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How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self

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As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Nicole LePera often found herself frustrated by the limitations of traditional psychotherapy. Wanting more for her patients—and for herself—she began a journey to develop a united philosophy of mental, physical and spiritual wellness that equips people with the interdisciplinary tools necessary to heal themselves. After experiencing the life As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Nicole LePera often found herself frustrated by the limitations of traditional psychotherapy. Wanting more for her patients—and for herself—she began a journey to develop a united philosophy of mental, physical and spiritual wellness that equips people with the interdisciplinary tools necessary to heal themselves. After experiencing the life-changing results herself, she began to share what she’d learned with others—and soon “The Holistic Psychologist” was born. Now, Dr. LePera is ready to share her much-requested protocol with the world. In How to Do the Work, she offers both a manifesto for SelfHealing as well as an essential guide to creating a more vibrant, authentic, and joyful life. Drawing on the latest research from a diversity of scientific fields and healing modalities, Dr. LePera helps us recognize how adverse experiences and trauma in childhood live with us, resulting in whole body dysfunction—activating harmful stress responses that keep us stuck engaging in patterns of codependency, emotional immaturity, and trauma bonds. Unless addressed, these self-sabotaging behaviors can quickly become cyclical, leaving people feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, and unwell. 


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As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Nicole LePera often found herself frustrated by the limitations of traditional psychotherapy. Wanting more for her patients—and for herself—she began a journey to develop a united philosophy of mental, physical and spiritual wellness that equips people with the interdisciplinary tools necessary to heal themselves. After experiencing the life As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Nicole LePera often found herself frustrated by the limitations of traditional psychotherapy. Wanting more for her patients—and for herself—she began a journey to develop a united philosophy of mental, physical and spiritual wellness that equips people with the interdisciplinary tools necessary to heal themselves. After experiencing the life-changing results herself, she began to share what she’d learned with others—and soon “The Holistic Psychologist” was born. Now, Dr. LePera is ready to share her much-requested protocol with the world. In How to Do the Work, she offers both a manifesto for SelfHealing as well as an essential guide to creating a more vibrant, authentic, and joyful life. Drawing on the latest research from a diversity of scientific fields and healing modalities, Dr. LePera helps us recognize how adverse experiences and trauma in childhood live with us, resulting in whole body dysfunction—activating harmful stress responses that keep us stuck engaging in patterns of codependency, emotional immaturity, and trauma bonds. Unless addressed, these self-sabotaging behaviors can quickly become cyclical, leaving people feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, and unwell. 

30 review for How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Conflicted. Earnest writing with some concerning content. While this review is focused on what troubled me about this book, the 3 stars I chose to give are vibrant stars. Nicole appears to be an introspective person who has gone deep into her head and heart to unearth why she thinks, acts and behaves in the manner she does (and has historically). When this level of personal insight is met with a doctorate in clinical psychology, field experience, and excellent writing skills, the result can be a Conflicted. Earnest writing with some concerning content. While this review is focused on what troubled me about this book, the 3 stars I chose to give are vibrant stars. Nicole appears to be an introspective person who has gone deep into her head and heart to unearth why she thinks, acts and behaves in the manner she does (and has historically). When this level of personal insight is met with a doctorate in clinical psychology, field experience, and excellent writing skills, the result can be a very powerful thing. After reading this book, I got the feeling that Nicole went on a journey of self-discovery and after many years of pain and struggle she came out beaming. And now she wants to share her process, knowledge and wisdom so that you too, can beam. While this sounds good on paper and may be the driving force behind her work, I find it’s really not as easy and clean as that. My following critique is based on my intuition, which the book tells me to trust. The idea of being a self healer is valid, though I find the way it’s packaged in this book to be concerning. Yes, healing happens within the self, no one can do it for you, it is deeply personal, however, it simply does not happen on your own. I often felt mixed messages that led my intuition to have fears related to the power of this book and the impact that it could have on the vulnerable and impressionable people that read it. We are all vulnerable and impressionable in some ways I think (self included), and I believe folks drawn to self-help topics who are searching- sometimes desperate and longing, for ways to heal, grow and recover, deserve special attention. I found that Nicole would frequently say things like “you’re your own best healer” but I often found other unspoken messages to be present, messages like, I’m the teacher that can show you the way. This is the way to do the work. The more I read on the stronger that feeling got for me. After reading the book and sitting with my thoughts and feelings, the cover hammered it in. The title is “How to Do the Work” and it’s written in all caps in a pretty large font size, as is the author’s name. Hence, I got more confusing vibes. It made me think, So, I can be a self healer but you are shouting at me with this enormous font that doing the work means following you and what you have written? This is not me shaming anyone for the space they take up. Yes, Nicole and you and me and all of us, take up as much space as you want and feel you need, I’m giving an example of how my intuition stopped me and caused pause. There is no single book on doing the work and I found the title to be elitist. This planet is 4.5 billion years old, there are approximately 6500 languages spoken on earth, so many diverse cultures, various fields of science, do you really think that your content is what constitutes “the work”? A more fitting title to me seemed to be, “How I Did My Work.” Dr. LePera has become hugely popular and with this fame comes responsibility. The millions of people that keep up with her on IG are literally called “followers” and that is powerful. In light of this power, I believe there needs to be (ethical) checks and balances of sorts in place, including a disclaimer stating from the author, this book is not therapy. It was written by a person who has a doctorate in clinical psychology (and is a retired therapist I gather), and is designed to help empower the reader to actualize growth and change using the *tips* she outlines but this does not = therapy. I found that not having a clear stance about therapy was like an elephant in the room. More confusing vibes. Without this clarity the focus on being a self healer felt like it was shaming to others who can’t be self healers on their own or through following Dr. LePera and may also need therapy. For example, the person who reads this book, tries to self heal and implement the tactics outlined but is still unhappy and may think, “What is wrong with me. Millions of people have read this work and can self heal, why can’t I? I’m such a _____.” Additionally, there are power dynamics in play and I think mentioning and briefly discussing the complex topic of power differentials would have been important to include. Similarly, I think this book needs a more clarifying position from the author that her path is not necessarily the path to awakening for everyone. She does have a paragraph and “note on doing the work” but I found the sentence included to “…find your own version…” was not sufficient and needed more detail. It took courage to share the personal examples she did and doing so illuminated certain concepts and topics, I see the value in what Nicole shared. What I am saying is that without more clarity (or warning) at the get go and beginning of the book, someone who is impressionable with parallel family dynamics may read this book and feel hyper connected to Nicole and her story and think, I need to do x, y and z like her. She’s the doctor. I’m growing, choosing me, cutting off ties to my family and moving to California. The possibility of this felt scary to me. I felt worried about the potential damage it could cause to someone trying to “self heal.” I believe and know humans have agency, but to an audience of millions you can’t know where folks are on their path. Clarifying positions on certain topics are therefore critical in my opinion. I also wonder if Nicole could have benefited from consulting and hiring a BIPOC mental health professional or colleague with a specialty in social justice and race, to read her book before it was published and have that person write a part in the beginning to the BIPOC community. Something like, “a note to the BIPOC reader.” Since Dr. Nicole does not seem or claim to be an expert on social justice or race, the times she mentions certain topics related to BIPOC issues felt disjointed, even if they were meant to be sincere. My intuition had other moments of pause and alarm when I encountered something that didn’t feel right, and when reading certain things that didn’t seem true but were presented as truths. Page 25 “The reality is this: few of us have any real connection to who we really are, yet we want others to see through all of our layers of self-betrayal and into our core selves.” I have a big problem with the implications of this statement and find it to be loaded and simply untrue. Where is the data that shows only a few of us are connected to who we are and are you saying this is why we need your book (?) for you to show us the way? I felt scary underlying and hidden messages here. Page 29 “We are not evolutionarily wired for change.” I think we are. We may be creatures of habit who fear change but if we weren’t wired for it we could never have adapted and survived. That is central to evolution. Page 51 “Anytime an intrinsic need is denied, resentment soon follows.” Disagree. Sometimes a child may not feel seen or heard for lots of different reasons and I don’t think it automatically leads to resentment. (There is a thing called good enough parenting too, that would have been nice to see included.) Page 57 “Most of us did not have parent-figures who were able to identify, let alone regulate, their feelings.” Loaded statement again and I question the validity of this (not writing as a defensive parent here, I don’t have kids). Where is the data that shows most of us had parents like this? Page 96, last paragraph of the intermittent fasting part, “Anyone with a history of restricted eating patterns should not engage in this practice.” What if someone had anorexia 15 years ago and has not had restricted eating in the last 12 years? Your title and work are teaching us how to “recognize your patterns, heal from your past, + create your self,” so then, shouldn’t a person be able to heal from anorexia? (That whole fasting part was not helpful for lots of reasons.) Page 100 healing with movement and using yoga as the single focus. How about the low income person who works two jobs and can’t afford yoga (or sleep for 8 hours a day), why not include ideas like marching or running in place, or stretching- accessible content for wheelchair bound readers- as examples too. The point, things that don’t cost money and are accessible to different bodies. Chapter 10 on boundaries suggests avoiding using “you” language then the example given on 202 uses “you” six times. Page 212 language, “If you recognize yourself in this paragraph, I give you permission to put the book down, take a step away, and go back before continuing.” Give you permission- excuse me, what?! This language is in the reparenting chapter (!) and made me feel big control vibes. Page 217 “There have only been three times in my life when I honored my needs even though it meant that others would be hurt by my decision.” Nicole spent a whole chapter earlier telling us about boundaries and that having and enforcing them may hurt or disappoint others but show up for yourself and do them anyway, and gave examples of when she used them. A big premise of this book seemed to be specifically about how honoring one’s needs is something that with practice, can accumulate, and leads to change and growth. The statement that Dr. Nicole has done this “only” three times had martyr complex undertones to me. Finally, the last chapter, I was quite excited to read it and for me it was a bum out. It discusses interdependence and I think that not including a section on service to others was a pretty huge missed opportunity. Giving back through volunteering and donating your time, resources and/or money to populations, causes and communities in need, and to organizations whose work resonates with you and that you want to support and see grow, are solid ways to establish connection to the collective “we.” Doing something that is *outside of yourself* can connect you to the “we” in a remarkably meaningful way. I felt like this chapter was more of an ego stroke to readers instead of a way to empower and inspire us to connect to matters that could truly advance the “we.” Posting critical feedback on a platform like this, especially towards a female (I’m a woman too), is weird and uncomfortable because the person it’s directed at cannot respond and it would be cool if there could be a conversation between reviewers and authors. I do trust my intuition but I also know that confirmation bias is a real thing for many of us, and some of that feels present for me here. I decided to post this in case anyone could relate to my conflicted feelings and shares a similar tacit experience of the book. I felt mixed emotions after reading the book because some of the content is fantastic but other vibes were concerning. Using language from the book to summarize my concern, I’ll say that all in all, while there is good content, I worry there is potential for trauma bonds to be created or exacerbated between a vulnerable and impressionable reader (with a hero worshipper archetype possibly) to someone with strong features of a humanitarian who also sits in an authoritarian position. I worry that when the air from the highs this book promises, clears, there may be a lot of folks who benefited but also some very hurt people on the other side too. Dr. Nicole seems earnest in her writing but the moments that my intuition caused me to pause were more than I felt good about. Just like no two children live the same childhood, maybe no two readers live the same experience of this book. Either way, each reality is valid and I think that’s part of the beauty of diversity in human nature.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susanna

