What to Eat for Good Physical and Mental Health
By Renata Taylor-Byrne and Jim Byrne
Not all foods are equally good for us. Some foods suppress our immune system, and leave us open to physical disease invasions. Some foods damage our gut wall and cause inflammation throughout the body and brain, opening up the possibility not only of physical disease, but also all kinds of mental illness and emotional distress. Some foods promote obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
In this brief book, we review the six main foods that you need to avoid, and the most important guidelines we have been able to research and develop, over many years, for eating a diet which will sustain your body and help you to keep your mind happy and calm.
The book I wish I had written, by Jim Byrne
The main book I’d like to have written is ‘The Road Less Travelled’, by M. Scott Peck. (Of course, there are many others!) This book begins with a reminder of the Buddha’s main insight: That life for a human being is difficult, and necessarily involves suffering, or frustration. Scott Peck also emphasized the importance of taking responsibility for your own life and actions; and he clarified the very important point that – once you have reached adulthood – love is to be found primarily in your own heart, and thus the practice of love, for yourself and others, is a practice of caring actively for yourself and others. He also emphasized the importance of controlling your appetites and deferring gratification, if you want to have a happy and successful life. And perhaps the most important principle in the whole book is this: Dedication to reality at all costs. Avoid fantasy and escapism, and you will be happier and more productive.
Safeguard Your Sleep and Reap the Rewards:
Better health, happiness and resilience
This book contains a detailed review of the science of sleep; what this tells us about the importance of sleep for a happy, successful life; and how to begin to manage your sleep cycles better, for a sense of delicious relaxation in your life.
Now you can begin to understand why you need sleep; how much you need; how to optimize your chances of getting a good night’s sleep; and what to do if you experience sleep disturbance. You will also learn how to defend your sleep against modern sleep-distractions.
This paperback and/or eBook explores the science of sleep, and how you can improve almost every aspect of your life; including how you feel and perform in the world.
If you (or somebody close to you) are having problems sleeping; or you wonder why you are gaining weight despite your attempts to diet; or your emotional intelligence keeps letting you down; now you can learn the links that exist between those problems, on the one hand, and your approach to sleep, on the other. And you can gain a new mastery over your sleep.
Motivate Yourself to Exercise:
Understand the links between exercise and mental health –
and learn how to reduce your depression, anxiety and anger problems
By Renata Taylor-Byrne and Jim Byrne
We have spent years studying the links between physical exercise and mental health; and promoting our own emotional well-being by practicing daily physical exercise. We also teach some elements of our exercise systems to our counselling and coaching clients, and encourage them to engage in regular physical exercise to improve their physical and mental health, and to improve their creativity and impact in the world.
Many people lead sedentary lifestyles – sitting around passively consuming TV shows, and other forms of entertainment; and/or working at a desk or table for long periods of time, rarely standing up or moving around.
It is now well established, scientifically, that this kind of inactive lifestyle leads to both physical and mental health problems.
In this brief book, he set out to teach you about the effects of exercise on your brain and mind; with knock-on effects on your moods and emotions. The scientific research results that we quote should be enough to motivate you to make a commitment to start some form of regular exercise – and we have some recommended approaches for you.
We also realize that you are a creature of habit, and so we include coaching on how to set about changing your habits from favouring inactivity to favouring health-giving physical activity.
The books that helped me to finally understand what determines the shape of couple relationships
By Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling, 30th June 2020
I have read at least a dozen excellent books about couples therapy, love and relationships, over the past twenty-five years; and they helped me to help lots of couples to improve their relationships.
However, I was like a person who has completed a jigsaw puzzle, only to find three pieces missing from the final picture.
Then I found the first of those missing pieces in Anne Teachworth’s book, Why We Pick the Mates We Do: A step-by-step program to select a better partner or improve the relationship you’re already in. Anne Teachworth argues that we develop a model of relationship by observing our parents’ relationship, and then we recreate that relationship with our own partner(s) when we grow to adulthood. That internal model (our ‘Inner Couple’ model) dictates the mates we choose, from non-conscious levels of mind.
