The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves Kindle


The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves ❮Epub❯ ➝ The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves Author Stephen Grosz – Thomashillier.co.uk Echoing Socrates time honoured statement that the unexamined life is not worth living, psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz draws short, vivid stories from his five year practice in order to track the collabo Echoing Life: How We Lose PDF/EPUB ² Socrates time honoured statement that Life: How Kindle Ñ the unexamined life is not worth living, psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz draws short, vivid stories from hisfive The Examined Kindle - year practice in order to track the collaborative journey of therapist and patient as they uncover the hidden feelings behind ordinary behaviour These Examined Life: How PDF È beautifully rendered tales illuminate the fundamental pathways of life from birth to death A woman finds herself daydreaming as she returns home from a business trip a young man loses his wallet We learn, too, from extreme examples the patient who points an unloaded gun at a police officer, the compulsive liar who convinces his wife he s dying of cancer The stories invite compassionate understanding, suggesting answers to the questions that compel and disturb us most about love and loss, parents and children, work and change The resulting journey will spark new ideas about who we are and why we do what we do.

    The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves Kindle a business trip a young man loses his wallet We learn, too, from extreme examples the patient who points an unloaded gun at a police officer, the compulsive liar who convinces his wife he s dying of cancer The stories invite compassionate understanding, suggesting answers to the questions that compel and disturb us most about love and loss, parents and children, work and change The resulting journey will spark new ideas about who we are and why we do what we do."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 240 pages
  • The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves
  • Stephen Grosz
  • 10 October 2018
  • 0393079546

About the Author: Stephen Grosz

Stephen Life: How We Lose PDF/EPUB ² Grosz is a practicing psychoanalyst Life: How Kindle Ñ he has worked with patients forthan twenty five years Born in America, educated at the University The Examined Kindle - of California, Berkeley, and at Oxford University, he lives in London A Sunday Times bestseller, The Examined Life is his first book.



10 thoughts on “The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves

  1. Petra-X Petra-X says:

    It s very Freudian If you a fan of the psychoanalytic process and the insights it draws hopefully leading to that ah ha moment followed by a change to hopefully less distressing behaviour, then you are going to enjoy these stories.Being the rather non spiritual pragmatist that I am, I minto existential psychology and prefer the books and writing, the beautiful, soaring, hopeful writing of Irvin D Yalom Nevertheless there are some interesting tales of people s maladaptions and ho It s very Freudian If you a fan of the psychoanalytic process and the insights it draws hopefully leading to that ah ha moment followed by a change to hopefully less distressing behaviour, then you are going to enjoy these stories.Being the rather non spiritual pragmatist that I am, I minto existential psychology and prefer the books and writing, the beautiful, soaring, hopeful writing of Irvin D Yalom Nevertheless there are some interesting tales of people s maladaptions and how they got that way as well as their resolution It lost me though on the chapter where the author is freaking that he can t remember his dreams For a psychotherapist not to remember his dreams it s like a total failure, and it failed me too But that could be because I have an aversion to listening or reading about other people s dreams and might not be a problem for anyone else As an aside, I would really like to tell people my dreams though, because they are so interesting, but I haven t got the courage, something tells me I might bore them as much as listening to other people s dreams bores me.A solid 4 star book

  2. WILLIAM2 WILLIAM2 says:

    These subtle, fascinating case studies are psychoanalysis condensed They run about 6 or so pages each Everything inessential has been stripped away We get the problem, the diagnosis, and the resolution or its semblance very quickly There s the nine year old with autism whose hyper acting out includes spitting in his analyst s the author s face five times a week for a year and a half How far can one s compassion go Or the HIV positive patient who can do littlethan sleep during his s These subtle, fascinating case studies are psychoanalysis condensed They run about 6 or so pages each Everything inessential has been stripped away We get the problem, the diagnosis, and the resolution or its semblance very quickly There s the nine year old with autism whose hyper acting out includes spitting in his analyst s the author s face five times a week for a year and a half How far can one s compassion go Or the HIV positive patient who can do littlethan sleep during his sessions When the author presents his case at a conference, an American doctor asks Why are you wasting your time with this patient He s going to die Why not help someone who s got a future The author is outraged And as it turns out, the protease inhibitors arrive in time and the patient lives for many years, is in fact still alive at the time the book is published The essays are so lean, so fleet of foot and this is somehow connected this brevity, this concision to their ability to move us I cannot recommend this slim volume highly enough It s a near miraculous feat of writing