    full of spiritual bypassing and a lack of intersectionality. Anecdotal rather than scientific. patterns discussed are self-perpetuating synchronicities rather than real effort. weirdly, her involvement with her clients seem incidental. they all "identified with an instagram post" and would then go do something (like take a yoga training) and be better! because they did work! unclear how the author helped her clients directly. full of spiritual bypassing and a lack of intersectionality. Anecdotal rather than scientific. patterns discussed are self-perpetuating synchronicities rather than real effort. weirdly, her involvement with her clients seem incidental. they all "identified with an instagram post" and would then go do something (like take a yoga training) and be better! because they did work! unclear how the author helped her clients directly.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Desiré R

    If you want to be guilt-tripped into not being mentally ill by someone with a history of lying and spouting pseudoscience, then this book by Nicole, the.holistic.psychologist on Instagram, might be the one for you. Otherwise, please don't give your money to a person who doesn't believe in social justice and the effects of social issues and racism on mental health, who has participated in a scam along with her spouse, and who uses her PhD as a selling point while disregarding scientific discovery If you want to be guilt-tripped into not being mentally ill by someone with a history of lying and spouting pseudoscience, then this book by Nicole, the.holistic.psychologist on Instagram, might be the one for you. Otherwise, please don't give your money to a person who doesn't believe in social justice and the effects of social issues and racism on mental health, who has participated in a scam along with her spouse, and who uses her PhD as a selling point while disregarding scientific discovery and method. Please take the "teachings" of this book with a grain of salt, and follow actual holistic therapists who are informed on cultural-spiritual bypassing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mattia

    I'm of three minds about this book: 1) I would have found it helpful at one specific moment in my journey, a few years ago. It may be particularly helpful for people who don't really consider themselves to have a trauma history, but have symptoms of trauma. It's not particularly earth-shattering as all of the info exists in other books in more depth, but it's a useful starting place for small-t trauma. 2) It might have been actively harmful to me at the very beginning of my healing journey, beca I'm of three minds about this book: 1) I would have found it helpful at one specific moment in my journey, a few years ago. It may be particularly helpful for people who don't really consider themselves to have a trauma history, but have symptoms of trauma. It's not particularly earth-shattering as all of the info exists in other books in more depth, but it's a useful starting place for small-t trauma. 2) It might have been actively harmful to me at the very beginning of my healing journey, because I had experienced severe trauma and was still experiencing ongoing abuse and poverty. This book presumes a certain level of life stability (economic, emotional, housing, executive function) that is necessarily for self-led healing but is not realistic for many people. 3) Take #2 makes sense when you learn, as you will if you research her, that Dr. Nicole has a serious problem with ignoring and silencing voices that disagree with her, specifically women of color. Part of being an effective therapist is being able to regulate your own nervous system, and it seems she gets triggered and is reactive (for example, blocking WOC who ask her very reasonable questions). While that doesn't prevent her work from helping people—and I'm always glad to see more healing in the world—I can't in good conscience tell white people to ignore that. We have to hold each other accountable. The more I've healed as an individual, the more I've been able to see and hold contradictions. Impact matters more than intention, and intention still matters. I can both imagine struggling as a public figure being held to accountability, and have learned as the result of being held accountable myself. We don't have to "cancel" someone in order to ask that she does better. And she can and should do better when it comes to race and inequality. If you don't want to read/support the book but want to get started with simple ideas of trauma recovery and self-care, here you go: 1) Choose a tiny self-care habit 2) Love and accept yourself 3) Find cues of safety in your environment where possible 4) Be open to new stories 5) Healing is possible (and we can't do it alone, and that's not only okay but amazing...we are wired for community support!)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Melisa Ibarra

