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Depression and the Body: The Biological Basis of Faith and Reality (Compass) Paperback – January 1, 1993

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The depressed person, says Dr. Lowen, is out of touch wit reality- and especially with the reality of his or her own body. This inspiring, pioneering book explores the cultural and psychological forces that contribute to this condition and shows how we can overcome depression.

About the Author

Dr. Alexander Lowen is the creator of bioenergetics, which he has defined as "a therapeutic technique to help a person get back together with his body and to help him enjoy to the fullest degree possible the life of the body." Incorporating direct work on the body into the psychoanalytic process, Dr. Lowen practices psychiatry in New York and Connecticut and is the executive director of the Institute of Bioenergetic Analysis. He is married and lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, with his wife and son.
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Product Details

  • Series: Compass
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (January 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140194657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140194654
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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I am a counselor myself, trained in Family Therapy. This is not the first book of Lowen's that I had read, but when I read it, I realized that I must practice from Lowen's point of view. Most depressed people (and I have been one) are told that their depression is a mental mistake and that they need to 'think better' to feel better. But as Lowen shows, thinking is not the problem. Sure, cognitive distortions arise, but they are the mind's best effort to understand very painful feelings that are real and that also are reflected in the state of the body. When a therapist identifies cognitive distortions as the origin of the problem, the depressed person just starts hiding them, because the 'distortions' are compelling, because they do 'make sense' as far as sensation goes.

Lowen's bio-energetic therapy has benefitted me enormously. It is not for dabblers. Lowen's approach to feeling better makes cognitive and family therapy appear very superficial indeed. Lowen does indeed talk about trends in society, but they are very relevant to depression, because depression is not random, it is the consequence of a state of living which is starved for real pleasure and satisfaction. Both some social and some family trends foist a joyless state of living onto children that carried forward, leads to a major depression.

The fix is not an instant or quick one. It is however, a surprisingly commonsense one-- getting back to the wisdom of sensation and emotion (with body work), protecting one's integrity with legitimate anger, and respecting the role that simple pleasures and satisfactions play in health.
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Format: Paperback
I am a licensed counselor and have been reading professional literature since the late '70's, had run into Lowen here & there, but never paid him much attention, assuming he would be dry and theoretical. I just picked up Depression and the Body and found it quite helpful.
The bioenergetic theory and treatment remain to be proven. Lowen's explanations make sense on the surface, anyway. But his understanding of depression, while not groundbreaking, is clear, complete, compassionate and adaptable to the counseling situation. While he focuses on early childhood and its traumas (not usually fertile ground for therapy in the real world) he also provides some useful here-and-now insights about the thinking of a depressed person and how it needs to change in order for recovery to occur.
I didn't give the book five stars because some of the book digresses into material about social and cultural issues that have little to do with the problem of depression. But overall I would recommend this book for anyone wanting to read about depression from a HUMAN angle.
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Format: Paperback
Alexander Lowen writes an intelligent piece of literature. He explains in detail how depression is alienation from one's body. A real eye-opener.
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Deeper insight into the bioenergetic analysis process. Deeper insight into what spirituality is really all about, and what that spirituality has to offer!!
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