Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart
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Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  376 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Alchemists sought to transform lead into gold. In the same way, says Tara Bennett-Goleman, we all have the natural ability to turn our moments of confusion and emotional pain into insightful clarity.

Emotional Alchemy maps the mind and shows how, according to recent advances in cognitive therapy, most of what troubles us falls into ten basic emotional patterns, including fe...more
Audio CD, Abridged, 3 pages
Published July 13th 2001 by Macmillan Audio (first published April 22nd 1998)
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David
Very interesting, and even useful in identifying distressing schemas and attempting to nip them in the bud as they try to take over. But no use at all when you suddenly wake up at two or three in the morning completely defenceless, as occurred last night. I recognise something - just something - of myself here:

"Very generous, you give affection without counting and desperately seek it in others, dependent on something you’ll never receive. Here, the more you sow the less you reap. Plagued by pow...more
ShareStories
Emotional Alchemy--how the mind can heal the heartby Tara Bennett-Goleman was an interesting accompaniment to Bread & Water, Wine & Oil by Archimandrite Webber.

Ms. Bennett-Goleman writes her self-help book from a psychological/Buddhist perspective and it was interesting for me to pick up some familiar eastern flavor while reading both books at once. Both talked about being present in the "now" as being of vital importance. According to eastern Christianity, God identifying Himself as "I...more
Lauren
This book changed my life! Tara is brilliant. She writes little short stories with core issues creatively woven into them. Then, the best part is after each short story she says if this resonated with you, here is what you can do!!! Finally, a book with a solution and excersice!!!! Thank you Tara, Bravissima!
Within the cover of this book I found all my core emotional issues and saw my own wounds and baggage. I was really happy to identify them and more excited to find a way to let them go and h...more
Katie
This book really helped me face some of my inner demons. Although hard
to read because it makes you take a deep, intimate look inside yourself,
I highly recommend this a therapeutic self-improvement tool!
Abby
one of my favourites. full of simple practices to free yourself from worry and suffering. i've bought and given away three copies of this book:)
Tristy
This is a fantastic book, with a very accessible writing style that does not shame or punish. Things only derailed for me at the end, when the author goes very deeply into her own Buddhism practice and begins to get very fundmentalist in her approach to healing. It surprised me, because she has a much more interfaith, inclusive approach in the rest of the book, which for me was life-changing. I highly recommend this book as a tool to understand how your schemas work and ways to dismantle old hab...more
Stephany
This was a very interesting book. Combining elements of psychology and Buddhist mindfulness practices, the author outlines ten basic emotional patterns, or "schemas," and how the influence of these patterns color our interactions with others and also ourselves. The author also discusses ways in which, using mindfulness, we can work to undo the negative schemas that undermine our relationships.

What is perhaps most profound about this book is that anyone who reads it will find a piece of themselv...more
Holly Dietor
I resist the moniker,self-help book, on this one. It's so much more. It's more a read to help one be introduced to their Self, instead.

Like any of these books, if it makes a deep impact, most likely it is because you happened across it just at the exact moment you desperately needed something. This is one of those.

I will say, it is not an easy read; you have to be ready for it. You have to really want to understand how your thoughts really do direct how you see yourself, the World, those around...more
Steve
Bennett-Goleman weds two complementary disciplines, psychology and mindfulness, in a book designed to help us see and overcome maladaptive thought-behavioral patterns ('schemas' in the book's terminology) that we may be unconsciously repeating in our lives. Very similar to other books on cognitive behavioral therapy in its approach to untangling self-defeating thoughts and reactions, but I appreciated how the Buddhist/mindfulness perspective seems to deepen the message for me. I also appreciated...more
Kris
Sep 03, 2010 Kris rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: meditation practitioners, buddhists, mindfulness practitioners, psychology
Tara Bennett-Goleman writes with a loving-kindness and deep empathy that meditation practitioners will find not just endearing, but quite helpful. She's infused much love in this book - a real Bodhisattva!

