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Book Reviews

  • “The Stress Solution” Editorial Reviews

    “The Stress Solution is an unusually wise and well-informed look at the terrible epidemic of stress that hurts so many of us in so many ways. What’s more, Dr. Ciaramicoli offers something really new here — pioneering, in fact. If you’ve struggled with the effects of stress, this is the book for you. I recommend it wholeheartedly.”
    Mira Kirshenbaum, author of I Love You but I Don’t Trust You: The Complete Guide to Restoring Trust in Your Relationship

    “This book is a wonderful contribution to the ever-changing field of therapy. Based on research evidence, Dr. Ciaramicoli integrates the science and practice of empathy with traditional cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to offer a wise and inspiring solution to the problems associated with stress. This book engages us in easy and effective strategies to help reduce unhelpful ways of thinking and to let go of stress. If you experience stress and are looking for a gentle, practical, and effective solution, empathic CBT will not fail to assist you.”
    Dr. Bruno A. Cayoun, clinical psychologist, director of the MiCBT Institute, and author of Mindfulness-integrated CBT for Well-being and Personal Growth

    “Dr. Ciaramicoli has written an insightful and instructional book on empathic CBT. It was a beautiful and growth-inspiring journey for me, and it offers many takeaways and fresh insights. I especially love how, in the final two chapters, Dr. Ciaramicoli weaves all the concepts (i.e., courage, freedom, wisdom, authenticity, and altruism) together almost poetically, all of them mutually reinforcing and each of them enhanced by the power of empathy. Dr. C makes a very strong case for the supposition that empathy is truth-oriented. I couldn’t agree more, and this connection is made in our culture so uncommonly that the notion almost seems radical. He also makes the same case for self-knowing and our own growth and development. Just wonderful. I love this book.”
    Dr. James Brennan, visiting professor of organizational behavior at Lehigh University and author of The Art of Becoming Oneself

    “In my many years as a practicing OB/GYN and CEO, I have never seen as many of my female patients negatively affected by stress as I have recently. Not only is Dr. Ciaramicoli’s book of wisdom timely, but his way of using empathy to uncover distorted thinking and using CBT techniques to alter these distortions is unique. In addition to being innovative, The Stress Solution gives us a practical way to lessen stress and consistently improve overall health. This book will be in my waiting room for a very long time, and I will recommend it to all my patients, colleagues, family, and friends.”
    Mary Bethony, MD, CEO of All About Women, Framingham and Westboro, Massachusetts

    “Dr. Ciaramicoli has created a new, incredibly effective way to combat stress by combining the use of empathy with the concepts of cognitive behavioral therapy. This book is an excellent tool for combating the stress and anxiety in our current society, and it also teaches us how to balance our lives given the tremendous stressors in our world. I particularly value Dr. C’s chapter on the stress of prejudice, which offers a very insightful look at the negative effects of bias and how to perceive free of past conditioning. I have asked my family, friends, and clients to read this wonderful book, and I hope you will do the same for all those you care about.”
    Dr. Robert Cherney, chief psychologist at Advocates Community Health Services, Framingham, Massachusetts

    “Dr. Ciaramicoli’s latest work, The Stress Solution, is a must-read. Period. Full stop. In my work as a cognitive behavioral psychologist, I know the power of CBT for managing stress. In my work in the humanitarian sphere, I know the power of empathy. But never before have I seen the two brought together in such a creative and compelling, synergistic approach. How brilliant — logic and emotion combined to augment each other. Bravo, Dr. Ciaramicoli!”
    Chris Stout, PhD, founding director of the Center for Global Initiatives and clinical professor at University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry

    “Stress has reached near-epidemic proportions in America, and according to clinical psychologist Ciaramicoli, the real harm comes from the flawed ways people respond to stress. Ciaramicoli makes clear the value he places on experience over textbook learning, and in this vein, his book imparts more actions to take than information to absorb. Some research is included, but real-life examples have the greatest prominence, many taken from the author’s clinical encounters. Each chapter is replete with practical exercises and reflective journal questions, all conveyed in readable lists or tables. There are even detailed dietary recommendations. In basic terms, this is a guide to living with balance and awareness. Ciaramicoli’s major contribution is a persistent focus on empathy, not only as a hypothetical remedy to stress but as a learned behavior, achieved through a change in perspective and worked like a muscle. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, though rarely mentioned explicitly after the book’s opening, is the theory behind many of its practices. Readers will find Ciaramicoli’s recommendations easy to follow and helpful to implement.”
    Publishers Weekly

