When The Soul Heals by Pulkit Sharma.. a humble review

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The author has written a well structured, easy to read and understandable book, proposing the marriage of spiritual teachings and practices along with traditional psychological/counselling tools.
It starts out with a basic explanation of the evolution of psychology as a subject of interest and study in the West, so the starting can be dull, especially for those not interested in the history of psychology. But don’t be too quick to judge.
From the 2nd chapter he tackles major psycho-social ailments that exist in modern society, including stress, depression, anxiety, etc. with one chapter allocated to each ailment.
He structures the chapter by starting out with a story of one of his patients who has suffered from the ailment, describes the depth of this individual’s suffering and the circumstances both leading up to, and being faced by the patient. He then gives the common causes of the ailment, what the clinical psychological treatment is (be it the use of medicines or cognitive behavioural therapy), what the modern psychological understanding of the ailment is, how spiritual teachings and practices can be used to tackle each ailment and finally ends with how each patient overcame their gruelling psychological issues by combining psychological therapy and spirituality, with a special emphasis on the spiritual development of the individual.

What makes this an interesting read is the outright acceptance by the author that traditional psychological techniques are inadequate for dealing with modern psycho-social problems and that spirituality has to be embibed in dealing with them at all costs. The author’s own in depth study of the various religions and spiritual masters and how their techniques can be applied to that particular ailment is impressive.
Its very often our inner demons that lead to mental stress and further to grave mental illnesses and maybe its our belief in a higher power that can bring us back from the brink. It is this concept that the author has explored and applied. Problems sometimes cannot be tackled only in a physical context but digging deeper into our conciences and spiritial beliefs maybe the answer.
Usually modern science or doctors don’t want anything to do with spirituality nor do they recommend their patients to get into it. It is refreshing to see that doctors like Pulkit Sharma are now beginning to not only accept spiritual means but also recommend it to their patients. It is possible that they have no choice because of the classic failure of the traditional methods due to the high number of suicides, increase in violence both within families and outside world over.

Unfortunately it is not very original and is simplistic in form but thats not a bad thing as it allows us laymen to grasp it better . These ideas may already be present in other books, videos and magazines. This book is for beginners on the path of merging their psychological well-being with their spiritual well-being. If you are already following spiritual gurus or practicing meditation or other spiritual practices for years, it may prove to be a tad underpowering. Nonetheless everyone needs a reminder once in a while as to the importance of spiritual practices and this easy to read book does that.

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