How My Brain Works
A Guide to Understanding it Better and Keeping it Healthy
Barbara Koltuska Haskin
About the book
The wide range of useful information contained in How My Brain Works can help the reader in many ways: basic understanding of this unique organ, advice for anyone concerned about the possibility of a cognitive problem, and the wisdom of the author’s experience in helping her many patients and others to keep their brains healthy and working at their highest level.
Students with learning problems, young people considering varied career paths, victims of brain injuries or mental disorders, the middle-aged and elderly at risk of dementia—all can gain from the knowledge Dr. Barbara Koltuska-Haskin has gained in her many years as a practicing neuropsychologist. In easy-to-understand language, she explains the countless ways the evaluation process she uses can help people in a wide variety of situations, and how the results can be used for maximum benefit.
Plus, building on this information, Dr. Koltuska-Haskin offers a wealth of advice and tips on how to build and maintain optimum brain health. Reaching widely into the physical, psychological, nutritional, and spiritual worlds, she pulls together new research as well as age-old treasured learning to create an everyday guide to harnessing our most powerful mental tools in shaping the healthful and successful lives we all seek.
About the author
Dr. Barbara Koltuska-Haskin is a neuropsychologist in private practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In addition to her research and academic teaching background, she has over thirty years of clinical experience. She is also a classically trained mezzo-soprano. Further information and color images of the plants included in this book are available at her website: www.drkoltuska.com.
Praise for How My
“this book contains plenty of immensely useful and easily digestible information for newcomers to neuropsychology.”
“A highly readable look at a medical discipline and its potential benefits.”
An introduction to neuropsychology combined with a guide to healthy living. Debut author Koltuska-Haskin is a neuropsychologist with some 30 years of experience in the field. The first half of this slim volume explains the basics of neuropsychology, defining it as a discipline that bridges medicine and psychology with a focus on brain function. A neuropsychological evaluation allows patients to gauge their performance in different cognitive areas and what they might be able to do to improve it. Just about anyone may find value in a neuropsychological evaluation, the author asserts, whether they’re college students, women going through menopause, or people who’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury. The author talks readers through what they can expect from clinical interviews and tests of emotional functioning. The author particularly emphasizes the importance of such tests, noting that “what you don’t know could hurt you.” Koltuska-Haskin devotes the second half of her book to holistic methods to alleviate harm to one’s brain. The author offers advice on maintaining a healthy diet, practicing meditation, and other activities to promote neurological health. She also discusses the many benefits of gardening. The book is brief at fewer than 200 pages, and it progresses in a swift, cheerful manner. The chapters are similarly short with technical jargon kept to a minimum and a consistently positive tone (“When the plants mature, you can see their beauty”). Fans of self-help books will find some points rather familiar, as when a chapter on the importance of gratitude refers to Oprah Winfrey’s well-known gratitude journal. Still, this book contains plenty of immensely useful and easily digestible information for newcomers to neuropsychology.
Midwest Book Review
A highly readable look at a medical discipline and its potential benefits.
Clear information in terms any lay reader can readily understand. The blend of facts, individual experience, and physician insight creates a book much more accessible and wide-ranging than most on the subject. How My Brain Works is very highly recommended for health and general-interest readers alike, from healthcare professionals to families, caregivers, and anyone concerned about the brain's functions and possibilities.
“I give it four out of four stars as there was nothing to dislike about this timely and exceptionally written book. Everyone needs to read a book like this; it offers great lessons.”
How My Brain Works by Dr. Barbara Koltuska-Haskin is a short book written to explain the use of a clinical practice called neuropsychological evaluation to help people understand their brain's state. The reader would know if their brain is functioning correctly and any lingering effects from brain trauma and injury.
It is not, as it would seem, an explanation of how the brain works.
The book achieves something many medical books lack—explaining medical practices and terms in simple language. It is straightforward and useful to a wide range of readers. The ideal readers include people who are merely curious about the subject, people who are having problems with cognitive functions, or people whose loved ones are experiencing brain problems. Also, physicians, psychiatrists, therapists, community case coordinators, and people who are in some way responsible for the care and treatment of people who are intellectually disabled would find this book helpful.
It is a veritable guide for anyone confused and anxious about a sudden mental deterioration. Not only does it point towards the ways of finding out what is wrong, but it also gives useful and practical advice for handling such situations, and solutions to some of the most common ones.
This book clears some doubts surrounding common issues like menopause, memory complaints, and old age. It also manages to provide hope for people experiencing such problems. assuring them that these things can be managed, if not treated.
There are many references for verification and further study, which give the book a touch of authenticity. The reader's mind is put even further at ease with the relatable experiences and stories.
Through this book, the author shows that there need not be so much confusion and uncertainty surrounding brain problems. She believes these issues can be understood through tests carried out by a skilled clinician and can be adequately managed by cooperating with the primary care physician, family members, workplace and other people involved to make things as easy as possible.
For people who have not been diagnosed with any brain problems, but who wish to preserve their brain functions for as long as possible, the book's second part provides tips and advice to maintain a healthy brain. Most of the solutions are cost-effective and do not take much time. It also guarantees happier lives, being beneficial not only for the brain but also for the entire body. The author's thoughtfulness in writing an all-inclusive book is what I like most about this book—there's something for everyone.
I give it four out of four stars as there was nothing to dislike about this timely and exceptionally written book. Everyone needs to read a book like this; it offers great lessons.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Frank Spring
Stories clearly designed to inform the reader as to possibilities presented by neurological testing and to provide hope that a disrupted brain, or even a dangerous one, can be guided toward a better life.
Life-enhancing suggestions permeate this book.
Amazon verified reader Magdelana
An excellent read and handbook for those seeking first-hand knowledge to address the fascinating field of brain health and related issues.
As a mental health care provider will definitely recommend this to clients as well as therapists who address such issues as PTSD, ADHD, and related cognitive and emotional issues. Dr. Koltuska explains the brain in a fascinating manner . . . a journey of both self discovery and self care.