Paradox and Passion in Psychotherapy: An Existential Approach

Paradox and Passion in Psychotherapy: An Existential Approach

by Emmy van Deurzen

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Paradox and Passion in Psychotherapy , second edition, is a fully updated edition of a classic guide to existential psychotherapy by one of its leading practitioner.

  • Examines the personal and subjective dimensions of psychotherapy in a fresh and bold manner
  • Offers practical and common-sense approaches to tackling sensitive issues when working with clients with an emphasis on transparency and authenticity
  • Weaves together concepts of existential psychotherapy with case studies and the author’s experiential observations in a seamless narrative
  • Covers a wide range of intimate existential issues, including loneliness, survival, self-understanding, love, and passion


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118713839
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 07/23/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Emmy van Deurzenis a Philosopher, Counselling Psychologist, and Existential Psychotherapist. She founded the School of Psychotherapy and Counselling at Regent’s College, UK, the Society for Existential Analysis, and the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling, of which she continues to be Principal. She lectures worldwide and is currently Visiting Professor at Middlesex University, UK. She was the first chair of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, and was instrumental in establishing the existential approach in the UK and Europe. Her books include Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling in Practice (3rd edition, 2012), Psychotherapy and the Quest for Happiness (2008), and Everyday Mysteries (2nd edition, 2010).

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Table of Contents

About the Author ix

Preface to the Second Edition x

Preface to the First Edition xii

Acknowledgements xv

Introduction 1

Section 1 Paradox 15

Introduction: The Central Role of Paradox in Human Existence 15

1 Ontological Insecurity Revisited: Self?]confidence Versus Anxiety 23

2 Courting Death: Life in the Balance 37

3 The Survival of the Self: Identity, Freedom and Disintegration 58

4 Intimacy and Love: Closeness and Distance Between Self and Other 69

5 Alienation and Adaptation: Being a Stranger in a Foreign Land 77

Section 2 Passion 87

Introduction: the Central Role of Passion in Human Existence 87

6 A Passion for Life: Rediscovering the Intensity of Living 95

7 Truth as a Touchstone: Reality and Meaning as the Bedrock of Living 106

8 Hard?]earned Lessons: a Therapist’s own Journey to Self?]understanding 121

9 Letting the Client’s Life Touch Yours: the Art of Resonance and Presence 143

10 The Moral Compass: How Can Counselling and Therapy Help? 158

Section 3 Existential Psychotherapy 173

Introduction: A New Way of Working 173

11 Widening Horizons: Universal Dimensions of the Human Dilemma 177

12 What is Existential Analysis? Sketch for an Existential Approach 189

13 Philosophy as Therapy: The Ultimate Goal of our Work 200

14 A New Challenge: Towards Transcendence 208

Section 4 Illustrations of Existential Work 223

Introduction: What We Can Learn From Practice 223

15 Marie?]Louise: Letting Go of the Past in Order to Reclaim it 227

16 Vicky: Learning to Be More by Being Less 233

17 Peter: Finding Oneself in Spite of Psychotherapy 241

18 Jerry: Transcending Trauma 251

Conclusions 263

References 266

Index 273

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Paradox and Passion in Psychotherapy is an eloquent statement about the power of paradox to unshackle lives. It is not by any means an easy statement, nor should it be, but it is conveyed with both clarity and depth. These features, along with its personal anecdotes, case studies, and crisp description of the very latest in existential analytic inquiry, will inspire both students and professionals alike. Paradox and Passion in Psychotherapy is a roadmap to poignant living.

Kirk Schneider, Ph.D., Author of Existential-Integrative Therapy and The Polarized Mind

“Emmy van Deurzen’s Paradox and Passion in Psychotherapy is that very rare thing - a book which inspires the reader and holds their attention from the first page to the last. Both learned and deeply accessible, it addresses unflinchingly the absurdity and wonder of the human condition, and shows how we can use the wisdom and insights of philosophy to become more vital and resourceful in both our everyday lives and our therapeutic practice. A classic text.”

Professor Simon du Plock, Middlesex University, UK

“This second edition is more than an update of a valuable text, but a refinement and development. By taking a personal and heartfelt approach, Professor van Deurzen clarifies how stormy life can be, offers insight into the ways that passion can steady the tiller as we engage with life's difficult yet inherent paradoxes. A stimulating and challenging text that encourages the reader in their search for ethical and passionate engagement with both therapeutic practice and with life more generally.”

Professor Martin Milton, Regents University London

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