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The Compassionate Mind

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781849010986

Price: £14.99

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Throughout history people have sought to cope with a life that is often stressful and hard. We have actually known for some time that developing compassion for oneself and others can help us face up to and win through the hardship and find a sense of inner peace. However in modern societies we rarely focus on this key process that underpins successful coping and happiness and can be quick to dismiss the impact of modern living on our minds and well-being. Instead we concentrate on ‘doing, achieving’ and having’. Now, bestselling author and leading authority on depression, Professor Paul Gilbert explains how new research shows how we can all learn to develop compassion for ourselves and others and derive the benefits of this age-old wisdom.

In this ground-breaking new book he explores how our minds have developed to be highly sensitive and quick to react to perceived threats and how this fast-acting threat-response system can be a source of anxiety, depression and aggression. He describes how studies have also shown that developing kindness and compassion for self and others can hep in calming down the threat system: as a mother’s care and love can soothe a baby’s distress, so we can learn how to soothe ourselves.

Not only does compassion help to soothe distressing emotions, it actually increases feelings of contentment and well-being. Here, Professor Gilbert outlines the latest findings about the value of compassion and how it works, and takes readers through basic mind training exercises to enhance the capacity for, and use of, compassion.

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Reviews

A landmark book
The Scientific and Medical Network
A challenging and useful addition to anyone's self-help shelf, as well as a refreshingly rigorous look behind why our brains work the way they do. In fact, this is a self-help book for people who don't like self-help books
ONEinFOUR magazine
Deeply empowering
Kindred Spirit magazine
Paul Gilbert is one of the most brilliant scientists studying compassion today. In this wonderful book, he makes his theories very accessible and down-to-Earth. You feel like you're having a chat in his living-room with a warm cup of tea
Kristin Neff, bestselling author of 'Self-compassion'
Fascinating ... thoughtful and well written ... this book is a resource to be owned and used with enjoyment
Nursing Standard
Fascinating ... thoughtful and well written ... this book is a resource to be owned and used with enjoyment
Nursing Standard
Interesting and helpful.
Mental Health Practice
Anyone who struggles with their inner critic should make sure to read this book. Professor Gilbert writes in a masterly fashion about compassionate mind training - an innovative approach which is likely to grow in importance ... as the evidence for its benefit continues to build
David Veale, consultant psychiatrist, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and Nightingale Hospital, London
As one of Britain's most insightful psychologists, Gilbert illuminates the power of compassion in our lives ... 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'
Wise and perceptive. [It] teaches self-compassion and the consolations of kindness. I recommend it
Sally Brampton, author of 'Shoot the Damn Dog'
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
As somebody who suffers from severe depression, I know the depressive's harshest critic is themselves. It is never helpful to be told to pull ourselves together by others but saying it to ourselves leads us in only one direction - into a spiralling descent into despair. This wise and perceptive book teaches us self-compassion and the consolations of kindness. I recommend it all the time.
Sally Brampton, author of Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression and the Aunt Sally column in The Sunday Times
Paul Gilbert has created a masterpiece, urging us to harness the power of our minds to shape our brains toward compassion and kindness. Exploring the science of our ancient neural circuitry and weaving this with our con- temporary cultural pressures, The Compassionate Mind takes us on a powerful journey into the origins of our current challenges to live life with meaning, connection and resilience. Gilbert then shows us in useful detail the important personal practices that enable us to sharpen our skills of compassion - for ourselves, for others, and for the larger world in which we live. The result is not only increased happiness and better physical health, but more meaningful relationships with others, and even our planet
Daniel J. Siegel, bestselling author of 'Mindsight'
Internationally-renowned psychologist Paul Gilbert has provided all of us with a much-needed book. Written with wisdom and warmth, Gilbert takes us on a journey through the far reaches of evolution to the very depths of our own hearts. This helpful and thoughtful guide to living a compassionate life - for yourself and for others - will be a reminder for many of us that we are all human but that we need to be more humane toward our own troubled selves. Throughout this book the reader will feel like the author is speaking directly to him or her - and will recognise that you can use the tools of modern psychology to fix what feels broken inside of us. A timely book for a time when competitiveness, materialism and narcissism have failed us. This book provides timeless wisdom that you can use every day. It will make a wonderful gift for someone you care for - especially, if you give it to yourself
Robert L. Leahy, author of 'The Worry Cure'
A challenging and useful addition to anyone's self-help shelf, as well as a refreshingly rigorous look behind why our brains work the way they do. In fact, this is a self-help book for people who don't like self-help books.
ONEinFOUR magazine
Important and enjoyable.
The Psychologist
A timely book for a time when competitiveness, materialism and narcissism have failed us. This book provides timeless wisdom that you can use every day. It will make a wonderful gift for someone you care for - especially, if you give it to yourself.
Robert L Leahy, Author of The Worry Cure and President of The International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy
Like so frequently in the past, Paul Gilbert has come forth again with a book about the mind, its unused potential, and how to harness that potential to one's and others' benefit. The Compassionate Mind is a roadmap to compassion for the self and towards others. It is a book for those curious enough to explore their hidden potential to attain a special kind of humanness and happiness. A 10 on a scale of 1 to 10
Michael McGuire, author of 'Darwinian Psychiatry'