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Pathways to Pain Relief, an important new TMS book

Discussion in 'About This Site' started by Forest, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am very happy to share with everyone that Frances Sommer-Anderson, Ph.D. and Eric Sherman, Psy.D., two of Dr. Sarno's most trusted psychologists, have published a new book entitled Pathways to Pain Relief.

    I’ve started reading it and it is excellent. My favorite story so far is Adrienne’s, which describes how goodism can develop and control our lives. Adrienne grew up with a special needs sibling and her parents would yell at her for being selfish and vilified her behavior simply for seeking her mother’s attention like any child would. It was very moving to read about how these early family dynamics shaped Adrienne, and developed her into being so overly the top virtuous she put the needs of others above her own. The book does a terrific job at capturing the TMS personality and peeling back the layers as to how it develops. You will definitely see yourself in some of these case stories.

    Drs. Sommer-Anderson and Sherman have very kindly offered to do a webinar in the TMS Wiki’s webinar series. We haven't set on a date yet, but we'd like to do it fairly early, to capitalize on the momentum from the publication. With that being said, many of you folks have enjoyed our previous webinars with Alan Gordon, Dr. Zafirides, Steven Ozanich, and Dr. Schechter. Do you have any suggestions you would like us to keep in mind while organizing it?

    Because the book is on the Kindle, you can download it and start reading it on your phone, kindle or PC immediately. I use Kindle to read book on my PC and phone all of the time. You can even read it on the web, so it's accessible from any computer. The book costs $12.

    You can read my review of Pathways to Pain Relief on Amazon.

    The formal announcement of the book follows:

    veronica73 likes this.
  2. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Thanks Forest...looks interesting. Do they have journaling suggestions, etc. to help address TMS without having to see a therapist?
    Forest likes this.
  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Not explicitly. To me the book's contribution is that it is about the psychology of TMS/PPD, illustrated with many case histories.

    I read Dr. Sarno’s last 3 books, and, while they were very informative, I was never one who saw themselves on every page. I get more of that sense from reading Pathways to Pain Relief (which also includes a foreword by Dr. Sarno). Pathways to Pain Relief is slightly different than other TMS books in that it focuses predominantly on the psychological components to TMS, which the two authors have extensive knowledge of since they have been treating Dr. Sarno’s patients for decades. I tend to really like this as In the uncovering of the psychological elements, I really saw a lot of the same developmental factors that created my own TMS personality. It was kinda funny to a degree, because (especially during the chapter on perfectionism) I was sitting there reading and thinking I guess this is what it feels like to see yourself on every page.

    The book doesn’t offer specific treatment techniques for readers to do. I think both of the authors would say there are already plenty of books out there that do that. They reference the four Sarno books a number of times, as well as Unlearn Your Pain and several others, all of which I think give people a great basis for recovery. They even refer to our site! (Though unfortunately they link to it’s old web address, tmswiki.wetpaint.com, rather than it’s new address, www.tmswiki.org.)

    I have not finished the book yet (just past the part about perfectionism and getting to anger and rage), but the breakdowns of each of these personality traits is terrific. Each trait is illustrated by a different person’s story and so it really reaches home. There are a lot of books out there that talk about how TMS develops. This one is about why it develops.

    Given all of these ideas, I think that the book could potentially really help someone with their journaling. I think it all depends on the person. For someone who just wants to learn the techniques, I think that our journaling page, How Do I Journal, is excellent. However, for someone who wants to become a more productive journaler, it may help to gain a deeper understanding of some of the dynamics behind a typical TMS personality. Then, when they journal, they may recognize some patterns from the stories and have a better idea of what to look for in their past. Likewise, it might help them better identify and relate to their own defenses. For someone like that, this book might even be more helpful than a book of explicit journaling tips.

    It is a challenging book to read, though. It goes deep. :)
  4. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    I hope you're on their marketing payroll Forest! You described me to a T here, so I'm sold!

    for someone who wants to become a more productive journaler, it may help to gain a deeper understanding of some of the dynamics behind a typical TMS personality. Then, when they journal, they may recognize some patterns from the stories and have a better idea of what to look for in their past. Likewise, it might help them better identify and relate to their own defenses. For someone like that, this book might even be more helpful than a book of explicit journaling tips.
  5. Chuck

    Chuck Peer Supporter

    Great explanation Forest. I just finished reading the book and it was a moving read. Eric Sherman and Frances Sommer Anderson serve as our Virgil in the exploration of the TMS personality and psyche. The depth of their explanation of perfectionism, goodism, and anger are thorough and informative. Great description of the psychological underpinnings of TMS.

