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Two neuroscience experts explain how their 4-Step Method can help break destructive thoughts and actions and change bad habits for good.

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 OCD, 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 with 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 make your brain work for you-is to consciously choose to "starve" these circuits of focused attention, thereby decreasing their influence and strength.

As evidenced by the huge success of Schwartz's previous books, as well as Daniel Amen's Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, and Norman Doidge's The Brain That Changes Itself, there is a large audience interested in harnessing the brain's untapped potential, yearning for a step-by-step, scientifically grounded and clinically proven approach. In fact, readers of Brain Lock wrote to the authors in record numbers asking for such a book. In You Are Not Your Brain, Schwartz and Gladding carefully outline their program, showing readers how to identify negative brain impulses, channel them through the power of focused attention, and ultimately lead more fulfilling and empowered lives.
Published: Penguin Group on
ISBN: 9781101516119
List price: $14.99
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I've been on a neurology kick, and picked this up at the library based on the credentials of the author. I thought it would not be a typical self-help book, even though the cover sure looked like one. I should have turned it over and noticed that one of the blurbs on the back was from Leonardo DiCaprio, noted neurology researcher movie actor.

I guess that was a good example of a deceptive brain message, because this is a self-help manual with all the smarmy examples one might imagine. Abby thinks too much! Sarah is depressed! Let's examine their behaviour at length.

The death knell, for me, was the part where the authors explain, briefly, the neurology behind a certain response, then in essence dismissively say that you needn't bother your pretty little head- here's a perfect example:

"Collectively, you can think of the amygdala, insula, and anterior cingulate as the warning center of the brain, or what we like to call the Uh-Oh Center." Uh-oh, indeed.

This book didn't work for me (not that I applied it to any of my bad habits, I mean I didn't like it) and I can't recommend it unless you like dumbed-down science wrapped up in magazine-article style examples of people just like you only with no bad habits!!!!1!more
This book has the potential to help a lot of people. Some of the ideas and strategies in the book have been around for a while, but this particular "four-step" formulation is something I haven't seen before, and I have personally found that the "refocus" step is very helpful. If you want to change your behavior, this book may be extremely helpful. Read it and see for yourself.more
This book was a real disappointment. There's nothing new here, just the same old advice wrapped in the flag of neuroscience. The neuroplasticity information is accurate, but has little to do with the advice and procedures contained in the book. This is very reminiscent of faith-based advice books, substituting a pseudo-scientific "wise advocate" for the god of your choice.Not really worth the time spent reading it.more
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Reviews

I've been on a neurology kick, and picked this up at the library based on the credentials of the author. I thought it would not be a typical self-help book, even though the cover sure looked like one. I should have turned it over and noticed that one of the blurbs on the back was from Leonardo DiCaprio, noted neurology researcher movie actor.

I guess that was a good example of a deceptive brain message, because this is a self-help manual with all the smarmy examples one might imagine. Abby thinks too much! Sarah is depressed! Let's examine their behaviour at length.

The death knell, for me, was the part where the authors explain, briefly, the neurology behind a certain response, then in essence dismissively say that you needn't bother your pretty little head- here's a perfect example:

"Collectively, you can think of the amygdala, insula, and anterior cingulate as the warning center of the brain, or what we like to call the Uh-Oh Center." Uh-oh, indeed.

This book didn't work for me (not that I applied it to any of my bad habits, I mean I didn't like it) and I can't recommend it unless you like dumbed-down science wrapped up in magazine-article style examples of people just like you only with no bad habits!!!!1!more
This book has the potential to help a lot of people. Some of the ideas and strategies in the book have been around for a while, but this particular "four-step" formulation is something I haven't seen before, and I have personally found that the "refocus" step is very helpful. If you want to change your behavior, this book may be extremely helpful. Read it and see for yourself.more
This book was a real disappointment. There's nothing new here, just the same old advice wrapped in the flag of neuroscience. The neuroplasticity information is accurate, but has little to do with the advice and procedures contained in the book. This is very reminiscent of faith-based advice books, substituting a pseudo-scientific "wise advocate" for the god of your choice.Not really worth the time spent reading it.more
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