The Web address of this
study guide is
April 11, 2013
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finishing this article to avoid getting distracted and lost.
This brief YouTube clip by the author will introduce you to Lesson 1:
This article will guide you through the first of seven self-improvement
They exist to help protect you and your family from
unawareness. This studey guide assumes you have
meet other people
interested in freeing their true Selves to guide them in this free
FaceBook group .
Why Study This Lesson?
At least 80% of over 1,000 typical American adults I've met
as a therapist and educator have shown clear symptoms
early-childhood trauma. They also appeared to be largely unaware of these vital
Since May of 2011. hundreds of comments on my Break the Cycle! YouTube
videos from over 40 countries around the world suggest that
inherited [wounds + unawareness] are
global stressors, not just American or Western.
Until recognized and reduced,
psychological wounds + unawareness...
relationships, healthy mourning, and
and parenting - i.e. they significantly lower the
nurturance level (functionality)
of most relationships, families, and organizations.
And inherited wounds + unawareness...
inner pain and addictions, obesity, homelessness, crime, depression, abortions,
divorce, "mental illness," dropouts, gangs, fanaticism, bankruptcies, suicide, and other
major personal and social problems.
Psychological wounds and ignorance seem to be pandemic.
because of public unawareness and denial, spreading and weakening our
societies. The months of intense
media coverage of 2012 U.S. presidential contenders has never mentioned this
destructive cycle as a serious national problem.
Web site calls adult survivors of childhood trauma
Grown Wounded Children or GWCs. Lay literature calls us
Adult Children (of toxic parents or
your reaction is
"Well I'M not a GWC!" note that denial (reality
distortion) is a common psychological wound.
Study this lesson even if you're already in some form of
guidebook for Lesson 1 is "Who's
Really Running Your Life?Free Your true Self and
Guard Your Kids" (4th edition, Xlibris.com, 2011). It
provides most of the same information as these Web pages, and is available
in print and e-book formats. If you have an earlier edition of this book,
NOTE - If you follow underlined links in any Lesson-1 page,
disregard the paragraph at the top of the new page that
says "This article assumes you have read..." That paragraph is for people
entering the Web site who are not following the lesson guides in order.
Also, some lesson-1 pages will refer you to pages in later lessons as a
preview. Don't follow any inks in such pages to stay focused on this
First Things First
A widespread symptom of
[wounds + unawareness] is addiction to...
chemicals, including fats, carbohydrates, and sugars,
activities like workaholism and
comp0ulsive gambling, cleaning or shopping,
relationship (codependence), and/or...
a mood state like rage,
excitement, or religious or sexual ecstasy..
if you may be or are addicted,
you're at risk of misjudging and/or distorting the ideas in these
self-improvement lessons. You face a paradox: To reduce psychological
wounds, you need to be sober (free of addiction) - but you probably can't achieve stable
sobriety if you're controlled by false selves (wounded). Two fundament
questions you need to answer honestly are:
inherited significant psychological wounds from mu ancestors (am
Grown Wounded Child
- a GWC)?
addicted to any of the four things noted above?
To begin forging accurate answers to these questions using Lesson 1,
you have several options.
Option 1) Learn about
addictions before studying this lesson;
(3 pages) and this (2 pages). For
more perspective, view
all the videos in this YouTube
playlist on addictions, in order. If you do,
disregard the links in
the videos. You'll encounter the linked resources as you study
Lesson 1 here.
Decide - perhaps with professional help to
guard against denial - am I addicted? ("Am I self-medicating against inherited
Note that common
traits of true addictions are minimizing (yeah, I'm a little overweight,
but no big deal") and/or denial ("I am NOT addicted to porn or anything
else!"). To offset these protective distortions, ask people who know
you - or (better) a professional - whether they think you have an
Option 2) Study the
Lesson below and then use the knowledge you gain to assess
whether you have a toxic compulsion (addiction);
If you are
(have an active addiction, and belong to a
family), you can work to...
3) Achieve stable
sobriety before working to reduce your psychological
4) Patiently work to
reduce your wounds and manage any addiction/s simultaneously.
Because every Grown Wounded Child (GWC) is unique, I can't say
which of these options is best for you, so follow your own
wisdom and see what works best for you over time. The more you
learn about wounds, addictions, sobriety, and wound-reduction
("recovery"), the better your decision-making will be.
