Friday, 30 September 2011

Book launched for World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day sees the launch of  'In Case of Spiritual Emergency' with an international webinar.

Catherine Zeta-Jones has been open about her mental health struggles. So has Stephen Fry and other celebrities. One in four of the population suffer. Yet something is missing; a framework that allows these experiences to be positively transformational. Transpersonal psychology fills the gap. It offers an alternative perspective, an opportunity to reframe mental health conditions as an opportunity for healing and growth. ‘Trans’ meaning ‘beyond’ the personal, transpersonal psychology encompasses the soul dimension. It brings together ancient spiritual wisdom with modern psychology, grounded in scientific research.

“This book is a remarkable achievement. The author charts the terrain of moving from breakdown to breakthrough, exploring how surviving a mental health crisis can lead to a new and authentic way of being and bringing a profound message of hope to all sufferers.”

Dr. Andrew Powell, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Founding Chair, Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group.

Emma, Annabel and Kate have each chosen to see their mental health struggles from the transpersonal perspective. Emma was admitted to hospital repeatedly with recurring psychotic symptoms. Annabel was sectioned on three separate occasions and forcibly injected with high dose anti-psychotic medication against her will. Kate suffered from crippling depression on and off for over 30 years. All three see what they have been through as their personal odyssey towards healing and growth; the psyche’s journey through spiritual emergency to wholeness.

In Case of Spiritual Emergency is a book of extremes; the terror and the bliss, the danger and the opportunity, as the psyche moves through its very own Hero’s Journey. Psycho-spiritual crisis can be triggered by many things: loss of faith or a loved one, intense spiritual practices, even childbirth. Encouraging, supportive, and life-saving, In Case of Spiritual Emergency is vital for relieving the mental and emotional suffering these experiences can bring.

In this guide for mental health professionals, pastoral care specialists, and people going through spiritual crisis or their caregivers, you will find:

• A clear summary of recent psychological research of the past twenty years
• Patterns of spiritual crises through the ages, including St. Teresa of Ávila, Carl Jung, Eckhart Tolle
• The Three Key Phases for Moving Successfully through Spiritual Emergency
• Practical, life-saving guidance for those experiencing spiritual emergency or their carers

Catherine G Lucas is the Founder of the UK Spiritual Crisis Network and an accredited Mindfulness Trainer. She has organised international conferences on spiritual emergency and is a regular speaker on the subject.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Going Green The Essential Guide

Going Green, the Essential Guise is by Cora Lydon and published by Need 2 Know Books at £9.99.

The book contains advice on how to reduce one's carbon footprint, how to save energy at home and where to find eco-friendly products.

The book contains many practical hints of how one can make do and mend, grow your own food, etc., hints that our parents or our grandparents would have known about, it also contains more up-to-date information on how we can live a more sustainable life, both at home and at work.

A great deal of the book is devoted to the alleged problems of global warming, and the alleged dangers of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is, of course, a deadly poison. Just ask any carbon fixing plant. (EDITOR: Yes, that was some gentle sarcasm)

Whilst there are some gems in this book (how to drive in a greener way, how to ensure one's vehicles are maintained for optimal and, therefore, greener performance) there are some things that make it sound like a parody of green living articles of the "how to grow plants in a yoghurt pot" variety churned out in the 1970s and 1980s.

The book recommends using "green" and so-called "eco-friendly" household products. But my wife remarked: "It is all very well recommending these greener products, but if they do not do the job they are designed to do, what is the point of spending extra money on them?"

We used the products of one firm who make washing liquids that contains bentonite, a clay that is notorious for its stickiness. It nearly destroyed our washing machine and our dishwasher by clogging them up. Their range of products, in general, did not work as well as their non-green products, so as twice the amount had to be used, their eco-friendly claims can be called into question.

The book also advocates more and better recycling at work. That's a fair point. But the author calls for this to be achieved by the stick of legislation and so-called green taxes, rather than the carrot of assistance and rewards for good behaviour. For example, the vast majority of councils have NO business recycling facilities at all. This, rather than increased "green" taxes should be addressed, one would have thought.

At least some of what the author promotes is provably nonsense. She repeats the bogus claim that the search engine Blackle saves energy because it uses a black screen, so saves energy. Thirty seconds of research on Google (or Blackle, which uses Google for its searches) disproved this claim. This research even pointing out that it could, with modern monitors, actually use MORE energy than it saves. (EDITOR: One hopes that the other claims in the book have been better researched.)

The book also recommends that we should consider volunteering as a holiday option. Specifically mentioning working with elephants in Thailand. Now, this is where the book and I part company. Let's take a typical example. A mother and father and two children who live in England. The parents both have to work and they can get from work between seven and fourteen days for their one holiday. Would they want them and their children to spend up to 40 hours of their holiday flying in cramped and uncomfortable economy seats, to then work for free?

Or to spend a total of four to six hours of their holiday flying to a beach holiday in Spain so that they can have a refreshing break from work?

This idea reminds me of when the great and the good of the "green elite" all flew -business class, mind! to the super-exclusive resort of Cancun and then released an edict to the rest of us that we should not be allowed to fly to Spain for a week's holiday.

There are some good points in this book, and some potentially useful resources, but some of it does need to be taken with a pinch of salt. If salt is allowed these days.

Friday, 2 September 2011

New personal development book 'Discover Your Hidden Memory' can help you strengthen your relationships, improve your decision making and achieve more

New personal development book Discover Your Hidden Memory & Find the Real You can help you strengthen your relationships, improve your decision making and achieve more. Written by Dr Menis Yousry, a psychologist and psychotherapist with 15 years experience in the NHS, this book has been described by DJ Danny Rampling as: ‘a powerful and positively life-enhancing book delivered with both insight and compassio}.’ In the book Dr Yousry explains how your early unconscious memories impact the decisions you make now and provides exercises to help you uncover your hidden memory.

Discover Your Hidden Memory & Find the Real You By Dr Menis Yousry (Hay House, 15th September 2011, £10.99 pb - also available as an e-book). Watch a short video of Dr Yousry discussing the book.

From before each of us was born and up to a young age, our experiences of the world and of our parents have shaped us in ways we do not even realise. As children our brains were not developed enough to make sense of our early experiences and so these become unresolved, unconscious memories. Today as adults some of our responses to situations and events are reactions to a past that no longer exists. They have become automatic protective reflexes that can prevent us from achieving what we really want and impact on our relationships with others.

In Discover Your Hidden Memory & Find the Real You Dr Menis Yousry reveals the powerful, invisible waves of influence that inform our actions, bind us to the past and hold us back in our present. He outlines simple but effective exercises to identify exactly how our actions today are connected to our early childhood experiences and our relationships with our parents, as well as to past generations, history and culture.

An exploration of human consciousness, the book, is split into two parts. Part I looks at the conflict between our intentions and what we achieve, examining: how our social brain makes us who we think we are; why our beliefs are stronger than reality and the relationship between belief and memory. Part II outlines Dr Yousry’s healing process and includes exercises and tools to help you uncover your hidden memory and find the real you.

Dr Menis Yousry is the founder and facilitator of the Essence Foundation. He was born and grew up in Cairo, settling in London in 1974. A family & systemic psychotherapist and psychologist, he has worked with tens of thousands of people worldwide, designing and facilitating highly practical, experiential self-development courses.

Dr Yousry left his post as a senior family therapist with the NHS after 15 years in order to focus completely on bringing his work to a wider audience through the Essence Foundation. In his work Dr Yousry draws on his experience in the fields of human potential, social change, culture, psychology, art, psychotherapy, spirituality and academic research into memory, brain studies and biology.