“The Stress Solution” Top Customer Reviews

By Tom Marcoux on May 13, 2020

Format: Paperback

What if you could powerfully deal with stress and eliminate many harmful effects? Dr. Arthur Ciaramicoli provides life-changing insights and methods in his new, sensational book, The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience.

In this book, Dr. Ciaramicoli introduces Empathic CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy). He notes that empathy is the capacity to understand and respond to the unique experience of another person. CBT works to solve current problems and change unhelpful thinking and behavior.

On page xv, Dr. Ciaramicoli points out: “When we give and receive empathy, transformation occurs. An empathic interaction produces calming brain chemicals that create a sense of security and positive feelings. These brain changes make us happier and more resilient.”

Much of the power of this book is in the stories that Dr. Ciaramicoli tells with care and skill. We feel the power of the life-changing insights.

On page 124, Dr. Ciaramicoli coaches us that often it helps to connect with people who give us honest feedback and then we discover “our biased theories.” He continues, “When you rediscover the truth, you will likely be more focused on what is right about you and stop the constant search to find out what is wrong with you. Your stress and anxiety will lessen.”

In Chapter 11, starting on page 127, Dr. Ciaramicoli guides us in the ways of “Empathy, Self-Care and Well-Being.”

The power of this book is in how Dr. Ciaramicoli tells the truth. He does not hold back. Still, the book has such a warm and kind tone. On page 171, he shares: “This is how empathy works.
For all of us leaders—whether of ourselves, our family or at work, it’s vital that we make the most important into The Most Important. As an Executive Coach and Spoken Word Strategist, my job is to help executives, business owners and others reach and at times exceed their potential for higher levels of success and even happiness. This gives me a real appreciation for what Dr. Ciaramicoli’s book accomplishes.

Dr. Arthur Ciaramicoli’s book The Stress Solution is evidently designed to empower you to be stress-skilled, resilient and even happier. Make reading this book a priority. You’ll benefit so much from such a good decision and action.”}”>Read more ›

Comment2 people found this helpful.

By Henry Reed on May 23, 2020

Format: Paperback

Empathy is in. It’s the emotional intelligence social IQ superpower. It requires imagination. It invokes intuition. We empathize by imagining being the other person, and drawing from within our understanding. It is the prime activity of the Intuitive Heart, and so I can’t but bring to your attention a new book on the subject—very scientific and inspirational, at the same time.
The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience, by Arthur P. Ciaramicoli, Ed.D., Ph.D. builds on his previous, fantastic book, The Power of Empathy: A Practical Guide to Creating Intimacy, Self-understanding, and Lasting Love in Your Life.
Here are some things I really like about this book:
First, I like how he defines empathy, in a new and different way, besides the usual way, which he also includes. Here’s his novel definition: “Seeing things as the really are.” I like that definition because it is an admission that we connect with the real world from within—empathy arises from within and is an intuitive response. We become one with what we empathize with, which is one goal of spiritual awareness.
Second, I like how he emphasizes being empathic with oneself. I recall an important time in my life when I kept complaining, “no one listens to me!” Finally, I got the message, “It is ME who is not listening to me!” So I began a program of giving myself big doses of my imitation of Carl Rogers. For every thought that appeared, I’d respond with reflective listening. Pretty cool! It really helped.
Third, I’m a big fan of using thought stopping, or story switching, to get myself out of a bad mood. I can catch myself thinking thoughts that bring me down. I now can recognize them more quickly and shift my focus to something more positive.Fourth, I really like his conception of “performance addiction.” Similar to Type A mentality—that’s me!—and I find that when I feel stressed, I am probably trying to get myself to do something I don’t really feel like doing. Depression is my meat tenderizer and helps me get back on the path of, “chill out,” “loosen up a bit, will you?” and “go for a walk!”
The author covers all the bases. It’s worth reading, assuming you’ve got the time to spend with yourself that way.”}”>Read more ›

CommentOne person found this helpful.

