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Awakening at Midlife Hardcover – September 9, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Groundbreaking books like Gail Sheehy's Passages have shown that adults, as well as children, navigate major developmental stages. Many people still view the "midlife crisis" askance, however, believing that it consists of red sports cars for men and empty-nest syndrome for women. Jungian psychologist Brehony argues passionately that the midlife transition is a painful period in which ways of coping that served well during young adulthood crumble. She insists that all adults confront the midlife transition, though it is often diagnosed as isolated instances of depression or anxiety. During midlife, she explains, a terrifying sense of losing one's identity or a mind-numbing boredom actually herald the imminent breakthrough of a deeper, more powerful self, the potency of which can seem overwhelming. Brehony assures readers that a successful completion of the midlife transit results in a richer appreciation of life, along with the sense that one is living from the core of one's being. She proceeds to outline tools to cope with the crisis, from building support systems to dreamwork and prayer. Some of her suggestions here are familiar, and the Jungian cast of her text may leave cold those who haven't embraced the Swiss psychiatrist's ideas. Brehony speaks eloquently within this particular framework, however, and other Jungians should find much of note here.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

With 15 years of experience as a Jungian psychotherapist, Brehony has a view of midlife awakenings that focuses on the spiritual deepening of the self and a broad understanding of the science and mystery of the second half of life's journey. Neither a slick pop-psychology overview nor a scholarly textbook, this straightforward discussion is the ideal choice for thoughtful readers who want to distinguish predictable midlife behavior from the possibilities for unique contributions that still lie ahead. Brehony begins with a concise explanation of Jung's model of the psyche, then expands each premise with personal case histories and stories from myth, philosophy, and literature. This is a hopeful book that covers midlife strategies for personal growth, coming to terms with losses and death, healing relationships, dreamwork, meditation, and the life of the spirit. Many new publications aim themselves at the maturing baby boomers; this inspiring one takes us on a less didactic journey than Gail Sheehy's New Passages (LJ 8/95). Recommended for all public libraries.?Catherine T. Charvat, John Marshall Lib., Alexandria, Va.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 374 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (September 9, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573220248
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573220248
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,876,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 21, 1998
Format: Hardcover
For those enduring a midlife transition, _Awakening at Midlife_ is a godsend. Relying on her own experiences, both personal and professional, as well as the writings of Carl Jung and other gifted teachers and sages, Kathleen Brehony's focus is an overwhelmingly positive one, offering hope and practical guidance for what can be a confusing and tumultuous time of life. The message is that the midlife transition is not an affliction, but rather a profound opportunity for growth and positive personal transformation, and that the goal of this transition is not perfection, but rather completion.
She writes of the "tension of opposites", the agonizing feeling of being torn in two which is often at the root of midlife turmoil, and she understands that the urge to give in, or to choose one over the other, is what one struggles with during this difficult time of life. The solution to this struggle most often does not lie in making a choice, writes the author. Rather ! it is the holding of the tension of opposites which is the secret behind the alchemy of transformation through which we become more conscious, creative and whole human beings. The encouragement and wisdom found within the pages of _Awakening at Midlife_ helps to give the reader the strength to accomplish this, making Kathleen Brehony's book an invaluable aid for anyone facing the challenges of such an amazing midlife metamorphosis.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Fumbling into midlife I found myself in the Self Help section at the local book store. Awakening at Midlife spoke to me on the shelf and reassured me with each chapter read. If you are searching, stop and read Brehoney for a while. You won't be sorry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Toni Tarango on April 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely loved this book; it speaks w/ a real depth and insight that cannot be overlooked if you are dealing with any aspect of mid-life tansition! I found it more than helpful and have recommended it to several people; a few have gotten back to me saying they too found it very helpful.
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