We are all storytellers - through stories, we make sense of our lives. But it is not enough to tell tales. There must be someone to listen. In his work as a psychoanalyst, Stephen Grosz has spent the last 25 years uncovering the hidden feelings behind our most baffling behaviour.
The Examined Life distils over 50,000 hours of conversation into pure psychological insight, without the jargon. This extraordinary book is about one ordinary process: talking, listening, and understanding. Its aphoristic and elegant stories teach us a new kind of attentiveness. They also unveil a delicate self-portrait of the analyst at work, and show how lessons learned in the consulting room can reveal as much to him as to the patient. These are stories about our everyday lives: about the people we love and the lies that we tell; the changes we bear, and the grief. Ultimately, they show us not only how we lose ourselves but how we might find ourselves, too.
©2013 Stephen Grosz (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I listened to this in one go, driving on the interminably dull motorway from Dunkirk to Brussels, and on to Liege and Metz. I was so engrossed that I failed - this once - to get angry at the impatience and aggressiveness of Belgian drivers.
Many of these short case narratives have stayed with me. Perhaps not in the complexity of the individual cases but in individual sentences or insights that illuminate human behaviour: it is preferable to be found irritating or paranoid than to be forgotten or ignored; we turn something hurtful into a joke to cloak our pain; we repeat very specific patterns because that's a coping mechanism.
These cases are composed with such economy and concision, and narrated with empathy and warmth, that you feel you're 'there': in someone else's consulting room. A lifetime's experience of psychoanalysis must have gone into the clarity of writing and reasoning. The conclusions and insights appear self-evident and logical (none of my three examples above are evidence of rocket science), but the cases are wrapped in idiosyncratic circumstances, entangled in individuals' speech patterns and replete with pent-up emotions so that it really takes a clinicians' patience and experience to get to the heart of the matter. The art of the book lies in making something inextricable transparent. It is beautifully done, lucidly written and deeply compassionate.
Those Belgian drivers: does ANYONE know why they act like this? Where do they all have to be so urgently?
"Great insights from an experienced professional"
I loved listening to the case studies in this book. Very concisely reported in a story telling way, I found myself moved by many of the individuals whose stories Dr Grosz tells. I could relate to some of the case histories and also learnt a lot overall a very good book.
What a great book we should all get a chance to listen to it... Insightful and helpful on many levels
I loved Peter Marinker's voice. His warmth matched the warmth and intelligence of the words he was reading. I recognised some of the situations described and it made me think about my own life. Actually it made me want to visit a psychoanalyst to help me unpick aspects of my life I found confusing.
I would like to listen to another book read by Peter Marinker. It is particularly well modulated and soothing.
I loved most chapters, but there are a few which are just ok, so all in all very good!
"Very interesting book"
I found this very interesting and one of the best I've listened to.
The true stories about how a psychotherapist works.
It gave the book a more realistic feel
Delve deep into the minds of people thought the eyes of a psychotherapist
"A rich blend"
A fantastic and rich blend of cases about life. It made me think about my life; how I approach many chanllenges and in some instances how I become anxious.
"Please sir, can I have more?!"
Fantastic book, with fantastic narration (there's a gentle and well spoken style that's needed for such a topic and Peter Marinker did justice to it!) - was recommended to me by a friend and I couldn't get enough of it. Heard it all in the course of an evening and following morning! It highlights stuff that you do yourself or are faced with, and how to understand it at least slightly better and respond appropriately. Another such book by Stephen Grosz will be awesome!
"Deeply thought provoking"
I loved this book's pace and succinctness. After every chapter I pressed pause (audio book) and thought about the wise and often moving points that had been made by the author using anecdotes from his psychoanalytic practice. Brilliant.
"really good read."
really ,really interesting however the final chapters are poor and drawn out. can apply the stories to your own experiences
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