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Call Number: Received Not Yet Cataloged-Grant Book
Publication Date: Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 2019. 464 p.
Reviewed: NYRB 23 Sept. 2021 p. 60. Description: Facebook makes us lonely. Selfies breed narcissism. On Twitter and comment boards, hostility reigns. Pundits and psychologists warn us that digital technologies substantially alter our emotional states. But in this lively and surprising account, we learn that technology doesn’t just affect how we feel from moment to moment–it changes profoundly the underlying emotions themselves. Computing and history professors Fernandez & Matt examine nineteenth- and twentieth-century letters, diaries, and memoirs and draw on contemporary research and interviews with Americans of different ages and backgrounds to document how our emotions have been transformed by technological change. Where we now strive to escape boredom, earlier generations saw unstructured time as an opportunity for productivity and creativity. Where loneliness is now pathologized, we once thought of solitude as virtuous. Even as we ask whether technology is making us lonelier, it is altering the meaning of loneliness.
Publication Date: New York: Scribner, 2021. xi, 452 p.
Reviewed: NYRB 24 Mar. 2022 p. 32. Description: Is depression a persistent low mood, or is it a range of symptoms? Can it be expressed through a single diagnosis, or does depression actually refer to a diversity of mental disorders? Is there, or will there ever be, a cure? In seeking the answers to these questions, Riley finds a rich history of ideas and treatments–and takes the reader on a gripping narrative journey, packed with fascinating stories like the junior doctor who discovered that some of the first antidepressants had a deadly reaction with cheese. Reporting on the field of global mental health from its colonial past to the present day, Riley highlights a range of scalable therapies, including how a group of grandmothers stands on the frontline of a mental health revolution.
Publication Date: New York: Avid Reader/Simon & Schuster, 2021. 240 p.
Reviewed: PW 24 May 2021 p. 75. Description: Perfectionists and procrastinators alike agree–it’s natural to dread a deadline. Whether your goal is to complete a masterpiece or just check off an overwhelming to-do list, the ticking clock signals despair. Christopher Cox knows the panic of the looming deadline all too well–as a magazine editor, he has spent years overseeing writers and journalists who couldn’t meet a deadline to save their lives. After putting in a few too many late nights in the newsroom, he became determined to learn the secret of managing deadlines. He set off to observe nine different organizations as they approached a high-pressure deadline. Along the way, Cox made an ever greater discovery: these experts didn’t just meet their big deadlines–they became more focused, productive, and creative in the process. Cox shares the strategies these teams used to guarantee success while staying on schedule: a restaurant opening for the first time, a ski resort covering an entire mountain in snow, a farm growing enough lilies in time for Easter, and more. He explains how readers can understand the psychological underpinnings of expectations and time, the dynamics of teams and customers, and techniques for using deadlines to make better, more assured decisions.
We are living in a world divided. Race and ethnicity, caste and color, gender and sexuality, class and education, religion and political party have all become demographic labels that reduce our differences to simplistic categories in which "we" are vehemently against "them." But Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis's own experience--of being the first female and first Black minister in her church's history, of being in an interracial marriage, and of making peace with childhood abuse--illustrates that our human capacity for empathy and forgiveness is the key to reversing these ugly trends. Fierce Love lays out the nine daily practices for breaking through tribalism and engineering the change we seek. From downsizing our emotional baggage to speaking truth to power to fueling our activism with joy, it demonstrates the power of small, morally courageous steps to heal our own lives, our posse, and our larger communities.
Call Number: Received Not Yet Cataloged-Grant Book
Publication Date: Chicago: U. Chicago Pr., 2021. 168 p.
Reviewed: TLS 10 Dec. 2021 p. 24. Description: This engaging short book is both a mathematician’s reflections on grief and a mathematically-informed theory of grieving. Michael Frame retired in 2016 as a professor of mathematics at Yale University, where students fought for a place in his course on fractal geometry. Students appreciated his use of accessible examples–decalcomania paintings and illustrations of cats to explain mathematical concepts–and stories of his work and friendship with the founder of fractal geometry, Benoit Mandelbrot. In this book, he continues his work to make mathematics accessible, using his experiences with grief to give uninitiated readers insights into advanced topics in geometry. The inability to repeat an “aha moment,” when you first learn something, is one type of grief that Frame examines. He connects this irreversible loss of perspective to more consequential grief-loss of a career or of a loved one-and explains ways he has thought mathematically about grieving and coping with grief. Frame is an authentic and sympathetic voice. He retired after discovering that he had an inoperable brain tumor and feeling the effects of his cancer on his teaching career. His connections and insights make this a timely and moving book in our time of personal and collective grief.
Reviewed: PW 3 May 2021 p. 50; PW 24 May 2021 p. 34. Description: Bridget McNulty lost her mom suddenly, and found herself unexpectedly amongst the chaos of grief while bringing up small children. She couldn’t find the support that she needed, so she created this handbook. This is for those who are grieving: an honest exploration into the worst thing that can happen to you. The handbook offers practical tools, including: Your “laundry list”–bare essentials for how to get through the early days; Grief first-aid kit–Instant strategies to help you feel better; How to communicate what you need to those around you; Interactive activities–Journaling space and written activities, which can make the handbook bespoke to the reader’s experience. There is no “one size fits all” approach. Bridget McNulty shows us that the best we can do is understand our emotions, tune into our needs and communicate with those around us. The loneliness of bereavement can take its toll on mental health. This book provides support and guidance. It is a practical, empathetic guide to help sufferers navigate through the heavy fog of bereavement.
Are you a highly sensitive person? Discover how to better understand yourself and create a fuller, richer life with the help of a clinical psychologist. In The Highly Sensitive Person, you will discover: * Self-assessment tests to help you identify your particular sensitivities * Ways to reframe your past experiences in a positive light and gain greater self-esteem in the process * Insight into how high sensitivity affects both work and personal relationships * Tips on how to deal with over-arousal * Information on medications and when to seek help * Techniques to enrich the soul and spirit Drawing on many years of research and hundreds on interviews, The Highly Sensitive Person will change the way you see yourself--and the world around you.
Call Number: Received Not Yet Cataloged-Grant Book
Publication Date: Athens: U. Georgia Pr., 2021. x, 238 p.
Description: A psychologist and storyteller, Benvenuti focuses on moments of transformative contact between humans and other animals, portraying vividly the resulting ripples that change the lives of both animals and humans. Noting that we are all biologically members of one animal family, she expertly weaves emergent understandings of animal and human neurobiology, showing that the ways in which other animals feel and think are actually similar to humans. Love, grief, rage, sadness, curiosity, play: these are shared by us all, a key insight of affective neuroscience that informs Benvenuti’s perceptions of human-animal relationships. She effortlessly drops clues to understanding human motivation and behavior into her narratives, and points to ways in which we all-other animals and humans alike-must come up with creative responses to problems such as climate change. As we travel with her to both backyard and far-flung locations, we experience again and again the surprising fact that other animals reach back to us, with curiosity, interest, even care. Benvenuti writes for the animal-loving public but also for anyone who loves a good story, or is interested in ecology, animal welfare, psychology, or philosophy.
Publication Date: New York: Simon & Schuster, 2021. ix, 288 p.
Reviewed: PW 22 Mar. 2021 p. 74. Description: Sale is the founder and host of WNYC’s popular, award-winning podcast Death, Sex, & Money, or as the New York Times dubbed her, “a therapist at happy hour.” She and her guests have direct and thought-provoking conversations, discussing topics that most of us are too squeamish, polite, or nervous to bring up. But Sale argues that we all experience these hard things, and by not talking to one another, we cut ourselves off, leading us to feel isolated and disconnected from the people who can help us most. She uses the best of what she’s learned from her podcast to reveal that when we have the courage to talk about hard things, we learn about ourselves, others, and the world that we make together. Diving into five of the most fraught conversation topics–death, sex, money, family, and identity–she moves between memoir, fascinating snapshots of a variety of Americans opening up about their lives, and expert opinions to show why having tough conversations is important and how to do them in a thoughtful and generous way. She uncovers that listening may be the most important part of a tough conversation, that the end goal should be understanding without the pressure of reconciliation, and that there are some things that words can’t fix (and why that’s actually okay).
Happiness is a habit. For some of us, that habit is a natural inclination; for others, it is a learned behavior. The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness combines wisdom from neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and spirituality to help you choose contentment. Dr. Amit Sood's actionable ten -- week program has helped tens of thousands of people reduce anxiety and find greater fulfillment in life. Each of the book's four sections is filled with practical insights and easy -- to -- implement exercises. You'll understand why your brain struggles with finding happiness and what real -- world practices can help you to better manage stress and choose peace and contentment instead.
A highly illuminating examination of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and its insidiously traumatic impact on family members and partners. Packed with insight, compassion, and practical strategies for recovery, this is a must-read for survivors and clinicians alike. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) has a profoundly dehumanizing effect on those subject to its distortions, manipulations, and rage. The Narcissist in Your Life illuminates the emotionally annihilating experience of narcissistic abuse in families and relationships, acknowledges the complex emotional and physical trauma that results, and assists survivors with compassionate, practical advice on the path of recovery.
Call Number: Received Not Yet Cataloged-Grant Book
Publication Date: New York: Metropolitan/Henry Holt, 2021. xv, 284 p.
Reviewed: NYRB 10 Feb. 2022 p. 24. Description: When we lose someone we love, when we suffer loss or defeat, when catastrophe strikes–war, famine, pandemic–we go in search of consolation. Once the province of priests and philosophers, the language of consolation has largely vanished from our modern vocabulary, and the places where it was offered, houses of religion, are often empty. Rejecting the solace of ancient religious texts, humanity since the sixteenth century has increasingly placed its faith in science, ideology, and the therapeutic. How do we console each other and ourselves in an age of unbelief? In a series of lapidary meditations on writers, artists, musicians, and their works–from the books of Job and Psalms to Albert Camus, Anna Akhmatova, and Primo Levi–esteemed writer and historian Michael Ignatieff shows how men and women in extremity have looked to each other across time to recover hope and resilience. Recreating the moments when great figures found the courage to confront their fate and the determination to continue unafraid, On Consolation takes those stories into the present, movingly contending that we can revive these traditions of consolation to meet the anguish and uncertainties of our precarious twenty-first century.
Call Number: Received Not Yet Cataloged-Grant Book
Publication Date: Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 2020. 273 p.
Description: We avoid boredom at all costs. It makes us feel restless and agitated. Desperate for something to do, we play games on our phones, retie our shoes, or even count ceiling tiles. And if we escape it this time, eventually it will strike again. But what if we listened to boredom instead of banishing it? Psychologists James Danckert and John Eastwood contend that boredom isn’t bad for us. It’s just that we do a bad job of heeding its guidance. When we’re bored, our minds are telling us that whatever we are doing isn’t working–we’re failing to satisfy our basic psychological need to be engaged and effective. Too many of us respond poorly. We become prone to accidents, risky activities, loneliness, and ennui, and we waste ever more time on technological distractions. But, Danckert and Eastwood argue, we can let boredom have the opposite effect, motivating the change we need. The latest research suggests that an adaptive approach to boredom will help us avoid its troubling effects and, through its reminder to become aware and involved, might lead us to live fuller lives. Out of My Skull combines scientific findings with everyday observations to explain an experience we’d like to ignore, but from which we have a lot to learn. Boredom evolved to help us. It’s time we gave it a chance.
