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Why People Don't Heal and How They Can Paperback – September 23, 1998

4 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A woman tells you, within minutes of meeting her, that she's in a support group for incest victims. In theory, this woman is trying to recover from her childhood trauma, but in reality, Caroline Myss writes, she's one of a growing army of people who practice "woundology," the use of their pain and suffering to manipulate those around them. Myss first noticed this phenomenon in the late 1980s, and began to analyze why so many people seemed to choose to carry such painful problems so proudly through life, to define themselves by the awful things that had happened to them. She offers a program to use "symbolic power"--a deep, spiritual insight that surpasses any conjured by the conscious mind--to craft a genuine conclusion to the illness or injury. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Myss is a medical intuitive, a person who "sees" illnesses in the body by intuitive means. Here she writes about healing, the various attempts people make to do it, and why they get "stuck." A global thinker, Myss looks at the entire civilization and at "astrological ages" when discussing healing. She also explains the influence of chakras and astrological ages on healing. At the heart of the book is Myss's challenge to five myths that stand in the way of healing: My life is defined by my wound (perhaps the most original concept here); being healthy means being alone; feeling pain means being destroyed; all illness is the result of negativity; and true change is impossible. Myss believes that giving up these myths leads one closer to healing. Many will think her concepts too far out to be of use; others will see her as visionary. The latter will be looking for this book wherever New Age titles circulate well.?Barbara O'Hara, Free Lib. of Philadelphia
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (September 23, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609802240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609802243
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Caroline M. Myss ' Biography

Caroline is dedicated to creating educational programs in the field of human consciousness, spiritually and mysticism, health, energy medicine, and advancing the science of medical intuition. She established CMED, her own educational institute, in 2003, which offers two programs running three courses per year, on Sacred Contracts and Mysticism. Additionally, Caroline maintains a rigorous workshop and lecture schedule internationally and continues a consultation practice with physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other health practitioners, as a medical intuitive.

In 1996, Caroline compiled her years of research in medical intuition with her work in the field of human consciousness, releasing the book, ANATOMY OF THE SPIRIT. This book became a New York Times bestseller and has been published in 18 languages. To date, it has sold over 1.5 million copies.

In investigating the underlying reasons why people sabotage their healing processes, Caroline identified a syndrome as 'woundology', characterized by a person who prefers to rely upon the power of illness for manipulation of his or her world as opposed to attained an independent, empowered state of health. As with her other ground-breaking research, this syndrome is now a recognized psychological condition. Her work in this area became the subject of her fourth book, WHY PEOPLE DON'T HEAL and HOW THEY CAN. This book was Caroline's second New York Times bestseller.

Caroline released her fifth book, SACRED CONTRACTS, which became her third New York Times bestseller. As with her previous books, this one is also in 18 languages and reports sales of well over 1.6 million.

Due to the interest generated by her work in Sacred Contracts, in 2003, Caroline opened CMED (Caroline Myss Education), her own educational institute. CMED offers two programs per year, each three sessions long. The first is on Sacred Contracts and the second is on Mysticism, Intuition, and Healing. The Institute draws students from nineteen nations, as well as across the United States.

In 2004, Caroline released her sixth book, INVISIBLE ACTS OF POWER, which also became a New York Times bestseller. She is now working on her seventh book: ENTERING THE CASTLE. She has also just published her first book through her company, CMED, entitled, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON, an extraordinary piece of literature that was channeled sixty years ago by a nearly-blind woman named Edith Ellis. Myss considers this project to be a vital part of her commitment to support an archive of information on her personal passion, which is the mystical history of America.

Through the years of her career, Caroline has taught in thirty-five countries, continuing her international work at present. In addition to writing six books, Caroline is the leading recording artist for Sounds True, Inc., the major audio recording company in the holistic field. She has recorded with them since 1990, producing 30 different titles. Her entire library of recordings now number of 180.

In 2003, Oprah Winfrey gave Caroline her own television program for one year with the OXYGEN network in New York City, which ran successfully for one year.


From 1999-2004, Caroline served on the Board of the State of the World Forum with Jim Garrison.

She is presently on the Board of Wisdom University, San Francisco, where she also Chairs the Department of Energy Medicine and the Healing Arts.

In 1995, Myss, along with C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D., founded the American Board of Scientific Medical Intuition.

