Jenny's Reviews > In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Maté
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's review
Jul 27, 2011

really liked it

Things I want to remember: compassionate curiosity toward one's self leads to truth, the common experience of the inner void, babies need attunement, nutrition, physical security, and consistant emotional nuturing for healthy neurobiological brain development. There was a good Nietsche quote on page 345. Whatever we don't deal with in our lives, we pass on to our children - our unfinished emotional business becomes theirs.

Mindful awareness. Implicit memory. Bare attention (Buddhism).

Every child needs to have at least one attachment relationship with a reliably available, protective, psychologically present and reasonably non-stressed adult.

The 4 steps plus one:

1. Re-label - mindful/conscious awareness that obsessive thought does not equal need

2. Re-attribute - blame your pre-programmed-by-childhood brain that is sending you a false message, have compassionate curiosity toward the self

3. Re-focus - do something else (that is enjoyable) to buy time (i.e. the next 5 minutes, the next 15 minutes) - this teaches the brain that it doesn't have to obey the addictive call

4. Re-value - de-value your addiction, ask "what has my addiction done for me?" - write it out, more than once if necessary (i.e. it has caused me to betray my true values and disregard my true goals) - gather information, suspend judgement

5. Re-create - express your creative self, write down your values and intentions with conscious awareness

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