Through cutting-edge research and gripping case studies from Deisseroth's own patients, Projections tells a larger story about the material origins of human emotion, bridging the gap between the ancient circuits of our brain and the poignant moments of suffering in our daily lives. The stories of Deisseroth's patients are rich with humanity and shine an unprecedented light on the self--and the ways in which it can break down. A young woman with an eating disorder reveals how the mind can rebel against the brain's most primitive drives of hunger and thirst; an older man, smothered into silence by depression and dementia, shows how humans evolved to feel not only joy but also its absence; and a lonely Uighur woman far from her homeland teaches both the importance--and challenges--of deep social bonds.
Publication Date: New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2021. 337 p.
Reviewed: PW 21 Dec. 2020 p. 76; CHE 14 June 2021 (online;reference) Description: With their viral TED talks, bestselling books, and counter-intuitive remedies for complicated problems, psychologists and other social scientists have become the reigning thinkers of our time. Grit and “power posing” promised to help overcome entrenched inequalities in schools and the workplace; the Army spent hundreds of millions of dollars on a positive psychology intervention geared at preventing PTSD in its combat soldiers; and the implicit association test swept the nation on the strength of the claim that it can reveal unconscious biases and reduce racism in police departments and human resources departments. Journalist Jesse Singal examines the most influential ideas of recent decades and the shaky science that supports them. He begins with the California legislator who introduced self-esteem into classrooms around the country in the 1980s and the Princeton political scientist who warned of an epidemic of youthful “superpredators” in the 1990s. In both cases, a much-touted idea had little basis in reality, but had a massive impact. Turning toward the explosive popularity of 21st-century social psychology, Singal examines the misleading appeal of entertaining lab results and critiques the idea that subtle unconscious cues shape our behavior. As he shows, today’s popular behavioral science emphasizes repairing, improving, and optimizing individuals rather than truly understanding and confronting the larger structural forces that drive social ills.
Call Number: Received Not Yet Cataloged-Grant Book
Publication Date: New York: Crown, 2022. xii, 345 p.
Reviewed: LR Feb. 2022 p. 46. Description: Like so many of us, Johann Hari was finding it much harder to focus than he used to. He found that a life of constantly switching from device to device, from tab to tab, is diminishing and depressing. He tried all sorts of self-help solutions–even abandoning his phone for three months–but in the long-term, nothing seemed to work. So Hari went on an epic journey across the world to interview the leading experts on human attention and to study their scientific findings and learned that everything we think we know about this crisis is wrong. In the U.S., teenagers now focus on a task for only sixty-five seconds on average, and office workers manage only three minutes. We think this inability to focus is a personal flaw, an individual failure to exert enough willpower over our devices. The truth is even more disturbing: Our focus has been stolen by powerful external forces, and the science shows that these forces have been ramping up for decades, leaving us uniquely vulnerable, when social media arrived, to corporations determined to raid our attention for profit. These forces have been so successful that our collapse in attention is behind many of the wider problems society faces.
Organizational psychologist Adam Grant is an expert on opening other people's minds--and our own. As Wharton's top-rated professor and the bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take, he makes it one of his guiding principles to argue like he's right but listen like he's wrong. With bold ideas and rigorous evidence, he investigates how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, bring nuance to charged conversations, and build schools, workplaces, and communities of lifelong learners. You'll learn how an international debate champion wins arguments, a Black musician persuades white supremacists to abandon hate, a vaccine whisperer convinces concerned parents to immunize their children, and Adam has coaxed Yankees fans to root for the Red Sox. Think Again reveals that we don't have to believe everything we think or internalize everything we feel. It's an invitation to let go of views that are no longer serving us well and prize mental flexibility over foolish consistency. If knowledge is power, knowing what we don't know is wisdom.
Call Number: Received Not Yet Cataloged-Grant Book
Publication Date: New York: Little A, 2021. 205 p.
Reviewed: TLS 16 July 2021 p. 24. Description: Each year thousands of young adults deemed out of control–suffering from depression, addiction, anxiety, and rage–are carted off against their will to remote wilderness programs and treatment facilities across the country. Desperate parents of these “troubled teens” fear it’s their only option. The private, largely unregulated behavioral boot camps break their children down, a damnation the children suffer forever. Acclaimed journalist Kenneth R. Rosen knows firsthand the brutal emotional, physical, and sexual abuse carried out at these programs. Rosen unspools the stories of four graduates on their own scarred journeys through the programs into adulthood. Based on three years of reporting and more than one hundred interviews with other clients, their parents, psychologists, and health-care professionals, Troubled combines harrowing storytelling with investigative journalism to expose the disturbing truth about the massively profitable, sometimes fatal, grossly unchecked redirection industry.
This book identifies the behaviors and attitudes reflective of excessive self-interest and self-centered people and provides a framework for reducing the negative effects that these individuals have on their family, friends, and colleagues. This book will guide readers to understand the various indices of observable and destructive narcissistic behaviors and attitudes that are exhibited in everyday interactions with self-inflated people, focusing on the larger societal impacts of those behaviors.
Changes that parents and other family members make to their own behaviors to help a child avoid or alleviate anxiety are known as accommodations. Parental accommodation is a key aspect of child anxiety, and has a major impact on course, severity of symptoms and impairment, family distress, and treatment outcomes. As such the careful, gradual removal of accommodation by parents and loved ones is an important target of anxiety treatment for children. This book is an essential resource that will be of use to psychologists, counsellors, and clinical social workers who treat anxious children.
Publication Date: New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2021. x, 299 p.
Reviewed: NYT/BR 31 Jan. 2021 p. 12; PW 9 Nov. 2020 p. 66. Description: Why do so many of us stop learning new skills as adults? Are we afraid to fail? Have we forgotten the sheer pleasure of being a beginner? Or is it simply a fact that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Inspired by his young daughter’s insatiable need to know how to do almost everything, and stymied by his own rut of mid-career competence, Tom Vanderbilt begins a year of learning purely for the sake of learning. He tackles five main skills (and picks up a few more along the way), choosing them for their difficulty to master and their distinct lack of career marketability--chess, singing, surfing, drawing, and juggling. (publ.)
The phenomenon of friendship is universal and elemental. Friends, after all, are the family we choose. But what makes these bonds not just pleasant but essential, and how do they affect our bodies and our minds? In Friendship, science journalist Lydia Denworth takes us in search of friendship's biological, psychological, and evolutionary foundations. She finds friendship to be as old as early life on the African savannas--when tribes of people grew large enough for individuals to seek fulfillment of their social needs outside their immediate families. Friendship illuminates the vital aspects of friendship, both visible and invisible, and offers a refreshingly optimistic vision of human nature. It is a clarion call for putting positive relationships at the center of our lives.
Publication Date: New York: St. Martin’s Pr., 2020. 359 p.
Reviewed: PW 6 July 2020 p. 67. Description: In this fascinating narrative, therapist Catherine Gildiner’s presents five of what she calls her most heroic and memorable patients. Among them: a successful, first generation Chinese immigrant musician suffering sexual dysfunction; a young woman whose father abandoned her at age nine with her younger siblings in an isolated cottage in the depth of winter; and a glamorous workaholic whose narcissistic, negligent mother greeted her each morning of her childhood with “Good morning, Monster.” Each patient presents a mystery, one that will only be unpacked over years. They seek Gildiner’s help to overcome an immediate challenge in their lives, but discover that the source of their suffering has been long bur-ied. As in such recent classics as The Glass Castle and Educated, each patient embodies self-reflection, stoicism, perseverance, and forgiveness as they work unflinchingly to face the truth. Gildiner’s account of her journeys with them is moving, insightful, and sometimes very funny. She offers an almost novelistic, behind-the-scenes look into the therapist’s office, illustrating how the process can heal even the most unimaginable wounds. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Grand Central, 2019. xiii, 382 p.
Reviewed: TLS 13 Nov. 2020 p. 19 (2020 Books of the Year) Description: For centuries, doctors have struggled to define mental illness–how do you diagnose it, how do you treat it, how do you even know what it is? In search of an answer, in the 1970s a Stanford psychologist named David Rosenhan and seven other people–sane, normal, well-adjusted members of society–went undercover into asylums around America to test the legitimacy of psychiatry’s labels. Forced to remain inside until they’d “proven” themselves sane, all eight emerged with alarming diagnoses and even more troubling stories of their treatment. Rosenhan’s watershed study broke open the field of psychiatry, closing down institutions and changing mental health diagnosis forever. But, as Cahalan’s explosive new research shows, very little in this saga is exactly as it seems. What really happened behind those closed asylum doors, and what does it mean for our understanding of mental illness today? (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Avery/Penguin, 2019. xiv, 242 p.
Reviewed: LJ Aug. 2019 p. 114. Description: In 1882, Jean-Martin Charcot was the premiere physician in Paris, having just established a neurology clinic at the infamous Salpetriere Hospital, a place that was called a “grand asylum of human misery.” Assessing the dismal conditions, he quickly set up to upgrade the facilities, and in doing so, revolutionized the treatment of mental illness. Many of Charcot's patients had neurosyphilis (the advanced form of syphilis), a disease of mad poets, novelists, painters, and musicians, and a driving force behind the overflow of patients in Europe's asylums. A sexually transmit-ted disease, it is known as “the great imitator” since its symptoms resemble those of almost any biological disease or mental illness. It is also the perfect lens through which to peel back the layers to better understand the brain and the mind. Yet, Charcot’s work took a bizarre turn when he brought mesmerism–hypnotism–into his clinic, abandoning his pursuit of the biological basis of illness in favor of the far sexier and theatrical treatment of female “hysterics,” whose symptoms mimic those seen in brain disease, but were elusive in origin. This and a general fear of contagion set the stage for Sigmund Freud, whose seductive theory, Freudian analysis, brought sex and hysteria onto the psychiatrist couch, leaving the brain behind. (publ.)
The human brain is an extraordinary machine. Its ability to process information and adapt to circumstances by reprogramming itself is unparalleled and it remains the best source of inspiration for recent developments in artificial intelligence. In How We Learn, Stanislas Dehaene decodes the brain's biological mechanisms, delving into the neuronal, synaptic, and molecular processes taking place. He explains why youth is such a sensitive period, during which brain plasticity is maximal, but assures us that our abilities continue into adulthood and that we can enhance our learning and memory at any age. How We Learn finds the boundary of computer science, neurobiology, and cognitive psychology to explain how learning really works and how to make the best use of the brain's learning algorithms, in our schools and universities, as well as in everyday life.
Publication Date: New York: Basic Books, 2020. 470 p., 8 p. of plates.
