Rewiring Your Brain: Insightful, Inspiring
People Excerpt from the book by Dr. Robert A.
I think Dr.Kenneth Herman would agree with me that most humans are
seldom at peace, but in a state of disequilbrium. This is normal since the body and mind as a single entity is
so complex that all or some part is trying to regain its balance.The same is true for every human relationship
- a constant tug of war of controlling or being controlled. I believe most relationships do not properly
address or even admit that there is a power, a control factor, in any relationship. Not recognizing and then
finding compromises, ways to make the relationship more satisfying to both is the thing that causes constant
stresses and often kills the relationship.
Further, Ken admits that, despite, his skill and successes helping individuals,
couples, and groups he has been frustrated at the number who have refused or been unable to make even the first
steps towards mental and emotional health. This is true for all those who work at trying to change any human at any
age. Although learning is a natural aspect of humans, there is a resistance towards any change after any neural
pattern has taken hold and becomes a thought less reaction.
Any believed failures on his part were not from any lack of his skill, but the
refusal by those so hard-wired for failure and negativity that they feared that any change would be worse than
their known misery. So, many people choose to do nothing to help themselves, because they may have made some
initial feeble attempt at change and things gotten worse.
I told my students that everyone who is growing constantly fails, but I was there to
help them learn from these. Those that bought into this showed the most growth.
Dr.Herman has written a self-help book that is easy to read, is filled with on the
target anecdotes that are vivid and interesting, explanations that make sense, and exercises or to-do things that
An example is his self-image exercise in which the person fills in a list of his
positive and negative characteristics such as: Assertive, creative,honest, helpful, worthwhile or lonely, fearful,
lazy, rigid. It is a useful conversation tool to get him thinking about what he believes about himself.
In another section - Avoiding Plan Deviations - he gets him to focus on some of the
most common forms of resistance. They are: magical thinking; expecting a quick fix;impulsive behavior; going for
too much too soon; doing nothing; sabotaging oneself; and waiting for a crisis. I’ve seen the sabotaging oneself
process with kids as they say or do something that they know will get them in trouble. Often it’s an aspect of
their poor self-image, which continues what they think others expect from them.
On "My Space" I tried, as an atheist, to get people who are atheists, occultists, and
religious people to seek out those with a vastly different Point of View to then listen to them,ry to discuss and
understand their differences, but in a civil manner. It is what I model on my show. It didn’t work. I received many
insulting comments about my efforts from nonbelievers and believers that felt I was either damn stupid or
I have dealt with magical thinking with children, teens, and adults and found that
people have an almost innate sense to believe in people, entities, and events that have little relation to
Justin Barrett has suggested (in FREE INQUIRY -Aug/Sept. -2011) that humans believe
this way due to a hypersensitive agent detection device - HADD. Mostly we account for what we observe and feel
based our learning and understanding of natural cause and effect connections.
From Barrett,”We have evolved to be overly sensitive to agency. We evolved in an
environment containing many agents - family members, friends, rivals, predators, prey, etc. Spotting and
understanding other agents helps us survive and reproduce. so we evolved to to be sensitive to them -
oversensitive, in fact. Hear a rustle in the bushes behind you and you instinctively whirl around, looking for a
cause, an agent. Most times, there’s no one there - just the wind in the leaves. But, in the environment in which
we evolved, on those few occasions when there is an agent present, detecting it may well have saved your
Far better to avoid several imaginary predators than to be eaten by a real one. Thus
evolution will select for an inheritable tendency to not just detect - but to over detect - any agency. The
unfortunate side of this is to believe in supernatural agents or events that can cripple our ability to deal with
things that the natural explanations would better help us deal with reality.
Sabotaging ourself is another biggie that I’ve seen frequently that can be helped
by making the child or adult conscious of how and why they do it. Dr.Herman has a lot to say about this and the
other categories above.
To overcome these problems Ken has some specific steps. Identifying and acknowledging
the problem. This is difficult because it means facing behavior that has taken years to develop and then going into
unknown areas.Parental influences with tapes from the past meets with some resistance from parents who must face
their own mistakes in raising that person. Fear about how the parents will react when confronted with any of their
negative influences may stifle examining the past.
Uncovering the sources of their problems is often protected by religious beliefs
that forbid thinking bad thoughts, which are believed to cause the bad actions. Identifying resistances as in the
avoiding plan deviations. Finding the courage to change is critical as most people with addictions find this the
major problem. And that’s in the first two chapters.
The other three chapters deal with: Your personal peace plan; your emotions and
feelings; and emerging stronger. That’s a big bunch of lifechanging information.
His bedside (or sofa side) manner comes through revealing a man who deeply cares for
his patients - and is himself, patient, I empathize with him (as a teacher and parent) as he saw those who were
“stuck” unable to get unstuck, despite his valiant and flexible efforts.
It is one reason for burnout with those in helping professions. I know that teachers
face so many impediments in their ability to do what they believe could help their students that many no longer can
deal with what is attributed as their fault. It’s like tying the quarterbacks throwing arm and expecting him to be
However, for anyone who wants to make his / her life better, is
willing to risk change, willing to do the work it entails, and accept responsibility for the outcomes, then
Ken’s book will give them the answers and format to be on the road to personal peace. He seems to have