The Power of Thought in a Distracted and Violent World Publication date : October 12, 2016
Laurie Hawkes, a Frenchwoman with American roots, is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist. She teaches at the Ecole d’Analyse Transactionnelle Paris-Ile de France (Paris Regional School of Transactional Analysis). She has written a great number of books, including in 2013 La force des introvertis (“The Power of Introverts”) and De l’avantage d’être sage dans un monde survolté (“The Advantage of Staying Calm in an Over-Excited World”), published by Eyrolles, and in 2014, Petit traité de lucidité sur soi-même et sur les autres (“A Brief Treatise on Clear-Sightedness About Oneself and Others”), published by Payot.
Truly knowing how to think: a new key to well-being
This essay will introduce the general public to a skill that psychologists and psychosomatic practitioners are aware of, but which is otherwise not well known: mentalization. Mentalizing allows us to perceive situations calmly and completely, to develop free-flowing and regenerative thought processes, to make connections between events, and to enrich our reflections with both past experiences and empathy... Far from clichés, it is no more nor less than “truly knowing how to think”.
People who are used to self-reflection are in the habit of being aware of their own thoughts and feelings, as well as being sensitive to those of others, which they try to decipher. Alas, this skill often disappears when our stress levels get too high. That level is different for each of us, depending on the care and attention we received, particularly from our parents and other key attachment figures.
So this book offers a clear explanation of what goes on when we’re not able to “mentalize”: it identifies the consequences and, above all, shows the steps we can take to develop this skill, which is at the root of feeling comfortable with both oneself and others.