Reviews from Goodreads

Deborah Sloan's review, Read in October, 2011
I have to say that I was anxious to read Taming Your Inner Tyrant-A Path to Healing Through Dialogues With Oneself by Patty de Llosa. Then once I started reading I went back and forth between putting it down and then picking it up again. I was interested in the process,but it was also a slap in the face because I recognized many of the inner characters in myself. The child,the slave,the tyrant as well. Just reading this book you can’t help but have some of these inner conversations with yourself once that happens. (Read more...)

Star's review, Read in April, 2012
Taming Your Inner Tyrant is not an ordinary self-help book or even and ordinary book at all. You walk through with Ms. de Llosa on her journey to discover, dialogue with, and acknowledge the parts of herself that she never knew were there. The ones that were holding her back and the ones who's encouragement she couldn't hear until she started speaking with them. A glowing example of how to start along the path to inner peace and wholeness within. There are exercises in the book to guide you along your own journey to a complete self. Heartfelt and genuine, Ms. de Llosa's candid story will touch your life in myriad ways.

Carol Harlow's review, Read in November, 2011
This book is really a workbook that everyone could use. It takes you through the steps to heal your own inner judges. By learning how Patty de Llosa went through the healing process I was able to recognize similar things in myself. This process can be very revealing and healing.

Radio Interview from the Heart River Center for Intuitive Healing

"There are good guys and tyrants in all of us that nudge us and possibly torment us each day. It's the inner judge, the inner admirer or other parts of us that want to be heard. Author Patty de Llosa has written a very helpful book called "Taming Your Inner Tyrant." I've really enjoyed reading her very insightful and captivating journey through her life dealing with her inner voices. We can learn a lot from her experience. Be sure to tune in to her enlightening interview with Peter Roth on Energy Stew." Listen to the Interview...

Review from AmSAT Journal, Spring 2012
(, by Bill Connington

Patty de Llosa is a certified Alexander Technique teacher, as well as a teacher of T'ai Chi, Taoist meditation, and the Gurdjieff work. Her first book, The Practice of Presence, published in 2006, examines five paths towards wholeness in daily life, including the Alexander Technique and the work of C.G.Jung.

Taming Your Inner Tyrant, her second book, explores the many different aspects of the psyche dwelling within the individual unconscious. The premise of the new book is fundamental to the Alexander work: we are not fully cognizant of everything happening inside us; and what happens unconsciously within the Self affects how we think, feel, move, behave, and inhabit the world.

The book records the author's healing journey into the darker parts of her own psyche, using the Jungian technique of "Active Imagination" to elicit a dialogue between different aspects of the Self. The individual practicing Active Imagination allows unconscious issues to surface and act themselves out either by visualization, automatic writing, or artistic activities. In de Llosa's self-examination, her adult Conscious Self asked questions of her Unconscious Self. She was sometimes shocked by her own answers. Using her reporting skills to stay calm and focused, she wrote down her own answers, so that she could analyze them later. She uncovered myriad unconscious beliefs and attitudes.

Gradually, over a period of time, de Llosa broadened her awareness of her inner life, and this in turn affected aspects of her "outer" life. She ended up making important life changes in response to her new relationship with herself.

De Llosa bravely embraced what Jungians call "the Dark Side"—a morass within the Self that contains things that might be labeled unpleasant, frightening, or aggressive. Rather than denying these parts of the Self, she chose to become familiar with, explore, question, and eventually incorporate healthy facets of these strong emotions and attitudes––and in the process, to become a more rounded and authentic person.

Taming Your Inner Tyrant provides a number of practical exercises in each chapter to help readers explore their own inner terrain. The author writes candidly, truthfully, unstintingly. She "walks into the fire" and comes out the other side more fully herself. I recommend this book to anyone looking to do the same.

