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What Freud Didn't Know: A Three-Step Practice for Emotional Well-Being through Neuroscience and Psychology Hardcover – November 5, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (November 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813546400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813546407
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,654,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Though Freudian therapy has, in general, been superseded by modern psychotherapy methods, practicing clinical psychologist Stokes (former editor-in chief of the Naropa Journal of Contemplative Psychotherapy) shows how Freud, over a century ago, ingeniously anticipated modern neurobiological discoveries. Freud's attribution of psychological problems to the "internal struggles" among the id, ego, and super-ego is roughly analogous to modern understanding of "the functions of three regions of the brain: the neocortical regions, the prefrontal cortex regions, and the limbic system." Recent findings by neurobiologists show that the limbic system (where the amygdala is located) "exerts a powerful role in the emotional life of humans" by regulating automatic responses to perceived danger; the release of hormones provokes a physical response perceived as emotion. Building on the concepts of cognitive therapy, which teaches clients to identify and replace dysfunctional thoughts, Stokes developed a three-step method to help people becomes aware of what he calls the amygdala "scripts" that normally operate unconsciously: step one is recognition of a conditioned response, step two identifies the trigger, and step three involves conscious reconditioning through insight. With three appendices, this makes a useful self-help manual for clients and clinicians.
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Review

In a thoughtful and down-to-earth way, Timothy B. Stokes overturns old formulas—and many Freudian concepts—for achieving personal change. During oneÂ’s lifetime, hidden memories, along with their misleading assumptions, can unconsciously trigger conflicted feelings—the basis for most psychological problems, large and small.

What Freud Didn'’t Know, well-supported by research and groundbreaking in theory, combines neuroscience and psychology to explain how the amygdala region of the brain evolved to unconsciously record, store, and activate emotional memory loops and imagery associated with painful events, especially those of childhood. This book is the first to bring together diverse, post-Freudian discoveries to produce a coherent three-step practice for understanding problematic aspects of the human mind which can be mastered easily, in a clinical or self-help setting. Stokes explores recent breakthroughs, many in marked contrast to FreudÂ's views, which will change how we view psychological and emotional problems and their treatments.

Grounded in current theories about brain circuitry, What Freud Didn'’t Know integrates ideas about mindfulness, habitual thinking, and insight imagery and provides readers with the tools to rescript their personal narratives for psychological well-being. As an alternative approach to treating stress, most types of depression, anxiety, and phobias without prescription drugs, Stokes’s three-step practice can be used to build resiliency and inner peace.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Laura C. Hofer on December 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Recently I met Tim Stokes, the author. In our conversation he explained to me the basic concepts in his book. I was intrigued enough to buy it, and I'm very glad I did.

In the preface Tim describes his journey to creating this remarkable three step tool for emotional well-being. Briefly, because of his interest in the richness of the human experience, he became a clinical psychologist, specializing in insight-oriented psychotherapy. However, he also has a background in the physical sciences and was drawn to understand the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy. In addition, he explored neurobiology beginning in the late 1990s. He writes, "The more I learned about brain physiology, the more I began to suspect that neurobiology and a great deal of clinical research dovetailed to a surprising degree, affording new insights into the psychological change process."

From this rich stew of clinical experience, psychological research about effective interventions, and neurobiological research, Tim designed a three step practice that he explains clearly in this easy to understand book. I worked with the practice as I read the book and found that a long-standing pattern that I have addressed for years shifted both easily and, it seems now, thoroughly. It also opened later into another pattern I had not previously accessed in such depth. The hold of the second pattern has also shifted.

Tim's three step practice begins with a focus on the body and the activation of what he calls "an amygdala script." This concept is key for the practice, and Tim explains it fully in the introduction and in the first two chapters.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tea Drinker on March 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is the best psych book I have read in decades. A slim volume that packs a wallop.

This gem of a book is a must for the professional therapist, as well as the lay readers who want to change old, outdated scripts in their lives. After years of reading either dense scientific treatises, or light-weight fuzzy-headed self-help books, it is a delight to have in one volume the neuro-science and its application. Behaviors that range from ancient marital arguments all the way to PTSD can be dealt with using Stokes' step-by-step awareness techniques.

Dr. Stokes has packed his book full of the latest research and, more importantly, simple, clear steps for implementing the research findings. His writing is filled with the wisdom gleaned from his years of experience with clients. Not content with applying these scientific theories to his own clients, he joined with other practitioners in a monthly roundtable to hone the efficacy of his 3-Step Practice for Emotional Well-Being. The result is a set of steps that you or I can take, today, in our lives, to begin to change old habits of thought and action.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Rubio on February 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr Stokes presents an effective 3-step practice to reduce or eliminate chronic, troublesome, inihibiting emotional reactions he terms amygdala scripts. The technique uses the latest findings in brain science and combing through years of referenced research in the effective clinical techniques from the various schools of psychotherapy such as insight, mindfulness, and cognitive therapy in an integrative simple recipe. I highly recommend this book from having experienced the effectiveness of Dr Stokes 3-step practice. I consider this book revolutionary in moving us towards fulfilling the promise of psychotherapy. The book puts in clear perspective the nature of recurring emotiomal issues explaining how the older and newer parts of the brain are involved without labeling symptoms as some sort of pathology.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Passage on April 26, 2010
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I very much agree with the two previous reviews! I found this to be an extremely helpful and well written book. The explanations and exercises are very clear and available. I'm not a therapist, just a lay person, and I found the book in language that is very accessible. Even the chapter that was written specifically for therapists I found very clear and of great interest. Practicing the exercises has been stunning. There is an efficiency that is quite remarkable as I have found myself in situations that in the past had proven to be very difficult to negotiate are now more than manageable. Dr. Stokes' explanation of how the amygdala functions and leads to behavior that we have come to call neurotic has, I believe, enormous implications, both for the field of psychotherapy and in the arena of spiritual inner work. I wholeheartedly recommend this book for psychotherapists, engaged lay people and spiritually inclined folks that have found themselves facing inexplicable blocks to greater opening.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anne O. on January 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book's 3 step process for gaining emotional well-being resonated with me. I already had some understanding of the purpose and power of the amygdala region of the brain but this book helped explain it in terms that made it quite comprehensible. I have utilized Dr. Stokes three-step practice successfully and am feeling much more peace and well-being in my life as a result of these exercises. I highly recommend the book to anyone who finds themselves "emotionally trapped" by their own amygdala scripts.
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