Wilson Theory Critique Diandra M. Darby COUN507, Section 12, Spring 2011 Subterm D End of Class Date: May 13, 2011 Professor: Dr. Glenna Dunn Submission Date: April 15, 2011 Wilson Theory Critique Summary In Hurt People Hurt People, Sandra D. Wilson (2001) explains that being hurt by people has led to a cycle of continuous relational and generational hurts. She states, “all of us have been hurt by people who all were hurt by other people; we, as hurt people all have hurt other people” (Wilson, 2001, 9). Dr.
Wilson (2001) further explains that these hurts are “actions, words, and attitudes that are intentional or unintentional, visible or invisible, hands-on or hands-off, other perpetrated or self inflicted and barely survivable to hardly noticeable” (9). These wounds are rarely visible, but are deep and can affect the person’s life for a very long time. Dr. Wilson takes the first part of the book to explore the roots and history of the person’s deep-seated hurts. These hurts can be traced back to a person’s childhood and upbringing.
People can be hurt by unavailable parents who “are distracted by their own unhealed wounds” (Wilson, 2001, 37). These parents have never dealt with their own hurts so they unintentionally inflict similar wounds on their children; which ultimately perpetuate the continuation of this cycle. Dr. Wilson’s hurts related to Backus & Chapian’s (2000) understanding of misbeliefs. They define misbeliefs as “the direct cause of emotional turmoil, maladaptive behavior and most so-called mental illness” (Backus & Chapian, 2000, 17).
The misbeliefs that a person holds on to, leads to anxiety, depression, self-hate, and the fear of change. Dr. Wilson recognizes that delving into the cycle of hurting people hurting people can lead to a feeling of hopelessness. She declares, “when we hurt, we need some hope to believe that there really is some help for us to stop hurting - or at least to hurt less” (Wilson, 2001, 11). Dr. Wilson does not seek to only explain the history of hurts; she also makes an attempt to suggest methods of change and healing.
Her theory of change is simple, it says new choices plus consistent practice will ultimately lead to change. Crabb (1977) believes that the critical change in helping a person live effectively involves the altering of basic assumptions (139). Thus a person must alter their mindset in order to change their choices. In order to be free from the dysfunction of the past, the person must be empowered by Christ, and allow him to lead and direct their choices. Dr. Wilson acknowledges that the process of change will be painful and time-consuming, yet absolutely necessary and successful.
If a person is willing to be committed to living out their choices, real change can take place in their lives. Evaluation of the Strengths and Weaknesses A major strength found in Dr. Wilson’s work dealt with confronting and dealing with the past. Dr. Wilson (2001) contends that people can never “put our pasts behind us when we've never put them before us” (96). Dr. Wilson's belief is that before recovery from the hurts of the past can happen a person must be willing to deal with the past. When the past is really examined and dealt with then the person will be able to really begin the process of change and forgiveness.
Forgiveness must be received, first, from God; forgiveness for the person, and then freeing the people who were abusive and unavailable. Another strong point of this book is the fact that Dr. Wilson writes from personal experience. She has experienced hurt, abuse brokenness and hopelessness within her own familial structure. Thus, she completely understands how shame influences and impacts a person’s development. Based on her family experience and relationship with Christ, she has been able to develop a plan of leading people to a place of forgiveness, healing, and restoration.
This book is ultimately strengthened by its seamless integration of psychological and theological concepts. McMinn (1996) explained that counselors who multi-task have psychological expertise, knowledge of Scripture and Christian history, and spiritual sensitivity formed through a personal relationship with God (270). Dr. Wilson clearly exhibits this technique as she efficiently integrates tenets from psychology and theology to shape an effective model of change. Dr. Wilson is not afraid of using techniques to helping people change, yet trongly emphasizes the importance of a relationship with God that ultimately leads to total healing. Dr. Wilson also chooses to confront childhood experiences and parental failings, and is also careful to make sure that parents are not used as scapegoats for people’s problems. Personal Reflection and Application Hurt People Hurt People is a hope-filled book that is essential to understanding the history of hurt and abuse in people. The book is insightful in that in delves into what leads to a person’s hurts, and seeks to find ways to heal these hurts.
This book is one that should be read by every person, Pastor, counselor, and anyone that has been hurt. This book represented an example of the scripture text found in Romans 8:28, which states that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (NKJV). Dr. Wilson clearly exhibits that despite all of the hurts people can experience, through a relationship with God and a shift in their choices things will change in their lives. This book was very moving for this reader’s life, ministry, and future counseling practice.
Since accepting the abuse at the hands of an uncle, and recognizing the attempt to protect the family by keeping silent, this book led to real freedom. This abuse had led to extreme issues with extended family because of a lack of trust and an attempt to be protected from further hurts. Being sexually abused and a victim of incest impacted many levels of life, including emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in areas of intimacy; people were not to be trusted and everyone was viewed as a potential abuser. Yet counseling and this book has helped to reach a place of freedom, change, and healing.
God has forgiven, my uncle is forgiven, and no longer will the cycle of hurt be repeated. It is possible for hurt people to move to healed people who will help heal other people. References Backus, W. , & Chapian M. (2000). Telling yourself the truth. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers. Crabb, L. J. (1977). Effective biblical counseling: A model for helping caring Christians become capable counselors. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. McMinn, M. R. (1996). Psychology, theology, and spirituality in Christian counseling.
Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Wilson, S. D. (2001). Hurt people hurt people. Hope and healing for yourself and your relationships. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers. ------------------------------------------------- 1. Concise Summary of the ContentValue: 50 Points * Demonstrates a solid understanding of the material presented * Adequately synthesizes the whole of the text in a concise manner * Presents an organized interaction that specifically addresses the assignment with clarity and coherency ------------------------------------------------ 2. Evaluation of the Strengths and WeaknessesValue: 25 Points * Provides clear, insightful, rich interaction with subject matter * Integrates material from the course lectures and assigned reading * Demonstrates critical thinking in the analysis and critique of the material ------------------------------------------------- 3. Personal Reflection and Application Value: 15 Points Personal example(s) offered which sufficiently relate to the content of the text * Clear connections are made between the life episode and the reading * Conclusions drawn reveal thoughtful summarization and personal application ------------------------------------------------- 4. Formatting / Academic Writing Style Value: 10 Points * Assignment includes a Title Page * Written in an organized manner, includes headings for each major section * Typographically and grammatically correct (including sentence structure) * Margins, paragraph indentions, and font size/style are correct TOTAL SCORE: