Book Review – RESOLVE: A New Model Of Therapy by Richard Bolstad

Copyright: 2002

Publisher: Crown House Publishing

Richard Bolstad’s book RESOLVE: A New Model of Therapy is excellent on several levels and is highly recommended for anyone interested in advancing the science of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) or the use of NLP is psychotherapeutic practice. It is extensively referenced, citing research, other NLP developer’s ideas, and non-NLP models of change. This is not a book focused on NLP “pyrotechnics” (his term), rather it is integrative and practical. Bolstad makes connections between NLP and other models of psychotherapy. He presents a perspective on the utility of NLP as an explanatory model, as NLP concepts are useful for explaining what therapist from many orientations do. His RESOLVE model is essentially a well articulated synthesis of the use of the NLP in the context of an NLP informed psychotherapy model.

The book provides a historical perspective on NLP and psychotherapy. Bolstad makes the point that NLP’s roots and assumptions have connections with other forms of psychotherapy. He devotes a chapter providing a clear, science based, linkage between NLP and how the brain functions. Bolstad discusses several aspects of the model (representational systems, submodalities, emotional states, etc.) and relates these to what has been learned in recent years about neurological functioning. For instance, his discussion of the state-dependent qualities of neural encoding and the implications of this for intervention was fascinating.

Bolstad makes the point that research into NLP is still needed to make it more useful for psychotherapists. He notes that since the earliest NLP writings this need has been recognized, “but it was 20 years before the field of NLP itself began to respond effectively to this need.” He goes on to describe several studies published over the last ten years that examined the use of NLP in psychotherapy that found positive results. But research supporting that NLP is successful “in a general sense” has not been enough to draw a great deal of attention to it among psychotherapists. He also notes that few attempts to link NLP techniques and those used in other models of psychotherapy have been made since NLP’s inception, with a notable exception being Practical Magic: A Translation of Basic Neuro-Linguistic Programming into Clinical Psychotherapy by Stephen Lankton, published in 1980. Bolstad notes that it has been more than 20 years since Lankton’s book and “both NLP and psychotherapy have evolved.” Clearly Bolstad feels that more attention to the use of NLP in psychotherapy is warranted. A major accomplishment of this book is to systematically address how NLP fits into psychotherapy as it is practiced today. Among other things, he advocates the incorporation of NLP interventions into the context of the therapist preferred modality to speed the achievement of many specific results.

In my estimation one of the critical points Bolstad makes relates to what type of information constitutes data supporting the validity of NLP as a change technology. While advocating more clinical research, he also contends that “Because much of NLP is a metadiscipline (a way of …

Book Review of "Kabul Beauty School"

If you thought you knew everything there is to know about beauty schools, you haven’t seen anything like this. In “Kabul Beauty School”, author Deborah Rodriguez-Turner with Kristin Ohlson shares one journey you wouldn’t even imagine. It’s not an adventure I would want because I am too afraid to ever leave the United States but a fascinating one to read about from a woman who has guts.

At the age of twenty-six, Deborah divorced her first husband. She had two kids and couldn’t quite put her finger on it but she always seemed to be restless. She tried college. She tried being a correctional officer. She tried partying. She tried religion. Without a religious background, she jumped right in to a Pentecostal church and married a traveling preacher who turned out to be abusive.

Her second marriage tuned out to be a bad situation. Deborah sent her boys to live with her mother and started trying to find the safest way to escape this relationship. She began going on mission trips, convincing her husband that she would be a good helper to him when he traveled. Then, she also got involved with relief efforts of humanitarian agencies and really enjoyed it.

On her first trip by herself to Afghanistan, she felt a little awkward because all the other volunteers were educated medical professionals. To her pleasant surprise, when she was introduced as a hair dresser, everyone was ecstatic because she could help them feel refreshed in the ditsy desert.

When she returned home, she began brainstorming about how she could make a difference in the lives of Middle Eastern Women by opening a beauty school and teaching them to become hairdressers.

Deborah collected product donations, found someone to ship the product and made contacts to actually make the dream happen. Someone put her in contact with a lady who already had started a school and suggested they join forces so she agreed. She just wanted to help.

Deborah’s husband was very controlling and began making threats in attempt to stop her from leaving him. She had her mind made up and left.

Once she opened her school, friends convinced her that if she planned on staying permanently, she would need a husband. She agreed to enter an arranged marriage as the second wife.

Much of the book introduces the reader to the lives of the women at the school. Sadly, she discovered that she couldn’t help everyone because there were so many sad stories and cultural differences beyond her control. She learned to be grateful those the differences she could make. As of the publishing if the book in 2007, she was still married to her Afghan husband and remains living there. The school had many obstacles to overcome but she did make a difference.

I think the main point of the book is that you have something to offer wherever you live.

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Book Review – The Elements of Style by Strunk and White

Most of us do not like to write. Writing is a skill and not something you are born with. Initially, I did not like to write. I found it cumbersome and even difficult to put my thoughts into writing. Currently, I love to write. Writing has become a means of expression. It is the best way to organize your thoughts and convey meaning.

There are many books on writing and on technical aspects of writing such as punctuations, spelling, etc. There are few books on the style and proper flow of writing. One book stands above all books. It has also been around for awhile. That book is "The Elements of Style" by William Strunk Jr. and EB White.

The authors are also writers themselves. EB White wrote the classic children's book, "Charlotte's Web". Their principles on the style and proper use in writing is generally accepted by anyone and everyone (educators, writers, teachers, etc.).