Reviewed: TLS 5 Mar. 2021 p. 27. Description: For thousands of years, thinkers and scientists have tried to understand what the brain does. Yet, despite the astonishing discoveries of science, we still have only the vaguest idea of how the brain works. Scientist and historian Matthew Cobb traces how our conception of the brain has evolved over the centuries. Although it might seem to be a story of ever-increasing knowledge of biology, Cobb shows how our ideas about the brain have been shaped by each era’s most significant technologies. Today we might think the brain is like a supercomputer. In the past, it has been compared to a telegraph, a telephone exchange, or some kind of hydraulic system. What will we think the brain is like tomorrow, when new technology arises? The result is an essential read for anyone interested in the complex processes that drive science and the forces that have shaped our marvelous brains. (publ.) Note: Shortlisted for the 2020 Baillie-Gifford Prize.
Publication Date: Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2020. 192 p.
Description: America is facing a mental health crisis. Studies show that the average American is spending more than 10 hours a day in front of their screens, suicide rates are at an all-time high, and mental health professionals are working hard to address social media’s role in this epidemic. … Too often, bad feelings from social media interactions linger, negatively affecting our off-line lives and worsening already present mental health is-sues. … By setting needed limits and embracing new practices, it is possible to improve mental health when using social media. Licensed psychologist Paula Durlofsky details the whys and hows of creating a safe digital space, cultivating digital and social media mindfulness, applying the techniques of metalizing while consuming social media, and decreasing social media and digital reactivity. She offers suggestions for how to use social media and digital technology to create meaningful social interactions and positive mental health and provides readers with practical steps to put these ideas into action. (publ.)
The notion of "happily ever after" has been ingrained in many of us since childhood--meet someone, date, have the big white wedding, and enjoy your well-deserved future. But why do we buy into this idea? Is love really all we need? Author Laurie Essig invites us to flip this concept of romance on its head and see it for what it really is--an ideology that we desperately cling to as a way to cope with the fact that we believe we cannot control or affect the societal, economic, and political structures around us. Essig argues that when we do this, we allow romance to blind us to the real work that needs to be done.
Three great strands of belief run through human history: Religion is the relationship with one god or many gods, masters of our lives and destinies. Science distances us from the world, turning us into observers and collectors of knowledge. And magic is direct human participation in the universe: we have influence on the world around us, and the world has influence on us.
Publication Date: New York: W.W. Norton, 2020. 384 p.
Reviewed: PW 12 Oct. 2020 p. 64; NYT/BR 31 Jan. 2021 p. 17. Description: For centuries, scientists and society cast moral judgments on anyone deemed mentally ill, confining many to asylums. In this work, an-thropologist Roy Richard Grinker chronicles the progress and setbacks in the struggle against mental illness stigma from the eighteenth century, through America’s major wars, and into today's hightech economy. Grinker infuses the book with the personal history of his family’s four genera-tions of involvement in psychiatry, including his grandfather’s analysis with Sigmund Freud, his own daughter’s experience with autism, and culminating in his research on neurodiversity. Drawing on cutting-edge science, historical archives, and cross-cultural research in Africa and Asia, the author explains how we are transforming mental illness and offers a path to end the shadow of stigma. (publ.)
This book serves as an accessible resource for teens who want to learn more about obesity. The information and guidance it offers make it a valuable tool for young adult readers with questions or concerns about their weight. Obesity--represented by a BMI over 30--may be easy to define, but its causes and consequences and how individuals and agencies should address it are not as clear. Is obesity simply the result of eating more calories than one burns, or are other factors involved? Can an individual be obese and healthy? How does obesity affect psychological and social health? Are public health campaigns targeted at reducing obesity helping or hurting? Helps readers hone their research and critical thinking skills in a Guide to Health Literacy section Provides real-world examples of concepts discussed in the book through case studies Dispels popular misconceptions in a Common Myths section and directs readers towards accurate information Points readers towards additional books, organizations, and websites for further study and research in an annotated directory of resources
Psychology is among the most popular majors in college today---yet, it's possible that you chose it without realizing how very broad and technical the field is. In this book, you'll get a bird's eye view of the whole curriculum, from rat mazes and statistics to abnormal psychology and psychotherapy, and you'll dive into some of the field's most enduring debates. Beyond the what and why of the psychology major, this book provides you with tips you can put into practice from day one. When you finish this book, you'll have a clear idea of why you're learning what you're learning, and how the skills you build in your psychology major will help you solve real-world problems. You'll be able to take an active hand in your education--and own your psychology major.
Publication Date: New York: Henry Holt, 2019. 354 p., 8 p. of plates.
Reviewed: LRB 4 Feb. 2021 p. 17. Description: The visionary chemist Sidney Gottlieb was the CIA’s master magician and gentlehearted torturer–the agency’s “poisoner in chief.” As head of the MK-ULTRA mind control project, he directed brutal experiments at secret prisons on three continents. He made pills, powders, and potions that could kill or maim without a trace–including some intended for Fidel Castro and other foreign leaders. He paid prostitutes to lure clients to CIA-run bordellos, where they were secretly dosed with mind-altering drugs. His experiments spread LSD across the United States, making him a hidden godfather of the 1960s counterculture. For years he was the chief supplier of spy tools used by CIA officers around the world. … Gottlieb’s reckless experiments on “expendable” human subjects destroyed many lives, yet he considered himself deeply spiritual. He lived in a remote cabin without running water, meditated, and rose before dawn to milk his goats. During his twenty-two years at the CIA, Gottlieb worked in the deepest secrecy. Only since his death has it become possible to piece together his astonishing career at the intersection of extreme science and covert action. Poisoner in Chief reveals him as a clandestine conjurer on an epic scale. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Portfolio, 2020. 261 p.
Reviewed: PW 7 Sept. 2020 p. 49. Description: Creative work doesn’t come with a guarantee. But there is a pattern to who succeeds and who doesn’t. And engaging in the consistent practice of its pursuit is the best way forward. Based on the breakthrough Akimbo workshop pioneered by legendary author Seth Godin, The Practice will help you get unstuck and find the courage to make and share creative work. Godin insists that writer’s block is a myth, that consistency is far more important than authenticity, and that experiencing the imposter syndrome is a sign that you’re a well-adjusted human. Most of all, he shows you what it takes to turn your passion from a private distraction to a productive contribution, the one you’ve been seeking to share all along. (publ.)
Plenty of experts argue that anyone who wants to develop a skill, play an instrument, or lead their field should start early, focus intensely, and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as possible. If you dabble or delay, you'll never catch up to the people who got a head start. But a closer look at research on the world's top performers, from professional athletes to Nobel laureates, shows that early specialization is the exception, not the rule. David Epstein examined the world's most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists. He discovered that in most fields--especially those that are complex and unpredictable--generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They're also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can't see. Provocative, rigorous, and engrossing, Range makes a compelling case for actively cultivating inefficiency.
Publication Date: New Haven, Conn.: Yale UP, 2020. xvi, 325 p., 12 p. of plates.
Description: Drawing on archives and interviews, Clifford charts the experiences of these child survivors and those who cared for them–as well as those who studied them, such as Anna Freud. Survivors explores the aftermath of the Holocaust in the long term, and reveals how these children–often branded “the lucky ones”–had to struggle to be able to call themselves “survivors” at all. Challenging our assumptions about trauma, Clifford’s powerful and surprising narrative helps us understand what it was like living after, and living with, childhoods marked by rupture and loss. (publ.)
Step 1- You admit that you're powerless over your addiction. Now what? 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) have helped countless people on the path to recovery. But many still feel that 12-step programs aren't for them- that the spiritual emphasis is too narrow, the modality too old-school, the setting too triggering, or the space too exclusive. Advances in addiction medicine, trauma, neuropsychiatry, social theory, and overall strides in inclusivity need to be integrated into modern-day 12-step programs to reflect the latest research and what it means to live with an addiction today. Dr. Jamie Marich, an addiction and trauma clinician in recovery herself, builds necessary bridges between the 12-step's core foundations and up-to-date developments in trauma-informed care. Foregrounding the intersections of addiction, trauma, identity, and systems of oppression, Marich's approach treats the whole person--not just the addiction--to foster healing, transformation, and growth.
Publication Date: New York: Greenhaven Pr., 2020. 199 p.
Description: Approximately one in five adults in the United States experience mental illness on an annual basis, and emotional, behavioral, or mental disorders are just as prevalent among young people. Issues like homelessness and mass violence have brought mental illness into the spotlight, but have significant strides been made in addressing mental health issues in recent years or are these disorders still widely stigmatized? This volume explores the questions of whether mental health issues stem from uniquely American factors, how accessible treatment is to those who need it, and whether modern technology plays a role in America’s mental health. (publ.) Note: Library standing order.
Publication Date: New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019. x, 383 p.
Reviewed: TLS 13 Dec. 2019 p. 27; PW 15 Apr. 2019 p. 58. Description: The author Lawrence Weschler began spending time with Oliver Sacks in the early 1980s, when he set out to profile the neurologist for his own new employer, The New Yorker. Almost a decade earlier, Dr. Sacks had published his masterpiece Awakenings–the account of his long-dormant patients’ miraculous but troubling return to life in a Bronx hospital ward. But the book had hardly been an immediate success, and the rumpled clinician was still largely unknown. Over the ensuing four years, the two men worked closely together until, for wracking personal reasons, Sacks asked Weschler to abandon the profile, a request to which Weschler acceded. The two remained close friends, however, across the next thirty years and then, just as Sacks was dying, he urged Weschler to take up the project once again. This book is the result of that entreaty. Weschler sets Sacks’s brilliant table talk and extravagant personality in vivid relief, casting himself as a beanpole Sancho to Sacks’s capacious Quixote. We see Sacks rowing and ranting and caring deeply; composing the essays that would form The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat; recalling his turbulent drug-fueled younger days; helping his patients and exhausting his friends; and waging intellectual war against a medical and scientific establishment that failed to address his greatest concern: the spontaneous specificity of the individual human soul. And all the while he is pouring out a stream of glorious, ribald, hilarious, and often profound conversation that establishes him as one of the great talkers of the age. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Routledge, 2019. xiii, 194 p.
Reviewed: TLS 24 Jan. 2020 p. 31 (reviewer) Description: The authors summarize what is known about the biology and behavioral features of autism, and provide concise but comprehensive accounts of all influential psychological models including “Theory of Mind” (ToM) models, early social development models and alternative information processing models such as “weak central coherence” theory. The book also discusses more recent attempts to understand autism, including the “Double Empathy Problem” and Bayesian theories. In each case, the authors describe the theory, review the evidence and provide critical analysis of its value and impact. Recognizing the multiplicity of theoretical views, and rapidly changing nature of autism research, each chapter considers current debates and major questions that remain for the future. Importantly, the book includes the voices of autistic people, including parents and practitioners, who were asked to provide commentaries on each chapter, helping to contextualize theory and research evidence with accounts of real-life experience. Fletcher-Watson and Happé explore the relationship between theories of autism at psychological (cognitive), biological and behavioral levels, and consider their clinical and educational impact. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Simon & Schuster, 2020. x, 270 p.
