by Jon Biddle

Okay, so where do I start?

There’s so much in this book that covers one subject – the inner critic.

How the inner critic works, why it does what it does and how you can remedy the calamitous effects the inner critic leaves in its wake.

Its fascinating to see how the narrative of this book fits into my work. I say world because I internalise as well as externalise my inner critic and judge. All built from a foundation of emotional abandonment. Crazy.

The book was kind of difficult to read, not sure why. The English wasn’t true English and the grammar was questionable. Being written by American academics, I might be speaking out of turn here and I will apologies for the offence this comment may cause. 

The narrative wasn’t flowing in way that I would have enjoyed. So much so that the book was struggle to keep on track. And given the subject, my inner critic was in overdrive trying to stop me form reading the book.

Having said this, I have been in therapy for many years and the corner stone of my issues with C-PTSD is my inner critic which after seven years is a bit of a revelation to me. 

I recognise that we all have one and for some, the inner critic is helpful. But in my case, it actively retards my development in so many areas. This book has opened the door to recognition. As there is no way of getting rid of the inner critic. Its about Managment, acknowledging the voice in you and continually addressing the voice in order to minimise the anxiety that the voice says when its triggered and this is what this book is about. 

These triggers can be for some of the most innocuous reasons. The smell of freshly cut grass, a song playing on the stereo, a smell of  a particular food cooking, the look that someone may throw you, the silence that you experiment when in the presence of a colleague or your intimate. 

There is a limitless amount of situations that can trigger your critic putting you in a state of isolation. The isolation is the first step into an abyss of self abuse. The abuse triggering addiction ideation thus leading to suicide ideation and ultimately suicide if left unchecked. You can see how people lives are  tremendously affected by the inner critic. It’s something that I have been addressing over the last five weeks to date. The critic for me is something that was developed through emotional abandonment as a child. I thought through the mode of my childhood my father was the primary abuser. Through therapy and self realisation and solidified in the pages of this book, I realised that my mother was also active in my abuse. Something that has unsettled me a little. But this is the process of therapy right, there steps forward, one step back.

Should you read this book?

If you are in therapy, or are paralysed by inner thoughts that you are aware of, then yes you should. You should seek help if you choose to read this book because from my own experiences, you may uncover something that you are emotionally unable to cope with creating more pain and a deeper attraction to whatever addiction ideation that you may be gripped by. 

You should not read this book if you chose to not reach out for help, that prescriptively is a hard no form me. Dealing with emotional abandonment, neglect and abuse from you childhood that is greatly affecting your adult life is no trivial matter. I know that without therapy, I would not be writing this today. I would be dead – I genuinely believe this.

The Book Blurb


Hal and Sidra Stone are the creators of Voice Dialogue process, a therapy that transforms the inner critic from crippling adversary to productive ally.

The inner critic. It whispers, whines, and needles us into place. It checks our thoughts, controls our behavior, and inhibits action. It thinks it is protecting us from being disliked, hurt, or abandoned. Instead, the critical inner voice causes shame, anxiety, depression, exhaustion, and low-self-esteem. It acts as a powerful saboteur of our intimate relationships and is a major contributor to drug and alcohol abuse.


Through examples and exercises, the Stones show us how to recognize the critic, how to avoid or minimize critic attacks, and, most important, how the inner critic can become asn intelligent, perceptive, and supportive partner in life.


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