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Anatomy of the Soul: Surprising Connections between Neuroscience and Spiritual Practices That Can Transform Your Life and Relationships Paperback – June 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
In Anatomy of the Soul, psychiatrist Curt Thompson shows how neuro-scientific findings about our brain functions align with what the Bible teaches about how to develop the mind of Christ. As we engage in spiritual practices such as prayer and confession, our actual neural networks are renewed. In essence, God is using our brains as a signpost, supporting and sharpening our understanding of him—and enabling us to reflect his character in the way we live our lives and influence our communities.
This profound book will help you gain a better understanding of how God wired your brain and how spiritual practices can help you, not only improve your relationships with God and other people, but also deal with issues such as anxiety, addiction, unhealthy guilt, or depression. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
For the past several years that interest has taken a more specific turn as he has gained expertise in the emerging field of interpersonal neurobiology. Thompson believes that the findings in interpersonal neurobiology reflect important tenets of Christian faith that enable us to reflect on, understand, and experience that same faith in fresh, trustworthy ways. He is now training other clinicians in the same material.
He and his wife, Phyllis, are the parents of two teenage children and reside in Arlington, Virginia. He serves as an elder at Washington Community Fellowship in Washington, D.C. His duties there have included preaching, teaching, and oversight for the fellowship's healing prayer ministry. He and his wife (a licensed clinical social worker) frequently provide premarital counseling services for couples in their congregation.
Top Customer Reviews
Literary, Dr. Curt Thompson is a master storyteller. I'm willing to admit that my own interest in counseling/psychology probably has a lot to do with my fascination of his stories, but he illustrates his points in a fascinating way through real-life examples. On the other hand, his metaphors can be over-exaggerated at times, and he has accepted too many of the modern chic elements of writing, but the book is definitely engaging and well-written. The structure of the book does oscillate between the scientific, theological, and practical, but Thompson does an excellent job of keeping each type of section compelling.
One fairly major quibble with the book format is the way in which his Integration Exercises have been randomly inserted throughout the book. These are several hands-on exercises, described in a page or two, which readers may use to help integrate Thompson's points into their lives. The idea of including these exercises was brilliant, but they occur in random places, many times breaking up sentences or paragraphs. The first few confused me greatly since the only differentiation between them and the surrounding text is a slight change of font. The biggest problem with this approach, besides being confusing, is that the readers will probably skip them to finish the rest of Thompson's thought and forget to come back.Read more ›
I have long been a believer in the power of our mind, and when I saw the subtitle to this book, I was immediately intrigued. Author Curt Thompson does a great job explaining for the average reader just how this is possible.
Most reviewers of this book have given a general overview, but something has been on my mind all my life, growing up with a family member who is an atheist. Never for one minute understanding how that person could possibly not have any faith, not believe in God......I could not wrap my brain around that. Or why some people can easily share their faith, willingly and openly pray with their families and friends, yet others just cannot imagine doing so? Then along comes this book and it is explained to me, so I am thrilled to share this part of the book with you.
Dr. Thompson explains that our attachments from childhood can make all the difference. There are 4 attachment possibilities:
1. Secure Attachment: Children who are blessed to become securely attached have one common theme - their emotions were validated during childhood. They had parents who were empathetic. As an example, let's say Sally is crying because she has scraped her knee. An empathetic parent would come to her aid asking how she is doing rather than curtly telling her to stop crying like a baby. These children feel understood and connected, and the universe makes sense to them.Read more ›
And while Dr. Thompson calls on the reader to attend to past experiences in order to deal with the present, it's not about placing blame. The exercises instead are meant to reprogram the brain---to help the individual live a more joyful life.
He sites Scripture to show how much God loves His people. We get into ruts (literally) in our heads that cause us to be repeatedly self-destructive. By changing the pathways our thoughts and actions take us, we're able to focus on God's love for us, and turn away from thoughts of negativity.
I love this book, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to understand aspects of their own personality that might not always make sense. I felt like I had my own personal psychiatrist---someone who looked beyond the surface and offered practical, yet spiritual help. But be sure to have a pencil in hand while reading this book. I've marked up my copy thoroughly.
(This book was provided for review by Tyndale House Publishers.)
I'm not kidding when I say this - it's high-end reading. It will change the way you think about God, and I mean that literally... the way/manner you "think" about God. The book contains some well-told everyday stories that harness a recognition of otherwise "heady" scientific terms, allowing the average reader to better track with some concepts that are typically found in academic circles. The big takeaway from this is a better awareness of how neurological pathways work in order to create and strengthen your integrity in living out your beliefs.
The main downside is that any references to biblical truths are more summarized than anchored. The author offers some decent ideas in how to better grow your faith, but without clear teaching these ideas remain opinions at best. It left my final takeaway less inclined to recommend the book and more apt to quote parts of it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Outstanding and enlightening book! Gives plenty of examples that resonate while backing it up with clear explanations. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Andrew M. Farina
Excellent and regular references to the Bible points to material that is clearly based on experience and formal learning.
"Love with all your heart and mind and soul". Read more
Highly readable for the nonscientist, this book integrates interpersonal neuroscience and Christianity. It contains much food for thought - almost too much!Published 1 month ago by transplant28
The author did good job meshing faith, the soul, and the way the brain functions.Published 3 months ago by Richard Mason
Great work that brings a wholistic look at the brain in light of being made in the image of God.Published 3 months ago by Pam Meyer
One of the best books I've read-- ever. It has solid depth, is thought provoking and replete with practical suggestions that actually work. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Rabid
Easy to read. Love the real life stories of patients. I have a better understanding of how I am hardwired and how I can experience healing through creating new neuro pathways.Published 3 months ago by Jamey L. Owen
such a great read, love this book and the ideas - would read just about anything by Dr. Thompson!Published 4 months ago by AG