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Why do we think, feel, and act in ways we wished we did not? For decades, New York Times bestselling author Dr. David A Kessler has studied this question with regard to tobacco, food, and drugs. Over the course of these investigations, he identified one underlying mechanism common to a broad range of human suffering. This phenomenon—capture—is the process by which our attention is hijacked and our brains commandeered by forces outside our control. In Capture, Dr. Kessler considers some of the most profound questions we face as human beings: What are the origins of mental afflictions, from everyday unhappiness to addiction and depression—and how are they connected? Where does healing and transcendence fit into this realm of emotional experience? Analyzing an array of insights from psychology, medicine, neuroscience, literature, philosophy, and theology, Dr. Kessler deconstructs centuries of thinking, examining the central role of capture in mental illness and questioning traditional labels that have obscured our understanding of it. With a new basis for understanding the phenomenon of capture, he explores the concept through the emotionally resonant stories of both well-known and un-known people caught in its throes. The closer we can come to fully comprehending the nature of capture, Dr. Kessler argues, the better the chance to alleviate its deleterious effects and successfully change our thoughts and behavior Ultimately, Capture offers insight into how we form thoughts and emotions, manage trauma, and heal. For the first time, we can begin to understand the underpinnings of not only mental illness, but also our everyday worries and anxieties. Capture is an intimate and critical exploration of the most enduring human mystery of all: the mind.
The critical narrative of this interdisciplinary book offers a first-time look at the interrelationship between biology, mythology and philosophy in human development. Its daring premise follows the trajectory of human thought, starting with the biological roots of fear and the original need for religion, truth-seeking, and myth-making. The narrative then innovatively links a number of maverick philosophical teachings over the centuries, from pre-Buddhist times to the Buddha, from Epicurus and Pyrrho to Lucretius, and eventually to the seminal poetry of Omar Khayyam. These emergent philosophies exemplified liberation from the grasp of mythical and religious thinking and instead espoused an empirical and joyful mind. The narrative concludes with a look at the emancipating philosophical movement that resulted in the European Enlightenment, and it suggests that the philosophical teachings explored in the book may offer the potential for a second, broader Enlightenment.
Self-Evaluation and Psychotherapy in the Market System examines the ways in which the competitive, hierarchical nature of today’s market system contributes to the issues that many clients bring to therapy. Instead of seeing a lack of self-esteem as the root of clients’ problems, Glantz and Bernhard argue that self-evaluation—the struggle to achieve a high opinion of self—exacerbated by the market system, leads to stress and endless self-involvement. Beginning with an explanation of the connection between the market system and self-evaluation, this volume then goes on to describe an approach to therapeutic treatment designed to free clients from the negative effects of the market system by moving away from self-evaluation altogether. This is a must-read for therapists looking for a new approach to treating clients left questioning their place in a society that encourages competition and self-involvement.
Discover how the freedom of sucking at something can help you build resilience, embrace imperfection, and find joy in the pursuit rather than the goal. What if the secret to resilience and joy is the one thing we’ve been taught to avoid? When was the last time you tried something new? Something that won’t make you more productive, make you more money, or check anything off your to-do list? Something you’re really, really bad at, but that brought you joy? Odds are, not recently. As a sh*tty surfer and all-around-imperfect human Karen Rinaldi explains in this eye-opening book, we live in a time of aspirational psychoses. We humblebrag about how hard we work and we prioritize productivity over play. Even kids don’t play for the sake of playing anymore: they’re building blocks to build the ideal college application. But we’re all being had. We’re told to be the best or nothing at all. We’re trapped in an epic and farcical quest for perfection. We judge others on stuff we can’t even begin to master, and it’s all making us more anxious and depressed than ever. Worse, we’re not improving on what really matters. This book provides the antidote. (It’s Great to) Suck at Something reveals that the key to a richer, more fulfilling life is finding something to suck at. Drawing on her personal experience sucking at surfing (a sport she’s dedicated nearly two decades of her life to doing without ever coming close to getting good at it) along with philosophy, literature, and the latest science, Rinaldi explores sucking as a lost art we must reclaim for our health and our sanity and helps us find the way to our own riotous suck-ability. She draws from sources as diverse as Anthony Bourdain and surfing luminary Jaimal Yogis, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Jean-Paul Sartre, among many others, and explains the marvelous things that happen to our mammalian brains when we try something new, all to discover what she’s learned firsthand: it is great to suck at something. Sucking at something rewires our brain in positive ways, helps us cultivate grit, and inspires us to find joy in the process, without obsessing about the destination. Ultimately, it gives you freedom: the freedom to suck without caring is revelatory. Coupling honest, hilarious storytelling with unexpected insights, (It’s Great to) Suck at Something is an invitation to embrace our shortcomings as the very best of who we are and to open ourselves up to adventure, where we may not find what we thought we were looking for, but something way more important.
The No.1 New York Times Bestseller 'Reminds us that the mind is the greatest mystery in the universe' Yuval Noah Harari, Guardian, Books of the Year Could psychedelic drugs change our worldview? One of America's most admired writers takes us on a mind-altering journey to the frontiers of human consciousness When LSD was first discovered in the 1940s, it seemed to researchers, scientists and doctors as if the world might be on the cusp of psychological revolution. It promised to shed light on the deep mysteries of consciousness, as well as offer relief to addicts and the mentally ill. But in the 1960s, with the vicious backlash against the counter-culture, all further research was banned. In recent years, however, work has quietly begun again on the amazing potential of LSD, psilocybin and DMT. Could these drugs in fact improve the lives of many people? Diving deep into this extraordinary world and putting himself forwardas a guinea-pig, Michael Pollan has written a remarkable history of psychedelics and a compelling portrait of the new generation of scientists fascinatedby the implications of these drugs. How to Change Your Mind is a report from what could very well be the future of human consciousness. 'His approach is steeped in honesty and self-awareness. His cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling' - Washington Post 'An easy-going humane generosity ... mischievous self-regard ... as if Henry David Thoreau had had an encounter with Woody Allen and never been quite the same since' - Simon Schama
This work provides an evenhanded and authoritative overview of vaping and its impact on American culture and public health, especially among younger Americans. • Devotes individual entries to specific events and milestones • Profiles important activists and other notable figures • Explores the lasting impact of the event on American life in essays • Includes a bibliography of sources for further study
'Filled with emotionally resonant stories, Can't Just Stop helps us understand not only the underpinnings of some forms of mental illness, but also the everyday worries that drive so much of our behaviour. A fascinating peek into the human mind in our age of anxiety.' David Kessler, author of Capture: Unraveling the Mystery of Mental Suffering Do you check your smartphone continuously for messages? Or perhaps do the weekly shop with military precision? Maybe you always ensure the cutlery is perfectly lined up on the table? Compulsion is something most of us have witnessed in daily life. But compulsions exist along a broad continuum, and at the opposite end of these mild forms are life-altering disorders. Sharon Begley's meticulously researched book is the first of its kind to examine the science behind both mild and extreme compulsive behaviour; using fascinating case studies to understand their deeper meaning and reveal the truth about human compulsion - that it is a coping response to varying degrees of anxiety. Through the personal stories of dozens of interviewees exhibiting behaviours such as OCD, hoarding, compulsive acquiring, exercise or even altruism, Begley employs genuine compassion and gives meaningful context to their plight. Along the way she explores the role of compulsion in our fast paced culture, the neuroscience behind it, and strange manifestations of the behaviour throughout history. Can't Just Stop makes compulsion comprehensible and accessible, exploring how we can realistically grapple with it in ourselves and in those we love.

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