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228 of 239 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 3, 2009
What an important book! So many of us are slaves to irrationality, letting ourselves be led around like sheep by our emotions. To be truly free, a person must have "the power to act, think or feel as one wants without hindrance or restraint." This book has valuable lessons to help you be a master of your emotional domain.

The more you know about your emotional health, the easier it will be for you to control it. If you can put your finger on what triggers your logical, rational brain to take a vacation and put your feelings in control, the better you'll be able to stop it from happening. For example, this book has taught me an important lesson: I'm an empath. No, not poor Agatha from Minority Report. An empath "feels everything, sometimes to an extreme." On the positive side, this means I'm intuitive about other people's thoughts and feelings, which makes it easy to relate to people and make friends. On the downside, I act as an "emotional sponge, absorbing people's negativity." I can be so sensitive to emotions, I feel like "a wire without insulation." I've always thought of it as having no skin; you are laid open and completely vulnerable emotionally. Now that I know I'm an empath, I can understand better how to control these negatives.

Especially helpful are the Emotional Action Steps spread throughout the book. These are boxed segments that contain bulleted strategies you can implement and practice. I also liked the Emotional Vampire Survival Guide, to help you survive those people who suck you dry emotionally.

This wise book is chock full of advice. Much of it is usable immediately. Although it leans toward New Agey spiritualism, the bulk is good old-fashioned common sense articulated in a smartly organized book.

Here's the chapter list:

Introduction. Emotional Freedom: The Secret to Serenity

Part One
1. The Path to Emotional Freedom: Beginning to Learn to Love
2. Four Practical Secrets to Empowering Your Emotional Life
3. Dreams and Sleep: Accessing Revolutionary States of Consciousness
4. From Intellectuals to Empaths: What Is Your Emotional Type?
5. Combating Emotional Vampires: How to Understand and Protect Your Sensitivity

Part Two
6. The First Transformation: Facing Fear, Building Courage
7. The Second Transformation: Facing Frustration and Disappointment, Building Patience
8. The Third Transformation: Facing Loneliness, Building Connection
9. The Fourth Transformation: Facing Anxiety and Worry, Building Inner Calm
10. The Fifth Transformation: Facing Depression, Building Hope
11. The Sixth Transformation: Facing Jealousy and Envy, Building Self-Esteem
12. The Seventh Transformation: Facing Anger, Building Compassion

Afterword. Living in Service to the Heart: The Blessing of Emotional Freedom
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108 of 114 people found the following review helpful
If you are one of those people who has your buttons pushed more than you'd care to....this book is for you. If you thought you'd handled your "stuff" because you've talked about it for years, yet - it's still there.....this book is for you. If you're tired of dealing with it...this book is for you. The tail no longer needs to wag the dog.

Dr. Judith Orloff helps us understand how important it is to deal with all of our emotions. No need to ignore them or label them good or bad - just a need to acknowledge them and use them as tools of incredible transformation. Tools that will awaken our intuitive powers if only we pay attention.

Because she shares her own journey so willingly, you'll realize how common our deepest fears and worries are. And, you'll benefit from the numerous practices throughout the book that will help you listen to yourself, feel what's really going on, and open your heart.

Learn how to make the shift...and, let your transformation begin.
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184 of 203 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2009
This book tries to be a totally comprehensive guide to dealing with all the possible types of negative energy in your life, which is noble.

Unfortunately, by trying to cover every nook and cranny (energy vampires, depression, loneliness, grief, envy...), she skimps on actual, helpful, practical advice.

It doesn't really do a suffering person much good to hear, "Let it go," or "Confront the person from a place of center," when the whole point is that the emotionally stuck person doesn't know HOW to let it go or HOW to find their center in the midst of chaos. Duh!

Positive Energy, her last book, was a lot more focused and helpful. Emotional Freedom is good if you're looking for a sort of overall guide to what *might* be ailing you, but if you're emotionally overwhelmed already, forget it.
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119 of 134 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2009
Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life, by Judith Orloff, comes at a perfect time, as most of us are experiencing at least some negative emotions in this economy.