    Reader beware, you will be uncomfortable during some portions of this book, especially if you are not ready to face some of the insights the authors have. This book is like holding a mirror up to your soul.

    Forest, just wait until you get to Dr. Anderson’s chapters. I felt like I was sitting in the room with her and her patient during their session. Some parts were pretty intense. I have to say though, that all of the patients in these case stories are very courageous. Thank you both to Drs. Anderson and Sherman, as well as their patients for sharing these moving accounts.
  6. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well, it takes one to know one, Leslie. :) I've been there myself and am still in the process of tracking down the causes and roots of my own TMS personality. I suspect that this is why I've found that what I like the most about whatever TMS book I'm reading is what it can tell me learn about my own psychology. I find also that by participating in our forum, drop in chat and discussion teleconference, if I listen carefully to other people's stories, I can think about how TMS theory, perhaps what I am learning in the book I'm reading, applies to other people. This helps me understand it better and helps me gain faith in it. This, in turn, helps with ideas from the books that I might have otherwise hesitated to apply to myself because of some mixture of the ideas being too threatening and my not understanding them (the unconscious, after all, is not simple). Hearing echos of the ideas from the books when supporting others helps me build compassion and a deeper understanding of the ideas. Then, when I'm emotionally ready to think about how the ideas may apply to me, I already have a deeper and more compassionate understanding of the ideas, so they are less threatening.
  7. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Hi Forest, it's been a while but I'm back! Thank you for posting about this book...I'm off to get the Kindle version once I post this!! Adrienne is me!!! I grew up with a special needs sister. She is 2.5 years older than me, and when she was 1 years old, she had a stroke and was supposed to die but she survived but with brain damage, and the whole time I was in the womb and a baby, she was having seizures and my parents were totally consumed with doctors and emergencies and therapists and major stress etc. I am 37 with massive chronic pain for like 15 years but tons of other chronic stuff before that, and I only just recently learned about the importance of the mother-baby relationship during the first year and the massive impact on the baby when they don't get the attention they need during that time. I never got to be the center of attention I don't think, as new babies are supposed to be in order to feel safe. I can TOTALLY relate to always putting others' needs over my own to the Nth degree, and I have vague memories of getting in trouble if I was ever mean to my sister or fighting with her. She always got to be right, protected, etc. and I was too young to understand why everything was so unfair. Anyway starting to ramble but this feels like an important issue for me and I look forward to reading the book!

  8. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Our early relationships with our parents are HUGE in our personal development. Every child needs to be the center of attention. If it doesn't happen then that need will manifest itself somehow. For people with TMS it manifests itself in chronic pain. It sounds like Adrienne's story will really resonate with you. There are quite a few case stories throughout the book, that really touch on pretty much every TMS personality and experience. I would love to know what you think of the book if you get it.
  9. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Yes I bet it will really resonate. My parents didn't mean harm but I was not the center of attention like should have been and the more I learn, the more it seems like that can really mess a person up...! TMS being no surprise I suppose. Thanks for the support.

    I did buy the book but haven't had time to start reading it yet. I'm still working on Steve O's book and Gabriel M's When the Body Says No. I tend to have more waiting for me than I have time to read. But I can't wait to read this one.
  10. ClearMind

    ClearMind New Member

    Thanks for sharing the book. Sounds like a good read. Perhaps I missed it, but is there a location with a list of reccommended books on the topic of TMS? I'm about to finish Fred Amir's book and would like to make a habbit of reading a book a week (I have a good train commute). If there isn't such a thing, I think it'd be a great idea to have a "book shelf" of literature. I'm learning by just glancing at the reading list Fred Amir provides that there is a tremendous amount of writing on the topic and I think knowledge is power.
  11. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    We do have a list of recommend books on the Books & DVDs page. It contains quite a few books on TMS and general mindbody medicine. Most of the TMS books have their own wiki page containing more info about each of them. Of course, is you think a book should have a wiki page go ahead and create it. It would be great to have more book pages.

    Then you should check out our TMS Reading Group on Saturdays starting at 2 PM EST. We are currently discussing Pathways to Pain Relief, along with Gabor Mate's When the Body Says No and The Great Pain Deception. The idea behind this group is to share what we learned from each of these books. They are a great resource for gaining knowledge and learning more about TMS.

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