Pub. Date:
A Good Enough Life After Freud: Psychotherapy in Uncertain Times

A Good Enough Life After Freud: Psychotherapy in Uncertain Times

by Joyce Block


Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, September 30


Through a close examination of the stories that people bring to psychotherapy, Joyce Block, Ph.D. explores the ethical and philosophical conflicts that underlie their symptoms and emotional upheavals. In the protected space of the therapeutic encounter, where all forbidden and irrational thoughts and feelings are permissible, therapist and patient grapple with the age-old questions of what to hope for, how much to settle for, and how to live. Ours are uncertain times, however, and the traditional ideals that used to serve as moral compasses -- self-reliance, forgiveness, sacrifice and love for one's neighbor -- are being re-examined and turned inside out. As the purpose and value of suffering and individual self-fulfillment are alternately defended and challenged by patient and therapist, the reader is invited to reconsider what it means to live creatively and ethically, honestly and generously; in other words, what it really means to live well. Although psychotherapists are generally presumed to be objective third parties, and unlike religious counselors are not supposed to impose their values upon their patients, Joyce Block describes how she and other therapists with different psychotherapeutic orientations wrestle with this impossible ideal. Indeed, there are as many competing versions of how to do good therapy as there are competing versions of what is essential for human flourishing. Once contradictory values are exposed to light and given voice, the meaning of health and happiness unravels and then becomes reconfigured. In this kaleidoscopic process, the therapeutic relationship serves as a microcosm of how to respond to the uncertainties of modern life. A Good Enough Life After Freud offers no simple solutions to either patients, therapists, or readers, but insists that hope resides in our willingness to heighten our understanding and embrace our complexity. This is Freud's legacy and the ever-renewable possibility for living a good enough life.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781461185352
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 08/23/2011
Pages: 326
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.73(d)

About the Author

Joyce Block, Ph.D. grew up in New York City and earned her doctorate in psychology from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 1982. She received her clinical training from Coney Island Hospital and St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center and completed a two year post-doctoral fellowship in psychology at Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. After working in a variety of inpatient and out-patient mental health settings, she opened her private practice in 1985. Transplanted in 1991 to South Bend Indiana (a veritable culture shock for a psychologist who had never been in the midwest before) she has been teaching and practicing psychotherapy for over twenty years. She is the author of two previous books: Motherhood as Metamorphosis. Change and Continuity in the Life of a New Mother, which was published originally by E. P. Dutton in 1990, and Family Myths. Living our Roles, Betraying Ourselves, which was published by Simon and Schuster in 1994. Both books were translated into German by Bechtermunz, Verlag. In connection with her books, Dr. Block has appeared on numerous television and radio talk shows, including "Good Morning America," "Sonya Live," "The Fairfield Exchange," and "Chicago Talks." Trained as a facilitator by the Anti-Defamation League, "World of Difference Institute," Dr. Block has led workshops on social-cultural difference and tolerance for community organizations as well as high school students. She developed her own diverity program, "A Face not a Name," for the John Adams High School in South Bend. Her practice includes a wide variety of people from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, all of whom share a common struggle to make sense of themselves and their lives. Their conflicts and questions concerning what it actually means to feel worthwhile, healthy and happy, are echoes of her own. They have been the inspiration for this book.

Customer Reviews