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The Well Gardened Mind: Rediscovering Nature in the Modern World

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9780008100711: The Well Gardened Mind: Rediscovering Nature in the Modern World
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This inspirational and authoritative book on mental health and physical labour teaches us how vital gardening can be as an escape for the brain and how having green fingers can help our minds through action as well as thought.

Gardening is one of the quintessential nurturing activities. For many people, apart from having children and raising a family, the process of creating or tending a plot is one of the most significant things in their lives. With the natural rituals of growth, decay and regeneration, safety and enclosure, destruction and renewal, it is as if – alongside the physical activity – we are also gardening our minds. And yet we understand so little about it.

The Well Gardened Mind investigates how an immersion in gardening can affect our inner worlds, both consciously and unconsciously, and how it can help us to find or re-find our place in the world. As current horticultural projects that work with general mental health problems as well as specific ones, such as addiction, refugees and PTSD demonstrate, the garden is intrinsically linked to our capacity for self-reflection and creative thinking. Combining contemporary neuroscience and psychoanalysis with compelling real life stories, prominent psychiatric psychotherapist Sue Stuart-Smith shows how many of the physical and mental processes involved in gardening are ones that are recognised as facilitating neural change.

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About the Author:

A prominent psychiatric psychotherapist, Sue Stuart-Smith took her degree in English literature at Cambridge before qualifying as a doctor and a psychiatrist. She teaches at The Tavistock Clinic in London and works for the National Health Service in Hertfordshire. She is married to Tom Stuart-Smith, the famous garden designer, and, over 25 years together, they have created the wonderful Barn Garden in Hertfordshire.

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Book Description Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. 'The wisest book I've read for many years . Much more than a gardening book, much more than a guide to mental health . Hugely recommended' Stephen Fry THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER A Times and Sunday Times Best Book of 2020 How can getting outdoors help us to look after our mental health? In a powerful combination of contemporary neuroscience, psychoanalysis and brilliant storytelling, The Well Gardened Mind investigates the magic that many gardeners have known for years - working with nature can radically transform our health, wellbeing and confidence. Prisoners given the chance to grow plants are less likely to reoffend. At-risk young people who get their hands in the soil are more likely to stay in education. Elderly people who garden live longer and have a better quality of life. Sue Stuart-Smith tells brilliant, illuminating stories of people struggling with stress, depression, trauma and addiction, from asylum seekers to veterans, inner-city young people to the retired. This is a glorious book of science, insight and anecdote that shows how our understanding of nature and its restorative powers is only just beginning to flower. 'An important and timely book . Beautifully written, drawing on a lifetime's experience as both a clinician and a gardener, and I urge everyone to read it'MONTY DON 'Riveting, inspiring and often very moving . A lively, compassionate exhortation for us all to get our hands back in the soil'ISABELLA TREE 'A compelling and deeply moving account of how profoundly our wellbeing can be affected through contact with gardening and the natural world . Read it'EDMUND DE WAAL. Seller Inventory # AA89780008100711

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Book Description Hardcover. Condition: new. Hardcover. This inspirational and authoritative book on mental health and physical labour teaches us how vital gardening can be as an escape for the brain and how having green fingers can help our minds through movement as well as thought. The garden has always been a place of peace and perseverance, of nurture and reward. Using contemporary neuroscience, psychoanalysis and compelling real-life stories, The Well Gardened Mind investigates the remarkable effects of nature on our health and wellbeing. From the science of the brain's own 'gardener cells', to the beauty of flowers and the grounding effects of working with nature's rhythms of growth, decay and regeneration, Stuart-Smith provides a new perspective on the power of gardening. Prisoners given the chance to grow plants are less likely to reoffend. At-risk young people who get their hands in the soil are more likely to stay in education. Elderly people who garden live longer and have a better quality of life. Using case studies of people struggling with stress, depression, trauma and addiction, as well as her own grandfather's return from World War I, she explores the many ways in which gardening can help transform people's lives. Presenting recent research into why people feel more fully alive and energised in the natural world, why gardeners report feeling calmer and more vigorous and why spending time in nature awakens the connection-seeking aspects of our human nature, Stuart-Smith argues that our increasingly urbanised and technology-dependent lifestyles make it more important than ever to rediscover a closer relationship with the earth. In this glorious book of science, insight and anecdote, Stuart-Smith shows our understanding of nature and its restorative powers is just beginning to flower. 'The wisest book I've read for many years . Much more than a gardening book, much more than a guide to mental health . Hugely recommended' Stephen Fry THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER A Times and Sunday Times Best Book of 2020 Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Seller Inventory # 9780008100711

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