Format: Paperback

I’ve never seen such a creative, and important solution to stress before!

Full disclosure: I recently interviewed Dr. Arthur Ciaramicoli for our Inspire Nation Show.

I think bringing empathy into CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is brilliant; it helps those in need to feel better, and puts them in a position to help others. I love this book. I love the approach, and I think it’s just what the world needs.

I’ve read so many stress books lately, but this one stands out from the crowd. It doesn’t just help you overcome stress but become a better person at the same time!


By Marilyn Dalrymple VINE VOICE on May 27, 2020

Format: Paperback

The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience.
Author Arthur P. Ciaramicoli, EdD, PhD.
Finally, a book that explains what stress actually is, what to look out for health-wise, how to actually do something about it and how to overcome the habit of accumulating stress. This book is written clearly and offers valuable and helpful advice, but I most like that it thoroughly describes stress and all the chaos it causes with us.
Author Arthur P. Ciaramicoli, EdD, PhD. combines the tools of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) along with the use of empathy to help readers be gentler with ourselves, thereby relieving the stress with which most experience. The book also tells readers how they can help others overcome feelings of stress not as a professional, but just by being a caring and emphatic listener.
Chapter three, Empathic Listening, explains how important it is to, “. . . listen to another’s soul . . ..” An important part of this exercise is, “Learning to Hear, Not Fix.” I know how valuable it is to find someone who is patient enough and kind enough to listen with empathy and caring.
Chapter 7, CBT in Action: Combating Negative Self-Talk and Ending the Cycle of Stress, I found as an especially valuable chapter. I am guilty of hammering myself with endless negative self-talk and know it is harmful, but I didn’t realize how much it really does affect us.
Questions, sometimes self-evaluation tests, exercises, explanations and CBT steps readers can take to help themselves are offered at the end of chapters.
Truly a valuable and beneficial book about a topic most of us struggle to control; certainly a book worth reading.


  • “Bravo! Dr. Ciaramicoli has written his best book. The Curse of the Capable is a wonderful find in the toolshed of happiness. If you are alive, this book is for you. Dr. Ciaramicoli tackles the problems capable people face with impeccable psychological competence and the genuine compassion you can expect from an authority on empathy.”

    P.M. Forni, Professor, Johns Hopkins University
    author of The Civility Solution: What to Do when People are Rude

  • “In this book, Dr. Arthur Ciaramicoli makes a well-informed and convincing case that happiness does not inevitably ensue from our personal or professional achievements. The widespread belief that it does is the very foundation of the “curse.” Happiness is not a function of doing but a positive way of being that fosters genuine relationships with self, with others, and with life in general. Excellent read!”

    James P. Brennan, Ph.D.
    Sports Psychology Consultant, Villanova University men’s basketball team,
    Faculty, Muhlenberg College,
    Human Performance Consultant

  • “This is a rare and special book, wise and helpful, savvy and profound and should be a real life saver for millions who are actually prevented by their drive and ability from having lives that are genuinely satisfying. A wonderful road map not just to a good life but to a life that feels good.”

    Mira Kirshenbaum
    Author of the Emotional Energy Factor, When Good People Have Affairs and Everything Happens for a Reason

  • “Success at all costs is really not success at all and often leaves communities, families and lives in its vast depleted wake. If you have lived as a depleted high achiever, you probably know this already. But the BIG question is… what do you do about it? The Curse is a trap with no easy way out…until now! Dr. Ciaramicoli and Coach Mollenhauer have put together a deeply provocative game plan for true success like nothing I have seen before. In each stage you’ll discover insight, touching examples and juicy questions that reveal the core dynamics of “the curse”. Understand them so you can PLAY the games of your life again with joy, resiliency and full self-expression, and win.”

    Coach Dave Buck

  • “Being a high-achiever doesn’t mean squat if you’re not healthy. Moreover, the healthier you are, the more you achieve. This book is a wakeup call and the antidote for those of us that are consumed by the fast pace of today’s world. But it won’t slow you down. In fact, it’ll put you on a fast train to the ultimate in well-being—complete health and substantial wealth.”

