Death Anxiety and Clinical Practice

By Robert Langs | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ONE
A ubiquitous but elusive dread

The existential mix of human existence couples the celebration of life with the awesome awareness of the eventuality of death. Indeed, personal mortality is a compelling issue for every human being from early childhood on. Given the universality and intensity of this adaptive issue, we would rightfully expect that death-related concerns have a great bearing on emotional well-being and psychological dysfunctions -- and on the psychotherapies designed to ameliorate the more disturbing consequences of death-related conflicts.

The long reach of death into human life, emotional adaptation, and the intricacies of the therapeutic process are the central concerns of this book. Given the scarcity of psychoanalytic writings in this area, the hope is to provide the reader with a deeply wrought set of much-needed perspectives and insights into the many ramifications that death anxiety has for all patients and therapists as they struggle together, in whatever fashion, to resolve a patient's emotional maladaptations in the course of a treatment experience.

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