Synopses & Reviews
In societies that encourage us to compete with each other, compassion is often seen as a weakness. Striving to get ahead, self-criticism, fear, and hostility toward others seem to come more naturally to us. Yet researchers have found that developing kindness and compassion for ourselves and others builds our confidence, helps us create meaningful, caring relationships, lowers anxiety and hostility, and promotes physical and mental health.
The Compassionate Mind reveals the evolutionary and social reasons why our brains react so readily to threats. Because of this tendency, it's easy to slip into anger, fear, and depression, and compassion can be difficult for us. This is not our fault. However, research has shown that our brains are also hardwired to respond to kindness and compassion. Building on this latest research, this book offers many practical exercises to help deepen compassion towards ourselves and others. Far from fostering emotional weakness, compassion subdues our anger and increases our courage and resilience to depression and anxiety. Wisely used, compassion arms us with the strength to pursue genuine happiness, peace of mind, and peace in the world.
This book blends compassion focused therapy (CFT), attachment theory, neuroscience, and powerful mindfulness practices to help you develop a compassionate mind, and a better you.
The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Managing Your Anger is the first book to apply compassion-focused therapy (CFT) to help readers overcome anger management problems and develop new skills for coping with frustration and rage. A new therapeutic model, CFT helps reduce the feelings of defensiveness and pain at the root of angry outbursts.
Anger is most often rooted in deep fears and pain that sets off a defensive reaction, and those with anger management problems may go back and forth between justifying their anger and feeling ashamed because of it. The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Managing Your Anger takes a unique approach to helping readers overcome anger called compassion-focused therapy (CFT). Written by a clinical psychologist who has worked with a wide variety of clients with anger issues, this book addresses the evolutionary origins of anger and offers readers CFT skills for understanding their own anger, feeling compassion for themselves, and developing compassion for others, including the targets of their anger. Readers will identify the triggers that most often activate their anger and learn to reroute the habitual thought processes that maintain anger. By developing mindfulness and compassion skills, readers can learn to stand back from anger instead of automatically acting on angry thoughts and feelings.
We will all experience anger sometimes—it’s how we deal with it that counts. Anger is one of the most challenging emotions for humans to cope with, and under its influence, we can end up behaving in ways that create great difficulties in our relationships and our lives. The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Managing Your Anger will show you how to take responsibility for your anger and your life by cultivating a new strength: the power of compassion. Based in compassion-focused therapy, these skills and techniques will help you replace angry habits, gain control of your emotions, and improve your relationships.
The compassionate tools in this book will help you:
• Shift from threat-driven thinking to compassionate thinking
• Replace angry reactions with assertive responses
• Improve your relationships with friends, coworkers, and your significant other
• Cultivate compassion for yourself as you learn and grow
“This innovative book teaches how to develop self-compassion so that anger can be transformed into a more peaceful state of mind.”
—Kristin Neff, PhD, author of Self-Compassion
Leading depression authority Paul Gilbert presents The Compassionate Mind, a breakthrough book integrating evolutionary psychology, new insights from neuroscience, and mindfulness practice. This combination of techniques forms a new therapy called compassion focused therapy that can enhance readers' lives.
About the Author
Russell Kolts, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and professor at Eastern Washington University outside of Spokane, WA, USA. He has worked with a wide variety of patients with significant anger issues, including combat veterans, sexual assault survivors, children and adolescents, and the developmentally disabled, in settings such as community mental health centers, rape crisis centers, Veterans hospitals, state hospitals, and schools. While this would be his first book, Dr. Kolts has authored or co-authored 24 peer-reviewed journal articles, including one recognized by Thomson Essential Science Indicators recognizing the top 1% of published articles between 2000 and 2004 in terms of number of times cited by other works (Khan, Khan, Kolts, & Brown, 2003). Additionally, Dr. Kolts has authored/co-authored book chapters and 76 conference presentations. At Eastern Washington University, Dr. Kolts teaches courses on topics such as Mindfulness, Behavior Therapy, Trauma, Abnormal Psychology, and Statistics, and has supervised the clinical training of dozens of students pursuing Masters-degrees in psychology with a clinical emphasis. He has received virtually every major teaching honor awarded at the university, including the Associated Student Body’s Faculty of the Year Award (2002), the Distinguished Faculty Award in Teaching (2008), Outstanding Faculty Merit Awards in both teaching and scholarship (2008), the Academic Support Center’s Achievement Award for Faculty (2009), and the Psi Chi (Psychology Honor Society) Psychology Faculty of the Year Award (2008). The nomination letters for the student-nominated awards and his student evaluation comments repeatedly highlight Dr. Kolts’ ability to communicate challenging concepts in ways that students can understand and apply.
In his personal life, Dr. Kolts has maintained a consistent, 3-year meditation practice focused upon mindfulness and the purposeful cultivation of compassion in the Buddhist tradition. He has volunteered at a local state prison where he has worked with prisoners in addressing anger using meditation and the cultivation of compassion. He is the husband of Dr. Lisa Koch, also a Clinical Psychologist, and the father of Dylan Kolts, a rambunctious 4-year old. Finally, Dr. Kolts maintains a fairly active lifestyle and enjoys playing the guitar, reading and writing poetry, and various outdoor activities, all of which he pursues in relatively mediocre fashion.