Anyone who knows about Julia Cameron’s the Artist’s Way knows about the inner critic. It’s that voice within that says “can’t.” It’s the evil bastard who covers your brain with a sackcloth while you stare at blank sheets of paper. The barest beginning of that work involves getting that critic to step aside – and pushing it back when it inspires self-sabotage. Yet, despite the aggravation and setback caused by this inner noise – sometimes this inner demon – all these critics have something in common: most actually want to help us on some level. In Freedom from Your Inner Critic, the work steps into the deep by calling upon you to make your inner critic your ally.

This is not one of those prescriptive “think of it this way” formulas. What Early and Weiss present takes real work because it invokes the kind of confrontation never complete in a single session. A self-evaluation at the end of chapter one opens the reader to not just the types of inner critics listed, but the possibility a person might harbor more than one. Like many self-help books, authors Earley and Weiss rely heavily on anecdotes to illustrate their concepts. In addition to those anecdotes, they provide a list of questions to ask of the Self. These questions are by far the most valuable part.

The path set forth allows a determined master of his or her own psyche to identify inner critics and their source, and to transform them into inner champions.

Many people stigmatize the “self-help” label and yet sometimes these books actually do help. This book falls under that category. It does not fall into callow gender stereotypes or limited worldview – it provides a direct path to deal with a common problem in an individuated way. Whether used in artistic work or magical self-development, this book provides a process that any practitioner of any art needs to undergo, either as part of shadow work or simply as a means of unchaining the soul.

Highly recommended

~ review by Diana Rajchel

Authors: Earley, Jay and Weiss, Bonnie
Sounds True, 2013
pp. 144, $16.95