Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Despair and the Return of Hope: Echoes of Mourning in Psychotherapy

Academic journal article American Journal of Psychotherapy

Despair and the Return of Hope: Echoes of Mourning in Psychotherapy

Article excerpt

PETER SHABAD: Despair and the Return of Hope: Echoes of Mourning in Psychotherapy. Jason Aronson, Northvale, NJ, 2001, 341 pp., $50.00, ISBN 0-7657-0315-7.

This book is composed of three parts. Part 1 contains one chapter on death, meaning, and human relations and a second on conscience and the ethic of mutuality, human development as a passionate labor of gratitude. Part 2 contains six chapters about: (1) selling one's developmental soul, self-betrayal and wearing the mask of the enemy; (2) the compulsion to repeat, homesickness, and to begin again as if for the first time; (3) the silent loyalty oath, symptoms as memorials to one's lonely suffering; (4) on the outside looking in, "waiting at the end of the block," and the sense of entitlement; (5) the evil eye, envy, and begrudging the passion of a new beginning; and (6) giving the devil his due, spite, and the struggle for individual dignity. Part 3 contains four chapters: (1) bringing heaven down to earth, the idealizing transference, and the search for a powerful other; (2) confidence and doubt, the therapist's sense of lovingness, and the use of the personal in psychotherapy; (3) haunting echoes of personal truth, the pangs of regret, and remorse; and (4) self-acceptance and the generosity of letting go, the experiences of mourning, and growth.

This is a well written book consisting mainly of Shabad's personal opinions that should have at least indicated, from the outset, his blind allegiance to a psychoanalytic perspective, where the unconscious is used as an excuse or reason for almost all ills of humanity. …

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