Reviewed: PW 13 Jan. 2020 p. 51. Description: Berger identifies the key barriers to change and how to mitigate them. You’ll learn how catalysts change minds in the toughest of situations: how hostage negotiators get people to come out with their hands up and how marketers get new products to catch on, how leaders transform organizational culture and how activists ignite social movements, how substance abuse counselors get addicts to realize they have a problem, and how political canvassers change deeply rooted political beliefs. … Successful change agents know it’s not about pushing harder, or providing more information, it’s about … reducing the barriers to change. Instead of asking, “How could I change someone’s mind?” they ask a different question: “Why haven’t they changed already? What’s stopping them?” (publ.)
Publication Date: [The Psychology of Everyday Life Ser.] Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood Pr., 2018. xiv, 199 p.
Description: Although most people go to work Monday through Friday, few stop to think about the central role work plays in our lives. Besides allowing us to provide for the material needs of ourselves and our families, having a job or career can help us to meet new people and stay socially connected, to increase our self-esteem and sense of self-worth, and to allow us to have an impact on the world. But work can also leave us exhausted and stressed, and many people find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. Covering important topics such as job satisfaction, workplace stress, and the changing nature of jobs and careers in the 21st century, this book explores how working affects us psychologically, for better and for worse and sometimes in imperceptible ways. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Grand Central Publ., 2016. 295 p.
Note: Staff request(JU); 2 HC/2 Audio. Description: One of the most valuable skills in our economy is becoming increasingly rare. If you master this skill, you'll achieve extraordinary results. Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep-spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there’s a better way. Author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four “rules,’ for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill. (publ.)
Publication Date: [Q&A Health Guides Ser.] Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood Pr., 2019. xxix, 121 p.
Description: How is depression different from sadness, and why are some individuals more predisposed to depression than others? What happens in the brain when we’re depressed? What medications and options for therapy are available, and what side effects can antidepressants have? How can you help a friend or loved one experiencing depression? This book provides clear, concise answers to these and many other questions young readers may have regarding this difficult and often misunderstood topic. Each book in this series follows a reader-friendly question-and-answer format that anticipates readers’ needs and concerns. Prevalent myths and misconceptions are identified and dispelled, and a collection of case studies illustrates key concepts and issues through relatable stories and insightful recommendations. The book also includes a section on health literacy, equipping teens and young adults with practical tools and strategies for finding, evaluating, and using credible sources of health information both on and off the internet–important skills that contribute to a lifetime of healthy decision-making. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Greenhaven Pr., 2020. 176 p.
Description: Once we understand that gender is distinct from sex, a whole world of possibilities open up, along with the potential for confusion. Shifting attitudes about the roles of men and women have allowed younger generations to refuse to be pigeonholed into conventional gender norms. As a result, the 21st century seems ripe for a gender revolution. The viewpoints in this volume approach gender from a variety of perspectives, providing readers with food for thought about where gender comes from, how we can make sense of its importance, and where it might be headed. (publ.) Note: Library standing order.
Publication Date: London: Faber & Faber, 2019. 246 p.
Reviewed: TLS 11 Oct. 2019 p. 27; NYRB 14 Jan. 2021 p. 26. Description: Nathan Filer, a former mental health nurse, invites us to spend time in the company of some extraordinary people whose lives have been affected by this most strange of human conditions, and to discover their complex, surprising, painful, funny and ultimately relatable stories. Interlacing these first person encounters with a series of meditative essays, he debunks myths, challenges orthodoxy and offers fresh insight into what is traditionally considered to be psychiatry’s heartland: the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia. (publ.) Note: This book was republished in 2020 as: This Book Will Change Your Mind About Mental Health: A Journey into the Heartland of Psychiatry (London: Faber & Faber, 2020).
Publication Date: Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2017. xxx, 303 p
Description: This book confronts popular myths about memory with scientific evidence on memory permanence, recovered memory and repression, amnesia, eyewitness memory, superior memory, and other topics. The book also discusses the consequences of these myths and possible strategies for debunking them. (publ.)
Description: Provides a road map for understanding and addressing violence of all kinds in the school environment. The editors emphasize that mass casualty events are but one species of violence, and that in fact school violence comes in many different forms, from bullying on campus to trauma off campus, from community gangs to violent crimes. Case vignettes illustrate and illuminate the range of violent situations likely to be encountered, as well as the advantages and disadvantages inherent in various interventions. The authors stress that threat assessment must take individual, school, and community variables into account. They introduce readers to important concepts pertaining to school violence and serve as a practical guide for mitigating and preventing violence in our schools. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: NYU Pr., 2019. viii, 403 p.
Reviewed: NYRB 13 Feb. 2020 p. 21. Description: The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken a tremendous toll on the mental health of our troops. In 2005, then-Senator Barack Obama took to the Senate floor to tell his colleagues that “many of our injured soldiers are returning from Iraq with traumatic brain injury,” which doctors were calling the “signature wound” of the Iraq War. Alarming stories of veterans taking their own lives raised a host of vital questions: Why hadn't the military been better prepared to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI)? Why were troops being denied care and sent back to Iraq? Why weren’t the Army and the VA doing more to ad-dress these issues? Drawing on previously unreleased documents and oral histories, David Kieran tells the broad and nuanced story of the Army’s efforts to understand and address these issues, challenging the popular media view that the Iraq War was mismanaged by a callous military unwilling to address the human toll of the wars. The story of mental health during this war is the story of how different groups–soldiers, veterans and their families, anti-war politicians, researchers and clinicians, and military leaders–approached these issues from different perspectives and with different agendas. It is the story of how the advancement of medical knowledge moves at a different pace than the needs of an Army at war, and it is the story of how medical conditions intersect with larger political questions about militarism and foreign policy. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: HarperCollins, 2019. 384 p.
Reviewed: NYT 18 Aug. 2019 p. SR10 (letter to ed.) Description: 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 fire-fighters 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. This book 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. (publ.)
Publication Date: Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood Pr., 2018. xxv, 160 p.
Description: How is social anxiety different from shyness or introversion? Are anxiety disorders only a problem in the Western, industrialized world, and if not, are they expressed differently in other cultures? Why do some people suffer from panic attacks while others do not? What kinds of therapy and medication are available for anxiety? What happens in therapy? How can well-meaning family and friends help a person with an anxiety disorder rather than make things worse? This book tackles readers’ questions regarding anxiety and panic attacks, dispelling misconceptions and examining real-world scenarios that highlight important concepts and controversies. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Da Capo Pr., 2018. xiii, 236 p.
Reviewed: LJ 1 Oct. 2018 p. 50. Description: This book walks readers through the most common questions about mental health and the process of getting help–from finding the best therapist to navigating harmful and toxic relationships and everything in between. In the same down-to-earth, friendly tone that makes her videos so popular, marriage and family therapist and YouTube sensation Kati Morton clarifies and destigmatizes the struggles so many of us go through and encourages readers to reach out for help. (publ.)
Publication Date: Arlington, Tx.: Future Horizons, 2006. ix, 150 p.
Description: A comprehensive guide to Asperger's syndrome, focusing on female cases, and covers education, puberty, relationships, careers, and other related issues. Note: Former NICC Disability Services Collection.
Publication Date: New York: Guilford Pr., 2018. xvii, 586 p.
Reviewed: Choice (Feb. 2019 vol. 56 no. 6) Top 75 books recommended for community college libraries. Description: This comprehensive and cutting-edge volume maps out the terrain of moral psychology, a dynamic and evolving area of research. In 57 concise chapters, leading authorities and up-and-coming scholars explore fundamental issues and current controversies. The volume systematically reviews the empirical evidence base and presents influential theories of moral judgment and behavior. It is organized around the key questions that must be addressed for a complete understanding of the moral mind. (publ.) “Each essay is framed as an answer to a specific question, such as ‘What do we evaluate when we evaluate moral character?’ and both the question and an abbreviated version of the answer are printed at the head of each chapter. This feature makes the book very user-friendly, particularly for students and readers new to moral psychology.” (Choice)
Publication Date: New York: Bloomsbury, 2018. 414 p.
Reviewed: LJ 1 Apr. 2018 p. 80; TLS 23 Nov. 2018 p. 32. Description: When Edward M. Hallowell was eleven, a voice out of nowhere told him he should become a psychiatrist. A mental health professional of the time would have called this psychosis. But young Edward (Ned) took it in stride, despite not quite knowing what “psychiatrist” meant. With a psychotic father, alcoholic mother, abusive stepfather, and two so-called learning disabilities of his own, Ned was accustomed to unpredictable behavior from those around him, and to a mind he felt he couldn’t always control. The voice turned out to be right. Now, decades later, Hallowell is a leading expert on attention disorders and the author of twenty books, including Driven to Distraction, the work that introduced ADD to the world. (publ.)
Reviewed: PW 10 Dec. 2018 p. 94; NYT/BR 28 Apr. 2019 p. 16; LJ Mar. 2019 p. 137. Description: You don’t have to be racist to be biased. Unconscious bias can be at work without our realizing it, and even when we genuinely wish to treat all people equally, ingrained stereotypes can infect our visual perception, attention, memory, and behavior. This has an impact on education, employment, housing, and criminal justice. With a perspective that is at once scientific, investigative, and informed by personal experience, Jennifer Eberhardt offers us insights into the dilemma and a path forward. Eberhardt works extensively as a consultant to law enforcement and as a psychologist at the forefront of this new field. Her research takes place in courtrooms and boardrooms, in prisons, on the street, and in classrooms and coffee shops. She shows us the subtle–and sometimes dramatic–daily repercussions of implicit bias in how teachers grade students, or managers deal with customers. It has an enormous impact on the conduct of criminal jus-tice, from the rapid decisions police officers have to make to sentencing practices in court. Eberhardt’s work and her book are both influenced by her own life, and the personal stories she shares emphasize the need for change. … Unblinking about the tragic consequences of prejudice, Eber-hardt addresses how racial bias is not the fault of nor restricted to a few “bad apples” but is present at all levels of society in media, education, and business. The good news is that we are not hopelessly doomed by our in-nate prejudices. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Cambridge, UP, 2018. xiv, 267 p.
Reviewed: Choice (Mar. 2019 vol. 56 no. 7) Top 75 books recommended for community college libraries. Descriptions: What would it be like to feel good about your body? Does anyone really fully appreciate their body? If diverse body shapes and sizes were shown in the media, would this change your perception? While this book addresses all of these questions and more, it is not simply a standard scientific exploration of poor body image. Instead, it examines a new movement focused on understanding what it is that leads people to love, appreciate, take care of, and embrace their bodies. Featuring chapters written by leading, international experts in the science and practice of body image, this book is a provocative and engaging look at how we feel about our physical selves in the twenty-first century–and how we can all come to feel better than we currently do. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Oxford UP, 2019. xx, 511 p.
