An unusually rich and eloquent guide to personal growth. Self-help books tend to flog platitudes, and this one deals with its share: building self-esteem, reliving old relationships, returning to innocence, etc. But platitudes also have their roots in truth, and the father-and-son Malones (The Art of Intimacy, 1987—not reviewed) cultivate their concepts of nurturing the human spirit with compassion and depth. The two Atlanta psychiatrists draw on personal and clinical experience to describe 14 ``windows of experience'' through which to explore self-awareness. Among them are acceptance, play, risk, and creativity, as well as innocence, self-discipline, and ``being there.'' The emphasis is on looking out and seeing what is really there—in yourself, in another person, in nature. Laced throughout are compelling and pertinent excerpts from writers that range from Confucius to Andrew Marvell and Gregory Bateson. As always, when writers on psychology struggle to popularize concepts like ``spirituality'' and ``responsibility for self,'' the language suffers. Particularly painful here is the coining of the word ``growthful.'' Still, a challenging guide for the explorer of self, suffused with the empathy the authors hope to teach.
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