Counseling Faculty Publications and Presentations

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



The books begins by explaining peoples’ tendency to resist, suppress, or escape their emotional and mental pain. The author, Dr. Christopher Germer, helps the reader understand that by doing so, people actually create more personal, mental, and emotional pain for themselves. More specifically, he lays out in an easy-to-understand equation that pain compounded by resistance equates to more suffering (p. 15). While experiencing pain is a part of the human experience, Germer (2009) explains that “suffering is optional” (p. 16), meaning that people do not need to compound their experiences and make them worse. Rather than resist our pain, the author indicates that the antidote is to turn toward and face the pain so that people can kindly look at it and care for themselves in a more loving way. Two components of doing so involve the use of self-compassion and mindfulness.

Publication Title

American Association of Integrative Medicine

Included in

Counseling Commons



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