Description: Gathered here are forty top researchers on the topic to provide both the foundational tools and the evidence to better understand conspiracy theories in the United States and around the world. Each chapter is informed by three core questions: Why do so many people believe in conspiracy theories? What are the effects of such theories when they take hold in the public? What can or should be done about the phenomenon? (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: OR Books, 2017. 358 p.
Reviewed: TLS 1 June 2018 p. 28. Description: For an extraordinary year, authors Carl Cederström and André Spicer threw themselves headlong into the multifarious and often bizarre world of self-optimization, a burgeoning movement that seeks to transcend the limits placed on us by merely being human. As willing guinea pigs in an extraordinary (and sometimes downright dangerous) range of techniques and technologies, our heroic protagonists used apps that deliver electric shocks in pursuit of improved concentration, wore headbands designed to optimize meditation, attempted to boost their memory through associative techniques (and failed to be admitted to MENSA), trained for weightlifting competitions, wrote a Scandinavian detective story under the influence of mind enhancing drugs, enrolled in motivational seminars and tantra sex workshops, attended new-age retreats and man-camps, underwent plastic surgery, and experimented with vibrators that stimulated parts of the body they barely knew existed. Somewhat surprisingly, the two young professors survived this year of rigorous research and have drawn on it to produce a hilarious and eye-opening book. (publ.)
Publication Date: London: Fourth Estate, 2018. 263 p.
Reviewed: TLS 5 Oct. 2018 p. 30. Description: Unfolding in three sections, this book delves into the aftermath of Lisa Appignanesi’s partner’s death, the story of her father (a post-war Polish immigrant to Canada) and finally the perspective of Lisa’s two-year-old grandson, whose younger brother arrives and upends his world. Asking how we might cope with, or even heal, the forms of everyday madness that we are all faced with in our lives, her memoir is a poignant, heartfelt reflection on love and loss. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Abrams Pr., 2019. 304 p.
Reviewed: PW 10 Dec. 2018 p. 131. Description: Dr. Julia Shaw, a criminal psychologist uses the latest scientific research to offer a more enlightened and nuanced explanation for why people behave so badly and how we can prevent evil acts by understanding more profoundly how such acts come about–and what truly makes us evil. What is it about evil that we find so compelling? From our obsession with serial killers to violence in pop culture, we seem inescapably drawn to the stories of monstrous acts and the aberrant people who commit them. But evil, Dr. Julia Shaw argues, is largely subjective. What one may consider normal, like sex before marriage, eating meat, or working on Wall Street, others find abhorrent. And if evil is only in the eye of the beholder, can it be said to exist at all? In this book, Shaw uses an engrossing mix of science, popular culture, and real-life examples to break down timely and provocative is-sues. How similar is your brain to a psychopath’s? How many people have murder fantasies? Can artificial intelligence be evil? Do your sexual proclivities make you a bad person? Who becomes a terrorist? If you could travel back in time, would you kill baby Hitler? In asking these questions, Shaw urges readers to discover empathy and to rethink and reshape what it means to be bad. (publ.)
Publication Date: [Lifelong Books Ser.] New York: Da Capo Pr., 2018. viii, 261 p.
Reviewed: LJ 1 Oct. 2018 p. 51; PW 13 Aug. 2018 p. 63. Description: Gaslighting is a technique of manipulating others to gain control, often practiced by those with personality disorders (including Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, and Borderline Perso-ality Disorder). Whether it’s a spouse, parent, coworker, or friend, gas-lighters use a series of manipulation and distraction tactics to distort the truth–from lying, controlling, withholding, triangulation, and more–making their victims question their own reality. Dr. Sarkis delves into the psychology behind the phenomenon, devoting chapters to specific scenarios, such as gaslighting in dating, in relationships, at work, and in families. With warning signs and examples of the destructive consequences along with practical tips and strategies, this book will help anyone trapped in a manipulative relationship to break free and heal from this toxic behavior. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Dutton, 2019. xv, 365 p.
Reviewed: Economist 13 Apr. 2019 p. 79. Description: Instead of asking why certain people suffer from mental illness, Nesse asks why natural selection has left us all with fragile minds. Drawing on revealing stories from his own clinical practice and insights from evolutionary biology, Nesse shows how negative emotions are useful in certain situations, yet can become overwhelming. Anxiety protects us from harm in the face of danger, but false alarms are inevitable. Low moods prevent us from wasting effort in pursuit of unreachable goals, but they often escalate into pathological depression. Other mental disorders, such as addiction and anorexia, result from the mismatch between modern environment and our ancient human past. And there are good evolutionary reasons for sexual disorders and for why genes for schizophrenia persist. Taken together, these and many more insights help to explain the pervasiveness of human suffering, and show us new paths for relieving it by understanding individuals as individuals. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Grove Pr., 2018. xv, 364 p.
Review: PW 26 Nov. 2018 p. 51. Description: For years Marianne Power lined her bookshelves with dog-eared copies of definitive guides on how to live your best life, dipping in and out of self-help books when she needed them most. Then, one day, she woke up to find that the life she hoped for and the life she was living were worlds apart–and she set out to make some big changes. Marianne decided to finally find out if her elusive “perfect existence”–the one without debt, anxiety, or hangover Netflix marathons, the one where she healthily bounced around town and met the cashmere-sweater-wearing man of her dreams–really did lie in the pages of our best known and acclaimed self-help books. She vowed to test a book a month for one year, following its advice to the letter, taking what she hoped would be the surest path to a flawless new her. But as the months passed and Marianne’s reality was turned upside down, she found herself confronted with a different question: Self-help can change your life, but is it for the better? (publ.)
Publication Date: Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Pr., 2019, c2016. x, 136 p.
Description: We are surrounded by a world rich with visual information, but we pay attention to very little of it, filtering out what is irrelevant so we can focus on what we think we need to know. Advertisers, web designers, and other “attention architects” try hard to get our attention, promoting products with videos on huge outdoor screens, adding flashing banners to websites, and developing computer programs with blinking icons that tempt us to click. … The visual attention system is efficient, Van der Stigchel writes, because it doesn’t waste energy processing every scrap of visual data it receives; it gathers only relevant information. We focus on one snippet of in-formation and assume that everything else is stable and consistent with past experience; that’s why most people miss even the most glaring continuity errors in films. If an object doesn’t meet our expectations, chances are we won’t see it. Van der Stigchel makes his case with examples from real life. (publ.) Note: Originally published as: Zo Werkt Aandacht: Opvallen, Kijken en Zoeken in een Wereld vol Afleiding (Amsterdam: Maven, 2016).
Publication Date: New York: W. W. Norton, 2019. viii, 326 p., 12 p. of plates.
Reviewed: NYT/BR 3 March 2019 p. 1; PW 10 Dec. 2018 p. 132; LJ Winter 2018 p. 94. Description: Mama’s Last Hug begins with the death of Mama, a chimpanzee matriarch who formed a deep bond with biologist Jan van Hooff. When Mama was dying, van Hooff took the unusual step of visiting her in her night cage for a last hug. Their goodbyes were filmed and went viral. Millions of people were deeply moved by the way Mama embraced the professor, welcoming him with a big smile while reassuring him by patting his neck, in a gesture often considered typically human but that is in fact common to all primates. This story and others like it form the core of de Waal’s argument, showing that humans are not the only species with the capacity for love, hate, fear, shame, guilt, joy, disgust, and empathy. (publ.)
Publication Date: Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019. xi, 415 p.
Reviewed:NPR “Fresh Air” 28 Mar. 2019; NYT/BR 12 May 2019 p. 8. Description: One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but. As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients’ lives–a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can’t stop hooking up with the wrong guys–she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell. With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: W. W. Norton, 2019. 384 p.
Reviewed: PW 14 Jan. 2019 p. 36; Economist 13 Apr. 2019 p. 79; NYT/BR 14 July 2019 p. 23; NYT/BR 7 July 2019 p. 26; TLS 11 Oct. 2019 p. 26; LR Dec./Jan. 2019/2020 p. 66; NYRB 14 Jan. 2021 p. 26. Description: Harvard University Professor Anne Harrington explores psychiatry’s repeatedly frustrated struggle to understand mental disorder in biomedical terms. She shows how the stalling of early twentieth century efforts in this direction allowed Freudians and social scientists to insist, with some justification, that they had better ways of analyzing and fixing minds. But when the Freudians overreached, they drove psychiatry into a state of crisis that a new “biological revolution” was meant to alleviate. Harrington shows how little that biological revolution had to do with breakthroughs in science, and why the field has fallen into a state of crisis in our own time. She makes clear that psychiatry’s waxing and waning biological enthusiasms have been shaped not just by developments in the clinic and lab, but also by a surprising range of social factors, including immigration, warfare, grassroots activism, and assumptions about race and gender. Government programs designed to empty the state mental hospitals, acrid rivalries be-tween different factions in the field, industry profit mongering, consumer-ism, and an uncritical media have all contributed to the story as well. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Ballantine, 2018. xiv, 392 p.
Reviewed: NYT/BR 21 Oct. 2018 p. 21. Description: Written with brutal and affecting honesty, Kurt Eichenwald, who was diagnosed with epilepsy as a teenager, details the abuses he faced while incapacitated post-seizure, the discrimination he fought that almost cost him his education and employment, and the darkest moments when he contemplated suicide as the only solution to ending his physical and emotional pain. He recounts how medical incompetence would have killed him but for the heroic actions of a brilliant neurologist and the friendship of two young men who assumed part of the burden of his struggle. Ultimately, Eichenwald’s is an inspirational tale, showing a young man facing his own mortality on a daily basis. (publ.)
Publication Date: Black Point, Nova Scotia: Fernwood, 2019. vii, 246 p.
Description: Mindfulness, a way to alleviate suffering by realizing the impermanence of the self and our interdependence with others, has been severed from its Buddhist roots. In the late-stage-capitalist, neoliberal, solipsistic West, it becomes McMindfulness, a practice that instead shores up the privatized self, and is corporatized and repackaged as a strategy to cope with our stressful society through an emphasis on self-responsibility and self-promotion. … David Forbes provides an integral framework for a critical, social, moral mindfulness that both challenges unmindful practices and ideas and provides a way forward. He analyzes how education curricula across North America employ mindfulness: to help students learn to succeed in a neoliberal society by enhancing the ego through emphasizing individualistic skills and the self-regulation of anger and stress. Forbes argues that mindfulness educators instead should uncover and resist the sources of stress and distress that stem from an inequitable, racist, individualistic, market-based (neoliberal) society and shows how school mindfulness programs can help bring about one that is more transformative, compassionate and just. (publ.)
Publication Date: Chapel Hill: U. North Carolina Pr., 2018. 219 p.
Description: The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision required desegregation of America’s schools, but it also set in motion an agonizing multi-decade debate over race, class, and IQ. In this book, Michael E. Staub investigates neuropsychological studies published between Brown and the controversial 1994 book, The Bell Curve. In doing so, he illuminates how we came to view race and intelligence today. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Grand Central Life & Style, 2019. 272 p.
