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By Staff Writer
The world of self-help is populated by ‘experts’ who seem to have solutions, but never actually faced the problems they are addressing in their own lives.
Author James Carré-Rice is a notable exception to this rule. By his early 20's, he was serving a fourth prison sentence for grievous bodily harm and was high on the list of those inmates that were expected either to kill, or be killed. He was made to feel like he was a nobody – a hopeless case who would see out his days behind bars. And he believed it, finding it seemingly impossible to escape a destructive lifestyle that kept on dragging him deeper and deeper into trouble.
But then the remarkable happened. James was fortunate enough to secure a place at HM Prison Grendon – the UK’s only dedicated therapeutic prison. Enrolling on an intense course of psychological counselling known as psychodrama, he was able to break with the past and become the person he’d always known himself to be. Like a modern-day Road to Damascus moment, James came to understand the root of all his woes and armed with this knowledge was able to turn his life completely around.
After his release from Grendon, he went to college, found employment and settled down. He lived in America for five years, where he became the director of a pioneering Youth Courts programme supporting the rehabilitation of young offenders.
He has since gone on to become an international public speaker, offering guidance to the UK’s and US’s prison population, as well as to the countless people who, while not as dramatically, may likewise feel trapped in their own lives.
James’s new book, Another Kind of Knowing, shares his hard-earned transformative insights, with the powerful psychological principles behind them illustrated perfectly through many first-hand examples. The tone of the book is conversational and, at times, brutally honest. James makes it clear that the greatest obstacle to his, and anyone’s freedom, is themselves. Unconsciously, many of us make a false identity which we come to believe is real, and which holds us back from achieving our true potential.
The author describes this alter-ego aptly as a ‘robot’ – an artificial creation powered by all the negative thoughts we keep with us: the self-doubt, self-pity and selfishness that acts in the shadows of the mind. It is only by coming to recognise this other self, and having the courage to face it in the open, that enables us to dismantle the robot and move forwards without fear.
As you read James’s life-story, you are struck by his commitment to catching out negativity in its many guises, and how it has clearly worked for him. In his early years, he effectively robbed himself of opportunities but now wise to that game, is not prepared to be the victim again.
Another Kind of Knowing, the follow-up to Carré-Rice’s bestselling Within These Streets, will appeal to those who enjoy self-help books – especially those of more spiritual writers such as Eckhart Tolle.
It is both a moving testimony and inspirational guide to finding the key to many of life’s problems, and finally unlocking the cell door.