This keystone self-improvement lesson will help you answer these questions:
Have I inherited significant psychological
If so, what does that mean?
Who normally runs my life - my wise true
Self, or other well-meaning subselves?, and...
How can I reduce my wounds and live better,
There are 50 "assignments"
(quizzes, articles, reprints, and worksheets) comprising
Lesson 1. Take your time, and study them in order.
View this as a high-return
long-term investment of your time and energy, and use this study guide as a checklist to track your
Option - keep a log or journal of your experience as you do
these assignments. Also consider finding one or more study partners, and
do this Lesson together.
If you're an
auditory or visual learner, get the essence of Lesson 1
by viewing the YouTube videos on
psychological wounds and working with your
personality subselves ("parts work"). They take about 10 hours
to view. Many articles in Lesson 1 begin with one of these
''parts work'' to free your true Self
to guide you,
harmonize your "inner family" of subselves, and
psychological wounds; and...
Learn how to spot and
relate to wounded adults and kids.
Recall - this is the first of a sequential
of seven self-improvement lessons in this Web site.
Each lesson builds on the ones before it.
+ + +
all 4 modules first. Then if you feel daunted by the 50 assignments,
consider this possible shortcut to Module
3 and learning to free your true Self.
Module 1 - Learn
about Early Trauma,
Personalities, and Wounds
When you're undistracted, read
these articles in order with an open mind. Expect to take
several weeks or more to complete this study.
These foundations are required
for effective long-term wound reduction.
About Childhood Trauma
Compare the premises underlying this nonprofit Web site with your beliefs.
Learn how [psychological wounds +
unawareness] arepassed down the
generations and what that
__ 1-21) Read
these examples of real Grown Wounded
example of a real stepfamily affected by
psychological wounds and unawareness.
__ 1-23) NEW If you're suicidal or you care about someone who may be suicidal,
evaluate these practical alternativesnow.
__ 1-24) NEW
scan this comprehensive
"ACES" Web site dedicated to
preventing early-childhood trauma.
__ 1-25) Verify your new knowledge about
wounds and personalities with this quiz
If you have questions or comments on these Module-1 ideas, please
This basic education will prepare you to (a) assess yourself and your
significant effects from the [wounds + unawareness] cycle, and (b)
decide whether to reduce the impacts. That will promote
more satisfying communications, relationships, grieving, and wholistic
health for the rest of your life!
Module 2 - Assess Yourself
and Your Family
are widespread in our culture.
The wounds range from mild to severe. Most Grown Wounded Children
(GWCs) are unaware of their wounds because of denial and
social ignorance (lack of knowledge). Implication - you and people you care about may be living with
disabled true Selves and enduring preventable stress
without knowing it.
__ 1-27) If
you have questions on wounds or wound-assessment, check this
If you feel you do have significant psychological wounds,
continue with Module 3 below. If you're not sure, ask someone you trust
to be objective (like a counselor) to review this
summary and give you an
opinion on who's running your life. If you feel your wounds aren't significant (by your standards),
skip to Module 4. Even if you're minimally
wounded, you can still benefit from Lessons
2 thru 6 or 7.
Lesson 1, Module 3 -
Free Your true Self and
Reduce Your Wounds
One key to protecting your family and descendents from major stress is to admit and reduce significant
The other key is to convert
unawareness and ignorance into knowledge.
That's why this self-improvement course exists.
If you feel you're
significantly wounded (controlled by a false self), this module will guide you through an
effective personal wound-reduction ("recovery") process.
Based on the ideas in Lessons 1 thru 4,
in this course offers ideas on how to raise your family's nurturance
Option - if you want an overview of this
module, view all 15 videos in the
Lesson-1 YouTube playlist 1c in order (about 3
hours). If you commit to
personal wound-reduction, I recommend you do all these Module-3
"assignments" in order. Many of the "assignments" include one
or more of the videos.
video on what to expect as you reduce your wounds;
__ 1-31) Study this perspective on hitting "true
bottom." If you haven't clearly hit yours, view this work as a valuable
learning experience (a trial recovery), and go ahead.