The book, "Elements of Style", should be one of those books that students and writers should have a copy of. As a student, you will learn principles that will make your essays and papers convey effective meaning (and earn an "A" at the same time). As a writer, you will be able to make your writing flow purposefully and your ideas come across as organized and effective. This is what you want your writing to be.

The English language has its own code. The book, "Elements of Style", will enable you to "break that code" in your writing. That code includes how to use punctuations, active tense, composition, expressions, and style. Here are the topics that are covered by this reference book:

* Elementary rules of usage
This includes how to properly use parenthesis, commas, colons, dashes, etc. It is also discusses using the proper possessive form, proper use of pronouns, phrases, etc.

* Elementary principles of composition
This includes choosing a design in your writing, paragraphs, active voice, statements in positive form, using definitive (rather than useless words), loose sentences, keeping related words together, use of tense, placing emphatic words at end, etc.

* An Approach to Style
This includes writing naturally, writing with nouns and verbs, revising, rewriting, cardinal sins such as using foreign languages ​​or excessive opinions, being clear, over explanation, etc.

* A Few Matters of Form and Words and Expressions Commonly Misused.

This will benefit anyone who needs to write to a wider audience. Unless you want to write in fragmented thoughts or in a haphazard way, then this book is not for you. Otherwise, you will need this book, "The Elements of Style", to be a reference for all your writing.

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Men's Style by Russell Smith – Book Review

Writers on sartorial style tend to have a lovely prose style. This is certainly the case for Russell Smith, author of Men's Style: The Thinking Man's Guide to Dress. His book is full of interesting and entertaining anecdotes, paragraphs and turns of phrase, yet he never comes across as trying too hard. He's able to explain the technicalities of fine dress while writing in plain English – easier said than done.

The one problem with any style guide is that, at bottom, style is a matter of personal taste, and the rules become more subjective as you gain expertise. Russell does not deny this, but he is also firm about his convictions. I'd personally much rather read a book like this – even if I disagreed with most of the author's prescriptions and proscriptions – than a book full of wishy-washy relativism ("Leisure suits are not my thing, but wear them if you want to. "How helpful would that be?).

Rules of style are meant to make dressing less confusing, since "it is useful to know the rules, particularly if you are new to this whole game and don't trust your own taste." Fred Astaire may be able to pull off an outfit that would leave you or I looking like a dressed-up ape, not because he's handsome (he isn't) but because he's a pro. He can break the rules because he knows them, and he knows the loopholes.

The book is a good introduction to men's style, especially traditional and somewhat formal style. It shows you how clothes can make you feel sexy and cool. It shows you how to dress for different occasions. It's also a fun read. But if you're looking for advice on, say, how to pick the best color shirt for your skin tone, or how to dress for your body type, you might want something more practical and technical.

The book has wide margins, which allow quotes, illustrations and sidebars to frame the page. The illustrations, by the excellently-named Edwin Fotheringham, are a nice addition and help illustrate the author's point: a chapter about casual dress features a man dressed in a paisley leisure suit with a gold chain. The caption: "Casual dress is probably the contemporary male's weakest point." Point made.

This is a great gift for a man who is interested in style, or at least in sleeping with women. (If he's interested in sleeping with men, he'll still find it entertaining.) If you have a spouse, brother, or friend who makes abysmal fashion choices, consider giving them this book as an introduction to style. I've combined this book with an old picture book of Fred Astaire or Carey Grant, just to point out how important good style can be.

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Two Old Women: A Book Review

Folktales provide great insight into specific cultures. We often find enjoyment reading our own folktales to our children but tales from different cultures provide us with a greater understanding of other kinds of lifestyles. "Two Old Women" is powerful story written by Velma Wallis about a Gwich'in band of Alaskan Athabaskans. It is a story about two aging women and traditional Athabaskan practices, but it incorporates universal themes of survival and motivation.

The story follows Ch'idzigyaak and Sa 'as they face the cruel fate of being abandoned by their own people. The lack of food forces the chief to make the decision to abandon the two old women. Thus, Ch'idzigyaak and Sa 'begin their journey of physical, emotional, and psychological endurance. They travel across the land fending for themselves finding they had more strength than they thought possible.

They started as a couple of old women who would complain a lot while doing little work, but they transform into two successful and strong survivors. At the end of the story, they reunite with their tribe. The meeting is shaky at the start, but the women eventually forgive their people for abandoning them and share their bounty with their less successful family and friends.

Throughout the story, we learn much about the Gwich'in culture. Ch'idzigyaak and Sa 'recount their childhood and discuss roles within their families. We learn that the Gwich'in have distinct jobs designated to females and males, there are female and male gender roles and specified times when males and females should marry and have children, the Gwich'in view of aging is varied and changing, and there are distinct cultural values ​​among the Gwich'in.

The distinct cultural values ​​among the Gwich'in are shown in the themes of the story. These women toiled and survived through hardship and eventually found a happy ending. It shows how the Gwich'in value strength, both physical and mental. This story was likely created to inspire others to be strong and endure through hard times because it is possible even for a couple of old women. The Gwich'in also value their people. The women were abandoned by their band but forgave them since they have a deep connection with their people. They share certain understandings and a way of living.

Two Old Women is an amazing story full of the Gwich'in culture. It shows many examples of how they lived and what they believe. But the story is great because it not only provides us with cultural information. It is a story about people on an incredible journey who transforms themselves. People of all cultures can learn a lesson from these two old women.

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