The second jigsaw piece came from a book by Levine and Heller, which is entitled Attached: Identify your attachment style and find your perfect match. This book, based on an understanding of our ‘attachment styles’ – which are either secure or insecure; and if they are insecure, they are either avoidant or clinging – argues that a mismatch of attachment styles is a painful kind of relationship to be in, because one partner wants to cling to the other, but the other partner feels the need to keep their distance.
The final piece of the jigsaw turned up in Bessel van der Kolk’s book, The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma. This book convinced me that many of my clients are acting out the consequences of childhood trauma in their adult relationships, and that instead of couple’s therapy, they need trauma therapy.
How to Have a Wonderful, Loving Relationship:
Helpful insights for couples and lovers
This book was originally published with the title, Top secrets for Building a Successful Relationship, in 2018. It was subsequently reissued with a new title and minor changes in November 2019.
Are you unhappily married or coupled?
Is your relationship spoiled by poor communication; rows and conflict; or disengagement and lack of loving kindness?
Do you sometimes feel that you are just reliving your parents’ relationship? The unworkable, misery-inducing pattern that you witnessed in childhood? If so, you are probably right. That is most often how relationships turn out, unless you wake up and begin to change your unconscious pattern of relating.
Most human beings long to be engaged in a loving relationship with another person who they like and admire, and who likes, admires, loves and respects them in turn.
But most people have no idea how to bring this about.
This book reviews the questions:
- What is a relationship, and how can you create one that is successful and really powerful?
- What is love, and how can I learn to be more loving? And get more love back from my partner?
- What are the most important secrets of highly effective communication for people in marriages and marriage-like relationships?
Find out how to reprogram yourself for a loving, joyful, peaceful relationship that enriches your life, instead of making you miserable and disappointed. To find out some more about this process, please click this link.***
The book that brings me the most comfort,
By Renata Taylor-Byrne
The book that I will always have a copy of in my life is this: “How to stop worrying and start living” by Dale Carnegie. This is a collection of ‘successful recipes’ (for conquering worry) and he suggests, at the end of the preface, that we throw the book away if we don’t feel a ‘new power and new inspiration to stop worry and enjoy life’. (And I have never felt like throwing it away!)
He then goes on to present at least 59 ways of reducing worry! I don’t want to present all of them to you, but to give you an example of just one of the techniques: The first one, right at the start of the book, describes William Osler as a medical student who was very worried about passing his final exam, how he could build up a medical practice, and how to live. Then Osler came across a quote by Thomas Carlyle:
‘Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand’.
This is another way of saying: “Live in the present moment”.
And Carnegie uses the example, from Osler, of the way a ship is divided into watertight compartments, which stops it flooding and sinking. He uses this to teach us to “live your life in day-tight compartments”, which again is a restatement of the Buddhist principle of “living in the present”.
Dale Carnegie’s book is stuffed full of the most moving and inspiring first-hand stories, by many people, of how they have handled the challenges they’ve faced, and the techniques they have developed.
Whenever I (Renata) feel fed up and confused, or realise that I have been worrying about the future (or the past) and wasting my energy, I grab Carnegie’s book and leaf through it, and it very quickly wakes me up to what I can do to feel better.
This book is much more valuable than a gem – and costs much less! It is comforting and reassuring, and shows you how to create a happier life for yourself in seconds. See what you think!
How to Resolve Conflict and Unhappiness: Especially during Festive Celebrations:
Coping with and resolving frustrations, disappointments and interpersonal clashes at family celebrations like Christmas, Yuletide, Hanukkah, Eid, and Thanksgiving
Dr Jim Byrne (With Renata Taylor-Byrne)
Conflict can happen in families at any time of year. (and the Coronavirus lock-down, and related financial problems, makes this a particularly likely occurrence!)