Review from Reader's Favorite
(, by Laurie Gray

"In Taming Your Inner Tyrant: A Path to Healing through Dialogues with Oneself", accomplished journalist Patty de Llosa guides the readers through her personal odyssey using Jung's Active Imagination Experiment to disempower her critical inner voices by first separating herself from them and then dialoguing with them. The most prominent voice for de Llosa is a male Tyrant, but she includes dialogues with polarized personas such as the Wounder and Wounded, Terrorist and Tortured Hero, Scorner and Scorned, and a whole cast of archetypical characters that emerge through de Llosa's childhood, early adulthood, marriage, divorce, professional career, and post-retirement work as a teacher of Tai Chi and Taoist meditation. This psychological memoir incorporates an expansive bibliography of works exploring human consciousness.

Though well-written, the book is not an easy read. De Llosa often moves backward to go forward, engaging in a circular battle with her ego. She shares the full cacophony of the voices and the violent aspects of her accompanying dreams. The expedition requires significant energy which readers may prefer to invest in the suggestions for self-inquiry at the end of each chapter. Still, the principal message is sound. We each must live our own lives and engage in our own peculiar dialogues. It is a process that must be experienced, not copied. In that respect, de Llosa's attempt serves as an illustration rather than a blueprint. For the author, writing is the process. For others it may come through painting, sculpting, gardening or any other form of creative expression. Nevertheless, in the end, it remains unclear whether any of us can ever fully resolve the conflict and integrate the fragments into a single, healthy identity.

Bibliophile Book Blog
"A glowing example of how to start along the path to inner peace and wholeness within. There are exercises in the book to guide you along your own journey to a complete self. Heartfelt and genuine, Ms. de Llosa's candid story will touch your life in myriad ways."

My Springfield Mommy -
Paying it Forward

"A glowing example of how to start along the path to inner peace and wholeness within. There are exercises in the book to guide you along your own journey to a complete self. Heartfelt and genuine, Ms. de Llosa's candid story will touch your life in myriad ways."

Babas Farm Life

"Patty de Llosa makes understanding the process of how one can become whole using these steps much easier to understand as you walk with her through her own healing process.    I would highly recommend this reading for every adult!  And no you don’t need to have a degree in Psychology to accomplish your own healing goals.  Pick up a copy and start your healing process today!"

Taming Your Inner Tyrant Reviews & Giveaways

"You are your own worst critic." Have you ever heard that saying before? Do you believe it? I do…whole heartedly. The question is, can you break free of that bully from within, and Tame Your Inner Tyrant? Taming Your Inner Tyrant: A Path to Healing Through Dialogues with Oneself, by Patty de Llosa, may very well be that book your looking for. The book that can transform your inner self and help you reclaim that person you were meant to be."

Leslie Loves Veggies

Is it possible that author Patty de Llosa has understood my problems and written exactly the book I need, if I hope to learn how to treat myself more sympathetically and realistically?

In Taming Your Inner Tyrant, Patty de Llosa uses her "active imagination", as set forth by C.G.Jung, to describe the host of inner selves that all of us harbor in our unconscious. Here is the Tyrant who harshly criticizes every move she makes, and the Frightened Child who is afraid of being eaten. Here is the Protector who tells her "It's better to have no heart. Then nothing will break." And here is the Pleaser (I know the Pleaser inside me all too well!) who will do anything to be liked. In each short chapter, Patty de Llosa enters into a dialogue with one of these personas, followed by a set of helpful psychic exercises that teach us to become more conscious of our fragmented nature, and therefore better able to handle it.

In the course of her own life, de Llosa has survived the breakup of an 18-year marriage, spent chiefly in a little-visited section of Peru where her husband was lieutenant-governor. Here she confronted rats under the bed, snakes in the parrot cage and an epidemic of tuberculosis, while rearing three children and guiding her Inner Tyrant to a peaceful resting place.

- New York Times writer Joan Gould

Books We Recommend for Winter Reading  - Elliott Dascher's Aware, Awake, Alive is a great book for winter reading and contemplation and practice and a good one to read at the same time is Taming Your Inner Tyrant by Patty de Llosa. They will give you plenty to think about and quiet inner work you can do quietly during the cold winter months.