  3. Miles Miles says:

    It has been a while since I felt so conflicted about a book, so torn in two radically different directions Fittingly, I found that I lost and found myself over and over in these pages I d be nodding with appreciative agreement one moment, then furrowing my eyebrows in frustration the next The bottom line is that Grosz s slim collection of stories from his years as a psychoanalyst is engrossing and rich, even if it often lacks the additional details that would bring these cursory glimpses in It has been a while since I felt so conflicted about a book, so torn in two radically different directions Fittingly, I found that I lost and found myself over and over in these pages I d be nodding with appreciative agreement one moment, then furrowing my eyebrows in frustration the next The bottom line is that Grosz s slim collection of stories from his years as a psychoanalyst is engrossing and rich, even if it often lacks the additional details that would bring these cursory glimpses into troubled lives fully into the light If you are looking to challenge your assumptions about how the mind works or what the best methods are for dealing with the most difficult aspects of human experience, this is a good opportunity to do so.To begin, I want to air some major grievances There are several aspects of this book that infuriated me and prevented me from fully embracing Grosz s attitudes and methods Exploring these narratives made me realize exactly how much my attitudes about the mind have changed since I last dealt with psychoanalytic theory, which was several years ago during my undergraduate education I used to be quite smitten with psychoanalysis, but I have since come to realize that the psychoanalytic approach has some very significant flaws That doesn t mean it is a useless form of inquiry, but it does mean I have to approach writers like Grosz with a special skepticism The central problem here is the tension between two conflicting notions of psychoanalytic therapy therapy as truth finding and therapy as pragmatic narrative building While this tension plays out in many different ways, I want to focus on two basic patterns that emerge from Grosz s stories Grosz s apparent failure to acknowledge the profound influence of physiological habits on our internal experiences, and his startling readiness to perpetuate the idea that something is wrong with his patients, especially in circumstances where serious psychological problems seem absent Let s consider my first gripe by taking a look at a story about Daniel, a young architect who has just closed the deal on his first successful contract On the way to a celebratory dinner with his wife, he accidentally leaves his wallet on the train Unable to recover it, he goes to dinner feeling foolish The combination of Daniel s guarded excitement about his career and the humiliation of forgetting his wallet nags at him during the meal Later, he receives a text message from a friendly stranger who says his wallet is safe and waiting for him to pick it up Still feeling dejected, Daniel absentmindedly checks his pockets for his wallet, even though he consciously knows he doesn t have it Here s where Grosz s psychoanalytic approach goes off the deep end Instead of treating Daniel s checking his pockets as a negligible instance of a physiological habit playing itself out in a semi stressful situation, Grosz begins to construct an elaborate story about why Daniel would possibly have done such a thing I think that most people, even ones who have never studied psychology, understand that our brains run all kinds of pedestrian subroutines that operate below the level of consciousness, and are therefore not always subject to knowledge held by the conscious mind Personally, I can think of myriad occasions when I have checked my pockets for something I knew wasn t there It s just how our bodies work But instead of acknowledging this simple fact and moving on, Grosz turns a bit of harmless minutiae into a neurosis related to Daniel s professional anxieties Could that small gesture patting his pockets for a wallet he knows isn t there have been a way of distracting himself from another,worrying thought that he is about to be lost himself Searching for his wallet might have been a way of soothing that particular anxiety Better to be in the position of having lost something than to be something someone forgot Loc 1361, Kindle Edition In a classic psychoanalytic blunder, Grosz also ties this anxiety about being forgotten to Daniel s relationship with his father, whom he is worried about overshadowing as he becomessuccessful Stories like this are one of the reasons psychoanalysis has taken so much heat since its halcyon days Consciously or unconsciously, psychoanalysts often construct grandiose stories that are ultimatelyfocused on validating psychoanalytic theories than on actually resolving the patient s problems This was one of the moments when I wanted to throw this book out the window.Daniel s story leads into my second gripe, which has to do with Grosz s propensity to perpetuate the idea that his patients haveproblems than they actually do As it turns out, there doesn t appear to actually be anything wrong with Daniel at all He just had a new experience that caused some anxiety and culminated in the temporary loss of his wallet These