(Under normal circumstances) It just so happens that the first Monday after the Christmas & New Year annual holidays is called ‘Divorce Day’, because that is when the highest number of divorce petitions is issued. And it seems most likely that the other major family holiday times are the runners up in the divorce stakes. However, what is hidden under these divorce statistics is the mountain of personal and social misery that precedes such drastic ‘solutions’ to repeated conflict, disappointments and interpersonal clashes.
But there is a better way to deal with these problems. Rather than letting the misery build up over time, you can take control of both your own mind, and the way you communicate within your family and society. You can insulate your social relationships from constant or repeated misery and unhappiness; and learn to have a wonderful life with your family and friends.
The solutions have been assembled by Dr Jim Byrne (with Renata Taylor-Byrne) in this book about how to re-think/re-feel/re-frame your encounters with your significant others; how to communicate so they will listen to you; how to listen so they can communicate with you; and how to manage your lifestyle for optimum peace, happiness and success in all your relationships – but especially at home.
Master the skills of conflict resolution and effective communication.
Don’t let your relationships deteriorate. Get the solution today. Click this link for more information.***
The book that changed my life
By Renata Taylor-Byrne
Without doubt, the book that changed my life the most was Eric Berne’s
‘Games people Play: The psychology of human relationships’.
Eric Berne was a Canadian psychiatrist who created a model of what human beings are like, based on his observations of thousands of GI’s whom he had to interview for their suitability for returning to work in civilian life at the end of the Second World War. His system is called Transactional Analysis (or TA for short).
According to Berne, we each have three major sub-divisions to our personalities: The ‘Child’ Part, when we are playful and creative; the ‘Parent’ part, when we are nurturing or responsible/controlling; and the ’Adult’ part, which does the logical and reasoning about the here and now.
He also analyzed the way people ‘structure their social time’, by engaging in rituals, and/or pastimes, and/or games. Psychological ‘Games’ are the nastiest form of social interaction, in which there is normally a Victim, a Persecutor and a Rescuer; and the interaction involves a hook (into the game); a switch (in roles); and a payoff (which means somebody gets stung, at a psychological level).
I immediately found that, using Bern’s personality model helped me to see what was going on in social interactions. This new awareness strengthened the ‘Adult’ part of my personality.
It helped me to avoid going into ‘Adapted Child’ state with people who wanted to bully or dominate me; or to ‘sting’ me. It helped me to avoid going into ‘Controlling Parent’ state with others, when this was inappropriate. And it helped me to be much more ‘Adult’, by asking for what I want, and saying ‘No’ to what I do not want.
Eric Berne’s book is not just a fascinating read. His model of human personality also helps us to grow up; to strengthen our integrity; and (in a civilized, orderly way) to make us strong enough in ourselves to block attempts by others to take us over, and mould us to their will.
Holistic Counselling in Practice:
An introduction to the theory and practice of Emotive-Cognitive Embodied-Narrative Therapy
By Jim Byrne – With Renata Taylor-Byrne
What does counselling look like when a counsellor ‘adds back the body’ to their model of what a counselling client is? Especially is that counsellor also places emotion at the foundation of the individual, and understands all forms of ‘mental processing of daily life’ as habit-based-socialized-perceiving-feeling-thinking?
This book was the original introduction to Emotive-Cognitive Embodied Narrative Therapy (E-CENT), which was created by Dr Jim Byrne in the period 2009-2014, building upon earlier work from 2003-2007. It is of historic importance, but it has been superseded (by being expanded and updated) by Lifestyle Counselling and Coaching for the Whole Person, which is introduced above.
Prices from: £5.83p GBP (Kindle) and £15.18p (Paperback)
Processing Client Stories in Counselling and Psychotherapy:
How to think about and analyze client narratives
Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling
Of all the systems of counselling and therapy, the main ones that pay attention to the body of the client include Gestalt Therapy, and my own system of Emotive-Cognitive Embodied Narrative Therapy (or E-CENT for short).
In E-CENT counselling, when a client arrives to see us, we see a body-brain-mind-environment-whole entering our room. We agree that this person will begin by telling us a story about their current difficulties; but we recognize that this story is affected, for better or worse, by the quality and duration of their recent sleep patterns; their diet (including caffeine, alcohol, sugary foods, and trans-fats in junk food); and whether or not they do regular physical exercise; and other bodily factors.