- Sharing Wellness Newsletter


Patty de Llosa has written what amounts to an autobiography of some of her inner controlling voices. She carries out Jungian dialogues with parts of herself, listed in the table of contents, such as the Frightened Child, the Pleaser, the Protector become Persecutor, the Tyrant, the Perfectionist, etc., in the service , not of vanquishing them or denying them thenceforth, but of getting them out of hiding. Her conversations are often painful as are the stories from her past, such as the disintegration of her marriage, as are her often violent dreams. And they are very interesting. It is very worth the struggle both for Ms. de Llosa and for the reader. Tears came to my eyes as I read in the chapter entitled "Lord of the Heart" about her finding in the gentle guidance of Marion Woodman, "...a crossroad where the little life our ego controls is shattered by a larger reality." (M.W.) and she finds a way to withstand the pressures from "The Lord of Discipline." "The new connection with myself has sometimes seemed to hang by a thread." But that golden thread she has found does not abandon her: "At the merest glimmer of gold in my daily life, I experience an inner shift. When a stranger smiles at me, when a child laughs gleefully, when a word or image suddenly touches my heart or a memory reminds me of my wish I turn, often with anguish, to look again at the thread. And there it is, waiting for me, in the kingdom of the heart."( L) We are with the author wholeheartedly here, and feel joy at the truth of the victory.

- Christie Dennis

"Patty de Llosa writes insightfully about the discovery of the inner selves which shape our lives and which we need to know in order to live more fully and freely.  With passion and clarity she tells her story and sets out useful exercises for us to undertake on our own journey."

- Ravi Ravindra, Professor emeritus of Physics and Religion, Dalhousie University, author of many books including Pilgrim Without Boundaries and The Wisdom of Patañjali's Yoga Sutras.

"It's a treat to follow one who has gone so deeply within herself in her journey toward Wholeness. I recognize some of the same characters she notes within my own soul and her dialogues with them give me insight, concrete strategies, and hope. I especially appreciate her suggestions at the end of each chapter which ‘cover the waterfront’ in hints of practical ways to deepen the message.”

- The Rev. James L. Gill, Clinical Psychotherapist

“Much of Carl Jung’s work comes from the period of intense active imagination recorded in his Red Book. There are few other examples of this journey. Taming Your Inner Tyrant is Patty de Llosa’s experience of active imagination in which she allows the voices inside to speak as she drops down and watches them go into action, not knowing where they are going.”

- The Rev. Bob Haden, Director, The Haden Institute

"Each of us carries an inner tyrant, a demanding, obsessive, demeaning complex which accumulates all the negatives our history has brought us. When this tyrant speaks, we lose contact with our core, engage in self-destructive or avoidant behavior, and remain tied to a diminishing history. With courage and articulate insight, Patty de Llosa presents a step-by-step means by which the reader can grow larger than this tyrant’s agenda. She provides rich biographical examples and provocative exercises to bring the reader greater freedom of expression and a life of integrity."

- James Hollis, Ph. D., Jungian analyst, author of many books including What Matters Most and Why Good People Do Bad Things.


"Taming Your Inner Tyrant:A Path to Healing through Dialogues with Oneself" describes the author’s experiences with psychiatrist C. G. Jung’s active imagination exercise,in which she dialogued with her intrusive inner critics and gradually found relief from both physical and psychic pain. At the end of each of the 17 chapters she offers experiments the reader can make to discover and dialogue with his or her own personal inner judges. Now that Jung’s Red Book has been published,hailed by the New York Times as “the Holy Grail of the Unconscious,”there is increasing interest in this mysterious process. Possible markets include psychology,spirituality,New Age,self-help and women’s studies.

This book is really a workbook that everyone could use. It takes you through the steps to heal your own inner judges. By learning how Patty de Llosa went through the healing process I was able to recognize similar things in myself. This process can be very revealing and healing.

- Song Berries Blog

This isn’t so much a review of a book as it is an appreciation. (John Robert Colombo offers a review here.) Danica and I were fortunate to meet the author and hear her speak at the Arts & Letters Club in Toronto last week. We were guests of Ruth Colombo (thanks, Ruth!) who is a member of the club and who arranged to have Ms de Llosa speak.

