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Stop Hurtful Words and Harmful Habits.

Kenneth L. Baldwin, a therapist and the originator of Life Therapy and Bio-Semantics Training, has written an informative, entertaining and practical self-help book for those who want a "happier" life. Baldwin makes use of general semantics formulations in ways that the novice will easily understand, and the cognoscenti will appreciate. For example, he explains dating this way: "Ken [Baldwin.sup.1996] is not Ken [Baldwin.sup.1950], any pretty girl can tell you that."

Reading this book will help you:

* become aware of the common, distorted misuses of language and the kinds of problems misuse creates

* recognize the truly "dirty" words

* think about the words you choose to use - before you say them to yourself and others

* learn the connection between what you say to yourself and the ways your body reacts.

You will also be given ways to avoid wasteful fantasies (e.g., life is unfair), try out useful ones (e.g., doing something about a problem and evaluating the results), and plan creatively (e.g., ways to enrich life emotionally and aesthetically).

Baldwin applies Life Therapy to his Bio-Semantics training groups. He has had lots of success with this model (which is theoretically based on general semantics, Herbert Spiegler's self-hypnosis, Gestalt therapy and Zen). However, he believes you can gain personal growth just by reading this book and he's not alone in that opinion. Steve Allen, who has written a self-help book titled Dumbth that also praised general semantics, says, "Mr. Baldwin is onto something. Given that our society is in an unprecedented state of crisis, we are unlikely to work our way out of it unless we learn to think better and to communicate more clearly, even with our internal selves ... (this book) can be wonderfully helpful in that connection."

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Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Levinson, Martin H.
Publication:ETC.: A Review of General Semantics
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 22, 1998
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