Wilson, Sandra. 2001. Hurt People Hurt People: Hope and Healing for Yourself and Your Relationships. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers. There are individuals in every social context who are very difficult to get along with. Everywhere, we encounter people who hurt other people. Wilson in her book ‘Hurt People Hurt People: Hope and Healing for Yourself and Your Relationships’ argue that people hurt other people due to the unavoidable pain in their own lives. These pains are consequences of what have been learned.
Wilson argues that it is unlikely for children brought up in hurtful families to acquire the fundamentals of healthy relationships. People who hurt other people because they are hurting are often perpetuated by observational learning. The book is a discussion and description of hurts. Wilson sees hurts as “actions, words, and attitudes that are intentional and unintentional, visible and invisible, hand-on and hands-off, other perpetrated and other self inflicted. ” These wounds, according to the author, can be defined in terms of physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, mental or spiritual neglect or abuse.
The author advances the view that any individual can be a hurt person in one way or another and this condition can further harm other people. These invisible wounds, according to the author, will inevitably harm another individual when the hurt person attempts to function in areas that touch on the unresolved hurts with the consequence of making things worse. Those greatly affected are also the same people with close relationships with the subject whom they should show deep affection, love and trust toward. Wilson further argues that people who have suffered victimization as children are also likely to be victimized as adults.
The approaches that the author has adopted throughout her book are the family systems approach and cognitive approach. Using these approaches, he explicates that children are incapable of self thinking owing to their lack of reasoning capabilities and ability. The author provides a succinct discussion of the various ways that other people, our own choices, and other unseen wounds can hurt us. In the remaining half of the book, the author provides an outline of what people need to stop or reduce instances of hurt by others.
This, she argues, can be done by laying down the processes for change. We can only hope to change through admitting our own choices. The only choices that we can change are our own and not those of others. YOU! As a dedicated and committed Christian, I find myself concerned with the kind of life that Jesus desires for humans. As such, I have come to make relationships critical to my analyses. I have learned that the foundation of human history and human civilization is relationships. Good relationships foster good understanding among individuals and hence greater realizations.
I cannot help but attempt to picture a world where people lived with love and trust, a world where every individual cared for his or her neighbor, a world where each understood the other. Trying to picture such a world often challenges me think about my own attitudes towards others and how I particularly treat those I feel have wronged me. The reality is that our relationships are characterized by conflict and our nature dictates that we develop attitudes towards different people that we come into contact with based on how they treat us. In this regard, it is almost impossible to treat people differentially.
As a learner, life has taught me many lessons about satisfactory relationships. The immediate social environments play important roles in what we will evolve to become and therefore, understanding the nature of such relationships help in the establishment of strong relationships based on understanding and forgiveness. The bible in particular has taught me many invaluable lessons that I have so far integrated with my personal values in order to define my path as a Christian. LOOK! One of the most striking ideas held by the author is that change can be realized through making and consistently putting into practice new choices.
The manner in which she has presented her model clearly transcends theory. She satisfactorily explains how being wounded or brokenness leads to poor coping. She further recognizes and identifies the actual issues that require attention especially at individual level. It is through this view that truth can be achieved and new choices made. The author makes an important point that ne w habits can only emerge from consistently practicing the new choices. The author unambiguously states the need to understand concepts and then alter the thought processes that leads to personal distress.
The author has maintained a balanced view about realizing insight and awareness in relation to the need for propagating and maintaining new behaviors in the course of their lives. She particularly notes that one must distinguish between self-focus and self awareness, and that realizing self awareness if of necessity. We cannot hope to change the things that we did not choose according to the author. The implication is that unconscious motivations can subjectively compel one to make choices. This perspective appears to be central to her arguments. We cannot be aware of our ability to change the things that we have not chosen.
Balancing of insight and understanding is very critical and every individual must not only take responsibility for his or her behaviors but also for the process of change and personal development. In simple terms, a behavior cannot be acceptable simply because it is understood. The author has a special emphasis on the concept and practice of forgiveness. She believes that ignoring this concept can be a hindrance to the process of change and transformation. Wilson has successfully incorporated elements of cognitive behavioral principles and family systems conception of stress and difficulty.
She acknowledges that we have a tendency to adopt self protective thinking and behavior patterns that are defensive when we feel threatened or emotionally wounded. Identifying, understanding and taking responsibility for and changing the maladaptive behavior patterns and thinking is the focus of therapeutic counseling process. While the author falls short of presenting an in-depth assessment of a personal boundaries’ theory and their importance, she classifies the concerns of boundaries indirectly in a manner that is consistent with the concept of invasive and non-invasive boundary violations.
The author has based the book on her personal experience of hopelessness and brokenness. She expresses her understanding of shame and how it impacts on the developmental process of a person. Her systemic position that individuals develop within the context of family and that childhood wounding occurs within the context of family relationship is developed from her own personal experience in the family. Judeo-Christian worldview has also been clearly integrated by the author in her work. However, she advances the perspective that prayers and reading of the bible are themselves not adequate.
She acknowledges that an individual may at times establish an incorrect view of God and adopt a relationship with Him in the same way one would with his or her parents in living through the process of development. DO! The book is an invaluable piece for counselors. The author aims to contribute to the understanding of the reasons behind hurting behavior. Personally, the book has contributed to my understanding of hurt people. It has introduced new and deeper understanding of the cycle of hurt and how we can handle this common phenomenon.
We must be able to exercise forgiveness and be capable of forgiving those who hurt us. Total freedom can only arise from submitting ourselves to God. Life is about encountering and handling hardships adequately and these hardships, as I have learned from Wilson’s book, contribute much to our lives. The book is a revelation of the various systems that influence us from our childhood through adulthood. The book is a reminder of how deep hurts and deep wounds impact the project of restoration in an individual’s life and how such an individual may shut themselves off to those who intend to help.
Wilson’s book has particularly encouraged me to look differently at hurting people and those who hurt others. The model; of counseling that Wilson offers is founded on personal experience during the process of transformation. The book has valuable contributions to make in the developing models of Christian counseling. Bibliography Wilson, Sandra. 2001. Hurt People Hurt People: Hope and Healing for Yourself and Your Relationships. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.