    The book as not yet been released. But I love the author's work, and I admire her so much. I've been following her on social media for a while and she has been a light in my life. I'm so grateful. So I think it's only fair to say that she does not deserve hate here. I know this book will be great. Come on, at least give it a chance. The book as not yet been released. But I love the author's work, and I admire her so much. I've been following her on social media for a while and she has been a light in my life. I'm so grateful. So I think it's only fair to say that she does not deserve hate here. I know this book will be great. Come on, at least give it a chance.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Toni 🌸

    I wasn't going to write a review, especially as this requires me to get personal, but I feel the need to do so considering there's a lot of negative reviews surfacing the top. In late 2019 I was seeing yet another therapist, and she turned out to be the best therapist I've ever had, though I didn't get to see her for very long. She was the first to point out that I was suppressing my emotions, which was likely what was causing my body to break down (I have severe IBS and other chronic physical h I wasn't going to write a review, especially as this requires me to get personal, but I feel the need to do so considering there's a lot of negative reviews surfacing the top. In late 2019 I was seeing yet another therapist, and she turned out to be the best therapist I've ever had, though I didn't get to see her for very long. She was the first to point out that I was suppressing my emotions, which was likely what was causing my body to break down (I have severe IBS and other chronic physical health issues). I think it was shortly after this that I found Nicole's Instagram and everything I read was completely in line with the work I'd begun with my 2019 therapist. As I read more of Nicole's work, it completely changed my life. Around this time, I was also beginning to understand that some things I'd experienced were actually traumatic. Seeing Nicole talk about how trauma can be anything that was traumatic to us (anything that we didn't have the tools for coping with), and not just big stereotypical things, helped me to accept this. Seeing Nicole's posts about witnessing patterns and seeing our parents as individual people with their own traumas + histories instead of evil people out to get us also helped me to completely change my relationship dynamics with certain people (including people I was emotionally abused by). It gave me part of myself back and allowed me to essentially "let go" of some pain. Nicole also talks a lot about how living life chronically stressed can wreck havoc on our bodies and cause our nervous systems to break down. This is literally happening to me so it made so much sense to me (and again, it reflects what my 2019 therapist told me). A lot of people have mentioned that Nicole's work doesn't seem very evidence based in terms of fact/science, however she makes loads of references which can be found in a list at the back of her book. Some sources she references will be anecdotal stuff, but there's a lot of actual research there, too. In fact, nothing she says has necessarily been invented by her. This new wave of psychology she talks about is full of other people who came before her, many of whom she has referenced. A lot of what she discussed, at least trauma-body wise, comes from Bessel van der Kolk's groundbreaking book The Body Keeps the Score (which Nicole referenced). The mind-body connection in terms of how stress makes us ill and how serotonin is made in the gut etc are things that affect me deeply. This wasn't even the first time I've read about those things (I first came across them while frantically looking for IBS cures years ago and I of course learnt about the brain-gut axis. I also learned about how important nutrition and good bacteria is), but Nicole was the first person to put it into context further and in a way I really needed to hear. I don't always agree with how Nicole approaches everything either, but her book is getting 4 stars from me at this time because of how much her work has impacted me overall. For example, not everything she says applies to me because I've been diagnosed with BPD and I suspect I have C/PTSD. I personally think these things affect the effectivity of some of her methods. I also don't care if she rejects mental illness labels, but I don't because I like having a label that explains my behaviour as it means I can understand myself more and apply certain tools more effectively. I also don't believe that someone with mental and physical health issues as complex as mine can "self heal." I need a therapist to help me do it (and they will naturally reflect some of Nicole's work anyway), especially as some things we find online in the "social media Instagram mental health community" suggest doing things that alone could actually cause more harm. For example, many grounding techniques actually make me feel worse. I need a therapist to create an individual treatment plan for me and help me pace through it. I've done some things Nicole has mentioned (which I first saw on her Instagram page), such as witnessing patterns and thinking about how I ended up this way (also with the help of reading Jonice Webb's Running on Empty), but I'm not following through everything she says because, as I've said, 1) it's not all helpful and 2) I personally need support from actual professionals interacting with me (I'm on a waiting list). It would be far too overwhelming and detrimental for me personally to do all this work by myself. What I'm saying is that I've taken what was important to me from Nicole's book, which was a lot, but I've left the rest. In a nutshell, How to Do the Work is just a summation of all of Nicole's Instagram posts, fully explained, in one place. Honestly, that's what I was hoping it would be. If you want more, you're not going to find it here. I would recommend this book to those who relate to Nicole's Instagram content, and those who feel stuck, have been through some trauma (for understanding, not self healing), have difficult relationships with others, and experience physical illness as a result of chronic stress/mental illness. The best chapters, for me, were the ones about trauma, how it affects the body, and how to try and heal (and the notion that we can heal certain systems in our bodies that have become oversensitive/dysfunctional etc), and the ones that talk about setting boundaries, reparenting, and paying attention to our inner child. I felt that the weakest chapters were the last two. I think that overall this book will either vibe with you or it won't. If you're not familiar with Nicole then definitely check out her Instagram (@the.holistic.psychologist) content first as it will be a good indicator of whether or not this book will help/speak to you.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    typical pop-psych 101 self-help book. (her work on ig feels far tighter, more impactful.) Read dr's Gabor Mate, Dan Siegel, Pat Ogden, Bessell Van Der Kolk instead. typical pop-psych 101 self-help book. (her work on ig feels far tighter, more impactful.) Read dr's Gabor Mate, Dan Siegel, Pat Ogden, Bessell Van Der Kolk instead.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    I thought this was going to be a book for white people about how to "do the work" of anti-racism. It is NOT that book. It's a book about healing from trauma (both big and small) and recognizing how past family dynamics and traumas ends up in bad habits or relationships. It is a good primer on mindfulness and other techniques that all of us who are striving to be healthy adults need to practice. At times, it veered slightly into skeptical claims about health but for the most part the advice seeme I thought this was going to be a book for white people about how to "do the work" of anti-racism. It is NOT that book. It's a book about healing from trauma (both big and small) and recognizing how past family dynamics and traumas ends up in bad habits or relationships. It is a good primer on mindfulness and other techniques that all of us who are striving to be healthy adults need to practice. At times, it veered slightly into skeptical claims about health but for the most part the advice seemed really useful and right on the mark.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anjuna Harper

    I'm going to finish this in my own time because its hitting on some important things. I feel like the negative reviews are taking it too laterally, shes stated several times that she works WITH clients. Also this is written for a general audience so that's why there arent sighting ever few paragraphs. These are some interesting and healing ideas that deserve to be heard. I do see why some of this is considered ablist there was one story talking about someone with general disabilities 'recovering I'm going to finish this in my own time because its hitting on some important things. I feel like the negative reviews are taking it too laterally, shes stated several times that she works WITH clients. Also this is written for a general audience so that's why there arent sighting ever few paragraphs. These are some interesting and healing ideas that deserve to be heard. I do see why some of this is considered ablist there was one story talking about someone with general disabilities 'recovering' from her theories. If you need to seek professional counselling do so, if you're a cheap skate like me, doing daily, consistent small promises is a longer lasting ideal that my actual therapist recommended (takes 30 days to form new habits, (oh 66- 254 days, which makes the point even more valid) and long term ingrained ones tend to rear their ugly heads, so her step process of small achievable goals, not shaming yourself and paired with inner child work, boundary work and breathing to regulate the nervous system is good advice)

  10. 5 out of 5

    X

    All but one of her client examples were women. I wonder if there is a correlation between gender and the sort of people who would take this New Age tripe seriously? :^)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kait Griffin

    3.5. I love the little lightbulbs that go off in my head when I read this genre.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alejandro Sanoja

