Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice: A Revolutionary Program to Counter Negative Thoughts and Live Free from Imagined Limitations

Overview

The inner critic is the voice in our heads that whispers, whines, and needles us into place. It edits our thoughts, controls our behavior, and inhibits our actions. It thinks it is protecting us from being hurt or abandoned but all it really does is reinforce feelings of shame and guilt, sabotage our intimate relationships, and contribute to drug and alcohol abuse. Conquer Your Inner Critic presents a revolutionary new strategy for dealing with the inner critic: externalizing it. This subtle yet powerful ...

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Overview

The inner critic is the voice in our heads that whispers, whines, and needles us into place. It edits our thoughts, controls our behavior, and inhibits our actions. It thinks it is protecting us from being hurt or abandoned but all it really does is reinforce feelings of shame and guilt, sabotage our intimate relationships, and contribute to drug and alcohol abuse. Conquer Your Inner Critic presents a revolutionary new strategy for dealing with the inner critic: externalizing it. This subtle yet powerful technique turns internal self-criticisms into you statements that can finally be subjected to a reality test and seen to be the gross exaggerations, unfair comparisons, or flatout lies that they really are. Step-by-step, readers learn to keep track of their negative thoughts, analyze their reality, and recognize how negative thinking impacts their lives. They then learn to use a variety of techniques to help them release the inner critic's stranglehold on their lives and combat its subversive effect on career achievement, intimate relationships, and sexuality. A final chapter offers parents simple ways to help their children avoid forming a tyrannical inner critic. About the Authors Robert W. Firestone, Ph.D. is a psychologist, author and artist . He has been the main theoretician with the Glendon Association since 1979. He is author of 10 books including Fear of Intimacyand Fantasy Bond. Lisa Firestone, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist in private practice, program and education director of the Glendon Association, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Joyce Catlett, M

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The self-help literature is strewn with the carcasses of superficial and glib advice. Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice presents a wise, bold, and provocative alternative to the limits of similar self-help books. The chapter on intimacy and couple relationships alone is worth the price of the book. Complex psychological phenomena are described in concrete and clear language. The authors offer numerous exercises to help the reader put the book's ideas to immediate use, and they include guidelines for therapists who may want to use the book in their work with patients in psychotherapy.
—Charles Bonner, Ph.D., clinical psychologist in private practice, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

As a psychologist, spouse, and parent, I have been influenced by the wisdom inherent in the work of Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice. The authors convey to the reader in simple terms the relevancy of their profound psychology. I am inspired by their commitment to help readers liberate themselves from a legacy that undermines their essential well being and right to a life.
—Richard Vogel, Ph.D., coauthor of Brief Psychotherapy Methods, associate of Weiss-Sampson Control Mastery Theory Group, San Francisco

I am very pleased that this book is being published because it contains information invaluable to individuals and families. We tend to express our deepest self-feelings in an interior voice that is at times heavily infused with self-critical messages. For many, these negative messages inhibit productive activity and success in relationships. The authors provide a series of self-help exercises to aid in overcoming the painful distances in relationships with those they love and care about.
—Gail McCracken Price, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Radcliffe Seminars Adjunct Faculty

This landmark book reveals an age-old truth, namely: that the sworn enemy of mental health is our own silent voice! The authors depict the problem and then introduce the reader to a proven innovative strategy known as voice therapy that has helped countless clients take charge of their lives.
—Dr. Howard Rosenthal, author of The Encyclopedia of Counseling and editor, FavoriteCounseling and Therapy Techniques

This highly engaging book is filled with informative real life cases and insightful exercises to help free oneself from the tyranny of a critical inner voice. The sooner people recognize and challenge this 'enemy within' the greater the opportunity they will have for a full, rich, and happy life. Highly recommended to psychologists, counseling therapists, and other helping professionals across the globe.
—Yasmin Farooqi, professor of applied psychology and private practitioner, University of the Punjab, New Campus, Lahore, Pakistan

Robert Firestone and his associates have again provided readers with incisive and insightful views into the minds and personalities of those that suffer from negative self-images, depression and destructive impulses. This book will enlighten and guide therapists who can use the concept of the inner voice to better understand their clients and use the techniques presented in counseling sessions.
—Donald K. Freedheim, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology, Case Western Reserve University, and former editor of Psychotherapy Journal