Reviewed: PW 25 Feb. 2019 p. 73. Description: Profiles the transformational impact that shelter pets have on humans, exploring the emotional, physical, and spiritual gifts that rescued animals provide. It explores through anecdote, observation, and scientific research, the complexity and depth of the role that pets play in our lives. Every story in the book brings an unrecognized benefit of adopting homeless animals to the forefront of the rescue conversation. In a nation plagued by illness-es–16 million adults suffer from depression, 29 million have diabetes, 8 mil-lion in any given year have PTSD, and nearly 40% are obese–rescue pets can help: 60% of doctors said they prescribe pet adoption and a staggering 97% believe that pet ownership provides health benefits. For people in chronic emotional, physical, or spiritual pain, adopting an animal can transform, and even save, their lives. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Doubleday, 2019. 241 p.
Review: LJ Feb. 2019 p. 104 Choice (Sept. 2019 vol. 57 no. 1) Highly recommended for community college libraries. Description: Addiction is epidemic and catastrophic. With more than one in every five people over the age of fourteen addicted, drug abuse has been called the most formidable health problem worldwide. If we are not victims our-selves, we all know someone struggling with the merciless compulsion to alter their experience by changing how their brain functions. Drawing on years of research–as well as personal experience as a recovered addict–researcher and professor Judy Grisel has reached a fundamental conclusion: for the addict, there will never be enough drugs. The brain’s capacity to learn and adapt is seemingly infinite, allowing it to counteract any regular disruption, including that caused by drugs. What begins as a normal state punctuated by periods of being high transforms over time into a state of desperate craving that is only temporarily subdued by a fix, explaining why addicts are unable to live either with or without their drug. One by one, Grisel shows how different drugs act on the brain, the kind of experiential effects they generate, and the specific reasons why each is so hard to kick. Grisel’s insights lead to a better understanding of the brain’s critical contributions to addictive behavior, and will help inform a more rational, coherent, and compassionate response to the epidemic in our homes and communities. (publ.)
Publication Date: Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP, 2018. xiv, 198 p., 8 p. of plates.
Reviewed: Choice (Jun. 2019 vol. 56 no. 10) Top 75 books recommended for community college libraries. Description: Provides a compelling look at the origins, development, and future of brain-imaging tools, revealing how they are increasingly being used to decode our thoughts and experiences–and how this raises some-times troubling questions about their application in domains such as marketing, politics, and the law. Russell Poldrack takes readers on a journey of scientific discovery, telling the stories of the visionaries behind these breakthroughs. Along the way, he gives an insider’s perspective on what is perhaps the single most important technology in cognitive neuroscience today–functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, which is providing astonishing new insights into the contents and workings of the mind. He highlights both the amazing power and major limitations of these techniques and describes how applications outside the lab often exceed the bounds of responsible science. (publ.)
Publication Date: Boulder, Colo.: Shambhala, 2018. xv, 189 p.
Description: Inglis's story is a springboard that can help other bereaved parents–and anyone who has experienced wrenching loss–reflect on emotional survival in the first year; dealing with family, friends, and bystanders post-loss; the unique survivors’ guilt, feelings of failure, and isolation of bereavement; and the fortitude of like-minded community and small kindnesses. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Doubleday, 2018. 336 p.
Reviewed: NYRB 20 Dec. 2018 p. 57; PW 9 July 2018 p. 85. Description: A history of the personality test that has achieved cult-like devotion, devised a century ago by a pair of homemakers and found today in board-rooms, classrooms, and beyond. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is the most popular personality test in the world. It has been harnessed by For-tune 100 companies, universities, hospitals, churches, and the military. Its language–of extraversion vs. introversion, thinking vs. feeling–has inspired online dating platforms and Buzzfeed quizzes alike. And yet despite the test’s widespread adoption, experts in the field of psychometric testing, a $500 million industry, struggle to account for its success–no less to validate its results. How did the Myers-Briggs test insinuate itself into our jobs, our relationships, our Internet, our lives? First conceived in the 1920s by the mother-daughter team of Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, a pair of aspiring novelists and devoted homemakers, the Myers-Briggs was de-signed to bring the gospel of Carl Jung to the masses. But it would take on a life of its own, reaching from the smoke-filled boardrooms of mid-century New York to Berkeley, California, where it was honed against some of the twentieth century’s greatest creative minds. It would travel across the world to London, Zurich, Cape Town, Melbourne, and Tokyo; to elementary schools, nunneries, wellness retreats, and the closed-door corporate training sessions of today. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Harper Collins, 2018. xxvii, 287 p.
Reviewed: PW 25 June 2018 p. 108. Description: Many of us believe in equality, diversity, and inclusion, but how do we stand up for those values in our turbulent world? Chugh reveals the surprising causes of inequality, and offers practical tools to respectfully and effectively talk politics with family, to be a better colleague to people who don’t look like you, and to avoid being a well-intentioned barrier to equality. Being the person we mean to be starts with a look at ourselves. (publ.)
Reviewed: NYT 28 Oct. 2018 p. SR10 Description: Alfie Kohn’s landmark challenge to carrot-and-stick psychology, featuring updated reflections and research in a new afterword. He argues against the practice of offering people rewards in order to persuade them to get good grades, do good work, or behave in a certain manner, presenting evidence that shows the practice often has a negative effect, and discusses alternative methods of influencing behavior. (publ.)
Publication Date: 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge UP, 2018. 323 p.
Reviewed: PW 6 Aug. 2018 p. 40. Description: Most of us at some point in our lives will be struck by major traumas such as the sudden death of a loved one, a debilitating disease, assault, or a natural disaster. Resilience refers to the ability to “bounce back” after en-countering difficulty. This book provides a guide to building emotional, mental and physical resilience by presenting ten factors to help anyone be-come more resilient to life’s challenges. Specific resilience factors such as facing fear, optimism, and social support are described through the experiences and personal reflections of highly resilient survivors. These survivors also describe real-life methods for practicing and benefiting from the resilience factors. As resilience is the complex product of genetic, psycho-logical, biological, social, and spiritual factors, the authors investigate resilience from multiple scientific perspectives. They synthesize the latest literature on the topic, describe their own research on resilience, and quote from their interviews with highly resilient people. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Oxford UP, 2019. x, 220 p.
Reviewed: PW 10 Dec. 2018 p. 29. Description: Americans now work more than people in other rich countries, but as recently as the late 1970s they worked no more than others; and they also work longer into older age. Men and women do different things at different times of the day, which affects how well-off they feel. Both the arrival of children and retirement create major shocks to existing time uses, with differences between the sexes. Higher incomes and higher wage rates lead people to hurry more, both on and off the job, and higher wage rates lead people to cut back on activities that take time away from work. That our time is limited by the number of hours in a day, days in a year, and years in our lives means that we face constraints and thus choices that involve trade-offs. We sleep, eat, have fun, watch TV, and not least we work. How much we dedicate to each, and why we do so, is intriguing and no one is better placed to shed light on similarities and differences than Daniel S. Hamermesh, the leading authority on time-use. Here he explores how people use their time, including across countries, regions, cultures, class, and gender. (publ.)
Publication Date: Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley, 2013. 166 p.
Description: The Anxiety Gremlin loves one thing–to feed on your anxiety! But watch out, as the fuller he gets, the more anxious you get! How can you stop him? Starve him of his favorite food–your anxiety–and he’ll shrink and shrivel away. This book is a unique and award-winning re-source to help young people understand different types of anxiety and how to manage them, including panic attacks, phobias, social anxiety, generalized anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. Based on cognitive behavioral principles that link thoughts, feelings and behaviors, the techniques described help young people to understand why they get anxious and how they can “starve” their anxiety gremlin in order to manage their anxiety. This engaging workbook uses fun activities and real life stories, and can be used by young people aged 10+ on their own or with a parent or practitioner. It is also an ideal anxiety management resource for those working with young people, including mental health practitioners, social workers, education sector staff and youth workers. (publ.) Note: Former NICC Disability Services Collection.
Publication Date: Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley, 2013. 134 p.
Description: Watch out for the Stress Gremlin–he loves to feed on your stress, and as he gets bigger and bolder, you get more and more stressed! How can he be stopped? Don’t give him any more stress to eat, and watch him and your stress disappear! This book shows young people how they can manage their stress levels through a range of effective techniques based on cognitive behavioral principles. Engaging and fun activities as well as real life stories from other young people show how our thoughts are related to our behavior and emotions, allowing young people to under-stand why they get stressed, the effects of stress and how to “starve” their Stress Gremlin! This informative workbook is easy to read and fun for a young person aged 10+ to complete either on their own or with the help of a parent or practitioner. It is also a valuable stress management resource for those working with young people, including mental health practitioners, youth workers, social workers and education sector staff. (publ.) Note: Former NICC Disability Services Collection.
Description: The needs of young people today are quite different from those of even 5 years ago, and this book pays great attention to the specific issues encountered in caring for today’s students who experience distress or develop significant mental health conditions. Such issues, including suicidality, newly emergent psychosis, problems associated with substance misuse, the health risks of eating disorders, and the devastation of sexual assault, can challenge even the most experienced clinician. These topics and others related to safety, respect, conflict, and connection on campus, as well as students’ evolving relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners, are covered with sensitivity and skill. (publ.)
Publication Date: Chicago: U. Chicago Pr., 2018. 272 p.
Reviewed: PW 6 Aug. 2018 p. 39. Description: Where do suicidal thoughts come from? Will they return? Is the suicidal impulse found in other animals? Or is our vulnerability to suicide a uniquely human evolutionary development? In this book, Bering answers all these questions and more, taking us through the science and psychology of suicide, revealing its cognitive secrets and the subtle tricks our minds play on us when we’re easy emotional prey. Scientific studies, personal stories, and remarkable cross-species comparisons come together to help readers critically analyze their own doomsday thoughts while gaining broad insight into a problem that, tragically, will most likely touch all of us at some point in our lives. But while the subject is certainly a heavy one, Bering’s touch is light. Having been through this himself, he knows that some-times the most effective response to our darkest moments is a gentle humor, one that, while not denying the seriousness of suffering, at the same time acknowledges our complicated, flawed, and yet precious existence. (publ.)
Note: Staff request; FCB; 2 copies purchased. Description: McGonigal provides a step-by-step program for identifying goals, strengthening self-control, and making lifelong changes, whether it’s weight loss, financial health, stress reduction, conquering procrastination, being a better parent, or finding your focus. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Oxford UP, 2016. viii, 303 p. ISBN 9780190217662 (hc)
Reviewed: LJ 1 Sept. 2018 p. 30. Description: Sleep disorders and disruptions are commonly associated with negative mood, hostility, poor concentration, and ego depletion. And while re-searchers have long investigated the widespread negative effects of shift work on individuals, the knowledge derived from these studies is rather limited to those with non-linear work schedules. However, whether employees are clocking in a normal 9-5 or trudging through the graveyard shift, sleep is a crucial activity for us all. If the quantity and quality of our sleeping patterns are disrupted, the consequences affect not only the employee but for the organization they work for, as well. This book addresses the effects of sleep on employee and organizational functioning, and the impact of common work experiences on a night’s rest. With a team of influential organizational psychologists at the helm, the editors lead a group of expert contributors as they each explore the issues that, regardless of industry, matter in work force well-being today. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Oxford UP, 2016. xxiii, 191 p.
