Book Review “The Chimp Paradox”

Explaining the way the brain works……

I have just become acquainted with “The Chimp Paradox”, by Prof Steve Peters, having heard good things about it from two different sources. It is a very useful book. It provides an accessible way of understanding how the brain works and why it does what it does This is so that where our behaviours, feelings and decisions are not working in our favour, we can examine them calmly, make sense of them and change them.


The author introduces us to 3 parts of our brain, which he calls the Chimp, the Human and the Computer, and explains what they do so it’s easy to recognise how they are operating in us. He adds an autopilot, Gremlins and Goblins, and guides us through ways of recognising and dealing with these so we get the best relationship with ourselves and with others. His metaphors and analogies are based on the facts of neuroscience, but he uses simple everyday language so we can all benefit from the new discoveries about the brain.


In personal relationships this is vital information, because it is there that we are most reactive and most likely to do something hurtful or unhelpful. We are invited to look carefully at ourselves and notice the ways we sometimes behave which we later are very sorry about, and which may have hurt people closest to us. We are helped to learn what the situations are that trigger these responses, and to learn how to respond differently. Just this one step can make a huge improvement to a relationship where there is a lot of conflict.


I have now recommended it to two people, who said they already had it but had not read it! I suggested they made a start, and I look forward to learning what they each thought. If you already have a copy and have not read it, then take a closer look at it. If you haven’t got it yet, I suggest you buy it! It’s an enjoyable read as well as helpful for anyone in a relationship.


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