What People Say About
Grendel and His Mother
There is a wide literature treating dreams and fairytales from psychoanalytic points of view. Grendel and his Mother is the first in-depth exploration of this landscape from a cognitive behavioral perspective. Taking the Old English Beowolf myth as his framework, Dr. Brink takes us on a remarkable journey through the processes by which childhood experiences, both painful and joyous, shape our development into adulthood. He also gives us a treasure trove of clinical examples from his own practice of the cognitive behavioral intervention techniques available for reshaping the less fortunate childhood influences that restrain healthy development so many years later.
For readers who are students of mythology, of cognitive behavioral psychology, or of clinical psychology technique, this book is a rich resource. It will bring insights into one's own personal history, into the nature of mythology as a generational conveyor of cultural meaning, and into the methods practitioners can utilize in helping adults to flow more naturally toward their own authentic existence. In the end this book is a celebration of the ever present possibilities for change as each individual life develops.
Raymond Hillis, Ph.D.
Professor of Education; California State University, Los Angeles
When I first saw this title I could not imagine how it could relate to hypnotherapy. I dimly recalled reading about Beowulf as a child and at that time it was in the category of fairy tales. I can still see the picture in my book of Grendel's arm hanging for all to see and was duly terrified by this image. Since receiving your book I have sought more information on Beowulf and find that the poem was written around 1000 A.D. and was a distillation of many legends among the Germanic groups that had moved to Scandinavia and Denmark.
Beowulf was a great hero who was the Strong Man and the Helper of Mankind and your treatment of the poem as a metaphor for psychotherapy is intriguing. I share your belief that we all have a Beowulf within us and that he will not let us down if we can direct him to the battles that beset us but of which he may not initially be aware.
I found it fascinating that you were so skilled at weaving this metaphor throughout your description of your work. Hypnosis, guided imagery, ego state therapy, regression, progression, past life experiences, ego strengthening etc. are some of the many tools that are mirrored in your exposition of "Grendel and his mother". Perhaps this story originally emerged from the unconscious of the many story tellers who themselves presumably struggled with their own ogres and dragons in their life histories.
I was particularly impressed with your treatment of Grendel's mother who for me represents the Critical Experience that must be dealt with in its entirety for total recovery to be achieved. Like Grendel's mother this experience is so often so deeply buried under a psychic sea that it sometimes takes great courage to enlist our Beowulf to find and deal with her.
Your book makes very interesting and informative reading for any therapist who would wish to have a greater understanding of the necessary sequence that any successful therapy must follow. I wish you every success with it.
EDGAR A. BARNETT M.B., B.S., C.C.F.P
Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Hypnosis
Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis
of the books Analytical
Hypnotherapy: Principles and Practice. and
Unlock Your Mind and Be
Free! A Practical Approach to Hypnotherapy.
Page last updated 9/26/2016
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