BOOK OF THE WEEK; THE EXAMINED LIFE BY STEPHEN GROSZ.
Stephen Grosz has clocked up an estimated 50,000 hours as a practising psychoanalyst. This book is a selection of some of the conversations Grosz has had with his patients, with each of the short chapters featuring a different patient.
In the first story, he meets a man who has self-harmed and even faked his own suicide. Grosz concludes that the man has a desire to shock others and his self-harm is used as a means to express himself and deal with his troubled childhood days.
Later on in the book, we meet a lonely woman who is having paranoid fantasies that she is being targeted by terrorists. It becomes clear that the reason for these fantasies is that by believing someone was trying to kill her, this prevented her from feeling alone and forgotten.
Throughout the book there is a theme of how we can become self-destructive and cause ourselves more problems by living in denial. As there are numerous patients featured in the book, this allows for a great variety of human emotions to be
examined. This is not a self-help book advocating the benefits of psychoanalysis. Rather, it is an exploration of our need to talk and be understood. It looks at people's everyday lives but with exclusive access to some of their most troublesome worries and regrets. It is also a study of a psychoanalyst at work and shows how Grosz is able to help his patients find clarity in their lives. Grosz is like a detective - by analysing his patients' thoughts and behaviour, he is able to probe deeper into their subconscious and provide expert help. The Examined Life is a fascinating and original read. It is inspirational and shows how we can learn more about ourselves by exploring our subconscious thoughts and beliefs. - Stephen Gillespie
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|Publication:||Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Mar 9, 2014|
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