Description: Rates of diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are skyrocketing, throughout America and the rest of the world. U.S. rates of youth diagnosis have increased 40% from just a decade ago. Adults with ADHD are now the fastest-growing segment of the population receiving diagnosis and medication. The disorder is painful and sometimes disabling for individuals and tremendously costly for society; yet, widespread misinformation, skepticism, and unanswered questions have jeopardized effective diagnosis and treatment. Researched and written by Stephen Hinshaw, an international expert on ADHD, and Katherine Ellison, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and author, this book provides authoritative, current, accurate, and compelling information about the global ADHD epidemic. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Oxford UP, 2018. xxvii, 241 p.
Description: Sabat provides information about Alzheimer's and other dementia diseases, and also discusses the psychological and social strengths possessed by people diagnosed. By identifying and using those strengths, readers can improve the quality of life in non-pharmacological ways. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: W.W. Norton, 2018. 320 p.
Reviewed: NYT 1 Apr. 2018 p. SR7 (Author op. ed.); PW 26 Mar. 2018 p. 106; LJ 15 Apr. 2018 p. 82; NYT/BR 24 June 2018 p. 12; NYRB 19 July 2018 p. 32; LRB 21 Mar. 2019 p. 39. Description: A groundbreaking exploration of the chilling history behind an increasingly common diagnosis. Hans Asperger, the pioneer of autism and Asperger syndrome in Nazi Vienna, has been celebrated for his compassionate defense of children with disabilities. But in this groundbreaking book, prize-winning historian Edith Sheffer exposes that Asperger was not only involved in the racial policies of Hitler’s Third Reich, he was complicit in the murder of children. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Touchstone, 2017. vii, 343 p.
Reviewed: TLS 10 Nov. 2017 p. 20 (excerpt) Description: Presents an engaging and enlightening tour of the influential psychological forces that are at work as we go about our daily lives–checking a dating app, holding a cup of hot coffee, or getting a flu shot. Dr. Bargh takes you into his labs at New York University and Yale where his ingenious experiments have shown how the unconscious guides our actions, goals and motivations in areas like race relations, parenting, business, consumer behavior, and addiction. He reveals the pervasive influence of the unconscious mind on who we choose to date or vote for, what we buy, where we live, how we perform on tests and in job interviews, and much more. (publ.)
Publication Date: Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood Pr., 2017. xviii, 200 p.
Reviewed: Choice Jun. 2018 vol. 55 no. 10 (recommended for community college libraries) Description: This book provides students with an understanding of the important role conflict plays in our lives, the many forms conflict may take, and the ways that conflict can actually be constructive and useful as well as destructive to relationships, discussions, and groups. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Little, Brown & Company, 2018. xv, 400 p.
Reviewed: NYT/BR 8 Apr. 2018 p. 15; NPR ("Fresh Air" 2/27/2018); LRB 31 Sept. 2018; PW 6 Aug. 2018 p. 24. Description: Explores the discovery, invention, science, and people behind today’s major psychotropic drugs, from the earliest, Thorazine and Lithium, through Prozac and Ecstasy, to today’s most cutting-edge memory drugs and neural implants. (publ.)
Reviewed: NYT/BR 4 June 2017 p. 56 Description: A full-length account of the author’s prize-winning New York Times story chronicles the exploitation and abuse case of a group of developmentally disabled workers, who for 25 years, were forced to work under harrowing conditions for virtually no wages until tenacious advocates helped them achieve their freedom. Note: Local Interest. Holdings Note: 2nd copy at Calmar Library.
Publication Date: New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017. vi, 296 p
Reviewed: TLS 2 June 2017 p. 34 Description: Compulsions exist along a broad continuum, and at the extremes there exist life-altering disorders. Sharon Begley's meticulously re-searched book examines all of these behaviors together--from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) to hoarding, to compulsive exercise, even compulsions to do good. They may look profoundly different, but these behaviors are all ways of coping with varying degrees of anxiety. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018. 304 p.
Reviewed: PW 15 Jan. 2018 p. 49 Description: The idea of the brain as a machine, first proposed centuries ago, has led to assumptions about the relationship between mind and brain that dog scientists and philosophers to this day. Gazzaniga asserts that this model has it backward—brains make machines, but they cannot be reduced to one. New research suggests the brain is actually a confederation of independent modules working together. Understanding how consciousness could emanate from such an organization will help define the future of brain science and artificial intelligence, and close the gap between brain and mind. (publ.)
Publication Date: Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Pr., 2017. viii, 246 p.
Reviewed: CHE 8 Sept. 2017 (new books) Description: Scientists were unable to study the relation of brain to mind until the invention of technologies that measured the brain activity accompanying psychological processes. Yet even with these new tools, conclusions are tentative or simply wrong. In this book, the distinguished psychologist Jerome Kagan describes five conditions that place serious constraints on the ability to predict mental or behavioral outcomes based on brain data. (publ.)
Publication Date: Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018. xvi, 251 p.
Reviewed: NPR (“Weekend Edition” 1/23/2018); NYRB 7 June 2018 p. 36 (referenced in review); NYT/BR 8 July 2018 p. 18. Description: A pioneering physician reveals how childhood stress leads to lifelong health problems and what we can do to break the cycle. For anyone who has faced a difficult childhood, or who cares about the millions of children who do, the innovative and acclaimed health interventions outlined in this book will represent vitally important hope for change. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Doubleday, 2010. xi, 302 p.
Reviewed: CHE 8 Dec. 2017 (Chr. Rev.; article reference) Description: Journalist David Shenk debunks the long-standing notion of genetic “giftedness,” and presents new scientific research showing how greatness is in the reach of every individual. Integrating cutting-edge research from a wide swath of disciplines, Shenk maintains the problem isn’t our inadequate genetic assets, but our inability, so far, to tap into what we already have. IQ testing and widespread acceptance of “innate” abilities have created an unnecessarily pessimistic view–and fostered much misdirected public education policy. (publ.)
Reviewed: LRB 8 Sept. 2017 p. 31 Description: Stories from those who have experienced great love and great loss–and survived. Stories that explain how grief unmasks our greatest fears, strips away our layers of protection and reveals our innermost selves. Julia Samuel, a grief psychotherapist, has spent twenty-five years working with the bereaved and understanding the full repercussions of loss. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Oxford UP, 2018. xv, 164 p.
Reviewed: CHE 9 Feb. 2018 (new books) Description: The majority of gun deaths in the United States are suicide deaths, and the majority of suicide deaths are gun deaths. Most people are unaware that suicide, at nearly 43,000 deaths per year, is more common than homicide and other widely publicized tragedies. And yet, suicide is typically absent from discussions of gun violence. As such, the national conversation on gun violence is inadequate and unrelated to the majority of gun deaths in this country. In this book, Michael Anestis reframes our perspective on gun violence by shifting the focus to suicide. Guns play a uniquely profound role in American suicide, and Anestis explains how they have this effect–not by making otherwise non-suicidal people want to die, but by facilitating suicide attempts among suicidal individuals. … Importantly, this is not a book about gun control. Anestis does not argue in favor of tighter restrictions on ownership, assault weapon bans, or longer waiting periods for purchase because these will not substantially reduce the staggering gun suicide rate. Rather, Anestis aims for a cultural shift towards suicide-specific safe gun ownership and puts forth unemotional suggestions in hopes of leveraging common ground in the pursuit of a lower suicide rate. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Oxford UP, 2018. xii, 304 p.
Reviewed: LJ Dec. 2017 p. 110; CHE 26 Jan 2018 (new books). Description: Provides the first history of the origins, development, and impact of the way Americans–and now many around the world–shifted from mental illness to well-being as they pondered the human condition. … Linking the development of happiness studies and positive psychology with a broad series of social changes, including the emergence of new media and technologies like TED talks, blogs, web sites, and neuroscience, as well as the role of evangelical ministers, Oprah Winfrey's enterprises, and funding from government agencies and private foundations, Horowitz highlights the transfer of specialized knowledge into popular arenas. Along the way he shows how marketing triumphed, transforming academic disciplines and spirituality into saleable products (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2018. 242 p.
Reviewed: NPR (“Fresh Air” 1/24/2018) Description: In 2015, journalist John Leland set out to meet members of America’s fastest-growing age group: 85 and up. He anticipated learning of challenges, of loneliness, and of the deterioration of body, mind, and quality of life. But the elders he met took him in an entirely different direction. Despite disparate backgrounds and circumstances, they each lived with a surprising lightness and contentment. The reality Leland encountered upended contemporary notions of aging, revealing the late stages of life as unexpectedly rich and the elderly as incomparably wise. This collection of their lessons emphasizes, above all, the extraordinary influence we wield over the quality of our lives. (publ.)
Publication Date: Oakland: U. California Pr., 2018. xviii, 263 p.
Reviewed: NYT/BR 13 May 2018 p. 26. Description: What draws young men into violent extremist groups? What are the ideologies that inspire them to join? And what are the emotional bonds forged that make it difficult to leave, even when they want to? Having conducted in-depth interviews with ex-white nationalists and neo-Nazis in the United States, as well as ex-skinheads and ex-neo-Nazis in Germany and Sweden, renowned sociologist Michael Kimmel demonstrates the pernicious effects that constructions of masculinity have on these young recruits. Kimmel unveils how white extremist groups wield masculinity to recruit and retain members–and to prevent them from exiting the movement. Young men in these groups often feel a sense of righteous indignation, seeing themselves as victims, their birthright upended in a world dominated by political correctness. Offering the promise of being able to “take back their manhood,” these groups leverage stereotypes of masculinity to manipulate despair into white supremacist and neo-Nazi hatred. Kimmel combines individual stories with a multiangled analysis of the structural, political, and economic forces that marginalize these men to shed light on their feelings, yet make no excuses for their actions. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Oxford UP, 2013. xxii, 272 p.
Description: Offers an eye-witness account of the decline of American psychiatry by an internationally-known neuropsychiatrist. Arguing that patients with mental disorders are no longer receiving the care they need, Taylor details how psychiatrists in the U.S. rely too heavily on the DSM, a diagnostic tool that he shows neglects important conditions or symptoms thus failing to properly identify many patients with mental illness. According to Dr. Taylor, American psychiatry has come to reflect simplistic algorithms forged by pharmaceutical companies, rather than true scientific methodology. Few mental health professionals have a working knowledge of psychopathology outside of what is outlined in the DSM, and most psychiatric patients are treated by primary care physicians and non-physicians, pressuring psychiatry toward extinction. Dr. Taylor creates a passionate yet scholarly account of this issue. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Penguin, 2018. xii, 465 p.
