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Opening Up, Second Edition: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions Paperback – August 8, 1997
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"...There is something freeing about getting things ¿off one's chest.'...According to Pennebaker's book however, confession is good not only for one's soul but for one's blood pressure, insomnia, psychological well-being, and immune function. In Opening Up: The Healing Power of Confiding in Others, Pennebaker summarizes findings from his 10 year research program on the consequences of confiding one's secrets and offers advice regarding how to use confession to enhance psychological and physical health...Pennebaker buttresses conclusions based on his extensive research with case studies, which include not only cases of individuals but of entire cities....I found them to be engaging and useful...He does an exemplary job of walking the fine line between a professional volume and a trade book...Pennebaker's research has already made a valuable contribution to the study of psychological processes in health, and this book pulls together his findings and speculations about this fascinating line of work. Opening Up is an engaging, provocative book that will be of interest to lay readers, behavioral researchers, and therapists alike." --Mark R. Leary, Contemporary Psychology
"..Superb book." --Henry Dreher, Natural Health
"Written more for general consumption, Pennebaker gives a gripping look at how psychological science is best done. He makes his results relevant and exciting, but the science seems solid. Pennebaker provides substantial empirical support for significant mental and physical health effects arising from religious practices such as confession, reconciliation, and forgiveness."
--Robert J. Lovinger, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Central Michigan University
"Dr. Pennebaker has demonstrated that expressing emotions appears to protect the body against damaging internal stresses and seems to have long-term health benefits." --Daniel Goleman, in The New York Times
"This book is the very best that scientific psychology has to offer. Pennebaker has made remarkable discoveries that show how disclosing our deepest secrets can make us well...throws open new doors of understanding and offers new hope for gaining control of our lives." --Daniel M. Wegner, author of White Bears and Other Unwanted Thoughts
"Some of the most important findings published in psychology in the past decade. This work, if followed, would change the lives of millions of people." --Robert Ornstein, PhD, co-author of Healthy Pleasures
About the Author
Since receiving his doctoral degree in 1977, Pennebaker has taught at the University of Virginia and Southern Methodist University. His recent honors include an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Louvain (Belgium), the Pavlov Award, and the Hilgard Visiting Professorship at Stanford University. He lives in Austin with his wife, Ruth (a writer), and two children.
Top customer reviews
The author writes like he is talking to his colleagues, quoting this research paper and that research paper. He is so monotonous. After I got the jist of the book after a few chapters, I quickly read the rest looking for something new. He avoided making it personal as so many professors and other professionals often do.
I got so tired hearing the same thing over and over and over again. It sounded like he wrote each chapter to stand on its. Hey, Pennebaker, most of reading books on amazon.com are laypeople, so write to us. You have nothing to prove, so lighten and stop quote research papers.
I now keep a journal. I don't write everyday, but it's always there when I need to say something, and need to hear myself say it- what happened and how I feel about it.
Extremely well written. Very readable. Lots of scientific sources- not just opinion.
My other top 5 books for healing are:
The Mindbody Prescription by John Sarno, MD
When The Body Says No by Gabor Mate, MD
The Great Pain Deception by Steve Ozanich
You Are The Placebo by Joe Dispenza
Hope and Help for your Nerves by Claire Weekes, MD
Dr. James is clearly a very curious guy which makes him a great researcher. If you have curiosity for knowledge in phycology in general or about expressing and opening up in specific, this book is for you.
I appreciated the intellectual honesty of this book. Yes, writing about your deepest emotions can help your health, but so can psychotherapy and talking with friends. The author makes modest claims for his work and shows how his ideas about the subject have changed over time and as the result of experiments with college students and others.
A particularly interesting chapter talks about the value of note taking, especially in class room settings. This was done years before the introduction of "smart pens" that tie audio recordings to notes; his work could provide a theoretical framework for studying the effectiveness of such pens for classroom lectures.