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The Secret: Is It the Real Deal?

A theory about the power of positive thinking draws adherents -- and controversy.

It Can't Hurt -- or Can It?

"It tends to blame the victim -- the one who didn't think correctly," points out Neil Fiore, PhD, a Berkeley, Calif.-based psychologist and author of Awaken Your Strongest Self: Break Free of Stress, Inner Conflict, and Self-Sabotage. "It can cause people greater stress by worrying if they're causing cancer by having the wrong thoughts and emotions."

According to Fiore, The Secret makes people afraid of their genuine emotions of depression/sadness and anger/upset. "This is just wrong and counter to the research on the benefits of expressing difficult "negative" emotions and the negative effects of stoically acting as if you're being positive."

Published March 2, 2007.

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Reviewed on May 30, 2008

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