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You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life | [Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D., Rebecca Gladding, M.D.]

You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life

A leading neuroplasticity researcher, Jeffrey M. Schwartz has spent his career studying the structure and neuronal firing patterns of the human brain. He pioneered the first mindfulness-based treatment program for people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, teaching patients how to achieve long-term relief from their compulsions.
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Publisher's Summary

A leading neuroplasticity researcher and the coauthor of the groundbreaking books Brain Lock and The Mind and the Brain, Jeffrey M. Schwartz has spent his career studying the structure and neuronal firing patterns of the human brain. He pioneered the first mindfulness-based treatment program for people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, teaching patients how to achieve long-term relief from their compulsions.

For the past six years, Schwartz has worked with psychiatrist Rebecca Gladding to refine a program that successfully explains how the brain works and why we often feel besieged by bad brain wiring. Just like the compulsions of OCD patients, they discovered that bad habits, social anxieties, self-deprecating thoughts, and compulsive overindulgence are all rooted in overactive brain circuits. The key to making life changes that you want - to making your brain work for you - is to consciously choose to starve these circuits of focused attention, thereby decreasing their influence and strength.

In You Are Not Your Brain, Schwartz and Gladding carefully outline their program, showing listeners how to identify negative brain impulses, channel them through the power of focused attention, and ultimately lead more fulfilling and empowered lives.

©2011 Jefferey Schwartz, M.D., and Rebecca Gladding, M.D. (P)2011 Tantor

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  •  
    Thomas Sewell, NJ, United States 09-06-11
    Thomas Sewell, NJ, United States 09-06-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Why you do things and how to change."

    This one is really a great hidden suprise. I've been looking for something to explain in detail, how habits, actions, and emotions are created, and the process of changing the brain accordingly as desired. This guide gives detailed explanations of what is going on in your brain cells, how it affects and controls what you do and feel. It provides the physical brain cell processes in detail. And it provides related steps to change and rewire these processes. With the base knowledge of what is going on with the brain, you can relate this to other self help techniques for a better understanding of what is going on and how to make changes. This is a foundation work I highly recommend, especially if you are listening to several (or more) change books. Like most things, change and improvement requires work. This includes becoming self aware, learning where thoughts and actions come from, and the effort that goes into the change. But this one can give you some immediate feedback and reinforce your efforts. It's still good to utilize other books on meditation, focus, and action, to round out your knowledge and experience, as rarely can just one book get you to make substanial changes. But this book gives you real insight to what is really going on in your physical brain, and how you can take action, which makes physical changes and rewiring. It's detailed and step oriented with the typical example cases, so you will need more than one quick listen to capture it all and make it work. I'm on the second listen, and I rewind frequently. If you want a novel, look elsewhere, and if you want something that can really help, I highly recommend you get this one, and start following it intently. (As I hinted, it may help you to understand what would really be going on in the brain when you are trying the other various methods out there.)

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 12-20-11
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 12-20-11 Member Since 2002

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

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    "Good stuff but Repetitious"

    This book has a good point and it very clear. I appreciated the points about personal difficulties not being one???s fault, but resolving the difficulties is one???s responsibility. Nevertheless, this book was hard to listen to. The narration is very repetitive and sounds patronizing. At points I wondered if there was a mistake in the recording and sentences were being repeated slightly differently due to poor editing ??? but no, it seems the repetition was intentional. The book painstakingly tells you what they are going to tell you, then tells you, then tells you again, then tells you one more time, then tells you what they told you (twice). Although I believe in the system presented, the book avoids many real issues that come up when attempting to implement such a system on one???s own. Re-label, re-frame, re-focus, re-value are valuable techniques, and many examples are given, but most were a bit more simplistic than many real life difficulties (and most of the examples were the author???s patients, thus were getting active guidance with the system). I did thinks the book well worth listening to, but I don???t feel it gives enough for real self-help and the repetition was annoying.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn 01-08-13
    Lynn 01-08-13
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    "Free Yourself from Your Struggles"

    In You are Not Your Brain, Jeffrey Schwartz MD and Rebecca Gladding MD, help readers better understand rational thought and how individuals can garner control over their irrational thoughts. This book will be very helpful to anyone struggling with fear, anxiety, tedious compulsions, and unwanted behaviors. Detailed methods for changing behaviors are described and illustrated which individuals can access. Personally, I thought there was more illustrative material than was necessary to address the main concepts, but some new to this material may well benefit. Everyone will find some hints and insights which they can use in day-to-day living and improving their quality of life.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Helena, MT, United States 03-04-14
    Scott Helena, MT, United States 03-04-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Gets to the point with good examples"
    Would you consider the audio edition of You Are Not Your Brain to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the printed version - I can see how it would be useful, especially for the exercises.


    What other book might you compare You Are Not Your Brain to and why?

    No other book.


    What aspect of Mel Foster’s performance would you have changed?

    I would have asked him not to give people accents.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It is more of an informational book than a moving book - there are some great parts with helpful information.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathie Kalispell, MT, United States 09-22-11
    Kathie Kalispell, MT, United States 09-22-11 Member Since 2007
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    "if you're a 10 year old"

    Very slow and condescending. This book takes forever to make a simple point, pats itself on the back a lot and the narator speaks like he's addressing a 10 year old that's been bad or like a religious deprogrammer from Saturday Night Live. The text explains and explains and explains each point like they don't really think you can get it. Maybe they were trying to give me another reason to "not be my brain" ;) These are simple yet good concepts and I think it could make a good reference in a print version.

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Grow Haverford, PA USA 01-10-14
    Pamela Grow Haverford, PA USA 01-10-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Agree with Kathy: condescending & a bit outdated"
    What disappointed you about You Are Not Your Brain?

    Storytelling is always the best way to share learning experiences but I had to laugh at the woman who was unable to sleep and literally crippled with fear over the possibility that her college daughter might actually try smoking pot (gasp!). "Sweet Jesus!" I thought, picturing this mother with an Ann Lander's shellacked flip and wearing white gloves and sensible pumps and wondering if this audio program was produced in 1963. If that is the height of someone's worries, they've got a tough road ahead.


    If you’ve listened to books by Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D. and Rebecca Gladding, M.D. before, how does this one compare?

    N/A


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I was not crazy about this narrator, finding him, as noted in the headline, a bit condescending.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from You Are Not Your Brain?

    Definitely the mother.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm working on making some changes to my life and have only recently realized that I have a slightly addictive personality. The audible books, Breaking Addiction and The Willpower Instinct have been more helpful to me personally than this one.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
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