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Posted January 5, 2011
UNDERSTANDING MYSELF: A Kid's guide to intense emotions and strong feelings' by Berkeley clinical psychologist/psychoanalyst Mary C. Lamia, PhD is a brave undertaking. As the adult reader takes the time to read this book the first reaction is that the information in the book may just be too advanced for the suggested age 8 to 13 category of young people. And there is a strong hint there that Dr. Lamia doesn't nee to make apparent: if this information seems too sensitive for kids then the adult reader needs some introspection and possible work on their own! Dr. Lamia takes on the field of emotions - that inner aspect of human behavior that in many ways determines juts how effective we will be in dealing with the world. She simply believes that if young people get an early start on appreciating those aspects of the mind that have little to do with school performance but MUCH to do with social interaction and self understanding, then the opening of the door to mental health as they mature will be a more informed process. The book is divided into seven parts: Feeling Your Emotions in which the science of emotions (yes!) leads to definitions of moods, emotions, feelings; Felling Self-Conscious deals with the concepts of embarrassment, guilt, shame, and pride; Feeling Threatened discusses anxiety, fear and disgust; Feeling Gloomy addresses loneliness, sadness and grief; Feeling Elated explores excitement/joy/happiness and love/infatuation; and Felling Stormy explains anger and envy/jealousy. Each of these topics are first defined so that the reader hears from an expert just what those emotions really are, examples are given, tests are available, and Psych Notes are offered. All of this information is dealt with in a warm supportive manner, bringing the young person up to speed with the terminology as well as the etiology and repercussions and benefits of understanding the beginnings of emotions and how comfortable to incorporate this knowledge in finding a happier path of living. This book may be created for ages 8 through 13, but after reading UNDERSTANDING MYSELF cover to cover it seems to this reader that the book would well serve the high school and college student - as well as the adults among us who still remain in the dark about these important concepts. Look for this book to garner awards on many levels. It is published by the MAGINATION PRESS under the auspices of the American Psychological Association. That backing, as well as the personal impact of Dr. Lamia, should make this book a part of every family's library. Grady HarpWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.