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W. Hugh Missildine calls the book I have actually selected to review “Your Inner Kid of the Past”. This is a really intriguing book in which Missildine tries to solve adult issues by understanding the inner kid. W. Hugh Missildine is an assistant teacher of psychiatry at the Ohio State University of medicine. Through his understanding of both psychiatry and psychology, Missildine explores consider youth that affect the adult years. He executes the view that “children learn what they live”. He was the director of a children’s mental health centre for 9 years and this is where he established his new approach to adult psychological issues.
The nature of this book is to discover to find ones inner kid, how to accept and handle it in every day life and every day circumstances. It is also a guide for moms and dads on how to develop a delighted childhood for their children.
Although this book might be thought about as a self-help book, it is likewise emotionally grounded.
Missildine utilizes lots of case research studies to illustrate his point and show his theories. In which one can see that his observations and results are confirmed by psychologists. For instance there is one particular case research study which is about Alexander Fleming, while he himself was not a client of Dr. Missildine, he was conscious and had actually looked into Fleming’s medical history. Alexander Fleming was a bacteriological scientist who found a substance called penicillium, which appeared to treat infections. Fleming thought that this could be a life-saving drug although to show this he needed to do more research on it.
Fleming might not encourage his superiors at the research study institute that this drug deserved researching.
When Dr. Missildine looked at Fleming’s youth the reason, why he could not convince his managers was apparent. He was the 2nd youngest and the age gap in between his other siblings was quiet big, what he said, thought or felt was never ever considered. The function Alexander played in the Fleming family was as a listener and as a person that obeyed the guidelines of his older siblings and mother. His sport and games were singular ones: searching and fishing on the farm. He walked extended lonesome distances to school, 4 miles every day. He matured accustomed to silence.
As a result, when he left home and went to university, his behaviour did not change, his silent “inner child” continued. In fact, it thrived, even though he knew that he had a life-saving drug in his laboratory he could not alter the situation by persuade anyone of its significance. Missildine’s observation of Fleming’s childhood is confirmed by a psychologist Martin Seligman in 1975. Fleming would have acquired a “learned helplessness”. According to Seligman, learned helplessness is “an acquired sense that one can no longer control one’s environment. With the sad consequence that one gives up trying.” Therefore, Fleming’s “child of the past” had learned to be helpless, learned to be silent.
There are three major ideas in this book:
1. Your “inner child of the past”- literally the child you once were, who continues to exist in your life as an adult.
2. Being a parent to oneself – you are already acting as a parent to your “child of the past” whose reactions to your parental attitudes often cause you trouble.
3. Mutual respect – the basis of getting along with your “inner child of the past” and with others.
By means of his case studies, Missildine identifies the patients “child of the past” and teaches the individual not to leave these beliefs behind, but to accept them and respect them. Missildine shows the effect of how people when they reach a certain age they “put childish things away”, he believes that the beliefs and ideas formed in childhood should never be cast away. He illustrates how these ideas should be nurtured in adulthood, how we are a parent to ourselves and how we take on the attitudes of our parents towards us. This is very evident in “The case of a woman who married twice”. – This was a patient of Dr. Missildine. She was physically abused practically every day of her childhood by her father. Her mother supported this beating as she hoped it would teach her daughter better. However, as with punitiveness, she never learned and the beatings continued into her teens.
She dreamed of the day that she would escape this misery, so when a young man treated her kindly she eloped with him in hope of happiness. However, she quickly learned that this man was just as brutal as her father was, but after eight years, she had the courage to leave him. Yet she still punished herself, calling herself all the names she had once heard from her father and husband. She refused dinner dates, lunches, all invitations to social affairs because she was not worthy of interaction with others.
Eventually she realised how lonely and empty her life was and gradually she accepted dates and social invitations. In the end, she married another man who was kind and gentle to her, but after six months of living with him, she felt down and depressed. She felt unworthy of her husband because he did not beat her or call her names. This women was bound by the feelings of worthlessness and guilt of her “inner child of the past” to recreate the circumstances of her punitive family background repeatedly, either by marrying a punitive man like her father or by being a punitive parent to herself.
This book has many strong points. It is a well-written book; while it is comprehendible, it is still medical and factual. I found it very interesting and useful in understanding who my “child of the past” is and who I am because of that. I think that his use of case studies enforced his opinions and beliefs in a personal way because I as the reader could sympathise with the patients and identify them as people rather that statistical information. I really enjoyed this book and it has made me look at situations in a different perspective. I believe W. Hugh Missildine achieves the aims that he has set out to in writing this book.
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