CMED Institute

In 2003, Myss founded her own educational institute, CMED (Caroline Myss EDucation), providing seminars in Sacred Contracts and Mysticism and Intuition for students from all over the world. More information on her institute is available on her web site: www.myss.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
After reading only a little more than half this book, I have already seen changes in my life. This is a must-read for anyone seeking to participate in repairing one's mind, body and spirit as a whole. While many of her concepts may seem a little unorthodox, she is right on target! Her down to earth advice on forgiveness and releasing the ill thoughts we have toward others will inspire you to look at your relationships in a totally different light. Her ideas on how we wear our past wounds like badges and how we can become a victim of our past, instead of getting on with our lives and realizing that we are far more than our wounds, more than our past failings, is truly inspirational. Not necessarily a religious book, she speaks of spirituality and incorporates the best of all religions. Since reading this book, I have turned to a daily practice of calming myself before sleep by listening to soft music, regulating my breathing and thinking about absolutely--nothing. I have experienced restful sleep, a more optimistic outlook during the workday, an increase in energy and have said silent prayers for strangers. I can't say enough about how positively this book has effected my life.
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Format: Paperback
At first I was surprised by the amount of vitriol that this book elicited from some readers. Then I realized, of course - this information is going to be received as a breath of fresh air for those who are really willing to change themselves for the better, and with great angst by others.
That is exactly what this book is all about!
Caroline suggests we look carefully at our words and behavior and note the way we bond over our wounds. We speak "woundology". Wounds give us power over other people and a way to manipulate society. Healing is a very unpopular notion in this world.
Of course this can be regarded as "mean-spirited", but how in the world can we progress without facing the truth once in a while? There is absolutely nothing new in this material - it is just been presented in the context of modern thought - but if one reads any sacred text carefully the echoes of these ideas will be evident.
Caroline Myss is iconoclastic and funny, but she gets the point across. I recommend some of her audio tapes to really hear her in her element - with a live audience. Sure she "talks a lot" and especially as a man this sometimes drives me up the wall. But I think her message is one of gently attempting to point out our foibles for our own good.
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Format: Paperback
I started reading this book a while ago. I thought what she said about woundology was very insightful, and it answered my puzzlement over why some of my friends still feel hurt by and can't let go of wounds from their past, even though I'm younger and grew up with similar wounds that no longer seem like such a big deal. However, recently, I found out that I may have a rather serious illness, and I made the mistake of continuing to read the book. I was actually feeling rather positive and thoughtful about the possibility of being possibly seriously sick - I'd talked to a friend about it, and I could see it as a sign and opportunity to start manifesting the plans I'd been making and live my life the way I want to, and be more gentle and caring toward myself, despite others' expectations and obligations of me and the extremely draining and negative work situation I've been in. I was actually feeling pretty good, was considering my options, and making plans to change the way I'm living. However, reading more of Ms. Myss's anecdotes burst my bubble. Besides woundology, I don't think she actually has many insights on why some people don't heal, and she writes those people off as 'not being ready' or 'not having enough energy' rather than giving you more information about the details of the situations so you can figure it out for yourself, or trying to probe deeper.

One story that really stuck out to me was about a lady who had breast cancer who didn't want conventional treatment (only alternative therapies) and who Ms. Myss perceived as still being caught up in the aftermath of her failed marriage. Ms.
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By A Customer on October 3, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read alot,I search alot,for healing,growth and methods that answer my questions on why am I still stuck in a pattern - how can I move to a higher place? This book explains very logically a non-logical reality,and gives one methods to USE! This book I found much more meaningful than her Anatomy of the Spirit. This book covers the exact same info but explains what to do with the chakras in ways that I can use. Thank you Caroline,this was honest and all that many other books promise. (The other best book I ever read was Reclaiming Your Life by Jean Jenson)
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Format: Paperback
Why People Don't Heal and How They Can (WPDH) is a (potentially) valuable and empowering piece of non-fiction literature in the field of self-health and healing. It sheds light on many truths gleaned by Caroline's personal and direct experience in working with thousands of people wanting (and not wanting) to heal physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.

I threw the word "potentially" in there for sound reason. In my opinion the subject matter is such that many of the people who might be drawn to read a book with a title such as this are people struggling to "heal" (just as I have done when right in the "thick of it") and are looking further afield for more answers. If such people, whilst reading this book or after reaching the closing pages, still don't make the choice to surrender into "why they are not healing, and how they can" this book may feel like "salt on a wound", or "adding insult to injury". Many of the poor reviews WPDH appears to have received are likely to have been written by people in this very situation--so I encourage you to hear what they have to say with this perspective in mind.

The above aside, in WPDH Myss takes a concise, detailed, and clear look at the very things that may be delaying or stalling your healing journey. She'll lead you into new perspectives and awarenesses around understanding what could be standing in your way and how to step around it. Of course, you'll have to be up for that challenge! My input here is to say that the rewards will make it all worth while (which of course, you already know).

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