Emotional Alchemy

Tara Bennett-Goleman

Publisher

Rider

Published

2003

ISBN

978-1844130450

Reviewer

Gill Fitzpatrick

I think this book was sitting on my bookshelf for 4 years until a couple of weeks ago when I finally got around to reading it. I originally bought it new from www.cygnus.com and must have been hooked by the write up in their catalogue however, there it sat untouched. I guess I wasn’t quite ready for the information contained therein!

So what drew me to read it now, I can only say intuition, what actually happened was I ‘caught sight’ of it and said aloud ”What is that book about?” I think that’s the key, the title doesn’t really tell you, yes I know what alchemy is both in the literal and metaphorical sense but that still didn’t help. So what is the book about? It’s over 300 pages of small print jam packed with information about combining the Buddhist principle of Mindfulness with the relatively new psychological model called Schema Therapy.When I first starting reading about Schema Therapy I thought oh this is just Transactional Analysis rewritten because it reminded me of the life scripts that the latter identifies. However, it’s more than this. The author describes very compassionately 10 different schemas that may be at work without our even being aware.

Modes of thinking and behaviours that have been hardwired into our sense of reality from the earliest times. I don’t want to give too much away but the 2 schemas that really hit home for me were the Deprivation Schema and the Unlovablity Schema, I could identify with some of the others too! Mindfulness speaks for itself, it literally is being aware at every minute, where our mind is and what it’s up to!The author – a psychotherapist of over 20 years - takes us through how, using Mindfulness, it is possible to re-program our minds to break the negative Schema habits and let go of the pain of the past. Back to the title, I guess Tara didn’t want to compromise her integrity by giving the book a punchy title, however, it could have reached far more people who could have benefited if she had.

Gill x

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