A graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Richard O'Connor, Ph.D., received his M.S.W. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, followed by postgraduate work at the Institute for Psychoanalysis and the Family Institute. He is a practicing psychotherapist with offices in Connecticut and New York.
According to psychotherapist O'Connor (Undoing Depression), the human brain and nervous system cannot process the constant stress that is accepted as inevitable today, resulting in an alarming rise in chronic illness, depression and anxiety. Using current mind/body research, he shows how the brain and nervous system respond to stress; how the body manifests these changes; and how negative patterns become vicious cycles of mental, emotional and physical illness. O'Connor says there are many studies implicating stress as a major factor in heart disease, diabetes, cancer and such difficult to treat conditions as chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, but the health-care establishment hasn't been able to adequately help patients make the lifestyle modifications needed for lasting change. To that end, he suggests mindfulness techniques to help readers identify mental and emotional programming and defense mechanisms, make healthy choices and form life-affirming habits. O'Connor's vast subject ranges from everyday stress to deep-seated emotional trauma and serious mental illness, and this work may overwhelm readers in the acute phase of a stress-related condition, although they will likely find O'Connor's compassionate understanding helpful. The book may be of greatest value to professionals who work therapeutically with patients, and readers interested in the mind/body connection who are ready to make major changes in their lives to combat stress. Agent, Jim Levine. (Mar. 1) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.