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August Books 26-27) CBT and NLP

Two pop psychology books I picked up the other day out of curiosity, from a series with the unwieldy name -> Introducing - The Practical Guides: Big Ideas For Real Life which also includes volumes on child psychology, sport psychology and the "psychology of success" with more promised to come.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: A Practical Guide, by Elaine Iljon Foreman and Clair Pollard

I have read a little about CBT from such sources as novels and the blogs of friends who are undergoing it; what pushed me into getting this was a recurrent problem with insomnia, which is one of the things CBT is supposed to help with. The book does indeed offer some useful advice on what to do in the middle of the night, and other useful guidance on quelling anxiety. My main takeaway from it, I'm glad to say, is that my mental health is probably better than I had realised (there is much description of symptoms which I don't think I have). In any case, CBT offers some tools to improve it further.

Neurolinguistic Programming: A Practical Guide, by Neil Shah

I had heard about NLP partly from a couple of professional contacts (who I now suspect have been using it on me) and partly from a rather skeevy article about the "online seduction community" I read a while back. This book is rather more breathless than the CBT one, less well written but with more practical exercises. I quite liked the idea of analysing amd changing your own discourse to make yourself a more effective communicator; I was however skeeved out by the gleeful way in which the author suggests that one can coerce others to do your will; it seemed to be lacking a moral compass. There may be a fine line between persuasion and manipulation, but I think the line is definitely there.

There are probably better books out there on both topics but these are not bad starting points.


Aug. 28th, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC)
CBT is widely accepted by mental health professionals, and there seems to be reasonable evidence that it is effective in treating some forms of mental illness (to an extent that isn't true for some other forms of therapy). It sounds like the book is suggesting it as some sort of self-help tool?

NLP was in vogue in some business circles (especially on the sales side), and may still be, but I've not come across any real scientific backing for it, and many regard it as pseudoscience.

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