Programs such as Rational Recovery emphasize the importance of learning to disregard messages sent from the more primitive or “lizard” region of the brain, the child like component which indulges in what has been termed “spoon banging”, like a kid who yells “I want what I want when I want it and I want it right now!”. Is it not possible that, just as the brain contains an “inner child” it also contains an “inner parent”. This may have evolved in response to the tensions and problems created by the brain’s “child” like aspect. Thus the mind has a built in capacity for self criticism. To a degree this is healthy and constructive. However, like anything else, it can become exaggerated and distorted. The result is depression, self hatred, or as alcoholics say, “beating up on oneself”. “I’m no good!, I never was any good! I’m unable to do anything without first consulting my sponsor. Poor me!” As the messages from the “inner child” often lead to addiction and relapse, so these excessively self critical messages from the “inner parent” can be dangerous and, at the very least, may foster depression: “I’m feeling so disappointed with myself and feeling so down today. Just one...drink might help.” Thus the "inner parent" may create a "set up", providing an alcoholic with an excuse to drink. I feel I have to be wary of the extreme demands and subtle influence of both the inner “child” and its “parent”. The maturity which results from prolonged sobriety should lead to the moderation of a “middle way”. The sad truth is that in the process of recovery, it may be risky to trust your own brain. Thus folks in the early stages are sometimes advised to “keep it simple” or “don’t intellectualize”. Although I think this doesn’t mean that one must become an automaton or zombie, it seems wise to be careful, not read too many books and focus on the task at hand.