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When the Light Goes Out 

Dr. Lisa Myers talks about one of the most heartbreaking moments a person could ever encounter in their life, and that is of a missing relative. As she describes in her book, When the Light Goes Out, Dr. Myers describes the panic, horrific and painful experience that she had to go through, the constant anxiety and state of not knowing, and the insecurity and trauma relatives of missing people go through.

Through these periods, when a person is in a hyper state of awareness, relationships with the people around are affected, as Lisa’s was. My heart broke when Lisa told her mother and her children the news. Additionally, her father’s death was even more devastating since it was plagued with so much violence and heartache.

This book narrates Lisa’s life-changing loss and how this affected her mental health. It shows emotional suffering and psychological pain that scar someone for life. It offers ways to cope with such a brutal loss within a community.

This book goes from chapter to chapter, with the first part describing immense pain and suffering and how this disrupted their lives. The second part describes healing and comfort in coping with Lisa’s loss. Finally, it neutralizes the shame and stigma that Lisa’s mental health brought up.

When the Light Goes Out is a painful and emotional memoir, but it is also inspiring. The strength that is within people when moments like this strike is shown in how she handles the trauma. This book can be wrapped up in a sentence from her book, In all moments of darkness, we can find the light of meaning.” As someone who is a fan of emotional true stories, I highly recommend this book. But please remember to carry your tissues when reading the book!

Pages: 272 | ASIN : B0BG9CV2QS

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WTF Am I Doing?!

WTF Am I Doing?! Mindfulness Workbook was such a joy to read and work through. Maria Jones constructed this workbook with many resources to help practice mindfulness. Not only are there resources to learn about mindfulness, but there are also activities and prompts to put what you learn to practice.

This insightful book went through several topics, such as discovering what mindfulness is, tips, and intentionality. Included are puzzles to add in a bit of fun. Maria Jones really thought of everything when compiling this book. This workbook changed my perspective on Mindfulness in the best way possible. It put things into perspective and gave me helpful exercises to work through, challenging me to keep mindfulness at the forefront of my mind. In doing so, I was able to think more clearly about my goals in life and work towards those goals with intentional thoughts and purpose.

I enjoyed how this book had prompts and exercises, allowing me to put mindfulness into practice as I learned about the process. By getting into a habit of repetition and practicing mindfulness, I found that one is able to be present throughout the day and truly enjoy all that life has to offer.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to better themselves in the process of being mindful. By working through this workbook slowly, with intention, one can better their mindset about life, personality, and goals. This book provided a healthy challenge and was something I would look forward to working on each day. It is a great resource for anyone and everyone simply for the fact that it will keep you accountable to yourself and your personal goals and achievements.

WTF Am I Doing?! Mindfulness Workbook is a self-help book that can benefit anyone who reads and works through it. Mindfulness is so much more than just taking time to reflect; it is about being intentional and present with the life you have been given.

Pages: 142 | ASIN : B0B7GHYT1N

The Art of Psychotherapy and the Liberation of the Therapist

The Art of Psychotherapy and the Liberation of the Therapist is an academic work by Dr. Len Bergantino, Ed.D., Ph.D. This book educates the reader on psychotherapy and shows how it has progressed throughout the career of Dr. Bergantino as well as the work of many other experts whose work he has carefully studied and evaluated, and the experiences and views of the patients.

At the beginning of the book Dr. Bergantino points out that on the cover of his book is a picture of the American Revolutionary War hero Patrick Henry who was noted for his famous quote “Give me liberty or give me death.” Dr. Bergantino explains that the only way to see progress in psychotherapy is if both the psychiatrist and the patient are completely liberated from everything around them and are entirely open and honest in the work that they are doing, and that is the approach he tried to use throughout his career.

This enlightening book is divided into two parts, with part two being a continuation and deeper dive into the topics in part one. This work covers topics from the existential moment, working with children, the holistic approach to psychotherapy, narcissism, couples therapy, schizophrenia, clinical psychology, and more. It also includes experts such as Freud, Whitaker, Frankl, and others. The book is filled with stories from Dr. Bergantino’s career and shows readers how he handled situations with different patients such as a very tall, overweight man who carried a knife with him which made for a very unpleasant, unsafe, and stressful work environment, or a recent widower who was left alone with his young children, and many more.

A key term in this book is ‘existential moment’ which is defined as a full sense of being between patient and therapist. Those two human beings are capable of experiencing the focus of the moment, as it is applied to therapy. It deals with authenticity and the vulnerability that comes from two people facing each other as equals. Readers will also be met with the question that Shakespeare asked so many years ago, “To be or not to be?” The book explores how we interpret that question in our own lives, along with psychotherapy, and more interesting topics readers otherwise may not have thought about.