This is a big book--over 400 pages--and is a bit intimidating. However, Orloff encourages us to take our time reading,to take "baby steps."

Orloff defines emotional freedom as: "It means increasing your ability to love by cultivating positive emotions and being able to compassionately witness and transform negative ones, whether yours or anther's."

Orloff is the pioneer of what she calls Energy Psychiatry--blending traditional medicine, intuition, energy and dreams.

She talks about our vital life force energy (or Chi, to the Chinese,) that flows through our body and is intuition. This energy is also all around us--so life force energy is within and without, affecting us.

Part I "Tipping life power of emotional freedom," includes a self assessment test to compare before and after you do the work. She discusses the 4 components of freedom and the roles dreams play in our lives.

Part II "Your tools for liberation," include a practical guide to dealing with the most difficult emotions.

There is a quiz to help you determine what your emotional type is--the intellectual, the empath, the rock, the gusher. She discusses the pros and cons of each and how to find balance within each.

The book includes advice on how to reprogram ourselves to build inner calm by facing anxiety and worry.

As an eco-friendly Feng Shui designer, I really appreciate how she discusses energy and intuition--because both play a large role in my work. Orloff understands that life force energy (as well as negative energy,) surround us. I would recommend reading her book slowly with a book that influenced my practice: the award winning book, HARMONIOUS ENVIRONMENT: BEAUTIFY, DETOXIFY & ENERGIZE YOUR LIFE, YOUR HOME & YOUR PLANET, because it will help you raise the energy in your home which will help alleviate stress and other negative emotions.

I also recommend THE ART OF EXTREME SELF-CARE, because it teaches us to love ourselves--key in Orloff's work, as well.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2009
I used the "Emotional Action Steps" for dealing with a "controller" in my life.

A woman who is married to one of my relatives invites me on trips, insists on paying for it, and then criticizes me for "expecting her to pay". She also invites me to parties and then criticize me for not acting how she thinks I should. If I refuse her invitations, she criticizes me for that. I've wished I could just tell her to leave me alone, but I was too scared and I didn't want it to affect my relationship with the rest of my family.

So I decided to try Dr. Orloff's suggestions. I told her that I didn't like how she treated me, but that she had a right to her opinions and that I would probably feel the same if I were her. At first, she entangled me in a discussion about her treatment of me. But then, I ended the discussion by asking if we could just agree to disagree about the past.

Then I told her that I was willing to get together with her and do something that we both agreed would be fun, like going out to lunch. I also told her that I was only willing to do something with her if we split the bill. I told her as clearly as I could that I was no longer available for parties or trips. She said she wanted to go to therapy with me and she would pay. I told her I wasn't trying to change anything about her and there was nothing a counselor could off that I felt was in need of in this situation. Then I reiterated what I was willing to do with her.

I would love to say that we got together for lunch and had a wonderful time, but actually, she told me never to contact her again. That might not sound like success, and I would have preferred that she accepted my invitation. But I have to say, I feel good about how it turned out. I didn't try to control her, I tried to be as caring as I could while staying true to my own feelings. I also set limits and let the less important details of the situation go (the past). I'm really glad I read this book.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2009
As someone who often feels heavy and burdened with helplessness, Dr. Judith Orloff's delightful new book EMOTIONAL FREEDOM has really opened a window for me, onto the inside and the outside, which are states this book helps one to understand as awesomely transformable. Written in a wonderful first person tone, Dr. Orloff shares with us many encounters and stories, humanizing her insights on everything from anxiety to compassion, from the great spiritual thinkers to the scientific, from the psychology of emotions to the inner peace movement, all making the secrets to empowering one's emotional life surprisingly practical. EMOTIONAL FREEDOM is that rare book that includes Quizes, Tables, and Exercises and at the same gives the effervescence, density and guidance of a transformative journey. And how refreshing to find a psychiatrist with a new perspective who embraces and elucidates unconventional and non-phamaceutical methods for combating depression, fear and anxiety. The incredible energies pent up by depression can be released. An ecstasy of calm is possible.