I bought this book at Kripalu while on a retreat there also featuring her husband, Daniel Goleman. They introduced me to mindfulness practices with the raisin exercise and walking meditation. That was in 2007. I see this stuff so differently now, and they made a true positive difference in my...more
Gloriavirtutisumbra
This was good. I often forget there is a tradition of psychology in Buddhism, that approaches everything sideways, very calmly, like a snake whisperer. Or a horse whisperer. Or maybe just a whisperer. Which is a nice change of tactics. I liked this, I liked the ideas in it, i had a little bit of a struggle with vocabulary. (the word schema was used many many times and it constantly made me think of the diabolical penguins in the Madagascar films, just a personal thing, probably wouldn't affect a...more
Essa Merchanttiger
One of my favorite books!!! -Really beautifully written from a woman's perspective.
Celia
Some helpful ideas but the Buddhism slant does not spin my wheels.
Greg Collver
I decided to read this book after reading a review that made me think that it was mostly science with some Buddhist concepts mixed in. After reading the first three chapters, I realized that was not the case. I kept reading and it went on and on, page after page of mindless, er, I mean mindful Buddhist drivel.

If you buy into Buddhism, you might like this book. If you prefer science, don't bother. If you are looking for the missing link between science and Buddhism, don't bother, this book is mos...more
Donna
Tara Bennett-Goleman writes about using the Buddhist practice of mindfulness to help bring awareness and clarity to emotional feelings/reactions. Her definition of the psychological "schemas" is enlightening, and applying mindfulness to emotions instead of just reacting while on auto-pilot makes a lot of sense. But after that, she became extremely repetitive, and I ended up skimming the entire middle section, in order to get to the last part on spiritual alchemy which was a lot more interesting.
Tracy
Sep 08, 2007 Tracy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults interested in mindfulness
This is a great book for anyone who is interested in increasing their self-awareness, mindfulness, meditation practice and emotional intelligence. The book focuses on how to use mindfulness to become more aware of personal thinking and behavior patterns that don't serve us well. It is inspirational but involves more high theory than practical application, although there is some of that too. It may inspire you to investigate a local mindfulness course in your area for a deeper exploration.
Kristen Nace
If you have Buddhist leanings, as I do, this is a good book. A friend sent it to me and I'm glad she did. A mix of modern psychology and Buddhist philosophy, the ideas are fairly simple- but the practice is HARD. If only we can turn off the automatic pilot and really PAY ATTENTION to our lives. There are some nice little meditations at the ends of chapters. Might not be for everybody....but I found it quite useful.
Luc Reid
Initially I was concerned that this book might be more gentle reassurance than useful ideas, but I'm glad to say I was flat wrong. A serene and clear introduction to schema therapy, which can offer a lot of insight into our emotional habits, and mindfulness as applied to improving our daily lives.
Monjamckay
I'm not really into "self help" books but picked this one up because it uses Buddhist techniques to help conquer negative emotion... I personally get more out of Buddhist texts and did not get into the psychology work. But for someone else it may be the exact opposite experience.
Sonja
the topic seemed very interesting as i´m a psychotherapist and a buddhist aswell. actually she repeats over and over the same things again, which seems quite tiring. nothing new for my part, but perhaps people who haven´t read about this topic before could be interested.
Ally
I actually read this book ages ago, and I'd almost forgotten about it until I was trying to explain recently where I'd gotten some of the techniques I use from. I've since recommended it to others with anxiety problems. It's a great book, and it helped me tremendously!
Thomas Jackson
Great book exploring schema-based cognitive therapy with Buddhist based mindfulness exercises.
I found it helpful and insightful, and, in, my opinion ANYONE can benefit from reading it.

It's one of those books that you can go back to again and again.
Shannon
This book reads a bit like a text for psychologists. It is so incredibly detailed and insightful. I read just a couple of chapters and plan to get back to it when I have more brain power to really let it sink in.
Hollis
This was a re-read for me, but this is an excellent book about dealing with our emotional 'hot buttons', written from the perspective of Buddhist philosophy and using Mindfulness to know ourselves better
Michelle Manire
One of my favorites. It's eye opening and I learned a lot about mindfulness, that I'm not alone and that - that big scary thing in the corner turns into a tiny little weak thing the closer you get to it.
Debra Slack
very helpful for those trying to break old patterns.
uplifting, affirming and supportive.
very comprehensible and satisfying read.
lots of good practices to help the process along.
Scott
A book about meditation and patterns - "schemas" - from past traumas. Really interesting read looking at how different people react negatively to different stimulus. I found it helpful.

-s
Cindy
I've read this book several times......I think that speaks for itself. Each time I read it, I learn more about how the more I change, the more the world changes around me.
Camille
Apr 23, 2009 Camille marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I was unsure about this book because the description makes it sound so incredibly lame. However, the book itself has been fabulous so far... much better than I expected.
Ella Gray
This books talks about schemas and how the ones we have dictates how we'll react to the world and in our relationships. Also very good if you have inner work to do.
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