Ever heard of the ‘inner Chimp’? If you have, it’s because of the incredible success enjoyed by Prof Steve Peters’ The Chimp Paradox. The Mind Management Programme for Confidence, Success and Happiness, which first appeared in 2012. Even those who know nothing more than that phrase have been known to change their approach to life because through its graphic simplicity they have recognised there are things going on inside an individual which may have less to do with human logic than emotional reaction.
Not all phenomenally successful books classed as ‘self-help and personal development’ are equally worth taking seriously. I tend to check carefully the background of the author in order to see how firmly based her or his ideas are in what is accepted as being scientifically sound. Peters is a consultant psychiatrist who has worked in the UK NHS for many years, been Clinical Director of Mental Health Services, and serves as a Senior Clinical Lecturer of Medicine at the University of Sheffield. This man should know what he’s talking about, and to find a specialist using such approachable images and metaphors is refreshing. They may not appeal to everyone, but the fact that just about anyone can work with them is a huge plus.