Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart” as Want to Read:
Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  687 Ratings  ·  74 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
Audio CD, Abridged, 3 pages
Published July 13th 2001 by Macmillan Audio (first published April 22nd 1998)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Emotional Alchemy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Emotional Alchemy

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 16, 2011 Stephany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 04, 2009 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 19, 2015 Adel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
كتاب رائع ومفيد جدا يضيف الكثير في قضية التعامل مع العواطف فيما يظهر ان المؤلفة وجميع من استشهدت به في الكتاب ضمن المدرسة البوذية وهي مدرسة فيها ثقافة عالية وتجارب جيدة ولكنها منزوعة الدسم وهو التعلق بالله فللأسف وجدت خلاصة كتابها المتمثل في الكيمياء الروحية والذي ختمت به الكتاب وقد وجدته المؤلفة امرا مذهلا اذا ادرك الانسان هذا الامر وتعايش على ضوءه وهو يتلخص ببساطة في الإيمان بالقضاء والقدر وهو احد أركان الإيمان لدينا كمسلمين

احتوى الكتاب الكثير من طرق التأمل الواعي التي وجدتها مفيدة جدا لمعالج
May 15, 2017 Renzo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some interesting points about how people are affected by their childhood experiences, and how the problems with their adult behavior is directly resulted. Self awareness is important.
Apr 18, 2010 ShareStories rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
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
Sep 29, 2015 Keith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Keith by: Dr. Christianne Dauphinais
Shelves: spirituality, mind
This book is my Bible. I would say it is my #1 favourite book in print, and the one I would take to a desert island if I could have no others. Nothing I have ever read has changed my life so much. In the past three years, I have read it multiple times in print, plus I have an e-book full of highlights and notes on my iPad, and an audiobook on my iTunes that I listen to so frequently, that there are sections I practically have committed to memory. Tara Bennett-Goleman merges Schema Therapy and Bu ...more
Jul 21, 2012 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 01, 2015 Shante rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To say reading this book saved my life is an understatement. Took me roughly 4 weeks to read this book because after every page I was literally fighting tears. This books challenges you to be painfully honest with yourself. The touch of spirituality woven throughout the chapters is my favorite aspect. I recommend this book to anyone trying to find their way through the cloudiness of their own thoughts.
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!
Jul 30, 2007 Jill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddha
This is a great self-help book for people who lean in the direction of Buddhist thought.
Jan 10, 2013 Abby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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:)
Sep 29, 2015 May rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب للثرثرة !!
Kelly Carmichael
Fantastic read! I love the combination of mindfulness and therapy throughout. There are similarities to IFS therapy and schema work is a central part of this book.
Chris Fielding
The first half of this book is an excellent guide through the concepts of mindful meditation, Buddhist psychology, and emotional schema. It gives a solid amount of information in a very clear and concise manner. The second half of the book is less helpful, filled with many vignettes and stories regarding how well the combination of mindful meditation and schema psychology works for many people. Still very well written and informative.
Jan 06, 2015 Beatriz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psicología
La alquimia que decía emplearse en la transformación del plomo en oro, es aquí usada como metáfora de la evolución terapéutica hacia la salud. Combinando la terapia de esquemas de Jeffrey E. Young y técnicas de mindfulness aplicadas a la psicoterapia, Tara Bennet-Goleman, nos relata de forma dinámica, clara y precisa cómo liberarnos de forma efectiva de los patrones de conducta que adquirimos en el pasado, para hacernos dueños de nuestras experiencias vitales desde la libertad. Nos aporta datos ...more
Probably the least interesting mindfulness book I've ever read. The first section glorifies mindfulness, even romanticizing it. She portrays meditation as intrinsically pleasurable, which is such a bad idea. While I suppose it might be for some people, a lot of people find it dreadfully boring and difficult, especially at first. When they read this book, they will compare what she says to their actual experience and wonder what they're doing wrong.

The first part, however, contains my favorite pa
Holly Dietor
Sep 04, 2012 Holly Dietor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 25, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 03, 2010 Kris rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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
Feb 25, 2014 Tristy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: therapy, scavenged
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
Sep 28, 2008 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Kristen Nace
Jul 16, 2011 Kristen Nace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Emotional alchemy, according to Bennett-Goleman, is the application of the Buddhist practice of mindfulness to the clearing of obscurations in the cognitive and emotional realms within our minds. With mindfulness we are can be more aware of our distorted thoughts and emotions to change the habitual patterns of our schemas.
Having read a few books on mindfulness, i think Emotional Alchemy offers an interesting perspective on the subject. My only gripe is that the book gets a little repeatative.
Sep 08, 2007 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  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.
كتاب كان بداية رحلتي في فهم المشاعر الإنسانية .
Sep 28, 2009 Hollis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Sep 11, 2012 Ally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World
  • Healing Emotions: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Mindfulness, Emotions, and Health
  • Open Heart, Clear Mind: An Introduction to the Buddha's Teachings
  • Ten Breaths to Happiness: Touching Life in its Fullness
  • The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius
  • Getting the Love You Want Workbook: The New Couples' Study Guide
  • Awakening Intuition: Using Your Mind-Body Network for Insight and Healing
  • The Little Book of Energy Medicine: The Essential Guide to Balancing Your Body's Energies
  • Healing Through the Dark Emotions: The Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair
  • Minding the Body, Mending the Mind
  • The Dance of Deception: A Guide to Authenticity and Truth-Telling in Women's Relationships
  • Where to Draw the Line: How to Set Healthy Boundaries Every Day
  • Live the Life You Love: In Ten Easy Step-By Step Lessons
  • The Lost Art of Compassion: Discovering the Practice of Happiness in the Meeting of Buddhism and Psychology
  • Peace of Mind: Becoming Fully Present
  • Love For No Reason: 7 Steps to Creating a Life of Unconditional Love
  • How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow
  • Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive

Share This Book

“To her lover a beautiful woman is a delight; / To a monk she’s a distraction; / To a mosquito, a good meal. It makes the point well: how things seem depends on the lens or filter through which we look at them.” 0 likes
More quotes…