The Breakthrough in Two Acts

Breaking the Spells of Painful Emotions and Finding the Calm in the Present Moment

Non-Fiction - Self Help
224 Pages
Reviewed on 04/20/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite

Amidst the countless ‘self-help’ books that can be found on bookstore shelves or E-readers, The Breakthrough in Two Acts by Fredric C. Hartman, Ph.D may well be the most significant. Billed as a way of ‘Breaking the Spells of Painful Emotions and Finding the Calm in the Present Moment,’ Dr. Hartman’s unique work clearly defines the source of humanity’s unhappiness and constant quest for ‘more,’ while also addressing the steps to confront the built up painful emotions that cloud our perceptions of the world as we live and experience it each day.

Dr. Hartman contends that our minds are still holding on to the fight or flight responses our ancient forebears depended on for survival, stemming from the limbic system. It is into this mental repository that every disappointment we may have experienced as a child is stored and added up, and the inability to gain satisfaction for these slights is what leads to emotional pain and problems such as frustration, panic, guilt, humiliation, shame, and impatience later on in life. Without our consciousness being able to stand up to the innate pain, we may spiral deeper into emotional un-wellness, which Dr. Hartman sees as a worldwide crisis.

Cleverly written as a stage play between himself and a patient, The Consciousness, The Breakthrough in Two Acts: Breaking the Spells of Painful Emotions and Finding the Calm in the Present Moment by Fredric C. Hartman is amazingly smooth to read and full of wonderful scene titles and quotes so that you know exactly what to expect. There are amazing analogies and comparisons that make the processes of the mind easy to understand so that you really develop a sense of hope if you do, in fact, want to overcome the mental blocks that prevent you from creating a better present and future for yourself. As complex as psychology is, the author has made it quite approachable to countless people - I would almost hope that this text becomes required reading for all teaching, nursing, political science, business, (in fact every subject) students, if not all high school students!