    Michael Port
    New York Times Bestselling Author of “The Think Big Manifesto”

  • “Understanding who you are becomes paramount to taking care of yourself. Making lifestyle choices begin with self-awareness, the story you tell about your life and how you are in the world. If this story is not supportive, it gives rise to Performance Addiction and a spectrum of unhealthy lifestyle choices which lead to the problems we see every day. This book, The Curse of the Capable enables people to gain insight into this not well explored or explained cycle of personal destruction that can occur even amongst the most accomplished. It is a great book to read if you want to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle, successfully.”

    Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum D.O
    SRSHEART.COM Director, Women and Heart Disease Heart and Vascular Institute, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York

  • “This important book shows how the quest for impressive achievements can lead many down the path to unhappiness and self-destruction. This book is a must read for those wanting a better understanding of the human potential for self-peace and happiness that is obtainable by all. After all, our physical health is dependent on many factors, including our intimate and caring relationship with others and our mastery over our competitive drives that could sabotage those relationships.”

    Joel Fuhrman, MD.
    Author of Eat to Live and Eat for Health,
    Family Physician & Nutritional Researcher.

  • “What a good book! At first I wondered why I should care about all the dysfunctional stories illustrated from Dr. C’s client experiences. Then I saw the pattern of the Curse that all of us today experience. Taking off my own mask, I found words that explain the journey and pearls of wisdom that will help me improve my own healthy, high achieving life. There are great insights in this book that are worthy for reflection. Read it; you will be encouraged and freed.”

    Paul J. Hindelang
    President, Results-Systems Corporation

  • The Curse of the Capable unveils the mystery of why capable people sometimes choose to live beyond the edge of their own health and well-being. In the stories of the Capable and through the accompanying reflective and active exercises in this book, we are empowered to glimpse our own fervent desire for a more vital life, to sharpen our budding insights, and to write a new chapter in the story of our personal and professional strivings. I can think of no better way to wake-up-into the life you’ve already worked so hard to build than to read and act on the wisdom you’ll find in this book.”

    Catherine Pastille, MA, MBA, Ph.D.
    Business Administration President,
    The Hope Research Center, Inc.
    Smithfield, RI

  • “Happiness, the light that we all seek, may be elusive at times but the mere knowledge that there is such a mental state gives us hope to be and to do better. This book gives us a path to that end. Read it, to see for yourself.”

    T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D
    Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry, Cornell University Ithaca, NY,
    Author “The China Study”

  • “Take heart…what a difference this book can make in your life! “The Curse” is true…we are a society so focused on professional excellence that we have forgotten what true excellence really means. The answers of how we can be living for unconditional happiness and a fulfilling life await you in this wonderful book. Dr Ciaramicoli has created a must read for every parent, young adult and anyone who is “successful” but still feeling a bit empty inside.”

    Rob Poulos
    Founder Zero to Hero Fitness
    Author of The Fat Burning

  • “A rich insight in The Curse of the Capable is that ‘Only through the honest feedback of others can we discover the truth of who we really are.’. Dr. Ciaramicoli and John Allen Mollenhauer weave a practical path for taking that insight to action. Journaling the questions they pose with an honest and open heart can lead powerfully to that discovery experience, and I thank them for this book!”

    Thomas Houle
    Senior Director Consumer Insight & Strategy Kraft Foods (ret.),
    Center Director of The Mankind Project International,
    New Jersey

  • “Are you feeling stressed, drained, and low on energy and satisfaction? The addiction to performance may be robbing you of the life you deserve. If a substance were turning your life upside down, at some point you’d be forced to make real changes. But when your “substance” is peak-performance the odds are not nearly so good. The Curse of the Capable has cracked the code to understanding why it can be so hard to change your lifestyle; it’s like a drink of water after years of running full speed in the desert. It lifts the burden and sets you on the path to creating a lifestyle that supports your performance rather than continuing the performance at the cost of your life.”