__ 1-32) Read this
6-page guide to "parts work" (inner family
therapy). This is one effective way to reduce your wounds over time. Other
clinicians propose different ways to help you recover from toxic parents and
My experience as a veteran (recovering) therapist is that
other recovery methods are apt to be superficial and take longer. Exceptions
are Voice Dialog,
Eye-Movement Desensitization and Retraining (EMDR).
Christians may find Theophostic
__ 1-33) Consider
shopping for a qualified parts-work therapist in your area. See
leads and helpful resources. I'm a 1992 graduate of their training program.
__ 1-34) Meditate on
this update of the well-known 12 Steps and
consider creating and living by your version of it.
__ 1-35) Decide if
you want to tell key people what you're doing, and why. Expect others to not
know about subselves and/or to be skeptical of
parts work. If they are, refer them to
http://sfhelp.org/fam/cycle.htm without preaching.
If you can find someone else interested in or already doing parts-work,
consider teaming up with them. Know that some subselves pretend to
want to recover, but aren't really committed. They're not "bad," they're
scared, and need patient reassurance and encouragement.
__ 1-36)Evolve a
list of your subselves, and group them as Managers, Inner
Kids, and Guardians. Follow the guidelines in this
__ 1-38) Start
with most active subselves who you feel don't know or trust your true Self
them one at a time, and (a) confirm their distrust, and (b) start
negotiating to build trust. Use the parts-work steps and techniques outlined
here.- ideally with the help of a trained
inner-family systems therapist.
Patiently repeat this process
with each Inner Child and protective Guardian subself who causes your wounds
and troublesome thoughts and behaviors. Keep in mind there are no "bad"
subselves. They all mean to help, but often retain outdated or distorted
information from your early life and unaware caregivers.
__ 1-40) Practice
asking yourself "Who's in charge
now: my Self (capital 'S') or someone
else? You're "done" with this wound-reduction process when you usually
answer "My Self."
__ 1-41) As you
progress at these steps,
periodically reread this overview of
wound-reduction and/or the
Running Your Life?"
__ 1-42) Review your options for improving your _
self-respect, self love, and _ self confidence.
These increase as you free your true Self and reduce the wounds of excessive shame
and reality distortion
__ 1-43) NEW
Review and reflect on this brief YouTube
video on understanding and
protecting your integrity. It's the root of your priceless self
respect and healthy pride.
__ 1-44) NEW- Raise your awareness of
the importance of physical human contact, and
discover whether you're getting enough nourishing touching..
NEW - If you have
problems with self control, consider these
__ 1-46)NEW If you
have problems with excessive procrastination, see this brief YouTube
__ 1-47) Review these
titles about "Adult Children" (Grown Wounded Children)
Lesson 1, Module 4 -
Learn how to spot and
relate to wounded people
As you experience wound-reduction benefits, you'll become more aware
of others who are wounded and don't realize they're ruled by a false self. Common
responses are to pity, judge, and/or rescue them. This
is specially true for wounded mates,
friends, and respected (and vexing) relatives.
1-48) Use this behavioral comparison
to recognize people ruled by a false self. For a more detailed tool,
1-52)Tell receptive others about the [wounds +
unawareness] cycle, what you're learning here, and about any benefits
you're experiencing from this Lesson.
+ + +
As you progress
with these assignments, notice any shifts in your attitudes, reactions,
and behaviors that feel "significant." Be alert for others'
comments on such changes. I suggest you also
Lesson 2 - improve your communication effectiveness. These two Lessons use and
amplify each other.
Stay aware that
you may complete these assignments, but learning from them has no end. As you gain knowledge and awareness and
free your true Self to guide you, your version of these ideas will become a
way of life.
This is the first of seven self-improvement study guides in the nonprofit Break the
Cycle! Web site. This guide outlines 50 practical steps to help free your wise
true Self and reduce significant psychological wounds. The steps are in four
Learn about personality
subselves and Grown Wounded Children (GWCs);
Assess yourself for
Evolve and act on an effective plan
to free your true Self and reduce your wounds; and...
Learn how to spot and
react to other wounded people
Benefits from the other
six Lessons in this
self-improvement Web site all depend on progress with this one.
Feedback please - take
this 1-question anonymous