The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves

Author(s) : Stephen Grosz

The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves

Book Details

  • Publisher : Vintage
  • Published : 2014
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 240
  • Category :
    Popular Psychology
  • Category 2 :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 35505
  • ISBN 13 : 9780099549031
  • ISBN 10 : 0099549034
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This book is about learning to live. In simple stories of encounter between a psychoanalyst and his patients, The Examined Life reveals how the art of insight can illuminate the most complicated, confounding and human of experiences. These are stories about our everyday lives: they are about the people we love and the lies that we tell; the changes we bear, and the grief. Ultimately, they show us not only how we lose ourselves but how we might find ourselves too.

We are all storytellers - we make stories to make sense of our lives. But it is not enough to tell tales. There must be someone to listen. In his work as a practising psychoanalyst, Stephen Grosz has spent the last twenty-five years uncovering the hidden feelings behind our most baffling behaviour. The Examined Life distils over 50,000 hours of conversation into pure psychological insight, without the jargon. This extraordinary book is about one ordinary process: talking, listening and understanding. Its aphoristic and elegant stories teach us a new kind of attentiveness. They also unveil a delicate self-portrait of the analyst at work, and show how lessons learned in the consulting room can reveal as much to him as to the patient.

A woman finds herself daydreaming as she returns home from a business trip; a young man loses his wallet. We learn, too, from more 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. These beautifully rendered tales illuminate the fundamental pathways of life from birth to death. They 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.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Grosz was born in Indiana and educated at Berkeley and Oxford. For the past twenty-five years he has worked as a psychoanalyst. He teaches at the Institute of Psychoanalysis and in the Psychoanalysis Unit at University College London. His stories have appeared in the Financial Times Weekend Magazine and Granta.

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