The unspoken yearning that brings people to therapy is often that of a desperate desire for happiness. Should therapists ignore this desire, interpret it or challenge it? And what does our preoccupation with happiness tell us about contemporary culture and the role of the therapist?

In this book, Emmy van Deurzen addresses the taboo subject of the moral role of psychotherapists and counselors. Asking when and why we decided that the aim of life is to be happy, she poses searching questions about the meaning of life. Psychotherapy and the Quest for Happiness seeks to define what a good life consists of and how therapists might help their clients to live well rather than just in search of happiness.

This text makes stimulating reading for all trainee and practicing counselors and psychotherapists, especially those interested in the existential approach.

Predictable Difficulties: Everyday Challenges

Predictable difficulties: Everyday challenges

For I have known them all already, known them all-Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;

(T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: 13)

It is pretty clear now that life is not essentially about happiness. Daily living is usually a fairly treacherous and tricky obstacle course, where many sorrows, joys and other mixed emotions are encountered. To live is to practise a curious and unpredictable sport which consists of facing up to new difficulties at every corner and where seemingly unfair events test our stamina and determination continuously. In this game of life we are exposed to inevitable losses and disappointments, which we have to deal with in order ...

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