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.

Life Crisis: Triumph over Trauma

Life crisis: Triumph over trauma

I described my spiritual condition to myself in this way: my life is some kind of stupid and practical joke that someone is playing on me.

(Tolstoy, Confessions: 2)

If the ordinary everyday troubles weren't enough to stop us being happy, just to make sure we do not get complacent, we occasionally get confronted with disaster. Sudden crises upset the balance of the lives we so carefully protect and shelter from fate. While we can learn to deal with the repeated trivial challenges that are an inexorable part of our daily existence we don't get to practise weathering these cataclysmic storms. They break out unexpectedly and threaten to mow us down all together. We can never be fully ...

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