However, in this book, we will mainly focus upon the client’s story or narrative; and perhaps remind ourselves occasionally that this story is being told by a physical body-brain-mind which is dependent for optimal functioning upon such factors as diet, exercise, sleep, and so on. We will focus upon the question of the status of autobiographical narratives; and how to analyze the stories our clients tell us.
The Relentless Flow of Fate
By Kurt Llama Byron
An Inspector Glasheen Mystery
1960 was a good year for crime in the city. Street robberies were down; family violence was stable; and there hadn’t been a single murder between New Year’s Day and the end of August. Then, in September, a worrying spate of murders broke out across the city, over a few days. Public panic set in. Old certainties were shaken. What was the pattern to this set of murders?
Byron’s novel introduces the enigmatic Detective Inspector Glasheen, in his forty-eighth year of life, and his twenty-first year as a detective in the Gardai, in Dublin City.
A series of murders awaits him at his new posting. And one in particular, the death of a sixteen year old youth, in his bed, at home, in a working-class suburb of the city, is destined to bring up Glasheen’s own demons, from a very disturbed childhood in Arizona. The grief-driven war-dances of Sitting Bull’s descendants throb just below the surface of this Irish-Indian story; the drumbeats of another time and another place threatening to drown out the outcry of Dubliners about murder and mayhem in their midst.
For more about this story, please click the following link:
Paperback only at the moment, for £11.95 GBP
Anger, resentment and forgiveness:
How to get your inappropriate anger under reasonable control
By Dr Jim Byrne
This self-help book is based on twenty years’ experience by the author of providing anger management counselling and coaching to hundreds of individuals.
If you want to stop wrecking your relationships, at home and in work, than this book is a must read.
It is based on a review of some of the most potent techniques and strategies for controlling your temper that were invented by thoughtful philosophers around the world and across the centuries.
PAPERBACK BOOK ON VARIOUS STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVELY CONTROLLING YOUR ANGER…
It will give you mastery over you emotions, and the ability to forgive those who transgress against you, without being too passive.
Who Are You, And Where Are You Going?
Transformative insights from psychology and the philosophy of psychotherapy
By Dr Jim Byrne
With Renata Taylor-Byrne
Most people lead lives of quiet desperation. They don’t know who are what they are. They also don’t know what is driving their actions in the world.
Most people skip the challenge of becoming conscious about who and what they are; where they are located in time/history; and what is possible for such an actor in terms of future directions for a viable/enjoyable life.
Most people spend the whole of their life living as largely non-conscious victims of a script they wrote for themselves, with the aid of their parents, when they were less than seven years old, when they hadn’t got enough sense to write a really good outcome for themselves.
This book teaches you who and what you are; and in particular, it helps you to come to know your own personality, and your life script. It shows you how to change your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, including your relationship behaviours, in order to produce a better future for yourself. Change your destiny!
The Emergent Social Individual:
Or how social experience shapes the human body-brain-mind
By Dr Jim Byrne
Copyright © Jim Byrne, 2009-2019
The E-CENT perspective sees the relationship of mother-baby as a dialectical (or interactional) one of mutual influence, in which the baby is ‘colonized’ by the mother/carer, and enrolled over time into the mother/carer’s culture, including language and beliefs, scripts, stories, etc. This dialectic is one between the innate urges of the baby and the cultural and innate and culturally shaped behaviours of the mother. The overlap between mother and baby gives rise to the ‘ego space’ in which the identity and habits of the baby take shape. And in that ego space, a self-identity appears as an emergent phenomenon, based on our felt sense of being a body (the core self) and also on our conscious and non-conscious stories about who we are and where we have been, who has related to us, and how: (the autobiographical self).
Albert Ellis and the Unhappy Golfer:
A critique of the simplistic ABC model of REBT
By Dr Jim Byrne
This is a book of reflections upon a case study, presented by Dr Ellis in his 1962 book about the theory of Rational Therapy.
