Why Do I Do That?

Psychological Defense Mechanisms and the Hidden Ways They Shape Our Lives
Narrated by: John Raines
Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (142 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This is a self-help book for people who don't usually buy self-help books. Instead of offering cognitive-behavioral techniques for dealing with anger, or affirming strategies to boost self-esteem, this self-help book adapts the basic methods of psychodynamic psychotherapy to a guided course in self-exploration, highlighting the universal role of defense mechanisms in warding off emotional pain. Even the best self-help books tend to stay on the surface. Why Do I Do That? instead probes deeply into the unconscious. With easy-to-understand explanations, the first part teaches you about the unconscious mind and the role of psychological defenses in excluding difficult feelings from awareness. Individual chapters in the longer middle section explore the primary defense mechanisms one by one, with exercises to help you identify your own defenses at work. The final part offers guidance for how to "disarm" your defenses and cope more effectively with the unconscious feelings behind them. Psychological defense mechanisms are an inevitable and necessary part of the human experience; but when they become too pervasive or deeply entrenched, they may damage our personal relationships, restrict or distort our emotional lives and prevent us from behaving in ways that promote lasting self-esteem. Why Do I Do That? promotes self-help for listeners who want to improve their relationships, manage their emotional lives more effectively and develop authentic self-esteem that will last. If you find that even the best self-help books lack depth and fail to instigate lasting change, this psychodynamic self-help book may be for you.

©2012 Joseph Burgo (P)2016 Joseph Burgo

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What listeners say about Why Do I Do That?

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Eye-opening information

I do not usually write reviews, but this book explores our defenses and why we do what we do and how it came to be. I was so excited when learning from this book; it could not wait to share the information with someone else.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone regardless of educational background or the understanding of psychology.
This is not you everyday self help book.
Eye-opening of myself, acquaintances, and those that I choose to surround me.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Your mental habits matter

Great book that covers the mind games we use on ourselves and others to cope. However these habits can work against us and cause us to repeat the same maladaptive patterns over and over.

6 people found this helpful

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So that’s why I do that!

Eye opening! For someone who’s never had formal psychotherapy, I found this book very informative and interesting. I’m definitely going to buy the hard copy for the exercises, review, and highlighting. Thanks, Mr. Burgo!

3 people found this helpful

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Very useful information

A lot of terrific information, some of which many people may already know, but none the less even those of us who "know" it still need to be reminded from time to time. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for insight into their own behavior and also think that everyone (regardless of their interest in growing) should read it.

3 people found this helpful

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46 minutes in ... and stilll the The Intro

On and on about how to read and how to do an exercise. Jesus, gimme someething to stay awake for.

5 people found this helpful

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I'm SO GLAD they finally did an audible for this!

Would you listen to Why Do I Do That? again? Why?

Yes, and you SHOULD! Its thick. There is a lot to learn; as well as, you will find that your own defense mechanism will be on high alert. The first time I read this book, my defenses were so high I couldn't even categorize my primary struggle (need/dependence, difficult emotions or self-esteem/shame). It's such a good book!

4 people found this helpful

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Atheist author

I was loving this book until he said that people use, a a defense, the rational that "there's a reason something happened" and then says "when in truth there's no rhythm or reason to the Universe"! I don't see where he gets off starting something as truth when it's his "BELIEF". Will be warning people before recommending this book to anyone.

1 person found this helpful

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Self-Defense Mechanisms: A Primer

Narration: A bit slow. Recommend increasing download to "1.25." Content: Clear explanations of the different types of defense-mechanisms, their function and typology. Note: Object Relations Theory clearly explained. Interesting that so simple a concept has so awkward a name. Must be why so many academics have difficult giving a clear, succinct explanation of Object Relations theory.

1 person found this helpful

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Superb.

Dozens of hours of therapy in a book. A great understanding of narcissism in clear language.

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Great book, really interesting & relatable!

Wish there was a recommended works! So I could continue with exploring my self. I mean mainly that I don't think all the questions he provides to ask yourself might not be enough.

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  • o. Hodgkinson
  • 05-10-17

Really open your mind to who you are

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. If you want to understand how and why you react negatively to some situations it helps you understand your behaviour. Well written, not at all patronising, real life examples make it accessible and helpful.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no. Although I wanted to you needed to take breaks and digest what you'd heard.

Any additional comments?

I listend to it twice, straightaway. Very interesting and helpful.

7 people found this helpful

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  • B
  • 02-05-18

Absolutely gem!! So so much insight wow

This is one amazing book! I cannot believe how much I needed this right now in my life. Incredible insight on why did I do and say and thought and behaved in the way I did. It is so clear like day light. Sometimes you say and do things or take things to heart and double hurt yourself but cannot understand how or why that did come about. This book will not only break it down to you but it will also tell you (clearly) why and help you progress and (bonus) tell you what it looks like when you have applied the principles in it. How amazing is that? Get this book, YOU deserve it!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Miss S Lopes
  • 11-07-17

Incredibly relevant and informative

I found this audibiook to be so helpful and informative!! It really helped me gain a greater (and more compassionate) understanding of myself and others, and the way the fear driven ego tries to defend itself. I highly recommend this this book to anyone wanting more insight into the ways you are holding yourself back.

4 people found this helpful

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  • deirdre OSullivan
  • 04-25-17

excellent book! inspiring and comforting!

excellent book! inspiring and comforting... I want to read it again. thank you for writing x

5 people found this helpful

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  • bunny_girl
  • 02-21-18

Insightful

I really enjoyed this audiobook. I’m a trainee psychotherapist and found it very insightful and more interesting than my dry course notes. It’s also a brilliant self-help book and an easy listen.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ida Fischer
  • 06-26-20

Please Dr Burgo, watch the movie Avatar again!

It is an excellently written and very helpful book. Probably, I will listen this book a couple more times. The exercises are interesting and the feeling of emptiness after completing many of them is even more interesting to me. Thank you, Dr Burgo, for this book that I can only recommend to others to read/listen, but please, find a better example than Jake's story from Avatar or watch the movie again to get the story correctly... while I am working on my defense mechanisms to understand and overcome them...

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-19-18

excellent book.

loved the exercises in it very easy to follow. highly recommend it. on second reading now

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-31-18

Why do I do that

Absolutely fantastic book i have learned a lot from it. A good representation of defence mechanisms at work.

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  • Mr. Dc Wise
  • 07-05-18

Fantastic!

I would highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to better understand defence mechanisms or their own behaviour.

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  • Viktória Urbán
  • 02-03-18

Great book!

Definitely widened my knowledge about myself and the whole human experience. Would recommend it if you're interested in learning more about yourself!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-07-20

The best self help read for you or a loved one.

A must read in today's world. Hard hitting but extremely helpful, insights abound, finish it.