Author(s): Paul Gilbert
Compassion, particularly compassion toward oneself, positively impacts our mental health and overall well-being. So why is it sometimes so difficult to be compassionate towards ourselves and others? In The Compassionate Mind, Paul Gilbert explores why the human mind automatically favors high reactivity to perceived threats and presents a new therapeutic program, compassion focused therapy, that readers can use to restore happiness and relaxation to their lives. The first part of this book presents Gilbert's fascinating research into the conflicts created by the diverging evolution of brain 'design' and society. Because society evolves so much more quickly than the human brain, humanity must contend with the brain's tendencies toward excessive anxieties and fears. These fears once protected us from physical threats, but are significantly less useful in modern life. Currently, compassion is often dismissed as a weakness; Gilbert explains that it actually implies motivation to care and a capacity for sympathy that requires great mental strength. The second part of The Compassionate Mind offers a range of practical exercises based in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), Buddhist psychology, attachment theory, and affective neuroscience that readers can do to develop self-compassion and alleviate emotional distress caused by anxiety, depression, and other common mental health issues.
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"The increasing drive to find a competitive edge in all aspects of our lives may create efficiencies, but they are cold, heartless, and unpleasant to live with. Gilbert shows how and why this occurs, and explains why our capacity for compassion is the antidote." --Oliver James, author of "Affluenza" and "The Selfish Capitalist"
Paul Gilbert, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Derby in the United Kingdom and director of the mental health research unit at Derbyshire Mental Health Trust. He has written over a hundred academic papers and is a fellow of the British Psychological Society.