For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Vitality
A Psychiatrist's Answer to Life's Problems
  • Richard Esser
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Vitality . A Psychiatrist's Answer to Life's Problems
Sound Bite
Depression, confusion, and desperation sap the energy we need to address the challenges of life; Dr. Esser shows how we can uncap a well of energy and vitality to overcome problems and turn our lives around. Optimistic and easy to read, this book gives practical new insights into how to get the best out of living and how to cope with the worst.

About the Author

Richard Esser worked for over forty years as a specialist in adult psychiatry, child psychiatry and narcotics abuse. His major work in the United States included ten years at a psychiatric center in Harlem (New York City), where he worked closely with the eminent psychologist Kenneth B. Clark. For part of this time he was on the faculty of the Cornell Medical College.

After moving to Sweden in 1970, he held senior positions at university hospitals in Stockholm and Malmo. In 1974 he carried out a three-month WHO survey of narcotics abuse in the Philippines and subsequently he participated in several WHO seminars. He has published a number of articles on the subject of psychiatric prevention.

About the Book
Exploring some of the most destructive and dismaying elements of living, a psychiatrist of international stature shows that the best and worst aspects of living are closely related. Stories drawn from his experience with individuals he has...
Exploring some of the most destructive and dismaying elements of living, a psychiatrist of international stature shows that the best and worst aspects of living are closely related. Stories drawn from his experience with individuals he has counseled of diverse backgrounds from Harlem, NY, to Stockholm, Sweden, illustrate his success formula for turning the "worst of living" into the "best of living," tapping the energy of desperation to motivate change. Real-life personal stories illustrate how rage may be used to fuel courage, panic may generate initiative, and hopelessness can be turned to achievement, bringing a new vitality to life. The book offers direct practical guidance by showing what we should be looking for in each of the fundamental spheres of living: loving, friendship, learning, work, idealism and leisure life. The author makes clear what is the true value that can be gathered in each sphere, what makes things go terribly wrong in each sphere, and how one can deal effectively with such difficulty. The author sets out six key elements of the severest desperation that people can experience: rage, panic, violence, hopelessness, and self-destructiveness. The central problem of living, he shows, concerns the need to turn those elements of desperation into their corresponding aspects of vitality. The book sets out six sliding scales that connect craziness with creativity, rage with courage, panic with initiative, and other positive mechanisms that can be harnessed to bring self fulfillment.
Table of Contents
Introduction. What Does a Psychiatrist Know About the Best of Living? Chapter 1. Getting a Kick Out of Living Chapter 2. Turning Living Around, Eight Thumbnail Sketches Tom, Cus, Floyd and MeTurn
Introduction. What Does a Psychiatrist Know About the Best of Living? Chapter 1. Getting a Kick Out of Living Chapter 2. Turning Living Around, Eight Thumbnail Sketches Tom, Cus, Floyd and MeTurning PointDetective WorkCall It MagicDamage DoneClear-SightednessA Head Full of NumbersWhat Worked Chapter 3. Searching for Optimism in the Wilderness of Psychiatry 1. Why is it almost never possible to make a hard and fast psychiatric diagnosis?2. What was mental health?3. Why was it sometimes so difficult to draw a clear distinction between psychiatric problems and problems of social deviance or crime?4. Why was it that the great promise which the use of medications brought with them invariably ended in disappointment? Chapter 4. Learning Basic Lessons in Harlem Chapter 5. The ABCs of Successful Helping AffectionPutting Oneself in Another's ShoesThe Asking-For-Help and the Giving-of-Help Chapter 6. Nuts-and-Bolts Questions People Need Answers to About the Good and Bad in Helping How does one choose a psychiatrist, psychologist or other professional helper? What should one expect from a professional helper, at the start, middle, and end of a helping contact? Chapter 7. The Expert in Living Chapter 8. The Real and the False Rewards of Loving, Friendship, Learning, Work, Idealism and A Private Life LovingFriendshipLearningWork Idealism A Private Life Chapter 9. Where Creativity, Courage, Initiative, Dynamism, Achievement and Self-Fulfillment Come From Putting Together the Resources for Living, the Functions They Serve, and the Sliding Scale of Desperation and Vitality: The Vital Process Chapter 10. The Crux of Living: Turning Craziness into Creativity Chapter 11. The Wonder and the Pitfall in Growing Up Chapter 12. Coming to Grips with the Scariest Part of Ourselves Chapter 13. The Key Question of Prevention
More . . .
Along the way, Dr. Esser shows in concrete terms just what works and doesn't work in helping. He describes and demonstrates how those who would help others can most effectively give them the courage to go ahead and work toward what they want most in life. He show how to know what is good or bad helping when one person would help another, and when one needs such help from a professional. Dr. Esser also dispels the confusion that may be caused by many well-intentioned but...
Along the way, Dr. Esser shows in concrete terms just what works and doesn't work in helping. He describes and demonstrates how those who would help others can most effectively give them the courage to go ahead and work toward what they want most in life. He show how to know what is good or bad helping when one person would help another, and when one needs such help from a professional. Dr. Esser also dispels the confusion that may be caused by many well-intentioned but incomprehensible theories of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. In place of the fear and paralysis that can be engendered by hearing a psychiatric diagnosis, the ideas set forth in this book offer tangible optimism.
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Categories

Pages 248
Year: 2008
LC Classification: RA790.5.E822 2008
Dewey code: 613--dc22
BISAC: PSY049000 PSYCHOLOGY / Depression
BISAC: PSY013000 PSYCHOLOGY / Emotions
BISAC: PSY028000 PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / General
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-618-5
Price: USD 22.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-619-2
Price: USD 32.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-0-87586-620-8
Price: USD 22.95
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