The ‘unhappy golfer’ is in Dr Albert Ellis’s office, in New York City, somewhere around the end of the 1950’s. He tells Dr Ellis that he feels terribly unhappy about being rejected by his golfing peers, and Dr Ellis tells him: This is something you are doing to yourself!
Ellis uses the unhappy golfer to introduce his readers to his simple ABC model of Rational (REB) Therapy, which claims – in those places that matter most – that a person cannot be upset emotionally in any way other than by their own beliefs!
This book sets out to refute this simplistic idea.
The Amoralism of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT):
The mishandling of self-acceptance and unfairness issues by Albert Ellis
This book is an extensive, detailed critique of two of the central ideas of REBT:
(1) The concept of ‘unconditional self-acceptance’; and
(2) The idea that life is fundamentally unfair, and that it should be accepted as such, and never complained about.
In the process we also deal with Albert Ellis’s idea that people should never be blamed for anything; that praise and blame are bad; that guilt and shame are to be eliminated, and never taken to be indicators that we’ve done something wrong. Along the way we have a debate with Dr Michael Edelstein about the role of fairness in couple relationships.
Discounting Our Bodies:
A brief, critical review of REBT’s flaws
By Dr Jim Byrne
This book is a brief, summary critique of the main errors contained in the foundations of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) theory. And especially the invalidity of the ABC model, which asserts that nothing other than beliefs intervenes between a negative experience and an emotional-behavioural reaction. (The body is ignored, even though we know that diet, exercise and sleep patterns all affect our emotional state and our emotional resilience!)
If you want to know the essence of our critique of REBT, but you don’t want to have to read 500+ pages, then this 150 page summary should appeal to you.
Paperback only (at the moment). Price £9.50 GBP
How to Quickly Fix your Couple Relationship:
A brief DIY handbook for serious lovers
By Dr Jim Byrne
This self-help book has been specially designed to provide some quick relief up front, for couples in trouble. That means that, right at the start of the book, I share with you some of the most powerful insights into how to have a happy relationships. I then help you to complete a couple of exercises that take five minutes per day, and which will begin to change your relationship situation almost at once.
A SELF-HELP BOOK THAT PUTS YOU IN THE DRIVING SEAT OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP, AND QUICKLY AND SECURELY ON THE ROAD TO HAPPINESS IN YOUR LOVE AFFAIRS…
Your approach to relationship will be transformed, with huge benefits to your health and happiness.
For more information:
A counsellor reflects upon models of mind
Integrating the psychological models of Plato, Freud, Berne and Ellis
By Dr Jim Byrne
Prices from: £5.99 (Kindle) and £14.99 GBP (Paperback)
This book explores some significant ways of thinking about the nature of the human brain-mind. Every counsellor needs to think long and hard about their perceptions of their clients. Are they based on ‘common sense’, or have they been subjected to the discipline of considering the theories of great minds that preceded us, like Plato, Freud, Berne and Ellis. (Ellis, of course, oversimplified the SOR model of mind into the simple ABC model, but he is still important because of his impact on the whole CBT theory, which currently dominates the field of counselling and therapy in the US, UK and elsewhere). The author provides a stimulating review of several theories of mind.
Coming soon, in summer 2021
How to be a Successful Husband:
Essential knowledge and skills for men in relationships
By Jim Byrne, with Renata Taylor-Byrne, 2020
This book is designed to help younger men to have happier, more successful marriages, or marriage-like relationships, which will, in turn, positively impact every aspect of their lives, including their physical and mental health. Every young man, starting out on the road towards finding or creating a committed sex-love relationship, needs the kind of advice and guidance contained in this book.
Any man who believes he can achieve personal success – however that is defined – by getting the support of a subordinated woman, is self-delusional. If he tries this approach, his success will be superficial; and it will not last long.
It is also now well known that very many physically sick men are likely to have a conflicted relationship with a wife or partner driving their illness. Unhappy relationships make us sick, physically and mentally.
