Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lori's pay it forward

Okay, I am including the URL for Lori's post because I don't know how to copy a button for the Pay It Forward book contest which ends tomorrow. Here it is:

Book Review Gifts From the Child Within

Gifts From the Child Within, 2nd Ed. By Barbara Sinor

This book is subtitled: “A Workbook for Self-Discovery and self-recovery through Re-Creation Therapy”. The content is based on the hypnotherapy practice of Dr. Sinor, the educational theories of Dr. Milton Ericson, and the general therapeutic ideas of Alice Miller, all of which advocate that each of us has a wounded child within which needs to be freed and embraced and that children who have been abused are more damaged than most and more easily reached by hypnotherapy than standard therapy.

This book is divided into four sections – “The Child Within”, “Re-Create Your Own Reality”, “Adult Child Games”, and “Gifts From the Child Within”. Each chapter offers opportunities to visualize, interact with/change the visualization, create affirmations that affirm the reader’s progress and destination, practice self-generated techniques of age regression, as well as offering opportunities to draw, play, or journal, and more. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels of consciousness are each addressed throughout the book. As a self-help junkie for many years in the 1980s and 1990s, I am familiar with many of the techniques and exercises that Sinor uses and with many of the books she recommends.

I appreciate that she suggests working through the recovery journey with at least one other confidant, that she acknowledges that there are times that one might need professional intervention, perhaps a therapist, a 12-step group, a spiritual director, and that she stresses that fixing a broken self is not an instantaneous process, but can take many years to work through. I found most of the exercises powerful and helpful. I like that she frames her therapy in terms of “total adventure” (33) and gives copious examples from her cases, from mythological/archetypal sources, from her own experiences. My one real dislike is that, at times, when she is discussing various examples, the discussion seems very condescending, with such simplified words and sentence structure that I wonder how capable of understanding she sees her audience as, except that in other places, her content is very clearly clinical, technical, and requires a high level of understanding. This switching back and forth disrupts my reading and annoys me. In addition, adding the “channeled entity Emmanuel” (44-46 ff.) into the mix of therapists and doctors Sinor cites might make some readers question the whole because of this small part. Also, I wish the bibliography contained all of the books that Sinor mentions in her text, rather than being just a tiny selection of works.

All-in-all, even though this book is intended for adults who were abused as children and who are now codependent and wounded, I think anyone can benefit from the examples given and the exercises provided. Even as I write this, I continue to work my way back and forth through the exercises.