Since reading this book I've also discovered Dr. Orloff's youtube channel, which features some introductory videos on the concepts of Emotional Freedom as well as some very enlightening sit-downs with the author. What an inspiring presence! I look forward to her future books!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2009
I really enjoyed reading this book! I could not put it down once I started it. There is so much to learn about emotional freedom, emotional freedom is about choosing how your react emotionally instead of just having your buttons pushed to the max and getting angry and then dumping that anger on others. I really had no understanding of emotional freedom like i do now after reading Dr. Judith's art. I learned that emotional freedom is about trying to find tenderness for yourself and others rather than to be ruled by hatred and anger. I feel that now I can over come these emotions and try to live my life base more so on love and tolerance. My family and I are going through a very hard time right now, as are many others in this economy and I felt a sense of peace reading this wonderful book! Thank you so much Dr Judith!!!!!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
I was excited about this book because I'd heard Judith Orloff interviewed on a teleseminar. I was fascinated by her approach to intuition.

Mostly, I wasn't disappointed. Emotional Freedom is fun to read. Orloff shares just enough of her own challenges to show that she's one with her readers. She's been there.

The first part of the book presents background ideas about emotions. The second part presents tools to deal with specific emotional challenges. And that's where I wish Orloff had written two separate books.

I loved parts of each section. For instance, I relish the notion of "luxurious sheets, blankets and comforters" (p. 70). Last year I received an upscale set of sheets and a comforter as a holiday gift. It would never have occurred to me to buy them but they're wonderful.

In the section on specific emotions, I especially liked the discussion of patience and frustration. I've never seen those emotions discussed.

Early in the book Orloff presents four emotional "types." Later she refers to specific qualities of empaths, such as their absorption of others' emotions and sensitivity to medication. I wish she'd given equal time to the other emotional types.

Because the book's scope is so broad, much of the content seems familiar. Tips on meditation and becoming heart-centered don't seem especially new, although they may be appropriate. Some of the spiritual content will annoy some readers.

I was a little surprised to read her positive reaction to the book The Heart's Code, which apparently suggests that people who receive organ transplants are affected by the donors. A cardiologist acquaintance at a college reunion said that people often have personality changes following heart transplants. Orloff refers to someone who received a transplant from a murder victim, then received impressions that led to solving the crime. This suggestion seemed out of place in an otherwise down to earth book.

The dream interpretations also surprised me. I'm a fan of Gayle Delaney's dream book, which encourages subjective interpretation of symbols rather than assignment of specific meanings.

Finally, I'd like to hear more about Orloff's uniqueness as an energetic psychiatrist and a proponent of intuition. She's got a lot to offer. This book presents an interesting overview with some extremely valuable sections. It would be stronger and more memorable if Orloff had focused more narrowly on her own special areas of knowledge, going deeper rather than broader.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2009
Dr. Judith Orloff's book if very timely - she's captured so many aspects that we all deal with around our emotions and gives us practical tools for us to learn how to deal with our emotions. I've sponsored Dr. Orloff at Women of Wisdom in Seattle several times and she always provides gems of insightful information we can all benefit from, and you will too in reading her book. Take each chapter at a time and do the work - it will change your life and how you manage your emotions, such an integral part of our lives. Women of Wisdom: Empowering the Dreams and Spirit of Women
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2009
Having read Dr. Orloff's other books, there was no hesitation in purchasing this latest release. She speaks to my soul and my heart in her writing (and speaking). Having discovered that I am an "empath" through her books, there has been ultimate healing for me, more than this written review can convey. She is a great discovery; I am finally able to come up with ways to explain myself to the "others" when I'm told I'm "too sensitive"; in fact, I now look forward to the opportunities, where before, I felt awkward. I can't say that this book is my favorite, because I say that about each of her books. It's the best for me in the moment, until I pick up one of the others, but this one is different in its details and tools. Judith has a way of writing that is tender, sweet, deeply caring, penetratingly brilliant and precise and one just knows that she lives what she teaches. Judith's books have been my greatest source of inspiration to accept myself as me; I only wish I had discovered her decades ago. This book is a must read if you have felt "on the outside" or "deeply in touch with no one to tell"! Judith had me with Hello, and I believe I will continue to follow her work....books and books down the road.
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