    Shawn Phillips
    Author, Strength for Life

  • “This is a must read book if you ever want to live a lifestyle that works for you. The Curse of the Capable hits on the key aspects of lifestyle that most people don’t see. They are hidden and they are driving you, maybe non-stop. Why wait until you’ve accomplished a goal before you start living the lifestyle you want and need, to look and feel better, and function at healthy levels? In my business I have clients tell me as soon as they are done with a project or the summer is over they will start to exercise. They are missing the boat! Dr. Ciaramicoli and John Allen Mollenhauer have written a literal road map to getting free of what prevents people from being able to perform well, with real quality of life ”

    Eddie Enriquez
    Founder CAP Elite,

  • “Wow! The Curse of the Capable explains, in exact detail, the biggest challenges faced with high achievers and how to break through stopping points along the way. I was immediately taken in by the real-life examples of extremely talented people who had found themselves stuck in one point of their lives and how changing their perspective could immediately release
    them from their self-imposed bonds. A great read for anyone who wants more in their personal and professional life!”

    Kevin Gianni
    Health Advocate and Author “High Raw: A Simple Approach to Health, Eating and Saving the Planet”

  • “In this ground-breaking book, readers discover the true power of interpersonal communication to heal, move forward, and have a fulfilling and happy life at work and at home. Perception and empathy along with a true understanding of the factors causing even those who are highly successful to feel inadequate, anxious, and dissatisfied with life are what will allow readers the chance to finally re-write their personal narratives and communicate from a new place of inner wisdom!” ”

    Felicia J. Slattery, M.A., M.Ad.Ed
    Communication Consultant,

  • “Wouldn’t it be great to be able to repair your own car, fix the lawn mower, write a book, start a web page, manage our own finances, and be in total control? As a nation we spend billions of dollars on how-to books all for the sake of becoming more capable; by why? What’s driving you to do it all yourself? Dr Ciaramicoli and John Allen Mollenhauer brilliantly capture the often over-looked and underestimated reasons why so many of us want to become so capable thinking we have to ‘do it all’.”

    Tom Terwilliger
    Experience the Leap Executive Coach,
    Former Mr. America, and once Overworked do-it-yourselfer

  • “In the field of fitness and transformation, I see people every day wanting to make a change in the way they look, their weight and physical capabilities. Those who are able to succeed best have positive self-reinforcing thinking that enables them to change. This book highlights the one thing that hold capable people back; stories from the past that simply weigh people down. I highly recommend reading this book, by Dr Ciaramicoli, and my friend, John Allen Mollenhauer; I think knowing how to change your thinking is core to the warrior”

    Jon Hinds
    VP, Lifeline USA

  • “Providing a roadmap to change from the inside out, The Curse of the Capable is worth its weight in gold to achievers. Applying psychological theory to real life, this book is a mini course on how and why our (inner) psychology drives our (outer) behavior. Dr. Ciaramicoli demonstrates the ability of people to get beyond their hidden struggles with heartbreaking clinical cases. This is not a book; rather this is a manual for personal change. Each chapter has provocative questions and specific actions to take toward revising your inner novel. Use this manual to rewrite your story, break the curse, and enjoy life!”

    Jeffrey A. Betman, Ph.D.
    Licensed Psychologist

  • “The insights in Dr. Ciaramicoli’s book Performance Addiction were profound in terms of corporate success. Now, with his new book, he has captured the essence of what drives us toward success at all costs. Many in the corporate world feel cursed and I, as a senior manager, have benefited greatly by reading and understanding the lives of Dr. Ciaramicoli’s clients as they work toward more complete health. Each story seems to convey a new way of succeeding in a stressful environment, especially as he describes the challenges we must all negotiate for solid self worth. I have recommended “The Curse of the Capable” to all my employees and will continue to learn from re-reading its content. This book goes far beyond the typical self help book to provide real ways of feeling balanced while operating on a very high level”

    Richard Werner
    Senior Director, Data Center Management,
    Comcast Headquarters, Philadelphia.

