining their sources can help us influence our behaviors moving forward. When we understand where and why we are feeling a certain way, we can regulate our own emotions instead of them regulating us. The more we know the more we can find practical strategies for dealing with what we feel and why we be might feeling that way.

Brackett shares that emotions are a powerful source of information. He shares that when we become “emotion scientists” we can learn how to use our emotions wisely, even when they are challenging emotions. Learning how to use them instead of ignoring them can help our figure out our steps forward.

Both physical and emotional symptoms can help us identify our feeling so we can respond appropriately. Feelings are strengths we all have when we learn how to label and understand them. When we can better understand both ourselves and each other, more people are able to be their best most authentic selves. “Emotional skills are the key to unlocking the potential inside each one of us.” Highly recommend!!

Thank you to Celadon Books for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

Being at Your Best When Your Kids Are at Their Worst by Kim John Payne | Shambhala Publications {Book Review}

Being at Your Best When Your Kids Are at Their Worst by Kim John Payne

Being at Your Best When Your Kids Are at Their Worst

by Kim John Payne

Book Summary:

“A practical, meditative approach that can be used in the moment to help you stay calm and balanced when your child’s behavior is pushing you to your limit–by the popular author of Simplicity Parenting.

When children are at their most difficult and challenging situations arise, how can we react in a way that reflects our family values and expectations? Often, when children “push our buttons,” we find ourselves reacting in ways that are far from our principles, often further inflaming a situation.
When our children are at their worst, they need us to be at our best—or as close to it as we can be. Educator and family counselor Kim John Payne, author of Simplicity Parenting, offers techniques that simply and directly shift these damaging patterns in communication and parental behavior. These grounded and practical strategies will help you:
• Slow down the interaction
• Be more in control of your reactions
• Open up a much wider range of helpful responses
• Sense what your child’s deeper needs are even though they are misbehaving
• Respond in a way that gives your child a feeling of being heard and still puts a boundary in place

Payne’s meditative approach can be done anywhere, anytime; it lifts you out of old, unwanted patterns of action-reaction and prepares you so that the voice you speak with is closer to the parent you want to be. His concrete and simple techniques can help you, and your children, be at your best, even in the most challenging of times.”

Publication Date:

September 3rd, 2019

Genre:

Parenting/Self-Help

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

My Review:

This title totally grabbed my attention and then I saw it was by the same author as Simplicity Parenting and I was sold. One of the most challenging parts of parenting is staying even-keeled and compassionate when the noise and chaos level is high, which is often…Our kids are wonderful and parenting is also the hardest thing I have ever done.

My husband and I often talk about the daily struggles being the hardest part of this stage of life. It can feel like a rollercoaster ride of emotions and there is this constant that can really push you to the limit. In addition to the needs of our children, we have the obligations of work, home and the daily expectations of just being an adult. It can be hard to find a balance between all of these and have a calm response when life is anything but that.

Kim John Payne writes in an approachable and relatable manner which makes this writing accessible. He then dives right into advice and tools about how to break the “action-reaction” response with your children. This sounds like it would be simple, but when you are in the thick of it it can be so hard. He then moves into a 4 step
“compassion response” that adults can use to respectfully and effectively communicate with children, especially when they are in crisis.

I love how he talks about the why and also the how of this approach. The idea of staying self-regulated when a child (or any person for that matter) is easy to conceptualize but often hard to execute “at the moment”. This book is a practical guide for any parent or person that works with children. I found it helpful AND encouraging which is the best combination when it comes to “self-help” parenting books.

Thank you to Shambhala Publications for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.