Neural Path Therapy: How to Change Your Brain's Response to Anger, Fear, Pain, & Desire

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New Harbinger Publications, 2005 - Self-Help - 149 pages
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When we set out to describe the problems this book can help fix-the stressful and anxiety-provoking conditions of everyday living-we quite simply ran out of space. It's no secret that life is tough, and that each passing year isn't making it any easier. Whether you're more stressed by politics, the environment, your relationships, major life changes, or just the daily task of keeping food on the table, it's easy to let life knock you down and hard to get back up again. But this book offers readers a chance at a different way of life. It shows them how to accept their lives as they are, regard the events of each day with nonjudgmental awareness, and stop obsessive thoughts from compounding their feelings of helplessness and frustration.

The first part of the book introduces you to the basics of neural network learning theory. The basic idea is that neural pathways strengthen with use and weaken with disuse. While certain events are likely to provoke a hardwired neural response in us, we are capable of creating new neural paths with no more than a thought. Instead of letting automatic triggers dictate our responses to painful events, we can use this characteristic of our nervous systems to short-circuit the responses that lead to painful thoughts and emotions.

The second part teaches you five easy-to-learn skills for dealing with stress-breath counting, thought watching, compassionate awareness, softening to pain, and wise mind. Together, they make up a set of skills that readers can take with them anywhere, a kind of portable therapy.

Once learned, the techniques in this book can be used to cope with many different situations. Combined with each other, they become a powerful tool for creating happiness, compassion, and well-being.


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DrawItYourself Neural Path
Labeling Thoughts Exercise
Your Top Ten
The Top Ten DrawaBreath Exercise
The DeadEnd Exercise
Desire Prep Exercise
Fear Prep Exercise
Interpersonal Exercise 1
The SharedBreath Compassion Exercise
The Mutual SharedBreath Exercise
Chapter 4
Softening Around Pain Exercise
The Hot Sauce Exercise
The Sudden Pain Exercise
Exercise for Chronic or Ongoing Physical Pain
The Progressive Neural Desensitization PND Process

Interpersonal Exercise 3
Chapter 3
Breathing from the Heart
SelfCompassion Exercise 1
SelfSoothing Exercise
The IThou Compassion Exercise
The ShrugandSigh Shortcut
The Softening Applet Exercise
Phone Ring Control ExerciseApplet
Chapter 5
Continuation of the Thought VersusReality TVSR Exercise

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About the author (2005)

David Harp, MA, is president of Musical iPress, a music instruction publishing company, and of Harmony Productions, a public speaking and corporate training bureau based on his study of applied cognitive science. For Musical iPress, he created and produced over twenty instructional titles. For Harmony Productions, he organized and presented a variety of public speaking events. Matthew McKay, PhD, is a professor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. He has authored and coauthored numerous books, including The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, Self-Esteem, Thoughts and Feelings, When Anger Hurts, and ACT on Life Not on Anger . McKay received his PhD in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, and specializes in the cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety and depression. He lives and works in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

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