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Embracing Your Inner Critic: Turning Self-Criticism into a Creative Asset Paperback – March 5, 1993

4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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About the Author

Hal Stone, Ph.D., and Sidra Stone, Ph.D., both clinical psychologists, are the authors of Embracing Ourselves and Embracing Each Other. Hal founded the Center for the Healing Arts in Los Angeles, one of the first holistic health facilities in the country. Sidra directed Hamburger Home in Los Angeles, a residential treatment center for adolescent girls.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1st edition (March 5, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062507575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062507570
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I had just finshed Martin Seligman's Learned Optimism and was finally having some success dealing with my depression and anxiety when my wife gave me a copy of Embracing Your Inner Critic. She'd picked the book up a year or two earlier and lost track of it in the "to read" piles. This book really grabbed me. I've never really been comfortable with the various "inner child" labels I come across in therapy, but the term "inner critic" really resonated with me. I was all teed up and ready for this book by the optimism I was discovering within myself and starting to develop thanks to Seligman's book.
I think I wore out a couple of highlighters going through Embracing Your Inner Critic. My first thoughts were "How do these people know ME so well?" but I came to realize that I am not alone. That there are lots of us blaming ourselves in order to "protect" ourselves from outside criticism. I'm learning that beating my imagined critics to the punch by criticising myself sooner and harder than anyone else would is not really helping myself but rather pushing me deeper into the muck of depression.
I realized my inner critic was a pretty good ventroliquist. I had been blaming everyone else for saying all the negative stuff I was actually saying about myself. The book helped me to start moving away from adversarial relationships with my critics, both real and imagined. Now I'm learning to listen to my inner critic as kind of distant early warning system, a helpful "heads up" rather than a broadside of self-loathing. For the first time I'm seeing a world full of potential allies rather than adversaries. The Voice Dialogue technique is a lot like cognitve therapy and like cognitive therapy it requires regular practice for full benefit. But the rewards of the techniques I'm learning from these two books have provided me with strong motivation to stick with it.
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By A Customer on November 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are suffering from low self esteem, if your days are filled with destructive and incessant attacks from your Inner Critic, read this. It's an easy read that unfolds logically and intuitively - half way through you'll begin to anticipate where the authors are going because what they are saying makes so much sense. This book will open your eyes to the various "voices" we harbor and will help you understand the productive role the Critic was meant to play. It will show you how to get your Critic back on your side, helping you, instead of attacking you and making you feel like your life is a failure.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hal and Sidra Stone are pioneers in this field of inner voice dialogue. Think evolution from Freud's id, ego, super ego...through Transactional Analysis (Parent, Child, Adult) through Bradshaw's Inner child work...to inner voice dialogue. They have video's books and workshops and have trained numerous professionals in this technique. The result is a genuinely effective technique that gives us a viable framework to understand why we often have opposing thoughts and feelings and the tools to move us in a direction of acting from a more "adult" place. My partner and I used these techniques from their book "Embracing Ourselves" to great effect in the mid 90's as she worked through abuse survivor issues. Not only did it provide a method of healing for her, I was able to use it effectively in my own journey and it was an exceptional tool for us as a couple.

Now we are using and recommending this book (Inner Critic) to friends as we see in ourselves and in others, the overriding power the inner critic has on our lives. The book explains where the critic and other sub-personalities come from, the concept of disowned selves and how instead of trying to "choke" our critic into silence, we can actually take a more lasting approach to understanding it and the related subpersonalities, hold the primary subs and the disowned selves together and work toward balance and the achievement of a strong aware ego. Don't be scared off by the lingo here, it is very understandable and usable information.
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Format: Paperback
This is a good book loaded with many great ideas on how to overcome your inner critic. Read it and apply it today!
Zev Saftlas, Author of Motivation That Works
PS here is a great story that is in the begining of this book:
What Is Your Inner Critic and Where Did It Come From?
On the journey of self-discovery, let us stop looking for what is wrong with us. Let us discover, instead, who we are and how we work! Let us put our judgment aside as we explore the amazing system Of selves within us and learn to live with ever-increasing honesty, choice, and freedom.
There was once a dreadfully wicked hobgoblin. One day he had a simply marvelous idea. He was going to make a looking glass that would reflect everything that was good and beautiful in such a way that it would look dreadful or at least not very important. When you looked in it, you would not be able to see any of the good or the beautiful in yourself or in the world. Instead, this looking glass would reflect everything that was bad or ugly and make it look very important. The most beautiful landscapes would look like heaps of garbage, and the best people would look repulsive or would seem stupid. People's faces would be so changed that they could not be recognized, and if there was anything that a person was ashamed of or wanted to hide, you could be sure that this would be just the thing that the looking glass emphasized.
The hobgoblin set about making this looking glass, and when he was finished, he was delighted with what he had done. Anyone who looked into it could only see the bad and the ugly, and all that was good and beautiful in the world was distorted beyond recognition.
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