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The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find…

The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves

by Stephen Grosz

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
If I could give this bk more stars, I would. It's not self-help, simply a collection of case studies, but I learned something about myself on every page. ( )
  liv_books | Apr 18, 2017 |
I found this book a quick, easy read. I couldn't put it down, it was so moving. It's a series of anonymous case studies detailed by a psychoanalyst that each give insight into people's minds. A few things struck me during the reading: that the same life events (not necessarily traumatic ones by any means) can affect us each so differently; that it's amazing any of us are sane (although, perhaps we're not?); I love the word 'captious', which I hadn't heard before; I loved the whole chapters 'On being a patient' and 'Through silence' which made me cry; and the idea that children can have their confidence reduced through praise struck a chord with me too. I feel like the stories of these people will come back to me again and again. It seems that we could all do with the insight psychoanalysis offers, but it's a luxury most of us cannot afford. ( )
  cjeskriett | Mar 15, 2017 |
I started out thinking this book was not adequate since it never really finished with a case history but realised that is the point. No such thing as closure which is one of the book's conclusions and which I agree with. Each chapter - if you thought about it - invited you to think about your self. Good book. Very reflective. ( )
  adrianburke | Dec 10, 2016 |
Very interesting but ultimately unsatisfactory. This partly due to the desire of having stories with a beginning a middle and an end, especially in real life situations. I wanted to know what happened to the individuals in each chapter but was left guessing. I understand this perhaps wasn't the point of the book but I am only human. ( )
  Cat-Lib | Jul 3, 2016 |
I was sent this as a gift and found it perfectly readable but not deserving of the hype it's received. In fact, there must be thousands of psychotherapists thinking "I could do that".
On the positive side, it does show how psychotherapy can fail as often as it succeeds. I also liked the idea that, when it comes to grief, closure is neither always possible or necessary. However, my main problem with the book is that it showcases the problems of the affluent middle classes. Grosz's patients are university professors, television producers, research scientists, financiers etc. Easily the most fascinating account is the one exception to this - a very disturbed and violent nine year old boy who spits on him in every session.
I found myself harking back to the 1960s and 70s and the works of the likes of R.D.Laing and David Cooper - the anti-psychiatry movement. I longed for an examination of the connections between social class, poverty etc and mental health problems. Or the links between modern educational and workplace practices and mental health - but I guess it's unfair to berate an author for writing the book he wanted to write rather than the one I wanted to read (or is it?). ( )
  stephengoldenberg | Apr 6, 2016 |
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For the past twenty-five years, I've worked as a psychoanalyst. - Preface
I want to tell you a story about a patient who shocked me.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In his work as a practicing psychoanalyst, the author has spent the last twenty-five years uncovering the hidden feelings behind the most baffling human behavior. This book distils more than 50,000 hours of conversation into pure psychological insight without the jargon. At its core, this book is about one ordinary process: talking, listening, and understanding. Its stories unveil a delicate self-portrait of the analyst at work and show how lessons learned in the consulting room can reveal as much to the analyst as to the patient.… (more)

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