The Compassionate Mind: A New Approach to Life's Challenges

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New Harbinger Publications, 2010 - Medical - 513 pages
10 Reviews
Compassion, particularly compassion toward oneself, positively impacts our mental health and overall well-being. So why is it sometimes so difficult to be compassionate towards ourselves and others? In The Compassionate Mind, Paul Gilbert explores why the human mind automatically favors high reactivity to perceived threats and presents a new therapeutic program, compassion focused therapy, that readers can use to restore happiness and relaxation to their lives. The first part of this book presents Gilbert's fascinating research into the conflicts created by the diverging evolution of brain 'design' and society. Because society evolves so much more quickly than the human brain, humanity must contend with the brain's tendencies toward excessive anxieties and fears. These fears once protected us from physical threats, but are significantly less useful in modern life. Currently, compassion is often dismissed as a weakness; Gilbert explains that it actually implies motivation to care and a capacity for sympathy that requires great mental strength. The second part of The Compassionate Mind offers a range of practical exercises based in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), Buddhist psychology, attachment theory, and affective neuroscience that readers can do to develop self-compassion and alleviate emotional distress caused by anxiety, depression, and other common mental health issues.
  

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Review: The Compassionate Mind

User Review  - Vishvapani - Goodreads

I've given this three stars because I found the writing very loose: the book could easily lose a third of its length without sacrificing content, and more without sacrificing the pith. That said, the ... Read full review

Review: The Compassionate Mind

User Review  - Zera - Goodreads

I bought this book over a year ago and I'm not sure why it took me so long to read it, but I'm glad I picked it up now - it fits in so well with my current efforts at mindfulness. Read full review

Contents

The start of our journey
3
The Challenges of Life
21
Placing Ourselves in the Flow of Life
79
The good the bad and
123
The two types
149
Compassion in the Context of Old and New Brains
181
Part II
219
Compassionate Mind Training through Imagery
242
Compassionate Thinking
269
From Selfcriticism to Selfcompassion
309
Working with anxiety anger
360
The cultivation of courage
389
Expressing the Compassionate Mind
416
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About the author (2010)

Paul Gilbert, PhD, is world-renowned for his work on depression, shame, and self-criticism. He is head of the mental health research unit at the University of Derby and author of The Compassionate Mind and Overcoming Depression . Choden was a monk for seven years within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Choden (aka Sean McGovern) completed a three-year, three-month retreat in 1997 and has been a practicing Buddhist since 1985. He is originally from South Africa, where he trained as a lawyer and where he learned meditation under the guidance of Rob Nairn, an internationally renowned Buddhist teacher. He is now involved in developing secular mindfulness and compassion programs drawing upon the wisdom and methods of the Buddhist tradition, as well as contemporary insights from psychology and neuroscience. He is an honorary fellow of the University of Aberdeen and teaches on their postgraduate study program in mindfulness (MSc) that is the first of its kind to include compassion in its curriculum.

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