Intrigued and entertained by her talk, I bought a copy of her latest book and Danica picked up her earlier The Practice of Presence: Five Paths for Daiuly Life. I’ll read Danica’s copy next.

So what’s it all about? For one thing, it is a well written and fascinatingly candid biographical story of a woman’s life, full of adventure, achievement, physical pain, suffering and drama. Good just on that score. But it’s also a story of the author’s inner world, filled with demons and tormentors that make her outer world seem tranquil in comparison.

In fact, Patty de Llosa uses metaphors of myth (often Jungian but also drawing on many other cultural sources) to discover links between physical symptoms and personas that dwell within. She seeks to understand and deal with root causes of her troubles and “constellates” a cast a characters from within herself so she can talk to them.

Sound nuts? I don’t think so. It’s an imaginative way to explore problems that are otherwise difficult or impossible to describe.

More than that, the author offers, at the end of each chapter, suggested methods that readers may use to explore their own inner beings. Some you’ll probably find applicable, others not so much. At least that was my experience. Patty de Llosa and I are different people, of course, and our problems and demons are different, too.

Still, I think we’ll all recognize many of the colourful characters that populate the author’s mind and heart. Some of them are bound to be yours as they are mine. It’s a good read, a manual and a stimulant for the imagination.

An impression of the author

I liked Patty de Llosa, not because she was out to “be likeable” but because she came across as a person who was being herself. More than that; who was making the effort to be herself. I doubt that she would easily fall into being a “people-pleaser” at this stage of her life, because she knows how to avoid that trap.

Rather, she was an easy person to talk to, clearly intelligent and well read, but not at all pretentious. She told Danica and me that she was probably a lot older than we would think she was. A bit of rudimentary arithmetic, based on the events in her story her story, revealed that she was right. She seems a lot younger than she must be and I’ll bet she would attribute that to her practice of the ideas in her books.

- Bill Anderson having fun on

Mind Matters — Taming the Tyrant Within

“Lead your own life and not the one projected on you” notes Marion Woodman, one of the wise elders of the “tribe” of Jungian analysts. (Carl Jung was, of course, a colleague of Sigmund Freud; and so just as there are Freudian analysts, there are also Jungian analysts.)

I came across this quotation in a new book Taming Your Inner Tyrant by Patty de Llosa. In this text, de Llosa explores how each of us, starting at an early age in our families, constructs our own inner tyrant from all the projections (labels, stereotyping, descriptions) placed on us—even before birth!

And from these projections, we develop a “hypercritical judge” whispering—sometimes shouting—in our ears about what we’re doing or not doing. “You’re stupid,” “lazy,” or “too fat,” or “not good enough,” “not talented enough,” “defective,” “you can’t do that,” “you’ll fail!” “The shoulds,” “the oughts,” “the nevers,” “the no’s.”

In childhood, we internalized these repetitive messages and in order to truly become adult, no matter our age, we need to courageously face the inner tyrant whose voice berates us. The Jungian, James Hollis, (in What Matters Most) reminds us that “no matter how sovereign we believe we are, we remain the lowliest of serfs to the tyrannies of whatever remains unconscious.”

De Llosa, in her writing, boldly discloses the steps of her own journey of open dialog with her inner tyrant. And then she gives clear guidance to the reader to do likewise. The process is not about killing off the “inner tyrant,” but taming him (or her).

Encountering our inner tyrant with courage is transformative. What was constricted in our hearts, becomes open and we are better able to let go into life with joy.

Furthermore, de Llosa’s book invites us to get to know the tyrant within so that we don’t continue the cycle of projection onto others. That engenders more tyranny. Marion Woodman (in the Ravaged Bridegroom) warns us:

“So long as we are blind to our inner tyrant, we blame an outer tyrant, some person or some system, for victimizing us. That maintains the split because victim and tyrant are dependent on each other, and together they must be healed.”

De Llosa’s book is a welcome aid to this healing. There is no better place than within our own hearts for the transformation of all tyranny to begin.

- Kathleen Gajdos