Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
Good insight, but...
on 5 February 2016
I read through a lot of this very quickly while sitting in bookshop waiting for my girlfriend to get out of work. The insights provided are useful and James obviously understands much about child development. As I went through I found many descriptions that could, in part at least, be applied to myself or people I know. Being emotionally flexible is healthy and James is clear about this. Understanding your past helps you to get on with the present; James is clear about this also.
The point where it all comes crashing down is when you've got to the end of the interesting anecdotes and are eagerly awaiting the advice that you so desperately need, namely, how to become more emotionally healthy, and the book stops.
It was with a growing sense of trepidation that I continued to read towards the end before leafing through a tiny section of practical tips and discovering that the advice given was shallow at best, and nothing more helpful than what a good friend could recommend. And I suppose it says something about myself that I found James's comments on early childhood and its significance faintly alarming to begin with.
I suppose one could say that dealing with people's mental illness via the proxy of a tiny book like this is a ridiculous concept, and they'd be right, but for a title such as the one given, I expected a lot more information in the practical vein.
Giving away too much useful information would have a negative impact on sales of these kinds of books, because the people reading them would get better. That is assuming that such a book could be written anyway.
My advice is to talk to friends if you can, talk to family if you can, CHALLENGE the negative assumptions you make, watch for a feeling of anxiety in your chest which will let you know when you're going wrong, and find a good therapist. I'm not so sure about books like these - maybe I'm a cynic.
Try to notice sadness and happiness and cultivate them both.