    This is the BEST book I read in April 2021. It has the potential to eliminate, or at least diminish, a lot of suffering from our lives and the lives of others as well. We all have had experiences that conditioned us. That created certain cause-effect reactions that might or might not be positive. This book will help you understand those cause-effect relationships and how to change these if they are not resulting in positive experiences. This is a great book for anyone who wants more peace and less This is the BEST book I read in April 2021. It has the potential to eliminate, or at least diminish, a lot of suffering from our lives and the lives of others as well. We all have had experiences that conditioned us. That created certain cause-effect reactions that might or might not be positive. This book will help you understand those cause-effect relationships and how to change these if they are not resulting in positive experiences. This is a great book for anyone who wants more peace and less suffering in their lives. Flow: 5/5 Actionability: 5/5 Mindset: 5/5 Some Of My Highlights: "Truly comprehending your past, listening to it, witnessing it, learning from it, is a process that enables deep change." "Our minds are familiarity-seeking machines. The familiar feels safe; that is, until we teach ourselves that discomfort is temporary and a necessary part of transformation." "The first step, a surprisingly challenging one, is to begin to imagine a future that looks different from the present." "The mind starts to scream at you convincing stories to keep you in your familiar life with pleas like, 'You deserve a break.'' "Emotional addiction is particularly powerful when we habitually seek or avoid certain emotional states as a way to cope with trauma." "The groundbreaking discovery of epigenetics tells a new story about our ability to change." "Biologist Bruce Lipton has been spreading the gospel about the role of epigenetics for years and calls its influence 'the new biology.'" "When our body expects to get better, it sends out messages to start the healing process." "In other words, traumatic experiences aren't always obvious. Our perception of the trauma is just as valid as the trauma itself." "If parent-figures have not healed or even recognized their unresolves traumas, they cannot consciously navigate their own path in life, let alone act as trustworthy guides for someone else." "Identifying your wounding is a fundamental step on the healing journey, and it's rarely and easy one." "Another common boundary crossing occurs when one parent-figure complains to a child about the other parent-figure." "So many have projected the overwhelming emotional energy outward, screaming, slamming doors, and throwing things or storming off." "The key here is being active; adaptive coping requires effort and a conscious acknowledgment of the discomfort." "Our body's reaction to threat is instinctual and involuntary; it is not a choice we make. We cannot blame someone who believes they are being attacked for lashing out any more than we can blame someone for sweating too much when they exercise." "If you lived in a chaotic house where overreaction, rage spirals, disengagement, or fear were the norm, your internal resources were likely tied up in the management of stress (survival, really) and could not freely return to the safe social engagement mode." "'Top-down processes' recruit your brain to guide your body on a path toward healing. An example of top-down practice is meditation, which in the act of training your attention helps regulate your autonomic nervous system responses." "Most exercises that engge the polyvgal nerve that we discuss here employ bottom-up processes, such as breathwork, cold therapy, and the physical aspects of yoga." "Another popular nutritional approach that has gained widespread appeal and is supported by various academic studies is intermittent fasting." "Fasting gives our digestive system a rest, freeing up the energy that would be devoted to digestion for use elsewhere." "The quickest way to improve your gut health - to support your microbes and maintain the integrity of your gut wall - is to eat whole, nutrient-dense food." "Maintaining a consistent bedtime routine is also important, as it primes your body to enter the parasympathetic state in the lead-up to actually getting into bed." "Given these limitations, we may believe that we are bad when a parent-figure raises a hand to us, instead of knowing that this person, on whom we are dependent for our survival, has difficulty managing their anger." "A belief is a practice thought grounded in lived experience. Beliefts are built up over years of thought patterns an require both interior and exterior validation to thrive." "A child, after being yelled at by dad after a stressful day at his office, is unable to understand that they are not the cause of his anger." "Our romantic partners tend to activate our wounds at the most intense levels, though we can be emotionally activated by anyone in our lives who touches our wounds."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Neeraj

    This book is an up to date amalgamation of several self help themes which are all the rage in the past couple of years, and which you’ll undoubtedly have been fed via your Instagram feed if you’ve engaged with one or more self help ‘guru’ profiles. While many self help books prefer to deep-dive into a particular theme (anxiety, parental relationships etc.), this one seeks to provide a broad overview of the field, undoubtedly to give a teaser of the online content in the author’s online course/pl This book is an up to date amalgamation of several self help themes which are all the rage in the past couple of years, and which you’ll undoubtedly have been fed via your Instagram feed if you’ve engaged with one or more self help ‘guru’ profiles. While many self help books prefer to deep-dive into a particular theme (anxiety, parental relationships etc.), this one seeks to provide a broad overview of the field, undoubtedly to give a teaser of the online content in the author’s online course/platform. And it is just that, each chapter provides a basic framework without delving too deep into the science or origins of the particular practice. I found this perfectly fine, because I imagine the majority of people who will pick up this book would like actionable advice they can implement in their daily lives. Additionally, the content is well structured and flows well between chapters, intertwined with the author’s own journey. In terms of actionable advice, the impetus is put back on the reader to do ‘the work’ in critically self evaluating and examining their lives and habits, using the provided prompts. The hope is this leads to some ‘ah-ha’ moments which point the reader in the right direction. This theme of ownership and independence in therapeutic approach has led to some people misunderstanding the book as rejecting all traditional therapy and blaming patients for their ongoing mental health struggles. At best these are mis-readings of the content, at worst, childish attacks on the author. I can understand why the approach might feel vacuous to those seeking uniform, easy answers for their problems, but in my experience, it is no different to what a traditional therapist might offer you in a session. Additionally, therapy might be limited to an hour every week, and I think it’s fair to say that the real work has to be done on your own, on a daily basis, for any significant change to be achieved. To the extent more support is needed, the book also refers to doing the work with a close friend, partner or family member, so I don’t find it isolating by any means. In my opinion the book does a good job of drilling home the need to take ownership of your situation and make the necessary changes. Undoubtedly, more extreme cases will need more intense professional supervision and medication, but the recent findings in research have pointed to eschewing a medication first approach for mild to moderate cases. Further, for those without the financial resources to seek regular therapy, there are few other options. There are sufficient references provided for follow up reading, especially if readers find the scientific explanations a little shallow. I think this is a result of the writing style, which appears to have been made as colloquial as possible to engage a wider audience, so don’t expect this to read like the output of a typical PhD. If you can overlook this, though, there’s plenty of value to be found, and ideally the follow up books on each topic will flesh out the content nicely. For users of the self-healer’s circle, this book will provide more structure to the content, allowing users to dip into the chapters which feel most relevant, since they can also be read stand-alone. However, the narrative created from start to finish flows quite well. I can’t say the same for the BIPOC references in the first couple of chapters which seem to have been thrown in during late revisions to address some of the criticism levelled against the author’s approach. Given how broadly applicable the content of the book is, the criticism itself does seem puzzling.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mlee

