Morality is a subject most ignored and little understood by modern psychological investigation. Why a person acts honorably, or heinously, is one of the most puzzling and least answered questions regarding human behavior. Here the authors posit that despite the fact that hatred and arrogance continually battle compassion and decency as humanity's driving force, people continue to develop altruism, empathy, and concern for others. Goldberg and Crespo demonstrate seven factors crucial to achieving a compassionate life.
Goldberg and Crespo take us inside their treatment rooms, through history, across cultures and into their own personal worlds-at-large to meet clients and acquaintances including a would-be rapist, a virtuous stalker, an adulterous minister, and a young boy with little more than a matchbook and some pride to call his own. Together, the stories of these clients and historical figures including Nazis at Nuremberg reflect a vital theme: Virtuous behavior should not be a mystery. Morality is a subject most ignored and little understood by modern psychological investigation. Why a person acts honorably or heinously is one of the most puzzling and least answered questions regarding human behavior. The authors demonstrate that although within every human breast hatred and arrogance battle compassion and decency as a driving force, people do indeed develop altruism, empathy, and concern for others. Goldberg and Crespo outline seven crucial factors in the achievement of a compassionate life.
This book addresses two audiences. First, it questions modern psychological scientists who have ignored the importance of compassion, virtue, and morality, focusing instead on contrived experimental situations rather than pursuing investigations inas part ofthe actual world in which we live. Yet it is also written for all people concerned with the moral crisis in comtemporary society, and all people seeking personal and social solutions to deal with this crisis.
About the Author
CARL GOLDBERG was a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst for 35 years. He authored 12 books, as well as more than 170 journal articles. He was Editor-for-the-Americas of the International Journal of Psychotherapy. His book, Speaking with the Devil: Exploring Senseless Acts of Evil earned the H.M. Moss Achievement Award in 1997.
VIRGINIA CRESPO is a medical and psychiatric social worker who has treated chronically ill and terminal patients at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York University Hospital, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, and New York State Psychiatric Institute. She has been a field instructor at Columiba-Presbyterian and Roosevelt hospitals, and an Adjunct Faculty Member for Columbia University School of Social Work. She is a member of the Editorial Board for the International Journal of Psychotherapy. She has conducted numerous workshops with Carl Goldberg on interpersonal relations.
Table of Contents
Constructive Shame: An Encounter with an Unfortunate Child
Healing Suffering and Despair through Communion: The Remarkable Psychiatric Case Conference
Moral Inquiry: The Investigation of Human Suffering and Personal Agency
The Mortal Storm: The Struggle between Righteousness and Compassion
A Critical Examination of the Problems with Self-Examination
The Dark Side of Curiosity: A Violent Client Who Read Camus
An Exploration of Impeded Curiosity: The Boy Who Was His Own Therapist
Existential Anguish: The Would-Be Rapist Trapped in Time
Loneliness and Dread: The Woman Who Tried to Escape Time
A Mirror of the Soul: Reflections of a Virtuous Stalker
The Invented Self: The General Who Was Abducted by Aliens from a UFO
A Clinical Perspective on Terrorism: The Failed Courage of the Fanatic
The Personal Story Approach: Reaching a Client Who Did Not Trust
The Adulterous Minister: A Clinical Examination of Moral Responsibility