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Emotional Alchemy


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About the Author

TARA BENNETT-GOLEMAN, a psychotherapist and teacher, has been offering workshops on the synthesis of Buddhism and psychotherapy for close to ten years with her husband, Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence. She lives in Massachusetts.


What is it exactly that makes up human emotions? What internal alchemy makes a person respond to situations in the way that they do? Bennett-Goleman, a psychotherapist and teacher, contends that most of a person's emotional turmoil stems from one of ten basic patterns or schemas. She explores the "magic quarter-second," where a potentially negative thought can be captured, examined, and ultimately robbed of its power to bring about an undesirable emotional reaction. By combining this modernistic research with that of ancient Buddhist wisdom, listeners will be well on their way toward freeing themselves forever from these self-destructive habits. Paralleling much of Mark Epstein's Going on Being, Emotional Alchemy is another brilliant work that must be added to psychology/spirituality sections. Highly recommended. Marty D. Evensvold, Arkansas City P.L., KS Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"We all desire happiness and do not want suffering." The Dalai Lama introduces Bennett-Goleman's first book with this trademark refrain, adding the deceptively simple Buddhist truth that much suffering is caused by our "disturbing emotions." Bennett-Goleman, a psychotherapist and longtime student of Buddhist meditation, draws on decades of experience to elucidate how the Buddhist practices of nonjudgmental awareness or mindfulness and the cultivation of compassion can unclasp the grip of the most addictive and deeply entrenched emotional patterns. What sets Bennett-Goleman's work apart from other contributions to the emerging field of Buddhist-oriented psychotherapy is her particular expertise in "schema therapy," which applies the consciousness of thought patterns that characterizes cognitive therapy to the deep-seated emotional habits that are formed in childhood. Thus she shows readers how our habitual fears and defenses get triggered again and again in our relationships, mechanically perpetuating old pain and obscuring reality. The author offers anecdotes from her clinical work and from workshops she conducts with her husband, Daniel Goleman, author of the megabestseller Emotional Intelligence. While Bennett-Goleman will undoubtedly benefit from the huge interest in her husband's book and from the burgeoning market for applied Buddhist wisdom in general, her distinct power flows from her sincerity. She is not given to neat formulations, yet her stories have the persuasiveness of experience, of transformation drop by drop. "In Western psychology it is often said that one needs a strong ego," writes Bennett-Goleman. "But in the Buddhist sense what we need is strong confidence." Many readers will trust the path that she forges here. (Jan.) Forecast: Foreign rights to this title have been sold in Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain and Latin America, Sweden, Taiwan and the U.K. Given the excellence of the book, a planned major push from Harmony, and the obvious benefit of a title and author name approximating those of Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence, hefty sales and major interest are likely Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"A wonderfully clear, compassionate, and insightful guide to freeing ourselves from difficult emotions."
-- Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness

"A wonderfully wise book, one that is down to earth and immensely practical. I know I will be using it as a resource in my own life for a long time."
-- Susan Griffin, author of A Chorus of Stones and What Her Body Thought "May this very important and enticing book find its way into the hearts of readers near and far so that it can perform its mysterious and healing alchemy for the benefit of all. Tara Bennett-Goleman has done a great service in describing in such inspiring and precise ways how meditative practices can liberate us from the patterns of emotional reactions that, unexamined, lead invariably to suffering and harm."
-- Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go There You Are and professor of medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School "A rare accomplishment, bringing the synthesis of Western psychology and Buddhist mindfulness practice to an entirely new level. Much more than theory, it is a wise and pragmatic guide to emotional freedom. Tara Bennett-Goleman weaves together with consummate skill the wisdom teachings of the East, the latest understandings of cognitive therapy and neuroscience, and the innumerable personal stories that bring all of it to life."
-- Joseph Goldstein, author of Insight Meditation "Gliding effortlessly from personal reminiscence to the latest in neuroscience, from meditation instruction to the intricacies of cognitive therapy, Tara Bennett-Goleman invites us to be part of her journey. In showing us how to use our minds to heal our emotions, she heals our minds with her heart."
-- Mark Epstein, M.D., author of Thoughts Without a Thinker and Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart "A very accessible and practical guide to transforming emotions. If you wish to know how your emotional habits can be changed, this book is for you."
-- Richard J. Davidson, director, Wisconsin Center for Affective Science and W. M. Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior, University of Wisconsin "A beautiful blend of spiritual wisdom and psychological insight. Based on many years of intensive meditation and experience as a practicing psychotherapist, the author offers guidance that is relevant for anyone who wishes to be free from suffering or to help others on the way. This book is an engaging invitation to bring the art of mindfulness to emotional transformation and well-being."
-- Frances Vaughan, author of Shadows of the Sacred "Emotional Alchemy is an amazing feast of knowledge of East and West, traditional and current. It shows how everyday emotions can be transmuted as a means of healing. All the principles of the alchemy of mind explained in one book -- a must-read handbook."
-- Tulku Thondup, author of Healing and the Mind "Written with humor, warmheartedness in lively prose . . . a landmark step forward for us all."
-- Naomi Wolf, author of The Beauty Myth From the Hardcover edition.

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