If I was to sum up this book briefly – I’d say – remember the poem by Phillip Larkin that starts…”They fuck you up your mum and dad , they don’t mean to but they do”. Well this book explains why – and perhaps gives some inspiration to how you can avoid it yourself.
This book was written by John Cleese (yes, Basil Fawlty) and Dr Brian Skinner - a Family & Psychotherapist. It aims (quite successfully I think) to provide a layman's guide to psychotherapy by describing the development of a baby (literally from birth), through weaning , the toddler stage, how children gain independence from mum, and into adolescence into adult-hood.
In theory – this book should be a boring textbook – but in practice, the unusual format (literally a conversation between John and Brian make the book really quite entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable – not to mention incredibly informative and full of insight.
On one level, it’s a terrific guide-book to child development, charting the progress in child development, and on another a layman’s guide to mental health.
One of the more interesting topics discussed, is why mental health focuses on “poor mental health” rather than “good health”. Let’s face it, as soon as you read “mental health” you thought about lunatic asylums, people with Schizophrenia or Paranoia – the real extremes. You may be surprised to find that in reality, mental health is a sliding scale, and we all have “bad days” and “good days” when we’re healthier (or less so) , and we’re all slightly more or less healthier than our neighbours and friends.
Personally – I found the book fascinating – and I’ve read it several times. It’s pretty easy to read, and although it expresses what are (in reality quite complex concepts) in simple language – it’s always entertaining.
Highly recommended for anyone who wants to know more about themselves and their friends or is planning to become a parent....Continua