The Art Of Psychotherapy and the Liberation of the Therapist is an informative and thought-provoking book that I would recommend to readers looking for a compelling memoir or an edifying book on the topic of psychotherapy. This book takes an incredible dive into the world of psychotherapy and will appeal to practitioners, psychologists, or students in the psychotherapy field, as well as patients who want to learn more about psychotherapy.

Pages: 516 | ASIN: B07SKMW57C

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Political Psychology Invasions

Dr. Len Bergantino starts this eye-opening book by taking the reader back to the 2020 election. He writes about the Democrat candidates at the time and analyzes Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Joe Biden. He then proceeds to write letters to President Trump, where he explains his aggravation and gives guidance on how certain issues should be handled. I take pleasure in reading Dr. Len Bergantino because of how raw he is. His language may come off as too strong, but the tone is what makes his writing distinct. Dr. Len Bergantino writes like a concerned citizen who wants to see his country run in a better manner.

Political Psychology Invasions looks at the past and current political situation and how today’s events influence the future. In the book, readers learn about governance and how challenging it can be to contain some political elements. Dr. Len Bergantino writes in an informative and authentic manner. He does not mind irritating some people as he is objective and true to his word. I like that the author gives praise where it’s due and also criticizes when necessary. Dr. Len Bergantino analyzes the situations discussed in the book with impartiality and gives facts before concluding on a particular topic. In addition, the author explains the political class and how to perform your duties as a citizen.

Apart from the status quo, Dr. Len Bergantino also wrote about music and its role in society. Music may be a universal language, but to Dr. Len Bergantino, music is more than that. It is intimate to him as it is a family business. Being a professional psychoanalyst and a professional musician, Dr. Len Bergantino writes of how he is concerned by today’s music. Having been introduced to music from a young age, Dr. Len Bergantino does not appreciate today’s music as most of it is noise. Instead, the author writes about the importance of music among the masses and why musicians should improve. The author also advises on how to write better music as he narrates his experiences.

Amidst the political analysis and discussions, the author also writes of his adventures, travels, and life experiences. The fusing of his personal tales with the political talk was a great way of killing the monotony that may have been present. I like Dr. Len Bergantino because he writes with confidence. Even when calling out certain political figures, Dr. Len Bergantino gives a good reason. He is bright and great at analyzing human behavior and events.

Political Psychology Invasion will expose readers to politicians’ dealings and help them better understand and examine future political events. This interesting book will give readers much to think over and help them better understand the political environment.

Pages: 178 | ASIN : B0876QCM35

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Changing Destinies

Changing Destinies by Louis H. Falik is the biography of Professor Reuven Feuerstein written by Louis H. Falik. In this memoir, Louis H. Falik captures the experience and honor of working alongside Prof. Feuerstein and his many contributions. The author goes into detail about Professor Feuerstein’s accomplishments and the techniques he created. We get an in-depth look at Feuerstein’s life as it progresses in time.

Author Falik explores Feuerstein’s ancestry, culture, lifestyle, works, and thoughts, and much of the information in the book is from the professor himself. While covering the events of the personal life of Reuven, he has also elaborated in detail on the political and social conditions of those times. The Jewish culture has been explored and explained, people’s situation and mental faculties when war wages have been depicted, the way the family struggled with happiness and sorrow, Reuven’s love for his family, work, colleagues, and many more instances make the protagonist a real personality.

Reuven was not just a professor but a person who impacted many lives throughout his life. He was involved with many active groups that helped in the betterment of society. Reuven’s impact on the academic community is vast, and this garners a special place in history for him. He was focused on the welfare of the people. His researches and actions were help-oriented. He wanted the world to be a better and more accessible place for people on the borderlines instead of just revolving around a few privileged ones.

The author’s writing comes off as scholarly and packed with research and theories. The facts are there, the events described in detail, but the feeling of exhilaration after reading about Reuven’s success or the sorrows after reading about his challenges touched me emotionally. Overall, this memoir contains a lot of substance and information filled with Reuven’s accomplishments and how he impacted the people who came into contact with him. I will recommend this book to people who want to know each and every life achievement of Professor Reuven Feuerstein, especially if they are taking courses in Psychology.

Pages: 376 | ASIN : B07XJ9JSVV

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Viglets – Time, Infinity, Eternity

Viglets III: Time, Infinity & Eternity is the final installment in Viggo P. Hansen’s series dedicated to what he has dubbed, humankind’s only hope for salvation in our deeply troubled world that is rapidly succumbing to computers and apps. Following on from Viglets Two which explored the happiness and joy of being dumb, we are transported to an analysis of the concept of time and essentially the human race against it.

