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Healing the Hardware of the Soul: How Making the Brain-Soul Connection Can Optimize Your Life, Love, and Spiritual Growth Hardcover – April 2, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; First Edition edition (April 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743204751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743204750
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,111,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

As the title suggests, Healing the Hardware of the Soul is a unique blend of advanced scientific technique and fundamental religious principles. Dr. Daniel Amen, a graduate of Oral Roberts University, isn't promoting a strictly Christian agenda, but he makes it repeatedly clear that one of the crucial steps in achieving mental health is prayer. Depending on your beliefs, this insistence can range from pleasing to offensive.

His work is centered around the physical aspects of the brain--in some ways, it resembles a modern form of phrenology. Using detailed imaging technology, he has established connections between specific behaviors--panic disorders, depression, ADD--and over- or underactive areas of the brain. As with most new forms of medical research, his work is both lauded and ridiculed, and only further research will determine its ultimate validity.

For people anxious to put his findings to use, there are several chapters devoted to questionnaires that can be used in place of brain scans. Exercises and suggestions follow, and stay surprisingly simple--forming personal connections, seeking appropriate medical care and medications, and creating short-term, specific goals are a few old standbys. Regardless of what methods Amen is using to arrive at the solutions, it's clear he finds plenty of value in tried-and-true solutions. --Jill Lightner

From Library Journal

Neuroscientist/psychiatrist Amen (Change Your Brain, Change Your Life) here presents a program for repairing and strengthening personal relationships, child-rearing practices, work and study routines, and "soulful connections." This system is based on the results of 14,000 SPECT (single-photon emission computerized tomography) studies of the brain, which show activity in the brain and can also be used to indicate how various mental illnesses affect brain activity. (Amen has also used these SPECT tests in the successful treatment of mental illnesses like schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety.) To solve personal problems, he recommends developing focus and improving decision making with his one-page "Miracle for the Soul Review"; to develop superior emotional and spiritual flexibility, using prayer, meditation, and diaphragmatic breathing exercises; and to help control impulsive behavior and stabilize mood swings, learning how to form strong, positive new bonds. Unfortunately, readers have to wade through a morass of personal religious interpretation of biological wonders to get to the science and how-to instruction. Considering that Amen is a graduate of the Oral Roberts University School of Medicine, his position that the brain is the titular "hardware of the soul" is not surprising. His curious blend of religious myth with cutting-edge science targets lay readers, especially 12-step zealots, as well as mental health advocates. Recommended only for public libraries. Dale Farris, Groves, TX
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Dr. Amen is a physician, double board certified psychiatrist, teacher and eight time New York Times bestselling author. He is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost experts on applying brain imaging science to everyday clinical practice. Dr. Amen is the Founder and Medical Director of Amen Clinics in Newport Beach and San Francisco, California, Bellevue, Washington, Reston, Virginia, Atlanta and New York City.

Amen Clinics have the world's largest database of functional brain scans relating to behavior, totaling more than 77,000 scans on patients from 90 countries.

Dr. Amen is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and is the lead researcher on the world's largest brain imaging and rehabilitation study on professional football players. His research has not only demonstrated high levels of brain damage in players, he also showed the possibility of significant recovery for many with the principles that underlie his work.

Together with Pastor Rick Warren and Drs. Mark Hyman and Mehmet Oz, Dr. Amen is also one of the chief architects on Saddleback Church's "Daniel Plan," a 52 week program to get the world healthy through religious organizations. After the first year the church lost 260,000 pounds, but weight loss was only one of the stunning side effects of getting truly healthy. Other common effects of The Daniel Plan were increased energy, better focus and mood, and a reduction of many medications for the participants. The Daniel Plan is now being exported around the world to help churches, synagogues and all religious people get healthy.

Dr. Amen is also the host of 7 popular shows about the brain, which have raised more than 44 million dollars for public television.

Dr. Amen is the author of 52 professional articles, five book chapters, and over 30 books, including eight New York Times bestsellers, including Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, Magnificent Mind At Any Age, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body, and Use Your Brain to Change Your Age. In February 2013, Crown will publish Dr. Amen's upcoming book, Unleash the Power of the Female Brain.

A small sample of the organizations Dr. Amen has spoken for include: the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), Harvard's Learning and the Brain Conference, Franklin Covey, The Million Dollar Roundtable, Retired NFL Players Summit, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the Supreme Courts of Delaware, Ohio and Wyoming. Dr. Amen's work has been featured in Newsweek, Time, Parade Magazine, New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, LA Times, Men's Health, and Cosmopolitan.