    Like many others, I found the holistic psychologist on Instagram. I typically loathe influencers, and didn’t initially see Nicole as one. I saw her spreading helpful information within a potentially toxic platform. Her posts helped me. Then she said she was writing a book. I preordered it. I was excited about it. When it came I was disappointed - “How to do The Work” was not the title I expected to see on a book that was supposed to be helping people learn about their traumas and self heal. The Like many others, I found the holistic psychologist on Instagram. I typically loathe influencers, and didn’t initially see Nicole as one. I saw her spreading helpful information within a potentially toxic platform. Her posts helped me. Then she said she was writing a book. I preordered it. I was excited about it. When it came I was disappointed - “How to do The Work” was not the title I expected to see on a book that was supposed to be helping people learn about their traumas and self heal. The work? Excuse me? Can we say turn off. Do trauma survivors need a mental boot camp? A how-to book that reads like plumbing for dummies? Is this the new psychological cross-fit?? So I start reading... from the start Nicole is not a good writer. The preface and intro were uncomfortably shallow and hard to get through without rolling my eyes. Is this the same person I followed on Instagram?? “The first step, a surprisingly challenging one, is to begin to imagine a future that looks different from the present. Close your eyes. Once you are able to envision a reality alternate to the one you’re living, you’re ready to move forward.” What? What is this vague nonsense I say?? I kept reading and of course there’s some good stuff. Any person can copy paste enlightening material into a book, sandwich it all together with some bland jelly, and call it their own. Sure it’s good that people are getting this information, but this book in particular feels kinda... weak. I’m scratching my head at her anecdotes. Is this an instructional for privileged white women who think that watching their mothers wring their hands at the kitchen window the ONE DAY their father came home late from work traumatized them? Good lord. In order to see if I’m alone in my disappointment I go to the reviews here and the first one is a one star review claiming the author is a scam artist and has gaslighted BIPOC. Uh oh. As much as I want to deny and ignore this, I can’t. I get to googling and... sure enough, it’s out there. Many claims from women of color that Nicole has gaslighted them, blocked them, and is ignoring the community all together. Many claim she hasn’t done enough research in this area, which is crazy it being 2021 and seeing that BIPOC face way higher chances of having to deal with trauma in their lives. And then, THEN I find out from the internet that Nicole’s partner, “Lolly”, aka Lauren Galvin, was sued and fined by the state of Pennsylvania for pocketing money from her own charity for the homeless! Look her up, you can find many pictures of her wearing virtue signaling shirts and posing with the homeless in order to raise funds that she then pocketed and put into her own bank account. She was once an inspiring force like Nicole, and as soon as her misdeeds became known and she disappeared, Nicole popped up on Instagram with her own tricky brand of influencing under the guise of helping people. I just can’t get with this, and I’m writing this review to spread this information because once I learned about this shadiness I feel like it would be wise for people to not give her their money. I’m all about people learning more about trauma, attachment theory, polyvagal theory, and the helpfulness of many practices like future self journaling and other types of therapeutic “work”. But there are many other authors out there. And this shady lady is not trustworthy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    K. Barnes

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I've followed the author online for a couple of years, so needless to say, I was excited for this release. There are several theoretical concepts and groundbreaking research that I found both surprising and intriguing. However, the book was far too long, and there are a few things that I found problematic: 1) If you are comfortable with the most broad definition of "trauma," then you will be alright while reading this book. I, however, am not comfortable with the author assigning the phrase "trau I've followed the author online for a couple of years, so needless to say, I was excited for this release. There are several theoretical concepts and groundbreaking research that I found both surprising and intriguing. However, the book was far too long, and there are a few things that I found problematic: 1) If you are comfortable with the most broad definition of "trauma," then you will be alright while reading this book. I, however, am not comfortable with the author assigning the phrase "trauma," to include any and all disappointments/failings of our parents. Several times, the author references experiences of her own life and her clients' that just do not resonate as 'trauma' ; I am not discounting their experiences, but if you are a reader who has experienced rape, abuse, or witnessed violence firsthand, these references will most likely make you feel alienated. In particular, the author refers to a moment when her mother was upset while waiting for her father to come home. The mother, no doubt worried, was no longer "present," and that, in the author's opinion, is trauma. 2) The references to systemic trauma seemed more like lip service than of value to the author. Several times, she mentions the trauma of BIPOC, but never gives any real firsthand accounts of how to deal with the trauma, nor does she devote any of her work to highlighting individual experiences of BIPOC regarding trauma. To say that this trauma is important but give no depth to yhe subject seems hypocritical. 3) The book felt redundant. Yoga, journaling, meditation, breathing exercising, reparenting. Repeat for 300+ pages. 4) There is a negligence of research to clinical depression and anxiety. While the holistic methods she offers are helpful, at no point does she discuss when to seek professional psychiatric help. This book is great for those of us who want more holistic tools to deal with clinical depression and anxiety and who are already working with a doctor. However, if you've never worked with a psychiatrist or therapist and you are struggling with these very serious, potentially life-threatening disorders, then this book is a dangerous, oversimplified answer to your needs. 5) The end of the book felt like the close of a sale with several heavy-handed references to Dr. LaPera's online self-healers community. 6) Finally, a note on her narration for audio listeners: as you may have read, Dr. LaPera has a distinct accent. If you've never listened to her, I encourage you to do so before purchasing the audio. Her Philadelphia accent is not problematic for me. What is off-putting is that in several chapters, she reads slow and almost robotically. I suspect the publisher encouraged this technique to tone down her accent. In the chapters where her true voice came through (literally and figuratively), the accent is stronger, but the narration is more enjoyable. Those who follow the Holistic Psychologist online have no doubt what she sounds like, so it's frustrating to hear her delivery so obviously coached. This book can be helpful if you would like to venture into the world of more Eastern approaches to taking care of your mental health. However, do not expect anything groundbreaking in terms of practical application. Once more, journal, yoga, meditate, breathe, reparent. Repeat. That is the core of the book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Claire Schumacher