are perfectly normal human events they don t require intensive therapy to process Such examples invariably make psychoanalysts look rather parasitic This image is compounded by the fact that patients typically attend sessions 4 5 times a week, an arrangement that seems both tremendously lucrative for the analyst and painfully redundant for the patient Too often it fees like Grosz and his patients collude to create problems just so they will have something to talk about Additionally, I was struck by the fact that the structure of psychoanalytic practice results in analysts seeing a lot of wealthy people who don t have real problems I don t mean to imply that people with money can t have perfectly legitimate issues, but they certainly aren t wondering how they are going to feed their kids or pay the electric bill anxieties that I imagine are fardeserving of a professional psychologist s time Consider this passage from a session with Jennifer, who is disappointed that her boyfriend doesn t want to have children She told me that she just didn t feel angry I know I should my friends tell me they would but I can t It doesn t bother me, not the way I know it should Loc 1558 In my experience, a huge amount of human suffering comes from people thinking they are not feeling the way they are supposed to feel But instead of questioning Jennifer s assumption that she ought to be angry, or inquiring about why she feels obligated to feel that way, Grosz allows her to believe that she is somehow damaged This, of course, paves the way for him to concoct a story that will explain her problems, again proving himself the wise hero And, of course, her tepid relationship with her boyfriend will turn out to be related to unresolved feelings about her dead father Ugh I don t necessarily fault Grosz as an individual here I think this type of hubris isa part of the psychoanalytic tradition than something that characterizes Grosz s particular practices I ve heard him interviewed, and he certainly doesn t come off as conceited or disingenuous Here s another example of the same problem Alice is dealing with the ongoing trauma of having lost an infant son A couple of days ago I was in the kitchen making breakfast, listening to the radio, and there was that dreadful news story about those kids that got killed in a boating accident I thought, Jack s safe from drowning I think like that Jack s safe from drunk drivers Jack won t ever get cancer or have a heart attack my baby s safe That s crazy I shouldn t be thinking like that Loc 2106 While I actually think Grosz ultimately handles this patient in a very sensitive and responsible way, I was struck by the fact that he didn t question her here To me, Alice s thoughts seem perfectly reasonable for someone who has lost a child Isn t it part of a therapist s job to point out when someone is beating him or herself up for having thoughts or feelings that aren t actually harmful, unnatural, or even particularly surprising But pointing out that certain problems aren t anythingthan powerful emotions that need to be accepted rather than rejected by those who experience them would preclude the psychoanalyst s primary function, which is to build a story that explains the problem instead of delineating between actual problems and illusory ones.So, after all this ranting, perhaps you are wondering why I would give this book a favorable rating I have a few reasons First, I value books that make me think, even if a lot of that thinking goes into negative appraisals of the text in question For such a short book, The Examined Life is teeming with opportunities to test your assumptions and battle internally about how to assess Grosz s insights and methods I genuinely wrestled with myself over this book, and I still feel conflicted about many of my conclusions, including ones highlighted in this review Another reason is that, for all its problems, this book contains many genuinely interesting and inspiring insights about the human condition I have focused a lot on a few of the stories that really bothered me, but there were plenty that didn t activate any red flags A lot of it has to do with my own nature as a reader I want Grosz s patients to solve their problems through a kind of real understanding, rather than through a constructed one It s a rather scientific approach, and unfairly so in this case Grosz is not a scientist, and it is not his job to sift through data to build the most realistic possible account of his patients problems Even if such an approach were possible, I have my doubts that it would prove the best way to help a patient comprehend his or her unique predicament Instead, Grosz is charged with helping people construct coherent narratives about why we act the way we do and how we come to be the kinds of creatures that we are And, by this standard, I must admit that he appears to succeed admirably in most cases I ve no doubt that Grosz is an excellent psychoanalyst, and that there are many people out there who owe him a great deal of gratitude This doesn t exempt him from criticism, but it certainly obviates any desire I might have to vilify him Ultimately, this book is a curious and intriguing offering by one who has bravely sojourned much further into the realms of human pain and suffering than most Such courage is to be commended, if not unreservedly condoned

