Creating a Life of Meaning and Compassion: The Wisdom of Psychotherapy
For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories
Creating a Life of Meaning and Compassion offers a compilation of mature therapeutic insights that are valuable in achieving a better way of living. It describes a unique experiment in applied psychology whereby a group of individuals overcame a wide range of defensive behaviors and transformed their lives. The book documents the knowledge they acquired along the way and offers corrective suggestions based on their experiences. Most important, the authors indicate how the insights achieved can be applied by therapists in clinical practice.
This book offers a comprehensive guide for helping professionals and other people who are interested in their personal development, deepening their friendships, sustaining intimacy in their couple relationships, achieving success in the workplace, and developing healthy child-rearing practices. It points out the value of leading a life marked by adventure and recreation, transcendent goals, and spiritual exploration, and offers fresh views on the past, present, and future of psychotherapy.
I. The Challenge
- A Vision of a Meaningful Life
- Factors That Impede Personal Development
II. Overcoming Barriers To Psychological Development
- Disrupting Fantasy Processes
- Challenging Addictive, Self-Nurturing Lifestyles
- A Feeling Versus Nonfeeling Existence
- Coping With Anger, Passivity, and a Victimized Point of View
- Generosity Versus Withholding
- Challenging Self-Destructive, Microsuicidal, and Suicidal Tendencies
- Defenses Against Death Anxiety
III. Restoring Intimacy in Relationships
- Couple Relationships
- Family Relationships
IV. Philosophical Considerations
- Protecting the Rights of the Individual in Couples and Families
- Societal Forces: Malevolent and Benevolent
- Psychotherapy: Past, Present, and Future?
- The Therapeutic Value of Friendship
- Spirituality, Mystery, and the Search for Meaning
About the Authors
Robert W. Firestone, PhD, clinical psychologist and author, has established a comprehensive body of work that focuses on the concept that defenses formed by individuals early in life often impair their ability to sustain intimate adult relationships and can have a damaging effect on their children. He was engaged in the private practice of psychotherapy from 1957 to 1979, working with a wide range of patients, expanding his original ideas on schizophrenia, and applying these concepts of a theory of neurosis. In 1979, he joined the Glendon Association as its consulting theorist. His major publications include The Fantasy Bond, Compassionate Child-Rearing, and Fear of Intimacy. His studies of negative thought processes led to the development of an innovative therapeutic methodology described in Voice Therapy, Suicide and the Inner Voice, and Combating Destructive Thought Processes.
Lisa A. Firestone, PhD, clinical psychologist, is the director of research and education at the Glendon Association in Santa Barbara, California, and an adjunct faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara Graduate School of Education. Since 1987, she has been involved in clinical training and applied research related to the assessment of suicide and violence potential. Her publications include The Firestone Assessment of Self-Destructive Thoughts (FAST; coauthored with Robert W. Firestone), Voices in Suicide: The Relationship Between Self-Destructive Thoughts and Self-Destructive Lifestyles, The Treatment of Sylvia Plath, and Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice.
Joyce Catlett, MA, author and lecturer, has collaborated with Robert W. Firestone in writing 10 books and has coproduced 37 educational videos for the Glendon Association. She developed the Compassionate Child-Rearing Parent Education Program, a child abuse prevention model curriculum that has been used in six U.S. states, Canada, and Costa Rica. She currently lectures and conducts continuing education workshops at universities and mental health facilities throughout the United States and Canada.