Book Review: UnF#ck Your Brain

UnF#ck Your Brain by Faith G. Harper, PhD, LPC-S, ACS, ACN (2017)

What Amazon says: 

A no-nonsense and helpful guide on how to cope with a slew of mental-health issues that are hell-bent on ruining the lives of millions of people worldwide. 

Our brains do their best to help us out, but every so often they can be real assholes―having melt downs, getting addicted to things, or shutting down completely at the worst possible moments. Your brain knows it’s not good to do these things, but it can’t help it sometimes―especially if it’s obsessing about trauma it can’t overcome. That’s where this life-changing book comes in. 

With humor, patience, science, and lots of good-ole swearing, Dr. Faith explains what’s going on in your skull, and talks you through the process of retraining your brain to respond appropriately to the non-emergencies of everyday life, and to deal effectively with old, or newly acquired, traumas (particularly post-traumatic stress disorder).

What I say:

As someone who struggles with mental health issues, I couldn’t resist this book.  Firstly, because I ‘swear like a sailor’ in my clinical work with teens. Most books on the topic are whitewashed and full of old clinical jargon and leave me bored and disconnected.  THIS book held more promise for me in the premise that using ‘scatalogical language’ might bring the concepts down to earth for me, and for my clients. After finishing it, the cussing was a little disingenuous for me, meaning it felt a bit contrived, but that’s merely my own projection of how much is too much, so decide for yourself.  I will say that if you are offended by swearing, DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK! 

10 years ago, no one gave trauma the due it deserves.  Today, the phrase ‘trauma informed care’ is on the list of topics at every conference I attend.  Trauma is internal, it’s subjective, and comes in way more shapes and sizes than we once thought.  As another author I love, Gabor Mate, puts it, “Trauma isn’t just about the bad things that DID happen, it’s about the good and right things that DIDN’T.”  In Unf*ck Your Brain, Dr. Harper basically devotes the first HALF of the book to understanding what trauma is and what it does to the brain so we can all be more intelligent in our approaches to healing from it.  

The second half of the book talks about your more traditional topics like depression and anxiety, and finishes with short primers on best practices for treating both.  It’s a quick read, and full of good science and relatable examples. All in all, I learned a few new ways to relate to this above issues, and was reminded of others I’d heard before but forgot.  That’s all I hope to gain from any book, so job done!

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for finally writing about > Book Review: UnF#ck Your Brain – Tim Ringgold < Liked it!

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