Monday, May 25, 2009
A Great Book for Marriages
What do a brain scan and your marriage have in common? Read my review below of Dr. Earl Henslin’s fantastic book, “This is Your Brain on Joy” to find out…
For me, the measure of excellent non-fiction literature is when one begins to see the world through the lens that the author provides. I recently completed reading Dr. Earl Henslin’s This is Your Brain on Joy. And, I was hooked from the first chapter when he described how he has come to incorporate technology (brain imaging) in his clinical treatment of thirty couples who were headed towards divorce.
My area of specialty is marriage. I have gone through much training on various marriage enhancement methods. But, when Dr. Henslin commented that twenty-nine of the thirty couples turned their marriages around by following the procedures to get brain scans (SPECT) and following the prescribed psychotherapy and medicinal regimen I was clamoring for more information. And, This is Your Brain on Joy delivers “in spades.”
First, let me be clear. This book is primarily about the power of brain imaging to unearth the “abnormalities” that make our brains function at less than God’s ideal when He first created us. While I have had some exposure to brain physiology during my own clinical training, I have never seen such an excellent effort at breaking highly technical terminology into language that can be understood by everyone. By substituting friendly, intuitive language (e.g., Basement of Giant Fears) to represent brain physiology (e.g, Basal Ganglia) Dr. Henslin is able to communicate the intricacies of the brain in a way that makes common sense. More importantly, the reader is able to identify his/her own areas of strength and weakness. Speaking of this, the book also includes an assessment that helps to identify how one’s own life experiences are indelibly interconnected with one’s brain health.
This book challenges all of us to think twice in our tendencies to be judgmental. He argues for more compassionate engagement because people are often held hostage by their brains. But, Dr. Henslin’s book doesn’t just point out the problem. He proceeds to offer natural, herbal remedies for many of the brain imbalances that are nothing short of miraculous from the testimonials included in the book. In some instances, prescription agents such as antidepressants may be suggested as well. The testimonies of people whose entire lives have changed (when they thought change was impossible) simply by following through with a brain scan and herbal or prescription medications.
I highly recommend this book because I have become convinced that many of the unhealthy behavioral patterns in our lives and in our marriages are a result of brain trauma that we may not even remember from years earlier. The results appear clear. Healthy lives and marriages require healthy brains. And, sometimes prayer alone may not improve the situation as much as if it was accompanied by a brain scan, the right herbal combinations, and a little encouragement.