    I was such a huge fan of Nicole's work and have been following her ig account for a number of years. I found her posts really insightful and useful and was so excited to get her book and start "doing my work". I didn't get far into the book before I started feeling uncomfortable with the style it was written in and have found it increasingly difficult to maintain interest and keep trying to push myself to read further but it just feels like a miss to me. It's hard to articulate quite what it is th I was such a huge fan of Nicole's work and have been following her ig account for a number of years. I found her posts really insightful and useful and was so excited to get her book and start "doing my work". I didn't get far into the book before I started feeling uncomfortable with the style it was written in and have found it increasingly difficult to maintain interest and keep trying to push myself to read further but it just feels like a miss to me. It's hard to articulate quite what it is that doesn't sit right with me in this book. I expected to find myself challenged with some uncomfortable truths but have simply found it an uncomfortable read outside of my own issues and work. It has felt weirdly ego-centric and a little self absorbed despite the content including much discussion on ego work. There is a lot of discussion of the author's own personal experiences, which I might of thought to be helpful before reading, but it ended up feeling a little autobiographical. A lot of what she preaches feels based on her own experience and interpretation while expecting that to be globally relevant. The book felt riddled with generalizations, which I suspect were meant to feel incluvise of the reader, but came across as a lack of insight and perspective and a crutch to support the points she was making. I feel like a much more appropriate title for the book would have been "How I did my work". I'm really pleased that she experienced her spiritual awakening and has found ways that supported her on her journey. However I get the sense that as her popularity has grown she has lost sight of this being HER journey and that it is not applicable to all. I think she could of included a lot more "in my opinion/experience" in her writing. Unfortunately since reading (most) of the book my trust of the author's authority on her subject matter has been shaken and I now read her ig posts with a level of caution I hadn't felt before. I now notice that she has a tenancy to state her opinion or interpretation of matters to be fact, which I have found to be certainly misleading and perhaps downright dangerous at times. I don't dispute that this author has a lot of valuable information to share but there are far more informed and insightful author's out there whose work I would be much more comfortable in recommending eg Bessel van der Kolk or Gabor Mate. Overall I would really hesitate in recommending this book to others, it certainly contains some useful information for those new to the world of trauma theory but I personally found the author's ig posts much more concise and useful, however my blind faith in the author's views has been somewhat shaken now and I would advise a degree of caution when following it. Sadly I excitedly brought a copy of this book for my sister at the same time I purchased my own. She had been wanting to do some of her own "work". She is also a writer and unfortunately this book fell short for her too.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    I have been following the Holistic Psychologist for around... jeez, maybe actually since she started sharing her journey? Not sure. I was so excited that my library had this book (thank you library) but reading it was daunting. Like most of her work, she doesn't shy away from saying the hard truth: Healing is a personal journey, and until you are ready to go on it, healing isn't going to happen. This was book was easy to digest and felt very familiar as I have followed her for a while. A lot of th I have been following the Holistic Psychologist for around... jeez, maybe actually since she started sharing her journey? Not sure. I was so excited that my library had this book (thank you library) but reading it was daunting. Like most of her work, she doesn't shy away from saying the hard truth: Healing is a personal journey, and until you are ready to go on it, healing isn't going to happen. This was book was easy to digest and felt very familiar as I have followed her for a while. A lot of the stories were hard to read - trauma isn't easy. I love the she spoke of little trauma AND big trauma, and specifically called out how white supremacy and our capitalist society all function to make life incredibly hard for BIPOC. She also endlessly pointed out that not everyone has ACCESS to the same mental health resources, but did give loads of examples of "how to do the work" if traditional routes are inaccessible or are not working. A big reason why I enjoyed the book so much was all of the examples. I agree with "the work" and would consider myself very much in progress, but I also find it hard sometimes to access it because I'm just thinking, "Wait... what? How do I do that? What does that even look like?" But Dr. Nicole does a great job of highlight specific examples of the work with each chapter. Super helpful. This book has many take aways, but one I think that came up quite often was the idea of parenting. As a teacher, I think parenting is *the hardest* job in the world. I parent for the time I have my kids in school, but I can't imagine what it is like as 24/7 for forever kind of job. The book discusses in detail how often we are parented by parents who are also emotionally immature- it's not good, not bad, but it is a fact- and we develop bonds or a lack of bonds from how they were parent. Ah, crazy cycle right? A huge part of healing is recognizing our parents were parents but also different people that were doing their best with what they could. Does that erase the hurt and pain and trauma that may have come from our childhood? Nope, not at all. But, as adults, it's now up to us to seek understanding and healing. For ourselves. Reparent ourselves. So good! All in all, I DO not think this book is for everyone. If you are still in the mode that you think you can blame someone else for all of your problems WITHOUT acknowledging that you have work to do, you probably aren't ready for it. For myself, I could already re-read it a couple of times for more clarity. I really did enjoy it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Yağmur

    I was curious about this book since Nicole announced it on her social media but I had my doubts about the depth of her research and the book's language. I liked her simple explanation on concepts such as trauma response, inner child etc. posts on social media and I still think that the book is good but only for those who are recently exploring self-awareness, therefore need some introduction to certain terminology. I've read other research books on the trauma research and self-healing topic and B I was curious about this book since Nicole announced it on her social media but I had my doubts about the depth of her research and the book's language. I liked her simple explanation on concepts such as trauma response, inner child etc. posts on social media and I still think that the book is good but only for those who are recently exploring self-awareness, therefore need some introduction to certain terminology. I've read other research books on the trauma research and self-healing topic and Bessel Van Der Kolk's was the one I particularly liked. I felt like Nicole integrated the research of experts like Van Der Kolk and her own journey. The book is a curation of knowledge from the field and her synthesis is really useful, but as someone who already read some stuff, the book didn't excite me with new information and I unfortunately couldn't connect with Nicole's personal healing journey. Personally, the cover and the title didn't make much sense. She claims to offer a holistic approach but defining healing as "work" kinda undermines the depth of self-healing journey. Like what work? I expected a more sincere title from her. I guess the work might refer to self-work and doing the questions and writing prompts she offers at the end of each chapter. Is doing the future self journaling "doing the work"? I don't think so.. Obviously, there were useful tools throughout the book and I appreciate how she provides them but I don't think the book was written that well and I wouldn't call her approach "holistic". Definitely, the book has some insights but I think it's very beginner level and might be a good book for those who are unfamiliar with concepts like epigenetics, trauma response etc. Without getting really deep in certain terminologies and concepts, I felt like the book was just dropping terms and not expanding on them. In that case, I don't think we can heal ourselves without comprehending these concepts. I think this term dropping can harm the readers and may cause them to identify certain behaviors in the wrong way. Caution on that! Also in parts where she mentioned BIPOC issues, first I felt like oh it's nice that she acknowledges racial trauma and creates a specific space in her book. But then I questioned the sincerity and I was like, is this done to portray an inclusive look and for marketing purposes? I felt like those sentences were added after the book was finished.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I was only able to make it about halfway through this book before I gave up. It’s written in a somewhat odd way - at times, it reads like a memoir, at other times, it feels like a textbook for an introductory psychology class (she seems to be very influenced by Freud and his theories, which doesn’t seem very holistic at all), and there are occasional splashes of stories thrown in about previous clients or people from her Instagram community. It feels very disjointed when she tries to throw in th I was only able to make it about halfway through this book before I gave up. It’s written in a somewhat odd way - at times, it reads like a memoir, at other times, it feels like a textbook for an introductory psychology class (she seems to be very influenced by Freud and his theories, which doesn’t seem very holistic at all), and there are occasional splashes of stories thrown in about previous clients or people from her Instagram community. It feels very disjointed when she tries to throw in these personal stories, and they’re often not engaging enough to even drive her points home. I also found it odd how she throws in small excerpts about communities of color - it felt like an afterthought that was thrown in and a few paragraphs really can’t touch on the nuances of mental health barriers and issues specific to communities of color. The ironic part is she attempted to address these vast systemic issues, but most of her advice regarding how to do “the work” was hyper-individualistic and, at times, victim-blamey. For example, she talks about eating healthier and getting more sleep (absolutely revolutionary) but doesn’t address systemic issues of being overworked preventing people from getting adequate sleep and healthy food being more expensive in the US. Ultimately, the topics and advice covered in this book were very basic. It essentially boils down to eating healthy, sleeping more, exercising, meditating, and doing introspective work through journaling. At times, her advice seemed almost dangerous, such as recommending intermittent fasting (this didn’t seem responsible considering how often those who develop eating disorders have experienced trauma, aka those she is trying to sell this book to). I was also turned off at how she seemed to insinuate that therapy and pharmaceutical drugs don’t work - while reading books can be quite helpful on one’s healing journey, it could never replace these two things. It would be unfortunate if this book caused someone to not pursue therapy and/or medication in situations where it could be extremely helpful. There were a few journal prompts I found to be very helpful, so I ended up giving two stars instead of one. Ultimately, I found myself bored with the book. There is no revolutionary information or tips in the book - anyone who has taken any sort of introductory psychology class or does any form of introspective work is likely familiar with what she’s writing about.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ieva Gr