  • “I have been following Dr. Ciaramicoli’s work since his publication of The Power of Empathy in 2000. His ability to understand the heart and soul of high achievers is quite amazing. The stories of his clients in his new book are poignant, heartfelt and full of the wisdom and insight that will lead good, talented people with the Curse to a level of happiness that has eluded them all of their lives. Dr. Ciaramicoli’s shares the strategies that will bring achievers the life they have always longed for while unleashing their highest potential in the process.”

    Robert Cherney, Ph.D.
    LADC1, Chief Psychologist, Advocates
    Community Counseling Services,
    Framingham, Massachusetts.

  • “At a time in our nation when so much importance is placed on doing and creating more, The Curse of the Capable shifts one’s attention to “balance and beingness” and dares to challenge long standing societal beliefs about fulfillment and happiness. The message that touches my core in this book is very clear, “any positive change I seek in my world must happen within me first”. The Curse of the Capable will inspire many!”

    Vince Falone , LMT, CST,
    Co-founder of Center for Relaxation and Healing,
    Co-leader candidate in, the Mankind Project International

  • “I don’t cry easily but I couldn’t hold back the tears as I read about all the people who have struggled with the Curse and never known the way out. After seeing several psychiatrists’, trying different meds and never feeling better I had lost hope. Then somehow I joined the group and the understanding and relief began slowly and has never stopped. The book reminds me of how compulsive achievement was for me, and how breaking free has given me the satisfaction in my life that has always been missing. You always say empathy is the key to success, it took my legal mind several months to believe you and I think you have given the reader many examples to make a most convincing case that without knowing how to enter the world of others we are lost in space.”

    Rebecca S.

  • “My only regret in reading The Curse of the Capable Dr. C is that you didn’t write it ten years ago. Today I am mostly free of the obsessive drive to succeed at all costs but if I had known years ago what stages I needed to understand to make myself comfortable in my own skin I could have saved my marriage and been a better father. I hope every driven person who is misdirected to obtain love reads your book, the journal questions are challenging and they make you very thoughtful about what motivates your behavior. What a great compliment to our group experience. The stories are very moving and of course I recognized some of the people including myself. As I read through I felt hopeful for myself and all those like me who are capable but could never find the real key to success”

    Frank M.
    Owner of Construction Company

  • “As I read through the book, I also realized again how thankful I am and how blessed I am to be one of your patients. The stories are so powerful and of course as a group member I have personally witnessed the transformation of people, like myself, from being cursed to being free to live to our true potential. I wish that all those who have been trying so hard all their lives and yet never feeling complete would read and study the four stages outlined in your new book. I think if everyone would read my favorite chapter “The Spiritual Learner” we could bring about harmony in our world. Thank you for your patience and wisdom and for understanding what no one seemed to grasp in all my efforts to feel more fulfilled.”

    Linda M.
    Project Manager

  • “As I read The Curse of the Capable I thought of the people I’ve known and others I haven’t known that haven’t been as fortunate as I and others in group. I thought of the star athlete you and I know who took her own life after a sports loss and how it might have been for her had someone like you been in her life. As I read through each of the 4 stages my heart swelled after each story and burst after each success which I know personally. I wanted to say this - You are a blessing Dr. C. A blessing for Anthony and me, Gina and the countless other lives you’ve touched. Nothing in life could ever compare to the significance of what you’ve done and continue to do for others – not a pro baseball contract, not running 50 marathons, not even a doctorate degree or writing a book or anything else for that matter could EVER compare. This book is your best ever!” ”

    John H.
    Northeast Sales Manager

  • “I drove my business to the top, working 80 hour weeks, traveling frequently and when I finally arrived I told my partner I felt Cursed. Why? No inner peace and just more to do every day, not at all like I imagined. I neglected my wife and children, all the while thinking we would all be happy once I was successful, had loads of money and a bigger house. Well, Dr. C, your book and your work has proven I, like many others, have been living according to a myth that drives each of us into the ground. I am proud to be one of the stories in your new book, proud because I am an example of someone who was lost and now who has learned the skills to be on the road to peace of mind. Your book, like your groups, requires hard work, nothing achievers will balk at but it is a different kind of work. It is work for the soul and the heart. Something I knew little about. Everyone will benefit from this book that makes the commitment to open up and learn. Congratulations!”

    Tom K.
    Retired CEO