Psychological Self-Help

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becomes an adult, he/she may be unhappy and have problems similar
to his/her biological parents--or different problems, e.g. he/she may
find it impossible to trust and express emotions, he/she may feel like
he/she doesn't fit in, or he/she may constantly take care of others.
The shame-based, insatiable child often seeks another addiction rather
than the one that ruined his/her parent's life, e.g. eating rather than
alcohol. This troubled, needy, inner child can seriously mess up our
Many therapists and treatment groups attempt to reach this
wounded inner child. This isn't easy because re-living the childhood
experiences and seeing clearly what really happened to us as a child
can be very painful. Also, returning to childhood may make us very
mad or scare us because we doubt that the childhood distortions and
pain can ever be eliminated. It is a hard choice: continue a miserable
adult life or re-live a hurtful childhood. Therapy (and self-awareness as
discussed in chapters 6 and 8) offer hope if we can accept our inner
child and take care of some of its needs (Hancock, 1989; Bradshaw,
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.
Let the parts of your personality speak for themselves
Another insight approach is interesting. By knowing what parts to
look for inside, we can discover more about ourselves. Example: Give
several of your parts a name, such as "Baby" for your dependent child,
"Toughie" for your aggressive bully, "Spock" for your reasonable adult,
"Hunk"/"Beautiful" for your flirty part, etc. Talk to them. Let them talk
to each other. Realize that you can control your life by controlling
which part is in charge. By reading psychological cases and
explanations of dynamics, we can learn about ourselves. By knowing
the stages of development that others go through, we understand our
growth better. By realizing how certain personality traits and
characters develop, we have greater insight into our personality. By
recognizing the drives, needs, and scripts that push us in different
directions, we may gain better control over where we are going.
Recommendations: read a lot of psychology, especially explanations of
actual cases. Use several methods in chapter 14 for changing attitudes
and in chapter 15 for gaining insight. Don't be afraid of your
unconscious. These forces can do less harm if we realize unconscious
factors may be at work. Indeed, exploring our unconscious can be
fascinating and enlightening but seldom easy. 
Self-understanding is a life-long project
It concerns me that a few people might believe that a few pages
about personality types or parts and about basic human motives or
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