After practising as a psychoanalyst for 25 years, Stephen Grosz has written a book – of the stories his patients learnt to tell on the path to recovery
As human beings we each struggle with things we hate, or run from, in ourselves. But the psychological cost of the feelings, wishes, and thoughts that we run from can be tremendous: we can lose part of our capacity to love, to work, or to enjoy life. Adults can become miserable, limiting their relationships or suffering in silence. They can develop self-destructive behaviors like addictions and become chronically depressed. Children can develop school problems, fail to make friends, or make their parents feel repeatedly infuriated or helpless.
Psychoanalysts work to help others deal with all of who they really are — all that they love, hate and fear in themselves. We care for all dimensions of who a person is, including how they live, their hopes, dreams and anxieties, their good feelings and their bad ones. We want to know what their awareness of themselves is, and how they regard and treat themselves and others. As we work hard witch them by their sides, we help them learn about and face deep feelings, often painful or frightening that are driving them. We help them with unconscious feelings as well as witch those they’re conscious of. We are not afraid of all the depths of the mind, everyone’s “dark side” or “inner demons.” We are as interested in emotions as in thoughts, knowing that emotions run deep. Dealing with inner pain and fear helps those who seek our help to become able to move on, strengthened, balanced and much more at peace, with themselves, in their relationships, and with their lives.