    Why I read it: I was curious about the @The.Holistic.Psychologist instagram account, because it has a huge following and a lot of the messages shared there resonated with me. I decided to give the audiobook a quick listen to get the idea of how the message sounds in full. What I liked about it: If I had to recommend one book that expresses all the knowledge and advices I gathered over the years of reading and practising self-help, this would be it. The book covers a lot of ground (from physical pr Why I read it: I was curious about the @The.Holistic.Psychologist instagram account, because it has a huge following and a lot of the messages shared there resonated with me. I decided to give the audiobook a quick listen to get the idea of how the message sounds in full. What I liked about it: If I had to recommend one book that expresses all the knowledge and advices I gathered over the years of reading and practising self-help, this would be it. The book covers a lot of ground (from physical practices like regular sleep, healthy diet, movement to understanding the childhood trauma and how it can affect your adult life). And does so in a structured way – each chapter ends with both practical steps and future self journal prompts for really focusing on ‘the work’ of that chapter daily. I’m not sure how exactly but this book made me realise that self-help (or self-healing) is a daily practice and not just ‘read the book and you’re cured’ which I seem to have believed for a long time. You’re not supposed to read it in few weeks and then move on to the next book. You can spend months or even years on a single chapter, embracing the practice written down there. You just need to cross the mental barrier to commit to that (and I think that is what the future self journal prompts are there for). Even though I only gave the book a quick listen now, I also already bought the kindle version to have easy access to all the ‘do the work’ and future self journal prompts. I have regulated my sleep and meditated daily for a couple of years already. While reading the book I’ve added a journaling practice for rewriting core believes to my routine. And set a reminder to ping me a few times a day to pause for more conscious awareness. What I disliked: The audiobook is narrated by the author herself. And she has what seems to be a southern accent and a peculiar way of narrating where each sentence seems to be emphasized. It took me a while to get used to it. The main critique for @The.Holistic.Psychologist I saw online was blaming her of ableism i.e. that there are types of mental health issues that can’t really be cured by good sleep, diet and journaling. While this seems true to me, her message was really helpful for the sort of issues I have.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ashley J. Hobbs

    As someone who only recently, within the past 16 months started on a healing journey I was grateful for the loads of information Dr. LePera shared in this book. The most powerful thing about it is its affirming quality. I have had a lot of jumbled thoughts and conflicted emotions around my childhood locked away inside me for years. This book affirmed me, let me know that I am not crazy and it gave me someplace to start to understand the science and reasoning behind some of what I've experienced. As someone who only recently, within the past 16 months started on a healing journey I was grateful for the loads of information Dr. LePera shared in this book. The most powerful thing about it is its affirming quality. I have had a lot of jumbled thoughts and conflicted emotions around my childhood locked away inside me for years. This book affirmed me, let me know that I am not crazy and it gave me someplace to start to understand the science and reasoning behind some of what I've experienced. As a writer though, some of the book was difficult to get through with impossibly long sentences and redundancy. This made it feel like it was rushed. The book wasn't written well. As someone who understands the nuance around mental and emotional health, I would have liked to see more acknowledgment that going on this journey alone isn't always the best course for many. A chapter or two on generally best practices for working with practitioners or choosing practices/practitioners might have been helpful. Because it left out a large swath of people. I know many were upset by the lack of intersectionality, and I don't know if this is a good or bad thing but... I didn't expect to find intersectionality in this book. But I absolutely would have welcomed its presence if it were thoughtfully incorporated instead of plopped here and there, a few sentences throughout. The acknowledgment of systemic oppression without specifics felt like a last-minute add. In all this book was empowering in they it confirmed I'm moving in the right direction with my daily practices and ask the ways in learning to be kinder and gentler to myself. I walked away affirmed in my life experience but also in my fault practice and hope I am rebuilding my trust in my ability to make good decisions and reconnect with my body and mind and spirit. I just wish it had been edited more thoroughly and a bit more responsible in its inclusivity.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    It's an okay book if you're going in not knowing anything about any of the topics she's writing about. But if your not new to the topics she's writing about, this might fall flat. Personally, to me, it feels like she's trying to cover so many different topics all in one book that the result is an over simplified overview. Given how well she can explain these topics on her IG I had the impression she might go into more depth on these topics in a book, but instead it feels like the book lacks focu It's an okay book if you're going in not knowing anything about any of the topics she's writing about. But if your not new to the topics she's writing about, this might fall flat. Personally, to me, it feels like she's trying to cover so many different topics all in one book that the result is an over simplified overview. Given how well she can explain these topics on her IG I had the impression she might go into more depth on these topics in a book, but instead it feels like the book lacks focus at times. It all just stays on the surface of basic information that you could get presented in a better way if you were to just read the books she has listed in the back of "Suggested Further Reading". And there's some really great books in that section, like "The Body Keeps The Score", "When the Body Says No", "The Mind-Gut Connection", etc. that are far better than this. There's also a few topics that she covered that I felt she was a little reckless in her presentation of it. I'm not going to share all the topics that "erked" me, but I will say that her coverage of intermittent fasting I found troubling. Sure, it may help the vagus nerve (which is what she writes), but what she's not saying is that it can raise cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in those who are under high stress and/or have blood sugar regulation problems and, I would suspect, also in people who have really complex trauma histories (hence the high stress at the onset). Additionally, lets not forget how this recommendation could impact those in recovery from an eating disorder and/or body image issues. It's troubling to me that she neglected to give more well-rounded information when covering these kind of topics.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Erin Weigel

    This was a quick and easy read considering the weight of the material. There are simple things I’ve been able to pick up and practically incorporate into my life already, but I’m certain that it’s going to take years for me to truly understand everything Dr. LaPera’s written in here. She’s made it approachable by interweaving vulnerable stories of her own path to help make the bits of wisdom more understandable. It’s incredibly helpful to have someone with her knowledge and education share how d This was a quick and easy read considering the weight of the material. There are simple things I’ve been able to pick up and practically incorporate into my life already, but I’m certain that it’s going to take years for me to truly understand everything Dr. LaPera’s written in here. She’s made it approachable by interweaving vulnerable stories of her own path to help make the bits of wisdom more understandable. It’s incredibly helpful to have someone with her knowledge and education share how difficult it actually is to “Do the Work”. It makes me feel less broken, validated really, and motivated to actually try. It’s the kind of stuff that seems “obvious” as you read it—simple even. But then you realize that doing it is actually exceptionally difficult and requires years of focused practice. In summary this book is kind of like, “How to hit a home run in a Major League Baseball-sized stadium”. Step 1: Keep your eye on the ball Step 2: Swing the bat Step 3: Hit the ball hard—VERY hard Remember: You’ll miss a lot along the way. Simple, yeah? But not easy. You can do it. Just start by picking up the bat. So today I’m focused on just breathing and watching the ball. One step closer! Also: Don’t forget to read all of the acknowledgements. You’re in there and it’s important you know that. Also also: There are no mentions of baseball in this book. Just in this review of the book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mariana Pino

    3.5 stars.. Being honest I didn't know who the author was before reading but got the recommendation from a colleague. The start of the book for me was a bit slow but I really got engaged in chapter 4 with the Trauma Body. As a social worker in the child welfare field, I advocate for more research for our children who have suffered trauma and how it manifest in their bodies. This also allowed me to look within my own trauma scars and how my body has adjusted with them. I did have some moments tha 3.5 stars.. Being honest I didn't know who the author was before reading but got the recommendation from a colleague. The start of the book for me was a bit slow but I really got engaged in chapter 4 with the Trauma Body. As a social worker in the child welfare field, I advocate for more research for our children who have suffered trauma and how it manifest in their bodies. This also allowed me to look within my own trauma scars and how my body has adjusted with them. I did have some moments that touched close to home for me but it made for great conversation with friends and family. If you work in the child welfare field, I highly recommend as we know trauma manifest in many ways.. and if we don't deal with our own trauma scars, its difficult to help the children deal with theirs.. the reparenting chapter I stopped and reflected numerous times because there was so many great thoughts on the matter.. I really enjoyed the 2nd half of the book. The ending was a bit of a drop off but again the meat of the book was great! Not going to lie, this book did have some repetitive points across the book but nothing I wasn't able to bypass. Side note: This might have been a 4 star but I did the audio version of this book and I feel like this book would have been better either paperback or kindle. So I recommend you go that route!!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Drake

