Thursday, January 28, 2010

Book review: This is Your Brain in Love

I was recently given the opportunity through BookSneeze to review This is Your Brain in Love by Dr. Earl Henslin. The title was very appealing to me, given my psychology background and love of both science and romance. Before reading the book, I was concerned that breaking love down into a series of chemical reactions and firing synapses would suck all the joy and spontaneity out of love, but luckily, I was mistaken!

The first chapter of the book discusses the physical changes that occur in the brain of someone who is in love. I learned that it is almost impossible for a doctor to differentiate between a person who is high on cocaine and a person who is in that honeymoon, fuzzy-brain, obsessive stage of new love. That explains a lot!

I was intrigued by the next part of the book, which connects science, spirituality, and romance in a way I had never before considered, This helped me a lot personally. In my field, it is so easy to dismiss spirituality in favor of scientific evidence, but Dr. Henslin connected them in a way I had never before considered.

The meat of the book was dedicated to “bringing your best brain to a marriage.” The hypothesis is that every person reacts to love in a different way, and a lot of this has to do with their brain chemistry. Dr. Henslin breaks people down into five categories (The Scattered Lover, The Overfocused Lover, The Blue Mood Lover, The Agitated Lover, and The Anxious Lover) and describes what exactly is happening in their brains and what they need in a relationship for love to last. I fit into a few different categories, as many people will, and I felt that Dr. Henslin’s information was sound and his advice was helpful. I laughed out loud when reading the section that described my husband as well as if I had written about him, and found myself reading parts aloud to him.

Dr. Henslin finishes the book with advice on ways to make love last,. The book has other interesting features, including quizzes to see what your love brain type is, a “love diet,” and information on sexual addiction and women’s hormones.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. The one criticism I have is the fact that Dr. Henslin’s mento, Dr. Amen, is mentioned so much in the book that it gives an infomercial feel. I understand that Dr. Amen’s work is important to the author’s career and research, but for someone to be cited as often as Dr. Amen was, I think it would have made sense for him to be named a contributing author.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review. It’s a fun way to find new material to read. Check out the button on the right if you’re interested!


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