PROMISE OF THE SOUL: Identifying and Healing Your Spiritual Covenant

Dennis Kenny, Author . Wiley $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-471-41833-7

Kenny's book is based on an unarguable premise and illustrated by case studies drawn from his clinical psychology practice: people have self-limiting beliefs rooted in childhood experience. From there the hospital chaplain and founding director of the California Pacific Medical Center's Institute for Health and Healing builds a system of three personality types, each of which bases choices and actions on an implicit and conditional bargain ("covenant") with God, a bargain that may not fit an adult as well as it does the child who first makes it. The novice author provides exercises to help the psychologically curious identify their "covenant style" in an effort to make that style conscious and then to change it by adding other characteristics and behaviors. None of this is really new. "Covenant" is reminiscent of the "agreement" popularized in Don Miguel Ruiz's successful book The Four Agreements, which offers another system for behavior guidance and change. And typology is certainly as old as the enneagram or ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of human-constitutional types. The material that is new—recent studies yielding interesting evidence for mind-body connections and implications for health—is cursorily treated in one chapter. At best, Kenny's work can be helpful in reframing information for self-analysis; at worst, it's one good idea drawn out to make a book. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/18/2002
Release date: 01/01/2002
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-470-24682-5
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