Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Code to Joy Book Review

If you’re a flexible thinker, a self-help aficionado, intrigued by new approaches to solving life’s problems and eager to move toward daily, stable happiness, Code to Joy may be your new cup of tea. If your mind is already full of other  successful approaches to increasing the joy in your life, there may not be room for this full-to-capacity teapot of a book.

George Pratt and Peter Lambrou, psychologists and innovative thinkers, have developed a specific four-step approach to rediscover the happiness that they believe we are all designed to experience. The first step, identify your strongest self-limiting beliefs, feels familiar to readers who have experienced therapy or high levels of self-awareness. However, the authors focus on energy psychology rather than cognitive psychology, a more traditional approach for treatment of anxiety and depression. "Energy Psychology (EP) is a family of evidence supported modalities that balance, restore and improve human functioning by combining physical interventions (using the acupuncture system, the chakras and other ancient systems of healing) with modern cognitive interventions such as imagery-based exposure therapy."*

Starting with step two, rebalance your body’s energy system and prepare it for repatterning, the advocated process emphasizes the significance of the biofield, “a conductive medium that overlaps and integrates body and mind together.” The authors introduce and explain the science of energy psychology: body polarity, the electromagnetic field of the body, meridians, and chakras.

Step three, release negative beliefs and install new empowering beliefs in their place, can feel comfortable to cognitive therapy buffs, because the techniques are similar to dismissing negative thoughts and substituting new realistic thoughts. To ensure that the results of the first three steps are deep and long-lasting, step 4, describes regular refreshing of previously suggested techniques such as crosshand breathing, balancing polarity, and visualization. Code to Joy contains interesting and unusual ideas for getting happy, putting together a unique approach that combines aspects of yoga, hypnotic communication, psychology, kinesthetics. The book contains diagrams along with clear explanations of the how-to’s:  crosshand breathing, alternate nostril breathing, and grounding, for example. 

As a believer in self-help, I’m confident interested readers can follow the four steps easily. It might be more fun and productive to go through the process with a like-minded friend. As you know, with any learning, disciplined practice is required — and more easily acquired when you’re committed to the process with a buddy.

The book’s elaborations about the anatomy of the brain and energy psychology left me with a wandering, wondering mind. Do I really need to understand this? If I do, I would have liked better instructions for using the “Notes” at the back of the book — and an index. If I don’t need to know, then perhaps the explanations could have been shorter and snappier.

 Readers may be as successful with the energy psychology approach as the authors' 45,000 successful patients, but from my experience as a psychologist, one size, one approach doesn't fit all, whether it's fitness, diet, therapy, or a self-help book. However, if this fits your style and need, you'll find Code to Joy fascinating.

* From the web site of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology

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1 comment:

  1. You are so right - one plan doesn't work for all people. I hope the RIGHT readers find this book, the ones that will truly benefit from what it offers.

    Thanks for being on the tour.


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