Do you, too, have an inner Tyrant, a hypercritical judge who monitors your every word and action, and tells you what’s wrong with you? I do. He ruled my inner world for many years. Sometimes he was just mean and bossy but most of his attacks were damaging, convincing me I was pretty stupid and my efforts worthless.

For a long time, I thought he was the voice of my conscience, my better self, so if I didn’t obey him, I’d be “in the wrong.” But when my marriage fell apart and I had to fend for myself and my three children, the physical and mental distress he inflicted on me were too much to bear. I sought help through a Jungian exercise called Active Imagination, a psychological experiment that attempts to bridge communication between our conscious selves and the unconscious world within. It offered me a path to a more positive relationship with him and with other inner personas I discovered along the way. In other words, with myself.

Taming Your Inner Tyrant describes my experiences with psychiatrist C. G. Jung's "active imagination" exercise, in which I dialogued with my intrusive inner critics over many years and gradually found relief from both physical and psychic pain. Now that Jung’s Red Book has been published, hailed by the New York Times as “the Holy Grail of the Unconscious,” there’s increasing excitement about this mysterious process. Yet a book about it written by a non-psychotherapist is very rare, if not unique. That’s why I offer my imaginal adventure, with an eye to helping others undertake a similar journey. Each chapter ends with experiments the reader can make, to learn more about his or her personal inner tyrants.

Taming Your Inner Tyrant is dedicated to G. I. Gurdjieff, who first called my attention to our Inner Tyrant and the many little ‘i’s, or personas, that move us, unaware; to Jeanne de Salzmann, who lit my path toward the development of consciousness; and to C. G. Jung and Marion Woodman, who helped me discover what I had long undervalued in myself. 

Good Links:

Listen to a recent radio interview from the Catherine Bradford Show.

To read Patty's blog, go to

Listen to a radio interview (podcast) I did at the Progressive Radio Network and KRWM-FM (The ConsciousShift with JulieAnn Turner).


Taming Your Inner Tyrant, chapter headings:

1. The Frightened Child
2. Two Adams and an Eve
3. Say Hello to the Pleaser
4. Life as an Underdog
5. The Protector becomes a Persecutor
  6. The Time of the Hero
7. Only God is Perfect
8. The High Cost of Loving
9. Lady in a Sandwich
10. The Wounded Body
11. “The Shadow Knows…”
12. The Tyrant Speaks
  13. Pursued by Hungry Ghosts
14. Woman in a Coma
15. The Lord of Discipline
16. The Lord of the Heart
17. Soul Images
Epilogue: The Wounder and the Wounded are One