Achieving Personal Integrity: A Psychiatrist’s Insights

Charles C. DeLong, MD

Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 97 Price: (paperback) $12.95 ISBN: 9781475928624 Reviewed: September, 2012 Author Website: Visit »

Is it possible to become someone who never overreacts to people or stands in judgment of them or their actions? Retired psychiatrist Charles C. DeLong believes so. After practicing psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy for 35 years, he understands what it takes for people to reach a point of “active understanding,” which can have a profound effect on their interpersonal relationships.

In this slim, well-written guidebook, DeLong explains how to develop “active understanding,” which he says is the key ingredient to successfully living with personal integrity. The book incorporates theory, how-to steps, as well as examples of real cases (with the names and details changed) to show how people can learn to become comfortable with themselves and their feelings. The idea is to reach a state of “pleasant self-confidence” that isn’t dependent on getting external approval from others. Someone with personal integrity can accept being criticized, rejected or treated with hostility without taking it personally.

DeLong shows clearly how personal integrity and active understanding can help both in child-raising and developing strong relationships. People who react to others with anger, by contrast, are only “mismanaging by blaming, avoiding, and or maligning” people. They “have left reality and are not making a choice from their personal integrity.”

Through concise explanations, clear descriptions and well-placed examples, DeLong has taken years of therapy experience and condensed it into a simple-to-follow guide that could have a huge impact on people’s lives. He presents a self-analysis technique that seems easily achievable. In addition, the book’s layout, headings and subheadings make it a breezy read, despite the depth of the subject matter.

This wise book deserves attention from anyone struggling with anger or frustration, self-esteem issues or a narcissistic emotional neediness. In short, it should appeal to a wide audience of people seeking a simple way to improve their relationships and their own lives sans the expense of a psychiatrist’s couch.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

Author's Current Residence
Palo Alto, California