Reviewed: NPR (“Fresh Air” 5/15/2018); NYT/M 20 May 2018 (cover story; p. 3); LJ 15 Apr. 2018 p. 85; NYRB 16 Aug. 2018 p. 34; NYT/BR 10 June 2018 p. 1; LR June 2018 p. 27; TLS 10 Aug 2018 p. 3; LRB 27 Sept. 2018 p. 31. Description: When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book. But upon discovering how these remarkable substances are improving the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life, he decided to explore the landscape of the mind in the first person as well as the third. Thus began a singular adventure into various altered states of consciousness, along with a dive deep into both the latest brain science and the thriving underground community of psychedelic therapists. Pollan sifts the historical record to separate the truth about these mysterious drugs from the myths that have surrounded them since the 1960s, when a handful of psychedelic evangelists inadvertently catalyzed a powerful back-lash against what was then a promising field of research. (publ.)
Publication Date: Malden, Mass.: Polity Pr., 2017. vi, 244 p.
Description: Philosopher Markus Gabriel challenges an increasing trend in the sciences towards neurocentrism, a notion which rests on the assumption that the self is identical to the brain. He raises serious doubts as to whether we can know ourselves in this way. In a sharp critique of this approach, he presents a new defense of the free will and provides a timely introduction to philosophical thought about the self – all with verve, humor, and surprising insights. Gabriel criticizes the scientific image of the world and takes us on an eclectic journey of self-reflection by way of such concepts as self, consciousness, and freedom, with the aid of Kant, Schopenhauer, and Nagel but also Dr. Who , The Walking Dead, and Fargo. (publ.) Note: Originally published as: Ich ist Nicht Gehirn: Philosophie des Geistes für das 21. Jahrhundert (Berlin: Ullstein, 2015).
Publication Date: New York: W. W. Norton, 2008, c2007. 535 p.
Reviewed: NYRB 26 Oct. 2017 p. 2 (contributor) Description: Traces how more and more of the inner lives and emotions of women have become a matter for medics and therapists. Here too is the story of how over the years symptoms and diagnoses have developed together to create fashions in illness and how treatments have succeeded or sometimes failed. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Oxford UP, 2017. 214 p.
Reviewed: CHE 1 Sept. 2017 (new books) Description: Practicing mindfulness can be an effective adjunct in treating psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, and addiction. But have we gone too far with mindfulness? Recent books on the topic reveal a troubling corruption of mindfulness practice for commercial gain, with self-help celebrities hawking mindfulness as the next “miracle drug.” Furthermore, common misunderstanding of what mindfulness really is seems to be fueled by a widespread cultural trend toward narcissism, egocentricity, and self-absorption. Thomas Joiner’s Mindlessness chronicles the promising rise of mindfulness and its perhaps inevitable degradation. Giving mindfulness its full due, both as a useful philosophical vantage point and as a means to address various life challenges, Joiner mercilessly charts how narcissism has intertwined with and co-opted the practice to create a Frankenstein’s monster of cultural solipsism and self-importance. (publ.)
Publication Date: Chicago: U. Chicago Pr., 2018. 203 p.
Reviewed: TLS 25 May 2018 p. 3 Description: Few things get our compassion flowing like the sight of suffering. But our response is often shaped by our ability to empathize with others. Some people respond to the suffering of only humans or to one person’s plight more than another’s. Others react more strongly to the suffering of an animal. These divergent realities can be troubling–but they are also a reminder that trauma and suffering are endured by all beings, and we can learn lessons about their aftermath, even across species. These are not easy stories. Suffering is real, and recovery is hard. But resilience is real, too, and Phoenix Zones shows how we can foster it. It reveals how both people and animals deserve a chance to live up to their full potential–and how such a view could inspire solutions to some of the greatest challenges of our time. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Columbia UP, 2017. xv, 318 p.
Reviewed: CHE 21 July 2017 (new books) Description: In the 1960s, as illegal drug use grew from a fringe issue to a pervasive public concern, a new industry arose to treat the addiction epidemic. Over the next five decades, the industry’s leaders promised to rehabilitate the casualties of the drug culture even as incarceration rates for drug-related offenses climbed. In this history of addiction treatment, Claire D. Clark traces the political shift from the radical communitarianism of the 1960s to the conservatism of the Reagan era, uncovering the forgot-ten origins of today’s recovery movement. (publ.)
Publication Date: Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018. 344 p.
Reviewed: Choice (Dec. 2018 vol. 56 no. 4) Top 75 books recommended for community college libraries. Description: While many books promise tips on managing stress, this book takes it one step further to consider the science behind stress and how it affects our minds and bodies, offering evidence-based approaches to managing stress for optimum results. Amitava Dasgupta guides readers to a greater understanding of the mechanisms at work when stress is present and provides guidance for dealing with those physical and mental responses. While grounded in the science of stress, this work also helps readers employ those strategies that will best manage stress for better overall health. Amitava Dasgupta is a tenured full professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School at Houston. He has published 221 scientific papers, wrote many invited review articles and abstracts, edited, co-edited, co-authored and authored a total of 21 books. (publ.)
Reviewed: LR June 2017 p. 46; TLS 8 Sept. 2017 p. 3; NYT/BR 1 July 2018 p. 15. Description: We live in the age of the individual. We are supposed to be slim, prosperous, happy, extroverted and popular. This is our culture’s image of the perfect self. We see this person everywhere: in advertising, in the press, all over social media. We’re told that to be this person you just have to follow your dreams, that our potential is limitless, that we are the source of our own success. But this model of the perfect self can be extremely dangerous. People are suffering under the torture of this impossible fantasy. Unprecedented social pressure is leading to increases in depression and suicide. Where does this ideal come from? Why is it so powerful? Is there any way to break its spell? Novelist and journalist Will Storr tells the extraordinary story of the person we all know so intimately – our self.
Publication Date: Boston: Beacon Pr., 2014. ix, 179 p.
Description: Alcoholics Anonymous has become so infused in our society that it is practically synonymous with addiction recovery. Yet the evidence shows that AA has only a 5-10% success rate -- hardly better than no treatment at all. Despite this, doctors, employers, and judges regularly refer addicted people to treatment programs and rehab facilities based on the 12-step model. Addiction specialist Dr. Lance Dodes exposes the flawed science that the 12-step industry has used to support its programs. Dr. Dodes analyzes dozens of studies to reveal a pattern of errors, misjudgments, and biases. He also pores over the research to highlight the best peer-reviewed studies available and discovers that they reach a grim consensus on the program's overall success. (publ.)
Reviewed: LJ 1 Apr. 2018 p. 86. Description: Draws on the stories of history’s most notable habitual postponers and on the insights of psychologists, philosophers, and behavioral economists to explain why procrastination happens and how it can help promote healthy priorities. … Santella examines great procrastinators from Leonardo da Vinci and Frank Lloyd Wright to Charles Darwin and prophets from the Old Testament. He also explores the modern-day “cult of efficiency”–its gurus, principles, and promises. Ultimately, Santella seeks to answer the following questions: Can procrastination lead to innovation? Can we draw a connection between delay and brilliance? And why do we often equate procrastination with laziness? (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: W. W. Norton, 2018. 288 p.
Reviewed: LJ 15 Nov. 2017 p. 96; NYT/BR 18 Mar. 2018 p. 26. Description: We’re often told that swearing is outrageous or even offensive, that it’s a sign of a stunted vocabulary or a limited intellect. Dictionaries have traditionally omitted it and parents forbid it. But the latest research by neuroscientists, psychologists, sociologists, and others has revealed that swear words, curses, and oaths—when used judiciously—can have surprising benefits. (publ.)
Publication Date: Chicago: U. Chicago Pr., 2015. ix, 173 p.
Description: The point of this piece of writing is to get you to pick up this book. But what if it takes us a few sentences to explain? What if we need to go into some detail? Are you even going to be paying attention by that point, or will your mind already have wandered off somewhere, not caring a whit about the book you're holding in your hand? It’s pretty likely. In fact, some studies suggest that we spend as much as fifty percent of our waking life failing to focus on the task at hand. But does that represent a problem? Michael C. Corballis doesn’t think so, and he shows us why, rehabilitating woolgathering and revealing its incredibly useful effects. Drawing on the latest research from cognitive science and evolutionary biology, Corballis shows us how mind-wandering not only frees us from moment-to-moment drudgery, but also from the limitations of our immediate selves. (publ.)
Publication Date: Kingston, N.Y.: Natl. Assoc. for the Dually Diagnosed, 2017. 334 p.
Description: This workbook is a comprehensive training manual that offers a structured step-by-step model for analyzing what is going on when someone with intellectual disability and limited verbal skills shows a change in behavior or mood – and suggests what to do about it. Numerous case study examples bring the issues to life and provide opportunities for practice. The workbook can be used individually or in a group workshop or class setting. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Grand Central Life & Style, 2018. xii, 259 p.
Reviewed: LJ 1 March 2018 p. 72 Description: A guide for young adults looking for science-based, real-world ways to feel happier each day offers creative, counterintuitive strategies, practical exercises, and honest advice from other young adults. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Scribner, 2017. viii, 360 p.
Reviewed: NYT/BR 15 Oct. 2017 p. 16; TLS 17 Nov. 2017 p. 15 (2017 Books of the Year). Description: Sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life, wellness, and longevity. Until very recently, science had no answer to the question of why we sleep, or what good it served, or why we suffer such devastating health consequences when we don't sleep. …[N]euroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker gives us a new under-standing of the vital importance of sleep and dreaming. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Touchstone, 2018. x, 195.
Reviewed:NPR (“All Things Considered” 11/22/2017) Description: Dr. Harriet Lerner has been studying apologies–and why some people won’t give them–for more than two decades. Now she offers compelling stories and solid theory that bring home how much the simple apology matters and what is required for healing when the hurt we’ve inflicted (or received) is far from simple. Readers will learn how to craft a deeply meaningful “I’m sorry” and avoid apologies that only deepen the original injury. This book also addresses the compelling needs of the injured party–the one who has been hurt by someone who won’t apologize, tell the truth, or feel remorse. Lerner explains what drives both the non-apologizer and the over-apologizer, as well as why the people who do the worst things are the least able to own up. She helps the injured person resist pressure to forgive too easily and challenges the popular notion that forgiveness is the only path to peace of mind. With her trademark humor and wit, Lerner offers a joyful and sanity-saving guide to setting things right. (publ.)
Publication Date: New York: Hachette, 2018. xviii, 235 p.
Reviewed: LJ 1 March 2018 p. 72 Description: Argues that lasting personal change, high performance, creativity, and productivity can only occur by strategically outsourcing desired behavior to goal-enriching environments. (publ.)
Publication Date: Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2015. xi, 315 p.
Description: In the evangelical community, a variety of alternative mental health treatments–deliverance/exorcism, biblical counseling, reparative therapy and many others–have been proposed for the treatment of mentally ill, female and LGBT evangelicals. This book traces the history of these methods, focusing on the major proponents of each therapeutic system while also examining mainstream evangelical psychology. The author concludes that in the majority of cases mental disorders are blamed on two main issues–sin and demonic possession/oppression–and that as a result some communities have become a mental health underclass who are ill-served or oppressed by both alternative and mainstream evangelical therapeutic systems. (publ.)