    Action steps you can take immediately to change your life This book is packed with deceptively simple techniques that I believe can really help transform your life. At its roots, LaPera's philosophy is to mine our core beliefs. Where did they come from? How are they serving or harming us? How can we look at our selves differently and tell new stories? I had already started doing a lot of this work in therapy and by listening to psychology podcasts, so this book was a good reinforcement. The other Action steps you can take immediately to change your life This book is packed with deceptively simple techniques that I believe can really help transform your life. At its roots, LaPera's philosophy is to mine our core beliefs. Where did they come from? How are they serving or harming us? How can we look at our selves differently and tell new stories? I had already started doing a lot of this work in therapy and by listening to psychology podcasts, so this book was a good reinforcement. The other day after reading a chapter on the vagus nerve, I noticed my son was experiencing some activated emotion while we were preparing to take a hot air balloon ride that seemed to be causing some real stress inside his body. In the past, I would have freaked out myself and frantically searched for an emesis bag (this happens quite a bit in our house). Instead, I coached him through LaPera's breathing technique, and I explained how he could use it to calm his body and return to homeostasis. I wasn't sure it would work -- it was so simple! -- but it was worth a shot. About 20 minutes passed and he started to feel better. The idea that our thoughts/feelings can impact our biology is fascinating, and I now firmly believe in the utility of doing the work to help not only ourselves but our children.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Britt Laux

    I'm not sure I can do this book justice with a review. It's the absolute best self-help (#SelfHealer) book I've ever read. And I've read many. Oh, so many... As someone who lives with deep trauma, I saw myself so clearly in this book. In the pain and the healing and the archetypes of the inner child. I saw my need for boundaries. For reparenting - that chapter alone had me in tears for hours. And when she talks about heeding her inner calling to move across the country? She could have been in my I'm not sure I can do this book justice with a review. It's the absolute best self-help (#SelfHealer) book I've ever read. And I've read many. Oh, so many... As someone who lives with deep trauma, I saw myself so clearly in this book. In the pain and the healing and the archetypes of the inner child. I saw my need for boundaries. For reparenting - that chapter alone had me in tears for hours. And when she talks about heeding her inner calling to move across the country? She could have been in my very own head. It's easy to brush this sort of book off as woo-woo nonsense (LePera's words), but that's your ego, baby. It wants to protect us, to keep things familiar and safe. Doing the work is hard. Harder than you think it is. It's also easy to brush off the exercises in books like this (my ego says: self-help books are always full of those ridiculous activities, like we're school children doing homework!), but I would strongly urge everyone who picks up this book to actually do the work. To take the time to read slowly, savoring and healing as you go. I'm so glad that Nicole put herself out there to be a beacon to others, because that's NOT easy. It's uncomfortable and scary. But so many people are going to find healing through her willingness.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anya Swinchoski

    I was extremely excited for this release and the Holistic Psychologist did not disappoint! Dr. LePera provides accessible language for discussing the scientific explanations behind trauma and healing. It is a revolutionary text in the field of psychology, combining mind & body & spiritual components all in tandem with each other. She even includes an appendix with full terminology! One point LePera could have emphasized a lot more is the healing work required for liberation. Though there is disc I was extremely excited for this release and the Holistic Psychologist did not disappoint! Dr. LePera provides accessible language for discussing the scientific explanations behind trauma and healing. It is a revolutionary text in the field of psychology, combining mind & body & spiritual components all in tandem with each other. She even includes an appendix with full terminology! One point LePera could have emphasized a lot more is the healing work required for liberation. Though there is discussion about how BIPOC are often at a disadvantage and thus their healing journey is stunted, she does not go into the myriad of ways white folks can use their privilege to make change and ultimately to help these minoritized populations, and how that is an act of healing in and of itself. After doing some digging, I found out that LePera has a history of minimizing & gaslighting the experiences of BIPOC. Unfortunately, though I do not find this surprising based on how she wrote her book, I am wholeheartedly disappointed as I have followed her content for years. Please uplift the voices and experiences of BIPOC instead, and if you are to read this book access it through a library or borrow from a friend.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    I purchased this book because I've been following author's Instagram page and found many of her posts very useful. The book has some useful things, but since I've consumed enough self help/psychology/spiritual material, I didn't find it groundbreaking. Most of the things she wrote about I'd already heard on YouTube videos and self help articles and Reddit posts. I also find Dr. LePera to be a weak writer overall. Some reviews have pointed out that this is only helpful for white women who think t I purchased this book because I've been following author's Instagram page and found many of her posts very useful. The book has some useful things, but since I've consumed enough self help/psychology/spiritual material, I didn't find it groundbreaking. Most of the things she wrote about I'd already heard on YouTube videos and self help articles and Reddit posts. I also find Dr. LePera to be a weak writer overall. Some reviews have pointed out that this is only helpful for white women who think that their mom being mean to them once or whatever is traumatic. I kinda agree. I've never experienced any severe trauma, but I did have some insecurities growing up which caused me to go into self help. This book is a useful tool to make someone more introspective and look into themselves and see why they may behave in a way that they do. Overall, you could find the things she's writing about in any self help book or video and for free. It's also important to realize that, although self help material can be really helpful to us, those who produce it ultimately seek to make profit, so they shouldn't be followed like they're some all knowing god. For me, take anything that's useful to you from such books but remember that.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Matilda Jackson

    This book has to have been the best book I’ve read this year. I was so excited for this to come out, after following @the.holistic.psychologist for a long time now, I’ve been waiting patiently all year for this book to come out. I had a feeling before I even read it that this book was going to be life changing, and I was proved right. This book is an incredible exploration of the mind written by an actual psychologist, but with the big difference of offering a holistic and mindfulness twist. Get This book has to have been the best book I’ve read this year. I was so excited for this to come out, after following @the.holistic.psychologist for a long time now, I’ve been waiting patiently all year for this book to come out. I had a feeling before I even read it that this book was going to be life changing, and I was proved right. This book is an incredible exploration of the mind written by an actual psychologist, but with the big difference of offering a holistic and mindfulness twist. Getting ready to start my own diploma in advanced counselling and psychotherapy next year I’ve become a bit obsessed with psychology books, but even more so with alternative psychology, combining spirituality and mindfulness which are seen by many to be too “alternative” for mainstream psychology. For anyone that wants to a practical guide in order to delve deeper into trauma, their childhood, why they are the way they are, as well as how to be kinder to themselves, trust their intuition, set boundaries and overall look after themselves better, this is the book for you. I just know I’m going to be referring back to this book for years to come, and I’ll already looking forward to re-reading it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Natalie DeYoung

    3.5 stars. I didn’t know anything about this author before I picked up the book, so YMMV, especially because people and their experiences are so varied (this book points to other works to discuss racial trauma rather than tackling it head on, so I understand the criticism). I’ve followed this author on IG for a few months and found the posts truly helpful, especially as someone to whom access to mental health care has been intermittent at best over the years. Though psychology is not my field, I 3.5 stars. I didn’t know anything about this author before I picked up the book, so YMMV, especially because people and their experiences are so varied (this book points to other works to discuss racial trauma rather than tackling it head on, so I understand the criticism). I’ve followed this author on IG for a few months and found the posts truly helpful, especially as someone to whom access to mental health care has been intermittent at best over the years. Though psychology is not my field, I have often taken the AA approach to my own mental health—take what works, leave the rest. What I took was very impactful to me, as it offered a few practical ideas to deal with my own issues, ones that have plagued me forever. And it’s helped. However, it does feel a little thin at times. The Body Keeps the Score was a more thoroughly researched book discussing similar theories, but this one felt like a primer for that one, with more ways to take an active approach in one’s mental health recovery. So I’d recommend it to specific types of people, especially those with limited access to mental health care, but with caveats.

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