Are you plagued by unwanted thoughts? Perhaps thoughts of what this review will bring?
To begin with, Dr. Wegner was a colleague of a former psychology professor of mine from the undergraduate years. This professor was one of the most influential individuals of my life, so when I read his bio on the university page a couple of years ago and saw his mention of this book, I knew I had to get it. No, I didn’t receive a free copy in exchange for an honest review. **grumble** I did, however, gladly purchase the book based on his recommendation. Wow. Excellent choice!
Everyone has different degrees and experiences when it comes to having unwanted thoughts; I know from my own experience that it can be awfully consuming depending on the situation. Try pushing down or suppressing an unwanted thought… what happens? It reemerges and reemerges and reemerges. The persistence in this process can be problematic and sometimes overwhelming. Dr. Wegman studied this concept and writes how one should not consciously work on suppressing unwanted thoughts. Instead, one is to “let it be” as it were, and slowly but surely the unwanted thoughts will evaporate.
Being the psychologist that he was, Dr. Wegman provides true scientific research through statistical analysis of his subjects. His discussion on depression and obsessive thoughts were personally fascinating. It felt like he was speaking directly to me.
While there are charts and graphs to support his material and being a PhD in psychology, this book is well written with plenty of humor and easily translated for the layperson who isn’t in graduate school studying this science. His brassy and unique perspective on a topic rarely studied before was incredibly rewarding to read.
Note: Thank you, Dr. Alan Swinkels, for being the extraordinary individual that you were and likely still are. I never would have known of this book had you not given it kudos. Twenty years later you’re still influencing me.
Rating: 5 stars
Title: White Bears and Other Unwanted Thoughts: Suppression, Obsession, and the Psychology of Mental Control
Author: Daniel M. Wegner
Release Date: July 17, 1989