The co-author of Smart Women, Foolish Choices, Melvyn Kinder overturns traditional approaches to therapy to offer a cutting-edge program that will help readers to understand and alter their moods, and free themselves from anxiety, anger, and depression--without prescription drugs.
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Slickly packaged pop psych from Kinder, who's previously tackled myths about self-improvement (Going Nowhere Fast, 1990) and marriage (Husbands and Wives, 1989). Here, the L.A. psychologist turns to myths about emotional health. Exposing common misconceptions about emotions--e.g., that we can and should control them--clears the way for a new understanding of why we feel the way we do, says Kinder, who contends that temperament is inborn. But although he mentions research into how genes determine behavior, the author gives science short shrift here, contriving a system that lends itself to a diagrammatic presentation as neat as a model of an earth- centered universe (and perhaps requiring an equal act of faith to accept). In Kinder's model, temperament has two determinants- -``arousal level,'' or emotionality; and ``action tendency,'' which can be expressed as extroversion or introversion. By putting these determinants on separate axes, the author derives four basic types--``Sensors,'' ``Focusers,'' ``Dischargers,'' and ``Seekers''--which, he says, correspond to the four primary emotional predispositions of anxiety, sadness, anger, and craving. Kinder devotes a chapter to each temperament type, and readers are encouraged to determine their own types by means of quizzes at the end of each chapter. The next step is learning how to work with one's type, which in Kinder's lingo becomes ``expanding your emotional comfort zone'' and ``resetting your emotional thermostat.'' To do this, he provides advice along the lines of ``don't stifle your anger'' and ``become aware of your body.'' A soothing, clearly presented message of self-acceptance that may succeed in adding four new terms to the vocabulary of psychobabble. (First serial to Redbook) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Millions of Americans mistakenly believe they are neurotic or have "personality disorders," argues the author of this commonsense guide. As a result, many spend years in therapy, analyzing their present and past circumstances, yet never find resolutions. The difficulty, according to Kinder ( Smart Women, Foolish Choices ), is that what they perceive as problems usually are not. Instead, most "neuroses" are manifestations of one of four personality styles: the Sensor (sensitive, introverted); the Focuser (introverted, prone to depression and worry); the Discharger (extroverted, emotionally expressive); or the Seeker (sensation-seeking, extroverted). These temperaments, claims Kinder, are biochemically based; attempting to change or hide one's temperament, then, creates undue stress. The solution is to work with one's personality ("setting your emotional thermostat"), enhancing its positive attributes and finding constructive ways to express (not deny or hide) the negative. The Focuser, for example, becomes vexed when idle, due to a high-arousal threshold; instead of "thought stopping" or dredging up the past to find a "root," Focusers should acknowledge their feelings, then find an activity to "focus" on other than their own thoughts.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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