In “Hurt People Hurt People” (2001) Wilson is candid about her personal hurts and how these have lead her to her personal theory, which may be summarized by the title of her book, and that there are no quick fixes to healing, it is a lifelong process. She emphasizes that it is in the recognition of hurts and identifying who we are in God and growing in dependence on Him that healing is found. Wilson states, “change means choosing a new direction. But some of us still wrestle with the idea that change is a journey, not a destination, and that the journey proceeds “one step at a time,” as twelve-step programs say” (2001, p. 233).
The first six chapters of the book are based on the cyclical and continual generational nature of hurt. Parents or someone close to a child may hurt them at a young age; hence the child enacts protective measures to protect his or her self from being hurt by that individual again. If the abuse is consistent, then one is bound in “binding shame,” which is a “sense of being different from and worth less than other people (Wilson, 2001, p. 36). The binding shame will result in people pleasing. The hope in people pleasing is that the abused will look good in the eyes of the abusers (be they parent or other) and thus be shown love and acceptance. The most “well-functioning families” (Wilson, 2001, p.48), have hurts inflicted, however the dysfunctional family will be hurt often and the development of healthy relationships will not be learned. Unfortunately, “our concepts of God are related directly to the kind of relationship we had with our earliest adult authority figures” (Wilson, 2001, p.177).
The last part of the book, Wilson explains how to help hurt people so that they ma...
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...on of her premise. I made a trip to the cemetery with a journal I had kept specifically concerning my dad, I spent a full day on his grave reading, crying, screaming, spitting, cussing, and tearing up the journal, then burning the pieces while sobbing that “I forgive you.” As the pieces of that journal burned, the deepest and overwhelming sense of peace overcame me as I realized I was no longer controlled by a dead man and I could experience the tender love and acceptance of my Heavenly Father. All that to say, I will most certainly incorporate the premise and use of scripture from Wilson (2001) in my personal theory and overall practice, as I feel it helps people understand where the beginning of their problems were and how to work through them.
Wilson, S.D. (2001). Hurt people hurt people. Gran Rapids, Michigan: Discovery House Publishers.
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