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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Contents

DrawItYourself Neural Path
55
Labeling Thoughts Exercise
64
Your Top Ten
65
The Top Ten DrawaBreath Exercise
66
The DeadEnd Exercise
72
Desire Prep Exercise
74
Fear Prep Exercise
75
Interpersonal Exercise 1
76
The SharedBreath Compassion Exercise
96
The Mutual SharedBreath Exercise
97
Chapter 4
98
Softening Around Pain Exercise
103
The Hot Sauce Exercise
104
The Sudden Pain Exercise
105
Exercise for Chronic or Ongoing Physical Pain
106
The Progressive Neural Desensitization PND Process
108

Interpersonal Exercise 3
77
Chapter 3
80
Breathing from the Heart
90
SelfCompassion Exercise 1
91
SelfSoothing Exercise
94
The IThou Compassion Exercise
95
The ShrugandSigh Shortcut
111
The Softening Applet Exercise
112
Phone Ring Control ExerciseApplet
113
Chapter 5
114
Continuation of the Thought VersusReality TVSR Exercise
132
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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 . He has also penned two fiction novels, Us and The Wawona Hotel . 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 Bay Area.

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