Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart


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The idea that the mind can heal the heart is fantastic. I use this concept in my own work with clients.

There are a lot of wonderful ideas in Tara Bennett-Goleman's Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart.  She approaches the subject primarily from both the Buddhist and systems points of view to echo out one's personal work into the world.  Using stories from her own life and marriage to author, Daniel Goleman of Emotional Intelligence fame, as well as stories from others, Bennett-Goleman illustrates her ideas.

Emotional Alchemy - Book Review
"May this very important and enticing book find its way into the hearts of readers near and far so that it can perform its mysterious and healing alchemy for the benefit of all." --John Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are and Professor of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School The Transformative Power of Mindfulness Alchemists sought to transform lead into gold. In the same way, says Tara Bennett- Goleman, we all have…

“An added benefit of breaking the chain of habit inside ourselves comes from how it reverberates through our relationships. Any relationship is a system, a web of causal interactions, so that how one person acts elicits a given reaction in the other person. Systems theorists and family therapists tell us that one way to alter a system is to change how one part of it acts, thus altering how other parts react. Changing ourselves, then, offers a way to break our relationships out of destructive ruts.”

While there are many valuable takeaways, a limitation of this book is its practicality.  It helps to already know something about counseling and Buddhism but even still, it would be difficult to apply some of the knowledge to real life situations.  Bennett-Goleman references Young's Schema Therapy throughout the book and this, by far, is the most useful tool, especially for couples.  All in all, Emotional Alchemy is worth the read and lay and professional readers both stand to learn something new.

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