This has the blueprint of brilliant poetry: Imaginative. Creative. Descriptive. The first pages greet you with an illustration named ‘Time in a Bottle?’. It was the vivid, descriptive imagery that lacked in the first and second Viglets books. The image immediately pulls the attention of the reader by eliciting an almost psychedelic thought provocation. Its position was tactful, working recall memories of related experiences in the reader.

Included in Viglets III are yet again, interactive exercises. Hansen has done well to improve these activities; they are clearer and more encouraging. They are complemented by laying the foreground for the reader to consider their own beliefs, values, and morals.

An obvious difference in Viglets III is the mischievous tone and upbeat rhythm in comparison to Hansen’s previously cynical outlook on the development of the human race. The metaphoric symbolism was drastically better used. The notion of the relationship between the purpose of life and time was philosophical and exquisitely flowed powerfully into Hansen’s signature free verse poetry and varying stanzas. The sincerity is felt through the lines.

With a sub-theme of faith – particularly mythical gods, fallen angels, and self-trust – the seeds are planted inconspicuously enough that the reader cannot help but think deeper about what each of the ten sections means to them. Highly recommend it for those who enjoy a thought-provoking read on the elements that make up the daily life of humans.

Pages: 90 | ASIN : B079587BR8

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Viglets: Ode to Dumbness

While Viglets One provided insight and blessed relief from irksome events that befall us all – at one time or another, Viglets Two – Ode to Dumbness is exactly what it sounds like: a dedication to Dumbness in general and Dummies in particular. A clever spin on the ordinary dictionary definition, this read smashes the stigma attached with success and failure through intricate verses of poetry and narration.

In what is referred to as the ‘Dummy BERP’ (those in business, education, religion and politics) the book explores the happiness and joy of being dumb, in some ways dubbing it a human right. A particular highlight was ‘Professional Dummies’ and the clever analysis on themes of education, industry, taxation and physical appearance. Hansen throws in a witty perspective on gun laws and continues his distaste for technology.

Divided into twelve parts, Hansen continues his signature writing style which favors free verse poetry and stanzas with various poetry lengths. Once again, we see creative exercises appear throughout the book and an almost satirically humorous tone color the pages. There is a fantastic consistency and flow in this installment. A clearer and well incorporated theme with a relatable and realistic outlook covering everything from the likes of work and politics to heritage and knowledge that allows the reader to engage with Hansen’s hypothesis.

For readers who want a break from real world chaos to energize their own happiness by poking fun at themselves. With a step-by-step guide on how to create Viglets, Hansen helps to bring the reader back into perspective and rejoice in the good company of billions of others who are experiencing the same wonderful thing – being dumb.

Pages: 84 | ASIN: B07958DQF7

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Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After

Fairy tales are a deeply ingrained part of our world’s culture. From Disney adaptations to childhood bedtime stories, very few people haven’t been exposed to the witches, princesses, children, and fairy folk that make up these ageless classics. Good defeats evil, and all live happily ever after, but…are these stories really as wholesome as they appear? Unfortunately, many of the most well-known fairy tales send a wrong message when placed under the microscope with strong undertones of misogyny, ageism, cruelty, and subservience. “Happily ever after” is exposed to a dose of reality as beloved stories become the subject of deeper scrutiny.

In Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After, author Anne Beall uses her doctorate in psychology to put traditional fairy tales under critical and academic analysis. Throughout the book, she addresses all the absurdities and questions that eventually occur to all reasonable adults about the stories we grew up with. Then, she proceeds to examine each of them, presenting a plethora of research about the formulaic ways they are constructed. Whether intentional or not, much of the shared information deals with the disparity between the sexes throughout fairy tales. In addition, the author provides statistics in various areas such as who holds the most power most frequently, which demographic of characters endure the most suffering, and a basic breakdown of what kind of characters are good vs. evil- just to name a few.

Beyond the deeply analytical nature of the book, it also serves as a fascinating deep dive into some of the lesser-known fairy tales collected by the Grimm brothers. (Their collection of stories specifically was mined for the detailed results as shown here.) Beall repeatedly references the most commonly adapted fairy tales. Such tales are deeply ingrained in cultures worldwide and use frequent excerpts from stories that are not likely to be recognized. It provides an eye-opening look at the wide variety of stories that made their way across Europe at one point in time and also creates a starting point for anyone who wants to know more about a more extensive selection of “classics.”

Cinderella Didn’t Live Happily Ever After: The Hidden Messages in Fairy Tales is an excellent study on the history and the psychological impact of fairy tales. The research is top-notch and backed up with numerous graphs and charts. It’s clear that a great deal of time went into the work here, and the result is a body of work that simply can’t be contested. Readers that want to take a deep dive into the message of fairy tales past and present and look at an in-depth analysis of them will find this book fascinating.

Pages: 127 | ASIN : B07KJHZF2H

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