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Is suffering harmful or helpful to the development of personality?

Posted: 2nd December 2015 09:55

The Soul in Anguish: Psychotherapeutic Approaches to Suffering presents a variety of approaches to psychotherapeutic work with suffering people, from the perspectives of both Jungian and psychoanalytic psychology.

An important theme of the book is that suffering may be harmful or helpful to the development of the personality. Our culture tends to assume that suffering is invariably negative or pointless, but this is not necessarily so; suffering may be destructive, but it may lead to positive developments such as enhanced empathy for others, wisdom, or spiritual development.

The book offers professionals in any helping profession various frameworks within which to view suffering, so that the individual's suffering does not seem to be random or meaningless.

"Lionel Corbett is someone with the courage and the imagination to tackle issues for which there is no resolution, only the summons to repeated encounters: the religious nature of the human psyche, the intractability of so much suffering, and the inevitability that sooner or later we will all be tested beyond our understanding and coping strategies," Dr. James Hollis said. "What will we do, or become, then? That is where this book begins."

About Dr. Lionel Corbett
Dr. Lionel Corbett trained in medicine and psychiatry in England and as a Jungian Analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago.  His primary interests are: the religious function of the psyche, the development of psychotherapy as a spiritual practice, and the interface of Jungian psychology and contemporary psychoanalytic thought. Dr. Corbett is a professor of depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. He is the author of numerous papers and three books: The Sacred Cauldron: Psychotherapy as a Spiritual Practice, Psyche and the Sacred, and The Religious Function of the Psyche. He is the co-editor of Jung and Aging, Depth Psychology, Meditations in the Field, and Psychology at the Threshold.

The Soul in Anguish: Psychotherapeutic Approaches to Suffering, by Lionel Corbett, PhD available from Chiron Publications.

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