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Publishers WeeklyUsing research based on patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder, U.C.L.A. psychiatrists Schwartz (The Mind and the Brain) and Gladding have developed a program that helps patients literally change the brain pathways that lead to unhealthy behavior-from obsessively checking e-mail to self-hatred to drug addiction. Aspects of their common-sense scientific approach include: understanding how the brain works; understanding what constitutes a "deceptive brain message;" acting as one's own Wise Advocate by analyzing the effects of any choice and picking the one likely to lead to a positive result; setting and prioritizing goals, and more. Success depends on the patient's innate ability to reason and focus on healthy alternatives to the preferred or automatic behavior. Changing one's will can essentially change the brain, the authors argue, and the methods will work as long as the desire to change is there. Though Schwartz and Gladding add a fascinating self-actualizing component of choice and control, readers may have trouble grasping the more science-heavy passages, such as why addiction happens at the cellular level or neuroscience theory.
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