• The Compassionate Mind

  • By: Paul Gilbert
  • Narrated by: Rupert Farley
  • Length: 22 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 06-06-13
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.4 (42 ratings)

Regular price: $27.71

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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.
 New audio available from 01 August 2018.
©2013 Paul Gilbert (P)2013 Audible Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"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
5 out of 5 stars
By Vickie on 09-02-13

Like water for a thirsty wanderer

What did you love best about The Compassionate Mind?

The author's kindness and humor. He felt like a friend, helping me through difficult--but crucial--information that will help my life for years and years to come. I will always be grateful to him for this.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Compassionate Mind?

A few things. When he mentioned other works by other authors (Napoleon Hill's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" which basically tells us to just LISTEN to each other; John Price's work; Mark Leary's book "The Curse of the Self"; and many more), I quite often took note of that for future looking into.

The author's book focuses on explaining complex ideas about self-compassion (and compassion for others) in easily-understood language, and to tell we the readers that we CAN attain this elusive and wonderful gift of self-compassion/other compassion.

The gold in this book, which was repeated in many different ways throughout the book (helping me to understand it from different angles and within different contexts), THE THEME UPON WHICH THIS BOOK IS WRITTEN, is that it isn't our fault that we are critical or judgmental toward ourselves or others, or might feel superior/inferior, OR that we suffer from anxiety, fear, anger, or depression. Further--and what really brings it home for me--is that it is natural to feel a sudden flood of anxiety, fear, or a feeling of anger or wanting to exact revenge. AND that, because of how our brains have evolved, it is also natural for us to ruminate on these momentary feelings for days, months, and even years. It is also natural to feel a wide spectrum of feelings. They are not the enemies. What IS important is being aware of them and dealing with them so they don't overtake your life (like my reference to rumination--which is only one example).

In a phrase, he wants us to "experience rather than self-judge/judge others"; to be kind, loving, self-compassionate/compassionate, and warm towards ourselves and others. His full chapters, coming at the subject from many angles, and his exercises teach us how to do this.

This is not a difficult, scientifically-slanted book, though it is grounded firmly in science. It is also not a spiritual book per se, though you can certainly come at it from that angle, should you enjoy that. It is just, plain and simple, a very, very practical book. It doesn't throw around any far-flinging (what I call) "woo-woo" terms which other books might. It's real. It's down to earth. It's usable in everyday life.

He gave hope to this reader.

I feel more hope now, after hearing this book (which I'll be restarting at the beginning as soon as I've finished the first go-through, and I'm going to listen to it again and again) than I have in three decades of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, and therapies with dozens of philosophies and advice.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

As others have stated, this book is very long. But it is, by no means, too long--for all of its in-depth coverage of vital (and in my view life-saving) information. There is nothing I would have edited out to cut down the length. I have been listening to it in 3-4 blocks of time. But you could easily listen to it in one-hour increments or full day's-worth segments of time.

Any additional comments?

Buy this book, and then let it wash over you, confront your prior attitudes and opinions, and amaze you. His book is tightly focused, well-planned and executed, and practical for novices and experienced alike! I'm going to look for more by this author.

As a side note: this book is written by a British author, and the audio book is read by a British narrator. However, as an American, I had no trouble understanding every single word. In addition, I didn't have to strain to hear every single word with ease--the tone was even in volume and cadence throughout the entire piece.

Buy this book. It will make you feel so much better and more hopeful about yourself and your world than you could have ever imagined. I think these ideas are going to make a huge difference in my life as I begin to orient my gaze toward its premises, exercises, and practical applications.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Joe on 10-10-15

Such a splendid book!

Such a humanistic master pease! And also, in my layman mind, a very exiting summary, at least for the large audience, of many evolvements in modern psychiatry. But before all a brilliant and convincing presentation emphasizing the importance of the compassionate perspective not only in the caring professions and the education sectors but in all functions of the public as well as the private spheres of society. Also very well written and not without some elegant humor and charming self irony.
When an audiobook stretches over many hours I am
sometimes inclined to fast forward; just a little. But never in this Masterpiece even if more than 20 hours of audio normally could feel like a long piece of listening. And indeed it was so long so that I just made up my mind to read it in e-book form, before I listen to it the second time.
The narration was also very good.
Johan Landsdorff

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 12-09-16

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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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Luke Stableford on 03-09-15

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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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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