Dr. Amen is married to Tana, the father of four children, grandfather to Elias, Julian, Angelina, Emmy and Liam. He is an avid table tennis player.

Customer Reviews

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See all 10 customer reviews
I am a fan of Dr. Amen's work for many reasons.
Work of Life
I highly recommend this book for everyone who works with underfunctioning individuals at any level (and for underfunctioning individuals themselves).
Kelly Frey
Thank you Dr. Amen, for your work that has drawn me so much closer to God and my true desire in life: compassion, love, and understanding -for all.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

112 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Frey on July 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is the latest in a series of books in which Dr. Amen shines rays of light on the workings of the human brain, and discusses the relationship between brain functioning and behavior. This book takes the discussion a step further, however, into the connection between brain functioning and the human soul.
Dr. Amen asserts, "When the brain is healthy we are compassionate, thoughtful, loving, relaxed and goal directed, and when the brain is sick or damaged, we are unfeeling, impulsive, angry, tense, and unfocused, and it is very hard for our souls and our relationship with god to be at peace."
The book begins with an easy-to-follow explanation of each major part of the brain and its function, including SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) scans that show both healthy and under-functioning brains.
Dr. Amen compares the brain to a computer's hardware, with the variety of functions we perform day-to-day being the software. If a computer's hardware is not functioning correctly, it cannot successfully run software. Similarly, if one's brain is not healthy, one cannot successfully execute the "programs" of one's life, such as parenting, working, learning, teaching, coping with crises, etc.
The book includes many fascinating examples, drawn from the thousands of patients Dr. Amen has treated at his clinics. In each case, Dr. Amen describes the presenting problem, and shows, using SPECT scans, the unhealthy part of the brain that is causing the problem. In each case, after specifically treating the unhealthy part of the brain, the presenting problem diminished or disappeared.
The last half of the book includes tools for self-assessing brain functioning, and a discussion of the various methods used to optimize brain function.
Read more ›
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Teresa Overby on August 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book changes the way you see depression, ADD, and relationship-destroying behaviors. What a relief for those who struggle with these areas to know they are not "crazy" or unable to change, and that there is help available. This book empowers the families of those who face these challenges to have patience, and hope that things can get better. A must read for anyone who has depression especially!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
For the first time in my life, BECAUSE of Dr. Amen's book, my outlook on sick & suffering people, is FOREVER altered. I am deeply grateful for this book, for Dr. Amen's work, his compassion, and his graciousness in sharing it with the world. I, like most people, have expended energy on judging certain people, and groups of people. After a huge spiritual & emotional break-through while reading this book, this has changed. I have true compassion and lack of judgement for sick people, because I now understand the cause and effect: healthy brain - healthy person - healthy life. As Dr. Amen says; these people need understanding - not moral judgement. Thank you Dr. Amen, for your work that has drawn me so much closer to God and my true desire in life: compassion, love, and understanding -for all. In my book: "Trauma and Transformation: A 12-Step Guide", I fully explore the spiritual side-effects of trauma, and how the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is a powerful systematic approach for the trauma survivor seeking a spiritual solution.

-Rivka Edery, L.M.S.W
Website: [...]
Author of: "Trauma and Transformation: A 12-Step Guide".
Available from: TRAUMA AND TRANSFORMATION 12 Step Guide
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64 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Derek Smith on April 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Hello, my name is Derek Smith and I have been doing research on Dr. Daniel G. Amen for the past seven years or so. I felt this book was a very touchign book in which it goes hand in hand with Chenge Your Brain Change Your Life and also Healing ADD. I have been doign the treatment process using Dr. Amen's book and I am know in college in which nobody ever thought was possible for me. After reading this book it made me reflect on myself and what i have done and helped me relize that the sucess I have had can also help other people. This book made me relize that I should go and give back all the knowlege I have gained over the years from sucess and struggles of overcomming my oen problems and to head towards helping other people with the same problems.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Work of Life TOP 50 REVIEWER on June 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a fan of Dr. Amen's work for many reasons. He has really opened up the science of the mind in profound ways. He is a brain researcher who attended a Christian University. His findings about the human brain will change the way we look at things like mental health, behavioral problems and as this book illustrates, even the nature of the soul/brain relationship. I don't agree with Dr. Amen on all of his conclusions (like doing brain scans on our elected officials so we can see what sort of brain problems they might have), but I have learned quite a bit from his books about the nature of how our brain health affects every part of our lives. Highly Recommended!

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