The Compassionate Mind

  • by Paul Gilbert
  • Narrated by Rupert Farley
  • 22 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Throughout history people have sought to cope with a life that is often stressful and hard. We have actually known for some time that developing compassion for oneself and others can help us face up to and win through the hardship and find a sense of inner peace. However in modern societies we rarely focus on this key process that underpins successful coping and happiness and can be quick to dismiss the impact of modern living on our minds and well-being. Instead we concentrate on 'doing, achieving' and having'. Now, bestselling author and leading authority on depression, Professor Paul Gilbert explains how new research shows how we can all learn to develop compassion for ourselves and others and derive the benefits of this age-old wisdom.
In this ground-breaking new book he explores how our minds have developed to be highly sensitive and quick to react to perceived threats and how this fast-acting threat-response system can be a source of anxiety, depression and aggression. He describes how studies have also shown that developing kindness and compassion for self and others can help in calming down the threat system: as a mother's care and love can soothe a baby's distress, so we can learn how to soothe ourselves. Not only does compassion help to soothe distressing emotions, it actually increases feelings of contentment and well-being. Here, Professor Gilbert outlines the latest findings about the value of compassion and how it works, and takes readers through basic mind training exercises to enhance the capacity for, and use of, compassion.


What the Critics Say

"As somebody who suffers from severe depression, I know the depressive's harshest critic is themselves. It is never helpful to be told to pull ourselves together by others but saying it to ourselves leads us in only one direction - into a spiralling descent into despair. This wise and perceptive book teaches us self-compassion and the consolations of kindness. I recommend it all the time." (Sally Brampton, author of Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression and the Aunt Sally column in The Sunday Times)
"The increasing drive to find a competitive edge in all aspects of our lives may create efficiencies but they are cold, heartless and unpleasant to live with. Gilbert shows how and why this occurs, and explains why our capacity for compassion is the antidote." (Oliver James, author of Affluenza and the Selfish Capitalist)
"A timely book for a time when competitiveness, materialism and narcissism have failed us. This book provides timeless wisdom that you can use every day. It will make a wonderful gift for someone you care for - especially, if you give it to yourself." (Robert L Leahy, author of The Worry Cure and President Of The International Association For Cognitive Psychotherapy)
"Fascinating ... thoughtful and well written ... this book is a resource to be owned and used with enjoyment" (Nursing Standard)
"A challenging and useful addition to anyone's self-help shelf, as well as a refreshingly rigorous look behind why our brains work the way they do. In fact, this is a self-help book for people who don't like self-help books." (ONEinFOUR magazine)
"Important and enjoyable." (The Psychologist)
"A landmark book" (The Scientific and Medical Network)
"Interesting and helpful." (Mental Health Practice)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Thought provoking and influential!

This book explains well the evidence base underpinning this approach. For people who like that sort of this, it is comprehensive. The author touches on many themes of emotional and psychological difficulty faced by people so I think most people would find an aspect of the book relevant to their situation. For me, this book has helped me to be more aware of myself, my emotions, and step back from them. Rather than get annoyed or frustrated with others for "making" me feel certain ways, I'm being much more understanding of my feelings and where they are coming from in me, knowing my own vulnerabilities. This is making relationships a lot easier for me and particularly important when working in a system that is very pressured at the moment! I am finding ways to use this approach with clients I work with too. I know I will keep dipping into certain chapters and exercises to consolidate my learning. I bought the paper copy to help me with this. I'm interested in what the author makes of Trumps successful candidacy, is it a reversal to more archetypal thinking? The narrator was engaging too. I found the audible version helpful in covering a lot of material in a relatively shorter time than it would have taken reading the book eg I could play it while driving around. Thank you.
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- Amazon Customer

very interesting and well written

Very thorough and well written book. Long though! the excellent narrator made it much more digestible, and in fact was much easier to take in than the print version.
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- Luke Stableford

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-06-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios