I set out to read Going to Pieces without Falling Apart by Mark Epstein after it was recommended in another meditation rallying, self-help book. I will admit to cheating slightly this time as rather than read Dr. Epstein’s book I chose to listen to it as an audio CD thanks to long bouts of driving to and fro in my car.
Having been trained in mental health, I was particularly drawn to this literary discussion because it bridges the gap between psychotherapy and mindfulness. The author is a psychiatrist who set out to incorporate Buddhist teachings and meditation in his own practice as a more fulfilling and enriching way for his clients to connect with both themselves and the world around them. After years of seeking his own sense of enlightenment through self-awareness and daily meditation, Dr. Epstein recognized that the best way to address his patient’s roadblocks was to literally go to the heart of the matter, using full attentiveness of the situation – stark contrast from traditional psychotherapy practices which tend to address specific troubles and issues.
The two things I took away from listening to this audio book were: 1) finding the right type of therapist is essential to identifying the root of our self-destructive patterns; and 2) in order to be free you must go to the dark place and confront it head on. I won’t go into detail with either of these points, as I simply cannot explain the essence of either as well as the author did in this book. However, I will say this, if you are in the midst of a crossroads in your life and genuinely feel “stuck” and have an open mind as to how to proceed to becoming “unstuck”, this book may provide you with the insight and direction you seek.
I will definitely be reading more books by Mark Epstein, M.D. His psychological philosophies and calm approach to life have given me hope that therapy, at its core, does not have to be the textbook driven, subliminally frustrating ordeal that it has sadly become in many institutions.
Next up on the book shelf: The Postcard Killers by James Patterson & Liza Marklund