  4. BlackOxford BlackOxford says:

    Cultural Compensation The Examined Life strikes me as a re incarnation of Scott Peck s The Road Less Travelled which was published 40 years ago before Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher decreed the non existence of society Both books are written with the same structure of patient case studies They contain the same histories of development of the writers into therapeutic maturity the same essential message of human psychic complexity and mystery and even some almost identical patient accoun Cultural Compensation The Examined Life strikes me as a re incarnation of Scott Peck s The Road Less Travelled which was published 40 years ago before Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher decreed the non existence of society Both books are written with the same structure of patient case studies They contain the same histories of development of the writers into therapeutic maturity the same essential message of human psychic complexity and mystery and even some almost identical patient accounts This doesn t make The Examined Life redundant, only, I m afraid, another voice crying in the wilderness of a society which doesn t actually register its implications.One of the unexpected side effects of psychotherapy is the establishment of two independent Cartesian worlds the world of everyday life in which people act stupidly as if driven by hidden forces of self destruction over which they have no control and the world of therapy in which the underlying purpose of such behavior is uncovered and found to be entirely rational The first world is full of error, mishap and criminality the second of clever adaptation to circumstances, understanding and reconciliation The first is accepted as reality the second as one of repair for a return to the first They are distinct, separate, and entirely alien to one another, just as Descartes imagined them to be But the first world is definitive as a cultural norm.The second world, let s call it the world of the spirit, is teleological It presumes a purpose which can be articulated in a coherent narrative According to Grosz,all of us try to make sense of our lives by telling our stories When we cannot find a way of telling our story, our story tells us we dream these stories, we develop symptoms, or we find ourselves acting in ways we don t understandAnd empirically, the formulation of such stories does have an effect on the lives involved Therapy for Grosz is largely a matter of helping patients construct coherent stories which allow them to re enter the somewhat solipsistic mechanical world of social cause and effect with some sense of individual purpose As I recall Scott Peck s stories were ones that were essentially false rationalizations Perhaps it us story telling ability tout court which has deteriorated during the period But there is the obvious other side of the coin We live in a culture which chooses to presume that aberrant behavior is just that aberrant rather than a purposeful and quite sensible adaptation to cultural presumptions It appears that, at least in this respect, Freud was correct society does intentionally suppress the individual for its own ends Given the extent of psychic repression involved, it is perhaps remarkable that we have don t havemass murders and terrorism than we do By the standards of psychotherapy, it is society which is in need of help since coherent narratives of purpose have fallen apart The democratic state has demonstrated its essential absurdity the church its political malleability and moral corruption the corporate world its banality and indifference to human welfare Like Freud, I think this social psychic schizophrenia has a great dealto do with the doctrines and cultural remnants of religion than with the necessary conditions for the smooth running of civil society It is religion which has supplied us with the grand narratives of our lives even if we forget or reject them This is particularly so in a Christianity which inserted its narrative of sin into an existing political structure and ideology This Christian meta narrative restricts what other narratives, and therefore purposes, are acceptable and allowed to be thought much less expressed Religion, therefore, once the supplier of narrative coherence for society is now the main impediment to the expression of collective purpose.The narrative limitations imposed by Christianity are of course powerful, not only because of their persistent and pervasive presentation but also because of their political endorsement For example, I live in a rural part of England From a nearby hillside I can see five church spires evenly spaced over a beautiful pastoral landscape The church was and still is present in every village It, not some government department, was historically the enforcer of civil peace in the name of the sovereign and still provides substantial social cohesion In America, the spires and steeples have asubtle butimportant effect Since there is no direct connection among the federal, state, county, and local levels of government except through the courts, the denominational churches have been the traditional glue creating cross geographic social unity.Thus Christianity and its doctrines have been absorbed into the social fabric, including the central concept of sin The idea of sin in Christianity is equivalent to aberrant behavior, is equivalent to subversive intent, is equivalent to criminal act One has only to think thoughts outside the norm to be and to feel guilty This equivalence holds even if we have largely dropped the first term in the series sin from respectable conversation and political debate We don t have amodern term for sin, yet the concept persists in our unwillingness to accept the purposes which occur quite naturally and reasonably in fellow human beings regarding gender, sex, race, poverty, protection, respect, among many others that have been denied as valid and therefore repressed psychically and suppressed socially.So I hope Grosz s therapeutic memoir inspires individuals to consider their own personal stories It certainly has for me But I also hope that it provokes those same individuals to indulge the strangeness of others, including their apparent anti social behavior, asthan what it seems The presumption of purpose in others is often difficult but frequently rewarding, just as it is for oneself And without that presumption, the political search for new narratives of collective purpose will fail Scott Peck was an icon of an era of fading liberalism and its implicit recognition of social purpose Steven Grosz, one can hope, marks some sort of return to the recognition of purpose in an apparently purposeless society

  5. ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣ ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~ ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣ says:

