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Guilt is the Teacher, Love is the Lesson Paperback – May 1, 1991

4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Postulating that guilt is the root cause of many physical and emotional ailments, the author presents a mind/body system intended to eradicate guilt and promote well-being. Rejecting both formal religions and science, she develops a psycho-spiritual program that focuses inward on the human psyche; indeed, many of her good pointers for overcoming guilt are embedded in mystical and visionary experience. Borysenko affirms the reality of visions and relates instances of her patients' seeing the light--literally--and recovering from physical pain. The book is replete with New Age-type jargon: "Can you remember times when you were spontaneously centered and in touch with the Self?" The author's strange amalgam of pseudo-scientific concepts, extraneous elements of Eastern religions, and strands of mysticism will undoubtedly have great appeal to many troubled, confused people trying to "find themselves." Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/89.
- Carol R. Glatt, Northeastern Hosp. of Philadelphia
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

2 cassettes / 2 hours, 30 minutes
Read by the Author

From the bestselling author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind: an accessible guide to healing the destructive effects of guilt.

The reaction by parents, teachers and peers to our own actions often determines our sense of self - how confident we feel and how secure we are about our place in the world. When self-blame and pessimism begin to overtake self-esteem and optimism, the rest may be emotional, physical and spiritual distress.

In Guilt is the Teacher, Love is the Answer, Dr. Joan Borysenko, a Harvard Ph.D., explores this mind/body connection as she offers personal and professional advice for journeying toward recovery and self-love.

Here at last is an insightful and uplifting approach for turning the teachings of guilt into the lessons of love. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (May 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446392243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446392242
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 3, 1998
Format: Paperback
Joan Borysenko is often dismissed as a New Age airhead, and her recent books are mostly a rehash of her earlier ones. But I think this is her strongest book, for several reasons. Guilt is a powerful component in many people's psychological makeup (especially women's). While pop psychologists tend to dismiss guilt as simply an unhealthy vestige of an overly strict religious upbringing, this does justice to neither the force of the emotion nor its positive components, compassion and responsibility. Borysenko avoids oversimplifying these issues, distinguishes the healthy from the unproductive aspects of guilt (her discussion of "New Age Guilt" is worth the price of the book), and offers positive guidance on how to learn the lessons guilt can teach us. A major contribution to Western philosophy it's not, but I found this book the most balanced, sane, and practical discussion of guilt that I've ever read.
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Format: Paperback
. . should read this book. Joan Borysenko, PhD., appears to be highly versed in the knowledge of guilt, as she suffered from this disease herself.
This book is rich in different forms of psychology, both past and present, but it also mixes the spiritual with that psychology. I think, with most psychologists, that is the factor that is missing. There's the physical, the mental, and the spiritual. Too often, doctors leave the latter out of their practice, and I believe, as Joan Borysenko illustrates, it is a mistake.
This is not just merely a self-help book, but a book that gives you a lot of detail and insight on unhealthy guilt. The aurthor uses examples from her own life, as well as from some of the people she has come across in her practice, to give the reader further understanding. There's exercises for the reader to try, as well as meditations.
If you've EVER suffered from obsessive, unhealty guilt and low self-esteem, this book is MUST.
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By A Customer on February 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
That's what this book will feel like to you: surely you must be sitting in your favorite coffeeshop across from Joan Borysenko, bending heads over a couple of Cafe Mochas! Joan tells it like it is, but with compassion, and a relation to what happened to her. I've had suspicions about the source of guilt in my life, but Joan's stories were the push to clarity. Years of talk therapy coalesced for me with this book. I had the good fortune to meet Joan once. Her energy is so friendly; you'll swear you've known her all her life. Thank the Source for inspiring this woman to teach us!
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Format: Paperback
A cellular biologist, psychotherapist and spiritual facilitator, Dr. Borysenko brings a unique professional background to the discussion of unhealthy guilt and it's antidote. She makes helpful distinctions between healthy guilt and destructive shame pointing out that while one is necessary to refine our behavior the other rots us from the inside out. Some will find her potpourri of religion, psychology and mystical influences challenging if they have not ventured outside the boundaries of conventional interpretations of spirituality. Others who understand the idea that "religion is for people afraid of going to hell and spirituality is for people who have been there" may be more open to the suggestions in this book. Take what you want and leave the rest. Borysenko's own cafeteria approach to healing demonstrates an honesty, open-mindedness and willingness many believe necessary to free oneself from the crush of inner demons. When Borysenko brings her own experiences to the table, it is easier to understand her approach. This book requires an open mind to appreciate this attempt to mark one path, if not THE path, to healing.
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This book, while sometimes dense, was helpful in understanding how to deal with the very human propensity toward guilt and feeling bad about oneself. It's a wonderful book for people who suspect or realize their ambitions and decisions are grounded in self-loathing. It also provides practical motivation for building a positive orientation for operating in the world.
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This book is a keeper. Borysenko gently holds a mirror up for us to peek into our essence and see through our masks. We are a kaleidoscope of feelings, a symphony of thoughts drumming our consciousness, and much, much more. Joy comes with the observer, with insight into our humanity, with unraveling the heartless assumptions we have made about ourselves, and with letting go of the shame we carry. An articulate, important book.
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I read this book back in the 80's when it was first published, and again recently, and I'm reading it again, and each time I get more from it. It is a great self-help exercise.
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This book is in my top five books of all time. Not only does it deal with causes of guilt but it explores practical ways of healing the guilt, forgiving one's self and others, and provides numerous exercises and meditations along with a large resource list to delve further into the subject. It incorporates the spiritual nature into the healing but does so in a way that it is not specific to any religion, or even to one with no religious tradition.

From my experience Joan Borysenko may be the premier authority in integrating these subjects. She draws on experts from many fields along with her own experience and research and is able to present her conclusions and recommendations in an easy to understand format.

I couldn't recommend this book more highly.
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