A San Francisco Review of Books original by Rebecca Johnson
Four Stars – Practical Advice for Pertinent Problems
Have you ever thought of something sad and almost immediately felt a strong negative emotion? It can happen so quickly that sometimes you might not even be consciously aware of why the emotion is happening.
Psychologist Michael R. Edelstein teaches you how to stop disturbing yourself so you are no longer oppressed by depression, anger, panic, social anxiety, alcoholism, worry, kleptomania, low self-esteem, procrastination, addictions, compulsive shopping and general anxiety.
Yes, his technique of developing healthier thought patterns really works for pertinent problems. Each chapter helps you face what is troubling you. By reading this book you will learn valuable techniques that make your problems either go away permanently or at least make them manageable.
I felt that this book had many logical arguments which appeals to the intellect. And if you can get your mind on the right path, the emotions will follow. However doing the three minute therapy exercises does require some effort. Eventually the way of thinking this book teaches will be automatic and you will feel much less stress. I have successfully used some of the ideas in this book even before reading about them.
Michael R. Edelstein also has some practical ideas for making relationship better. Divorce is however a pretty serious situation that require careful thought. Some people go through difficult periods of their marriages and survive to tell the tale. So I think marriage is about soul maturation in the end. Divorce may seem like the only solution one year and the next you could be happily married again. So when the author says to try something for a few months, then give up, that might not be enough time to solve deeply entrenched issues.
I also have some concern about the author's insistence that AA teachings are wrong. Some people do need to rely on a higher power to get them through the day. This book does however teach mostly self reliance and takes a more scientific approach. Even after reading the author's arguments I felt that AA is a support system for those in need and social interactions with people who are also suffering may in fact be the most helpful aspect of AA.
The case studies in this book are however fascinating and there is a section after most case studies where the ideas of the three minute therapy exercises are put into practice. The author does encourage rational behavior and has a system which seems to work for nearly everyone. If you give his ideas a chance, your life might change for the better.
Rebecca Johnson. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.