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About Rollo May
Rollo May (1909-1994) was an influential existential psychologist and the author of Love and Will, The Courage to Create, and The Discovery of Being.
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"Extraordinary, wise, and hopeful…nearly poetic meditations." —Boston Globe
What if imagination and art are not, as many of us might think, the frosting on life but the fountainhead of human experience? What if our logic and science derive from art forms, rather than the other way around? In this trenchant volume, Rollo May helps all of us find those creative impulses that, once liberated, offer new possibilities for achievement.
A renowned therapist and inspiring guide, Dr. May draws on his experience to show how we can break out of old patterns in our lives. His insightful book offers us a way through our fears into a fully realized self.
"Analyzes life as we are living it, and the analysis is truthful and profound."--New York Times
Loneliness, boredom, emptiness: These are the complaints that Rollo May encountered over and over from his patients. In response, he probes the hidden layers of personality to reveal the core of man's integration--a basic and inborn sense of value. Man's Search for Himself is an illuminating view of our predicament in an age of overwhelming anxieties and gives guidance on how to choose, judge, and act during such times.
In this revised edition of his classic work—the first modern book on anxiety following Freud and Kierkegaard—psychologist Rollo May brings order and lucidity to the subject of anxiety.
Rollo May challenges the idea that "mental health is living without anxiety," believing it is essential to being human. He explores how it can relieve boredom, sharpen sensibilities, and produce the tension necessary to preserve human existence. May sees a link extending from anxiety to intelligence, creativity, and originality, and guides the reader away from destructive ways to positive ways of dealing with anxiety. He convincingly proposes that anxiety can impel personal change, as it is only by confronting and coping with it that self-realization can occur.
"An extraordinary book on sex and civilization....An important contribution to contemporary morality."—Newsweek
The heart of man's dilemma, according to Rollo May, is the failure to understand the real meaning of love and will, their source and interrelation. Bringing fresh insight to these concepts, May shows how we can attain a deeper consciousness.
Here are case studies in which myths have helped Dr. May's patients make sense out of an often senseless world.
It happens almost daily in a therapist's office. A patient, recalling a person, an event, an emotion, quite unexpectedly supplies a link from a life in the present to one of the durable myths of our culture. In this moment, the myth becomes a mirror, revealing to the patient the source of disturbance and pain in a pattern of behavior that often stretches a year or longer. The healing process begins. The myth, "eternity breaking into time" in Rollo Mays's words, becomes the focal point of recovery.
Through tracing myths – whether from classical Greece and Dante's Middle Ages, European legend (Faust and the prototype of Sleeping Beauty), or contemporary American life (Jay Gatsby) -- and relating them to the dreams and associations he encounters in his own practice, Dr. May provides meaning and structure for all who seek direction in a morally confusing world.
In this, perhaps the finest achievement of a great therapist, Rollo May writes with "the grace, wit, and style: for which he recently received the Gold Medal of the American Psychological Society.
The popular psychoanalyst examines the continuing tension in our lives between the possibilities that freedom offers and the various limitations imposed upon us by our particular fate or destiny.
"May is an existential analyst who deservedly enjoys a reputation among both general and critical readers as an accessible and insightful social and psychological theorist. . . . Freedom's characteristics, fruits, and problems; destiny's reality; death; and therapy's place in the confrontation between freedom and destiny are examined. . . . Poets, social critics, artists, and other thinkers are invoked appropriately to support May's theory of freedom and destiny's interdependence."—Library Journal "Especially instructive, even stunning, is Dr. May's willingness to respect mystery. . . .There is, too, at work throughout the book a disciplined yet relaxed clinical mind, inclined to celebrate . . . what Flannery O'Connor called 'mystery and manners,' and to do so in a tactful, meditative manner."—Robert Coles, America
Stressing the positive, creative aspects of power and innocence, Rollo May offers a way of thinking about the problems of contemporary society.
Rollo May defines power as the ability to cause or prevent change; innocence, on the other hand, is the conscious divesting of one's power to make it seem a virtuea form of powerlessness that Dr. May sees as particularly American in nature. From these basic concepts he suggests a new ethic that sees power as the basis for both human goodness and evil.
Dr. May discusses five levels of power's potential in each of us: the infant's power to be; self-affirmation, the ability to survive with self-esteem; self-assertion, which develops when self-affirmation is blocked; aggression, a reaction to thwarted assertion; and, finally, violence, when reason and persuasion are ineffective.
“Clear, accurate, and interesting. There is no better short introduction to the existential approach to psychology.” —Dallas Morning News
The brilliant psychologist Rollo May was a major force in existential psychology. Here, he brings together the ideas of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and other great thinkers to offer insights into its ideas and techniques. He pays particular attention to the causes of loneliness and isolation and to our search to find new and firm moorings in order to move toward a future where responsibility, creativity, and love can play a role.