The Weekend Read – The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz

41D-6ju+GUL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX385_SY500_CR,0,0,385,500_SH20_OU02_Growing up in non-conformist Wales in a Catholic household meant that Good Friday was a black day. No shops, no pubs, no cinema and no newspapers. I was told it was because this was the day that Jesus was crucified and it should be treated with solemnity.

The habit has stuck – to a certain extent. I find Good Friday a day that still invites reflection and this book is a good choice for this weekend read. I believe that its title is taken from a quote attributed to Socrates, “The unexamined life is not worth living”. The premise of some case stories from a psychoanalyst may not fill the reader with anticipation but this book is  a gem.

Stephen Grosz tells the stories of everyday people who have for a variety of reasons arrived in his consulting room seeking help. From the lovesick to the suicidal he recounts their tales in a manner that is both easy to read and thought provoking.

The phrase “truth is stranger than fiction” came to mind as I hurried through this book for the first read and then forced my self to take it more slowly second time around. In my coach practice I am always listening for what isn’t said, if you like I search for the gaps between the words and the underlying meaning of the language, the writer is obviously supremely skilled at just that.

His conclusion, that if we can work out what’s driving us, then change is always possible, resonated with me personally and professionally.

If you work with people or just interested in how they function then this is a “must read”.

 

Available from Amazon here.

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