Book Review: "Your Inner Child Of The Past" By W. Hugh Missildine, M.D

1038 words - 4 pages

W. Hugh Missildine calls the book I have chosen to review "Your Inner Child of the Past". This is a very interesting book in which Missildine attempts to solve adult problems by understanding the inner child. W. Hugh Missildine is an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Ohio State University of medicine. Through his knowledge of both psychiatry and psychology, Missildine explores factors in childhood that affect adulthood. He implements the view that "children learn what they live". He was the director of a children's mental health centre for nine years and this is where he developed his new approach to adult emotional problems. The nature of this book is to learn to discover ones inner child, how to accept and deal with it in every day life and every day situations. It is also a guide for parents on how to establish a happy childhood for their children.Although this book could be considered as a self-help book, it is also psychologically grounded. Missildine uses many case studies to illustrate his point and demonstrate his theories. In which one can see that his observations and results are verified by psychologists. For example there is one particular case study which is about Alexander Fleming, while he himself was not a patient of Dr. Missildine, he was aware and had researched Fleming's case history. Alexander Fleming was a bacteriological researcher who found a substance called penicillium, which seemed to treat infections. Fleming believed that this could be a life-saving drug although to prove this he needed to do more research on it. Fleming could not convince his superiors at the research institute that this drug was worth researching. When Dr. Missildine looked at Fleming's childhood the reason, why he could not convince his supervisors was evident. He was the second youngest and the age gap between his other siblings was quiet large, what he said, thought or felt was never considered. The role Alexander played in the Fleming household was as a listener and as a person that obeyed the instructions of his older siblings and mother. His sport and games were solitary ones: hunting and fishing on the farm. He walked extended lonesome distances to school, four miles each day. He grew up 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...

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