    A reread Q Unless there are payphones in hell, I wrote, Peter is still alive He left a message on my answering machine earlier today, asking for an appointment c Q For a small child, violence is an overwhelming, uncontrollable and terrifying experience and its emotional effects can endure for a lifetime The trauma becomes internalised, it s what takes hold of us in the absence of another s empathy c Q Experience has taught me that our childhoods leave in us stories like this stori A reread Q Unless there are payphones in hell, I wrote, Peter is still alive He left a message on my answering machine earlier today, asking for an appointment c Q For a small child, violence is an overwhelming, uncontrollable and terrifying experience and its emotional effects can endure for a lifetime The trauma becomes internalised, it s what takes hold of us in the absence of another s empathy c Q Experience has taught me that our childhoods leave in us stories like this stories we never found a way to voice, because no one helped us to find the words When we cannot find a way of telling our story, our story tells us we dream these stories, we develop symptoms, or we find ourselves acting in ways we don t understand c Q This sort of gap between what a person says and what he makes you feel is not uncommon think of the friend who rings you when you re down, talks to you in an encouraging, supportive way, but leaves you feeling worse The space between Matt s words and the feelings he provoked in me was enormous He was describing a life that was frightening, but I didn t feel frightened for him I felt uncharacteristically disengaged.In trying to comprehend my indifference to Matt and his situation, I imagined a series of scenes from his earliest months I saw a small baby crying I m hungry, feed me I m wet, change me I m frightened, hold me and being ignored by an unresponsive mother I had the idea that one consequence of Matt s early experiences could be that he did not know how to make someone feel concern for him, because he did not learn this from his mother He seemed never to have acquired a skill that we all need the ability to make another person worry about us c Q Matt suffered from a kind of psychological leprosy unable to feel his emotional pain, he was forever in danger of permanently, maybe fatally, damaging himself.The truth of the matter is this there is a bit of Matt in each of us At one time or another, we all try to silence painful emotions But when we succeed in feeling nothing we lose the only means we have of knowing what hurts us, and whyTypically, what brings a potential patient to a consultation is the pressure of his immediate suffering In this case it was Matt s father, not Matt, who had telephoned for an appointment Matt had learned at an early age to deaden his feelings and to distrust those who offered him help Our encounter was no different Matt did not feel enough emotional pain to overcome his suspicions and accept my offer to meet again c Q , ,, , , ,, ,, Q , , , ,Q , Q , , , , , , ,,, ,, , , , , .Q ,, ,, , , .Q , , , ,, , .Q , , , .Q, ,, , , , , , , .Q . Q , ,, , , , wall, , ,,, , , ,, , ,, , .Q , , , , , ,, , , .Q, , , , , , , , , ,, .Q ,, ,, , , ,,, , ,, , , , , ,.Q, ,, , ,, , ,, , ,, , , ,,,, , ,, , , .Q , , , , ,, , , ,, , ,, .Q, ,, , , ,, , ,, .Q , , .Q , , ,, , , , ,,, , , , ,, , .Q , ,, , ,, ,

  6. Kris Kris says:

    I just had to take off a star from the ranking I gave this book yesterday Grosz knows how to tell a story, but I wanteddepth in the case studies and analyses Everything seemed too simple, too easily resolved, too basic.

  7. Charlotte Charlotte says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I picked this up because I thought it would speak to my interest in how we construct narratives in order to interact with the world and place ourselves within reality And psychoanalysis is a funny one for looking at that kind of thing It always gives me the heebie jeebies a bit as it seems to put the psychoanalyst in a similar position to a priest he who is somehow qualified and able to reach into what is necessarily unknown the subconscious or, in the case of the priest, the word of god a I picked this up because I thought it would speak to my interest in how we construct narratives in order to interact with the world and place ourselves within reality And psychoanalysis is a funny one for looking at that kind of thing It always gives me the heebie jeebies a bit as it seems to put the psychoanalyst in a similar position to a priest he who is somehow qualified and able to reach into what is necessarily unknown the subconscious or, in the case of the priest, the word of god and interpret it for us mere mortals This puts the analyst in a position of power that I m often uncomfortable with when what they re supposed to be doing is normally to liberate someone who is deeply troubled and particularly vulnerable psychologically.Plus, psychoanalysis relies on being done very regularly over a very long period of time a suspiciously lucrative job for an analyst..I met the author this summer and he absolutely blew me away with his warmth, goofy enthusiasm and attentiveness, making me think that perhaps psychoanalysis isn t all that bad after all And so I thought I d get off my suspicious high horse and read his book.AND I hear you ask Well, it was alright I found it frustrating at points in its lack of direction when Grosz seems to withhold a real critique of what s going on with the patient Some of the things that he had to say after telling a patient s story didn t really seem that helpful to me More like general statements.But some were helpful For example, his thoughts on grief and our culture of closure the false hope that we can deaden our living grief.And then on the other end of the wafty critique spectrum, sometimes he would make assumptions about a patient s subconscious workings that I thought were absurd and even potentially harmful What was interesting overall was that people do go to analysis, people do need psychological help sometimes and rules for providing this kind of help are always is a bit mysterious and arbitrary One thing Stephen definitely did do was listen and be present a paid for pal who s not connected to people s lives A lens through which they can look at themselves in order to sort out their problems I am currently arguing in my dissertation that this can be done in other ways though, ways that are less pricey and less riskily submissive

