BRís Must-Read Book Picks | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 12 March 2012
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Hello again.

I want to point you to some terrific books, if I may: 

EMDR lovers, listen up!  You should know that your fearless leader, Francine Shapiro, has written a wonderfully literate self-help book for lay folk and clinicians alike on how to use EMDR techniques for healing pain from the past.  Itís called Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy, and it uses the example of real stories and real protocols to show readers how to use her groundbreaking work.  Itís an important contribution that makes many of her excellent techniques accessible to the average reader.

If you want some clarity and understanding about a returning warriorís experience, and need an updated look at how the field is now viewing Traumatic Brain Injury and Posttraumatic Stress, not to mention some solid, practical advice and techniques for veterans and their families, you simply must check out Charles Hogeís zero-baloney book, Once a Warrior, Always a Warrior: Navigating the Transition from Combat to Home. It should be required reading for all of us. Period.

I also want to remind you of Marsha Lucasí wonderful book on using mindfulness in the service of relationship.  I hate the title Rewire Your Brain for Love: Creating Vibrant Relationships Using the Science of Mindfulness Ė yikes!) but love the book, so itís hard to complain.  Itís a brainy, funny and easy to read examination of interpersonal neurobiology, meditation and relationship wisdomÖ kind of like Ann Landers meets Jon Kabat-Zinn, laced with a healthy dose of wry Stephen Colbert humor.  

And of course I canít recommend a bunch of books without again mentioning the luminous, earthy, smart, generous, funny and adorably self-deprecating Priscilla Warnerís Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life. Anyone who wants to go mano-a-mano with his or her panic attacks and bring them to their knees must read this.

OK, thatís it for now.

Take care and be well!



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written by bb, March 13, 2012
Dear BR,
Your reading suggestions are so appreciated! I read Dr. Hoge’s excellent, very readable book last year and donated a copy to my local library. You know by now that I am a civilian with a hx of tbi and complex pts who is also related and/or connected to many combat vets…more than one of whom has/had both of these as well.
My only concern with Dr. Hoge’s book is around support for what I call ‘distancing language’. Some examples: “the rest of the world can’t comprehend the concept of a 4th dimension” and “one infantry soldier, several months after returning from Iraq, said: ‘Through all the hell and anguish I’ve experienced fighting a war, I’d still rather be fighting at war than waking up everyday to the bullshit I have to deal with and overcome here at home in what I call my job and life.’” And “service members and veterans often feel they’re wasting their time dealing with people who can’t relate to their perspective”.
I ‘get it’ that I will never completely understand the combat experience just as that soldier will never completely understand my childhood experience. Interesting that our brains both developed post traumatic stress.
Perhaps the soldier’s ‘4th dimension’ is totally unique; however, I know intimately about “returning to the 3rd dimension” from another time of terror realizing that I made it out alive once more…perhaps this is a 5th dimension? Seems not helpful to quibble over these words as the neurophysiological response results in the same diagnosis for us both.
Because I learned a huge life lesson very early, throughout my life behind my watching eyes was always this question: “Why do people have such careless disregard for the precious gift of life expressed in unkindness/meanness to others, petty politics, ‘bullshit’, wasteful arguments, harm to innocents, et al?”
I’ve come to know that it is the very feeling of ‘distance’ or disconnection one from another and the deepest part of oneself that makes these behaviors possible.
Feeling not understood, cared about, or that others cannot relate to me was a hindrance to my healing. Opening my heart and mind to the deeply caring hearts/minds of others was and is the path to wholeness!

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