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.

The Meaning of Being: Beyond the Quest for Happiness

The meaning of being: Beyond the quest for happiness

But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?

Albert Camus (1989)

Happiness is clearly a complex matter. It would seem that Nietzsche was right that happiness cannot be had without unhappiness. And if that is so, then before anything else we need courage in living our daily lives. Facing the paradox of existence requires resilience. And as we have seen for some such resilience seems out of reach. They never achieve the essential harmony between themselves and their lives that allows them to face up to how things stand in reality. They may continue to hope for happiness all their lives without ...

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