Australian Human Relations Counselor and author Andrew E. Verity has created a self-improvement course centered on his belief that one can change one’s life destiny by recognizing and eliminating thoughts and feelings that hold one back from success.
The Monkey’s Child (based on a nickname from the author’s youth) employs an over-arching acronym: ANDRAS (A Now Dynamic Real Actualized Self). Short lessons and exercises are provided, guiding readers through the mechanics of personal change and suggesting ways to jettison regression, rationalization, procrastination and other psychological liabilities until one can create a personal blueprint (up to 20 years) of future success. Readers are prompted to record their thoughts or draw symbolic pictures for each lesson, using empty blocks titled “ANDRAS Things to Do Today.” Along with the lessons are lengthy passages offering generic psychological information.
A typical exercise is an exploration of the negative mental impression “I am hurting,” with the instruction to readers to draw it as a symbol of their choosing, talk to it, and finally, “blow the shape up.” To do this, participants are told to, “Use a mind-grenade or whatever.”
This is a simple manual that almost anyone could follow, offering useful information. But the ANDRAS concept gets lost in a sea of outdated material (Freud, Berne, etc); and, paradoxically, this coffee-table-size book needs more material to fill notable blank spaces. These two deficits suggest that a shorter, more targeted guide would have been preferable. More troubling, however, is the assertion that one can quickly, easily make a deep-seated problem go away with simple admonitions: “DON’T THINK”; “Create a NEW PICTURE”; “CUT THAT CORD.” This may justifiably strike those bent on serious self-improvement as simplistic.
Nonetheless, Verity’s manual, probably designed to accompany his self-improvement workshops, could prove useful to beginners in the exploratory phase of the process.
Also available in ebook.