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This classic book has a uniquely rich history of helping people learn how to recognize — and eliminate — common obstacles to their spiritual development. In this groundbreaking work, Dr. Rudolf Allers, a pioneer psychologist and a contemporary of Freud, proves the importance of religion — and Catholicism in particular — by arguing that only the Catholic view of man can explain abnormalities and produce positive personality changes. Among all the psychologists of his time, Allers alone linked moral and spiritual growth to mental health.
In this gem of a book, you will find an in-depth yet accessible explanation of how character is shaped in childhood and afterward. This trusty guide will help you in rooting out character defects, curing (and preventing) developmental problems, strengthening virtues, and recognizing dormant potential in both children and adults.
You will discover keys to spiritual growth that is steady and lasting, including:
Do you, or does your child, have a faulty “character ideal”? If so, you will learn how this can cause misdirection and poor decision-making. You will also find out character differences between males and females and discover why the formation of character is linked with the nature of moral and religious life.
Dr. Allers, an esteemed friend of Edith Stein and mentor of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Viktor E. Frankl, also unpacks how a widely held Protestant belief about man’s nature — shared by some Catholics — can stunt psychological growth. He specifies mistakes to avoid in child-rearing (early childhood and adolescence) and the proper family environment in which to foster high achievement in children. Additionally, he explores leniency versus severity in child-rearing, what to do about “difficult” children, and the essential ingredient of effective punishment.
Central to Allers’s unique approach is his certainty that dramatic character transformation comes despite fixed habits and past mistakes. He proves this, placing the highest value on the Church’s accumulated wisdom about human nature and drawing freely from Scripture, the lives and writings of the saints, and the teachings of great theologians.
Significantly, you will grasp the root causes of common problems such as anxiety, bed-wetting, compulsiveness, daydreaming, defiance, discouragement, disillusionment, effeminacy, gossip, homosexuality, impulsiveness, indecisiveness, insecurity, loneliness, dishonesty, oversensitivity, pridefulness, scrupulosity, promiscuity, speech impediments, suicidal tendencies, superstition, vengefulness, and weakness of will.