By contrast, happy relationships make life worth living; improve our immune functioning; and bring sunshine to our otherwise difficult lives.
This book consists of a course of self-study, designed to teach younger men some of the basic knowledge and skills they need in order to be successful husbands to equally successful and happy wives.
Recovery from Childhood Trauma:
How I healed my heart and mind – and how you can heal yourself
By Dr Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling
Many people struggle with emotional distress, just below the level of conscious awareness, which mars their life chances, and limits their capacity for happy relationships. Much of this distress could and should be classified as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); or emotional distress which follows on from a traumatic experience, which is too stressful (at the time of occurrence) to be processed into a coherent story. And even more should be defined as Complex-PTSD, arising out of protracted child abuse in early childhood.
The author describes the main traumatic experiences that occurred in his childhood, which hung like a dark cloud over his emotional and relational life, up to the age of almost forty years or so. He also describes the various therapeutic processes that he used to try to process his undigested childhood pain. Chief among those strategies were the writing of his Story of Origins and his Story of Relationship, both of which are reproduced in this book, along with analysis and commentary. He also includes guidelines for the reader to do their own writing therapy on their own childhood trauma, which will greatly improve the quality of their emotional and relational lives. And he emphasizes the importance of exercise and other body-based healing approaches. His hope is that the reader will use this book to become happier and healthier, and more at ease in their own skin; with a better prospect of moving forward into a more enjoyable future life.
New book, coming soon:
Transforming Traumatic Dragons:
How to recover from a history of trauma – using a whole body-brain-mind approach
By Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling
Revised, expanded and updated: January 2021
From Ancient Athens to Vietnam and Zambia, individual lives have been ruined by stress, strain, abuse and neglect. Madness, serious unhappiness and unworkable lives were most often the result.
Many common problems with physical and mental health are a result of childhood trauma, and/or being an adult who is abused by another adult.
Early childhood trauma (like physical and emotional abuse, and neglect), and other forms of prolonged trauma (like domestic abuse), affect the very structure of the human brain, and the behaviour of stress hormones in the body.
But the good news is this: It is possible to recover from all forms of trauma, given the right kind of approach. And this book offers you just such an approach to self-healing.
Dr Byrne discusses the following topics: What is trauma? What is post-traumatic stress disorder? What is Complex-PTSD? How widespread is Complex-PTSD? What are Adverse Childhood Experiences? What are some solutions to Childhood Developmental Trauma or Complex-PTSD? The meaning and importance of the concept of Traumatic Dragons.
This book contains a comprehensive self-therapy program, to help you to heal your own traumatic wounds, from prolonged childhood abuse or neglect, or other forms of prolonged traumatic experiences.
If you are suffering from the aftermath of prolonged traumatic experiences, this book will be a great help to you. If you work slowly and methodologically through the program of self-healing, described in this book, you will gain by the calming down of your body, brain and mind; and the emergence of a sense of happiness and inner peace.
For more information, please click this link: Transforming Traumatic Dragons
How to eliminate low back pain and hip pain, and cure your arthritis
By Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling
This emerging book by Jim Byrne, Doctor of Counselling, is about how he cured his own back pain and hip pain. He wants to share that almost miraculous cure – of conditions which are currently said to be incurable by conventional medicine – with those myriad people out there who are in daily pain, despite taking painkillers, having surgery or being given steroid injections.
Dr Byrne has recently healed his hips of arthritis, despite being told by a chiropractor that arthritis is incurable, and that he would have to have hip operations sooner rather than later. He has also healed his own low back pain; and sciatic fibrillations in the back of his upper legs.
Now he is writing up his healing journey in a book that will be helpful to millions of pain-sufferers all over the world.
For a page of information about this book, please click this link: How to cure your own back pain and hip pain.***
More about our books
The series of books described on this page has been designed to be helpful to almost any reader; including:
# individuals looking for solutions to current emotional, behavioural or relationship problems;
# self-help enthusiasts and counselling clients;
# plus professional helpers, like counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists, coaches, social workers, educators; and students of those disciplines.