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The Examined Life Audio CD – Audiobook, 20 May 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 491 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Audiobook, 20 May 2013
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: AudioGO Limited (3 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471347044
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471347047
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.5 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (491 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 530,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Grosz is a practicing psychoanalyst--he has worked with patients for more than twenty-five years. Born in America, educated at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Oxford University, he lives in London. A Sunday Times bestseller, The Examined Life is his first book.

For more information please visit www.stephengrosz.com

Product Description

Review

A beautifully written, affirmative, and nuanced account of a professional life in service to psychoanalytic healing a work of exceptional grace. --Kimberlyn Leary" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

This book is about learning to live. In simple stories of encounter between a psychoanalyst and his patients, The Examined Life reveals how the art of insight can illuminate the most complicated, confounding and human of experiences. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Distilling decades of therapeutic work into a slim volume that reads like a collection of short stories, Grosz offers an intriguing insight into contemporary psychoanalysis. A married father-of-four announces that he is thinking of coming out, aged 71, while a woman who has just celebrated her 50th birthday realises a sexy dream that bothered her was about her son.

Anger, boredom, self-delusion, lying, being stuck, Grosz even shows how boredom is worth thinking about. He draws not just on his patients, but literature too - Scrooge shows us how we can't live a life without loss, a Herman Melville character reveals how `we all have a cheering voice that says "let us start now, right away"' and an opposing, negative voice that responds "I would prefer not to."'

But the real joy of this book is that all this is done with such a light touch. I'd take issue with the other reviewer who suggests we go and read Freud instead - many who are attracted to this book are unlikely to, and that's the very point. It avoids jargon, and in an era when CBT is frequently hailed as The Answer to mental health problems (it's just about the only therapy one can get on the NHS these days, though it's still a postcode lottery), it's a timely reminder not to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. Don't get me wrong, I think CBT can be invaluable tool, but let's remember looking at our entrenched patterns can help patients who suffer too. To have made complex theories accessible to a mainstream audience is a fine achievement, and to Mr Grosz I'd like to say: THANK YOU.
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By Uncle Barbar TOP 50 REVIEWER on 8 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover
To be honest, I am not a fan of Freudian analysis, regarding CBT as a less fanciful, if blunter tool for quickly fixing unwanted behaviour. However, I am fascinated by what people do, why they do it and how they think. I am pleased to say that the author does not shoehorn established Freudian ideas on to individual cases but is more intent on squirreling out a unique reason, based on the client's personal history, to account for their idiosyncratic behaviour. To me, this reflects more what true psychological analysis should be. The author does not confine himself purely to relating the details of his clients. He also describes an intriguing case he learned about while chatting to somebody on an aeroplane flight, proving that the author delights in the machinations of the human mind to the extent that he takes his work home with him.

Each account is gripping in its own right and each gives an insight into human nature and the sometimes obscure reasons which may cause it. As you read, you will recognise the behaviour of friends, colleagues and loved ones of your own and start pondering just what makes them tick... Whether you are a champion of Freudian psychoanalysis or not, there is plenty to enjoy in this book because the stories are well told and intriguing. Whether you agree with the author's reading of the situation is of course open to debate but nevertheless it will get you thinking, and that cannot be bad. I found this to be an absorbing and entertaining read and one that I would highly recommend.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this on my Kindle. Whilst I appreciate that the focus of the book is observations from analysis, I would have liked the book a little better if it had given a bit more information at the end of each chapter (regarding what happened next) which the author did do with the patient who had AIDS - I laughed out loud at the triumph in this patient's comment to his medication ! (and it is to, rather than about his medication!)

However, I do also appreciate that these are real people and as such they are not fictional short stories with neat endings. Additionally, I also know that whilst some patients return to therapy with further problems later in the transit of their lives, some do not and the series of sessions during a current issue is sometimes all that the analyst gets chance to work on/with the patient.

The only chapter I had any concerns about was the one associated with closure. I completely agree that dealing with death does not in any way have neat endings either, but I do sometimes think that with counselling or analysis or any kind of talking therapy, the patient can gain insights into their grief, especially if the person who died was someone with whom the patient had a particularly difficult relationship. Then, as a result of those insights, they are able to find the bereavement process slightly easier.

However, I do think closure is more useful as a concept when people are recovering from serious assaults etc rather than for bereavement so in this respect agree with the author.

I was really glad I had read this book and would recommend it to anyone for the author's insights and honesty - the chapter with his father moved me very deeply. It is one of those few books I've read where I felt I wanted to talk to the author afterwards !
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By Scampo TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 May 2013
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
So many 5* reviews already exist for the print version of this recent book that there hardly seems to remain any more to say about it - the BBC R4 series was also highly regarded. In audio-book form, the book is easy to "read" as you go about your daily life, commuting, doing the housework or whatever. If you haven't tried an audio book, you're in for a treat. I'm convinced it is a form that still needs to "take off", and that it will.

The book is very interesting, being a kind of "short story anthology" where each story, based on a real-life encounter, is from a patient-psychoanalyst session. What is revealed is almost always fascinating and allows us to think very deeply about your own ways of living and thinking. His psychoanalytical "expert" insights become ways for us, too, to develop perceptive insights into our own mind and existence. In that, I think, lies the reason for its success. I prefer to read fiction myself, as a way of exploring the inner mind; but I still thoroughly enjoyed this "non-fiction" account. A reviewer here has written that she prefers this to fiction because "you know these stories are true". Well, that isn't how I read this book, or how I read fiction as both allow us to reflect and consider on another's views.

A highly recommended and excellent "read" (or in this case, "listen"!).
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