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 "The Way Out" by Alan Gordon
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Posted - 08/28/2021 :  13:23:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm curious what people on this forum think of this new book. His approach, broadly, seems consistent with Dr. Sarno -- if people believe their pain is not physical, then it can go away over time. At the same time, I felt like much of the book came from Dr. Sarno's work, but without any formal attribution to Sarno (other than a brief mention in the acknowledgements). For example, the discussion of personality traits is very similar to Sarno's books. I also think Sarno would disagree with the viewpoint that the brain is "making a mistake" when it creates chronic pain, or that the pain receptors in the brain are "stuck in the on position." Sarno felt that the brain was acting purposefully in creating the pain. I also was uncomfortable with Gordon's suggestion that people should proactively engage in avoidance behavior (ceasing physical activity when the pain is pronounced). I know Sarno felt that approach often led to setbacks rather than progress. I have to wonder if Gordon's patients experience the symptom imperative -- e.g., chronic back pain turning into some other kind of pain or symptom -- and how he treats that. If the next symptom is numbness/tingling, how can that be explained by saying the brain is stuck in the "on" position? One last point -- I thought it unusual for Gordon to say up front that his mother gave him a mindbody book that changed his life when he was first experiencing chronic pain, but he never identifies the book! I have to wonder if it was one of Sarno's books, but I guess we'll never know.
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