Library Journal
In vain, psychologist Firestone, psychotherapist Lisa Firestone, and lecturer/ writer Joyce Catlett attempt to convey the interesting concept of the "critical inner voice," which could be described as that little devil that sits on one's shoulder to balance out the little angel on the other side. This voice begins when as young children we internalize parental messages, particularly negative ones, creating a psychological base which many of us do not progress beyond to find a more realistic and rational self-view. All parents, however well intentioned, create critical inner voices. Unfortunately, description is all readers will get here as the text recounts ad nauseam various manifestations of the voice. Although many readers will respond to the premise (and to the sad anecdotes), the book fails to articulate clearly any methods for counteracting the effects of the voice. Not recommended; instead, consider Byron Brown's clear, practical Soul Without Shame: A Guide to Liberating Yourself from the Judge Within. Shores is also concerned with a negative voice-specifically that of the heart, which uses emotion as a "voice" when "speaking." Listening to and understanding this voice helps readers relate emotional experiences to God. Like Firestone, Shores is short on method and overly long on anecdote, not to mention Scripture. After introducing a subject in the tone of a self-help author, he takes on that of a religious counselor, which in fact he is. His stories and mysterious Christian concepts unfortunately obscure any discernible methods for learning to listen to one's heart. The upshot is that Christians may struggle with the book, and non-Christians certainly won't gain much from it. Overall, this work feels unfinished and is not recommended. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572242876
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
  • Publication date: 12/2/2002
  • Series: Unassigned Series
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 345,623
  • Product dimensions: 7.08 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert W. Firestone, PhD, is a psychologist, author, and artist . He has been the main theoretician with the Glendon Association since 1979. He is author of 10 books including Fear of Intimacy and Fantasy Bond.

Lisa Firestone, PhD, is a psychotherapist in private practice, program and education director of the Glendon Association, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Joyce Catlett, MA, is a lecturer, author and coproducer of The Glendon Association's thirty-seven documentary videos. She developed the Compassionate Child Rearing Parent Education Program and conducts trainings. She lives in Santa Barabara, CA.

Foreword writer Patricia Love, EdD, is an acclaimed therapist and speaker and author/co-author of six books, including Hot Monogamy, The Truth About Love and How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It. She has appeared on Oprah and Today and on CNN, and has contributed to numerous magazines including Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, and Woman's World.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Foreword xi
Introduction 1
Organization of This Book
A Note to Therapists
Part I Understanding Your Critical Inner Voice
Chapter 1 Becoming Familiar with Your Critical Inner Voice 9
How Your Critical Inner Voice Controls Your Actions
Being for Yourself or against Yourself
How Did You Develop a Critical Inner Voice?
Your Defenses
The Real You and Your Critical Inner Voice
How the Critical Inner Voice Disrupts Your Everyday Life
Challenging the Critical Inner Voice by Taking Action
Chapter 2 How Your Critical Inner Voice Creates Shame, Guilt, and Low Self-Esteem 33
Identify When You Are Feeling Shame or Guilt
The Defenses on Which Guilt, Shame, and Low Self-Esteem Are Based
Critical Inner Voices Underlying Neurotic Guilt
Critical Inner Voices Underlying Existential Guilt
Combating Guilt, Shame, and Low Self-Esteem
Part II Challenging The Critical Inner Voice
Chapter 3 How the Critical Inner Voice Interferes with Your Career 57
How Your Defenses Limit You in Your Career
Identify and Overcome Voices That Interfere with Your Creativity
Chapter 4 How the Critical Inner Voice Influences Your Relationship 75
How the Critical Inner Voice Interferes with Intimacy
How the Fantasy Bond Works in Relationships
How the Critical Inner Voice and the Fantasy Bond Work Together to Destroy Relationships
Signs of a Fantasy Bond in Your Relationship
Playing the Parent/Playing the Child
How We Defend Ourselves against Love
Three Defenses
Suggestions for Disrupting the Fantasy Bond
Chapter 5 How the Critical Inner Voice Intrudes on Your Sexual Relationship 97
Two Views of Sex
How Our Attitudes Toward Sex Are Influenced by Parents, Peers, and Society
Attitudes toward Our Bodies
Attitudes about Masturbation and Sex Play
Society's Attitudes about Sexuality
Voices During Sex
How Do You Relate Sexually? Two Kinds of Sex
Chapter 6 How the Critical Inner Voice Seduces You into Addictive Behaviors 117
How Addictive Behaviors Affect You
How Do We Come to Develop Addictions?
How the Critical Inner Voice Encourages Addictive Behaviors
Eating Disorders, Drug Abuse, and Alcoholism
How Compulsive Activities Can Become Addictive
Guidelines for Challenging Addictive Behaviors
Chapter 7 How Listening to Your Critical Inner Voice Can Make You Feel Down and Depressed 135
Have You Ever Been Depressed?
How Do You Usually React to Negative Events in Your Life?
What Does It Feel Like to Be Depressed?
The Continuum of Self-Destructive Behaviors and Critical Inner Voices
Combating Critical Inner Voices That Lead to Depression
Steps for Challenging Depression
Chapter 8 How to Select a Therapist 163
Factors to Consider in Making Your Choice
Personal Qualities of the Therapist That Are Conducive to Good Therapy
The Therapeutic Relationship
Part III Guidelines for Living the "Good Life"
Chapter 9 For Parents: Guidelines for Optimal Child Development 171
Repeating Our Parents' Behaviors
Guilt about Not Always Feeling Love
Guidelines for Child Rearing
Chapter 10 Living Free of Imagined Limitations--The "Good Life" 187
What Does "Living the Good Life" Mean to You?
Guidelines for Continued Personal Development
Guidelines for Continued Personal Development in Your Relationship
Guidelines for Further Developing a Meaningful Life
Bibliography: Glendon Association Video Productions 201
Suggested Reading 207
References 215
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