  8. Yomna Yomna says:

    Review after the third read I never read a bookthan once, but this is the third time for me to read this one sigh Still, it s one of my favorite psychotherapy books Even though I m not a psychoanalyst, and I mof a humanistic and cognitive behavioral therapist, I find this book to be a treasure on a personal and professional level You will find yourself somewhere in this book You will come face to face with some of your fears you might continue to ignore your insecurities, or m Review after the third read I never read a bookthan once, but this is the third time for me to read this one sigh Still, it s one of my favorite psychotherapy books Even though I m not a psychoanalyst, and I mof a humanistic and cognitive behavioral therapist, I find this book to be a treasure on a personal and professional level You will find yourself somewhere in this book You will come face to face with some of your fears you might continue to ignore your insecurities, or maybe reach an insight about a struggle in your life This book is all about the untold stories that end up shaping who we are Some parts brought me to tears, other parts made me unable to breathe properly for a while Review after the first read One of my ultimate favorite books I can read it a hundred times and I ll learn new things every time.I find it to be humble when a psychotherapist admits that he learned stuff from his clients, and this book was all about that how psychotherapy is a two way learning relationship And Gorsz shared his experience with the world in this book Perfection

  9. Andy Andy says:

    This is a terrific little book very affecting and powerful, and it came at just the right time for me.It s essentially a series of vignettes from the case histories of a Freudian psychoanalyst short chapters on themes of loss, love, lies, sadness, death and so on I confess that I am rabidly sceptical about the basis of Freudian analysis, but these stories are so touching and thought provoking that my ideological preferences were rendered unimportant What s so powerful about this book is the This is a terrific little book very affecting and powerful, and it came at just the right time for me.It s essentially a series of vignettes from the case histories of a Freudian psychoanalyst short chapters on themes of loss, love, lies, sadness, death and so on I confess that I am rabidly sceptical about the basis of Freudian analysis, but these stories are so touching and thought provoking that my ideological preferences were rendered unimportant What s so powerful about this book is the way that it foregrounds and sharpens the focus on the stories that you tell yourself about who you are, why you do things, and what the meaning of your life is And,importantly, it helps to bring to mind the unconscious or deeply embedded and invisible behaviours that you embody in your daily life the stories that effectively tell you.Recommended

  10. Dov Zeller Dov Zeller says:

    The reviews of The Examined Life on gr are pretty mixed, and I can understand why These pieces are short, intriguing, frustrating Sometimes they go too deep in the sense of reading too much into behavior and constructing far fetched overly worn psychoanalytic metaphors and insinuating them into a situation where they might not be all that helpful And some of the essays are barely constructed, the material relatively unexamined All of this said, I enjoyed the book It reminds me how meaning The reviews of The Examined Life on gr are pretty mixed, and I can understand why These pieces are short, intriguing, frustrating Sometimes they go too deep in the sense of reading too much into behavior and constructing far fetched overly worn psychoanalytic metaphors and insinuating them into a situation where they might not be all that helpful And some of the essays are barely constructed, the material relatively unexamined All of this said, I enjoyed the book It reminds me how meaningful it can be to sit in a room with another person and locate what is present in a dynamic and not being addressed To name an attitude or behavior that is both slyly flying under the radar and somehow longing to be named, can be a life changing event So many of the troubles that harm relationships or keep unhealthy relationships in place, are the unspoken and yet incredibly powerful contracts we make, either because we are in familiar and therefore safe even if unsafe relationship territory, or because we don t know how to value our own experiences, or we are afraid of conflict and change What I found most meaningful in this book was reading about these moments of noticing and naming dynamics that happens in the context of therapy and relates to things happening outside of therapy Sometimes getting unstuck is a matter of naming what is happening at a present moment rather than trying to come up with elaborate metaphors for one s past.So, all in all I think this is not a perfect book, but certainly one worth reading One reviewer compared Grosz s work to Yalom s, favoring Yalom I like both and I think they have similar strengths and weaknesses, but Yalom does tend to bethorough when writing about his cases, and perhaps spendstime engaging the complexity

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