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Life is a Brief Opportunity for Joy [Kindle Edition]

Will Meyerhofer
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Meyerhofer's first book, Life is a Brief Opportunity for Joy, published in 2010, was intended as an introduction to the experience of psychotherapy.  The result is a brief text intended to get you thinking like a therapist.  It makes an excellent introduction to anyone curious about psychotherapy, its philosophical and scientific underpinnings - and how the process actually works to "unblock" a person and permit them to experience joy in living.   

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Will Meyerhofer, JD LCSW is a psychotherapist with a private practice in Lower Manhattan, New York City.  His other books are "Way Worse Than Being a Dentist" and "Bad Therapist:  A Romance".    He holds degrees from Harvard College, The NYU School of Law and The Hunter College School of Social Work.

Product Details

  • File Size: 431 KB
  • Print Length: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Mill City Press (November 22, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,024 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, accessible and riveting ... November 20, 2010
I expected this book to be a collection of extracts from the author's excellent blog. That would have made for a highly engaging read, but this book is far more than that. It is both an intelligent layperson's guide to psychoanalysis and also a wonderful personal credo - neatly summed up in the title itself. William Meyerhofer believes we all have an opportunity to seek happiness and the right to seek happiness. We are all the complex syntheses of the nature we inherit and the nurture we receive, and our task in this short span of life is to make the best of both - seeking happiness and fulfilment, both for and within ourselves and also through the love and respect of others. It's a compelling philosophy and a compelling read too. Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it December 5, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
I read and relate to the blog, so buying this book was a no-brainer. The first thing I thought as I read this book is "that totally explains my ex" and "this totally explains my sister." But the real point is to begin explaining yourself to yourself. Self examination is hard enough, but this book doesn't just pile your issues into a heap and walk away, but lays a path to get yourself up and moving in a direction towards happiness. Although its not the main point of the book, if you're trying to figure out whether you want to go to therapy, read this book first. It gives a behind-the-scenes view of things to think about, language that gets used, and the goals of the psychotherapy process. As for readability, I like that it has short, direct pros; its classy. As to truthiness, I trust this author's insight. This is a striking departure from my reaction to other self help books, where the authors seem like hot messes or bs artists. To conclude: I got a lot out of the book and will probably read it twice.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Will has put together an easy to digest, concise, and thoughtful look at how to live the life you want. He urges us to find the joy in ourselves and our world (even if it seems impossible sometimes...). A must read!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, informative and useful December 12, 2010
By uesjd
Without getting bogged down in the lingo of the psychotherapist/psychoanalyst, the author manages to give easy-to-understand insights into why we do certain things, or feel certain emotions, or think certain thoughts, and how we can understand the origins of those behaviors and move beyond them. The preface states "No book can substitute for the process of psychotherapy" and I'm sure that's correct, but for those who have never undergone psychotherapy, I think this book might give them an inkling of what they could achieve if they were to do so, and how it might improve their lives. In fact, this book might make a good gift for that person in your life who desperately needs psychotherapy but wouldn't take kindly to an explicit suggestion that he/she consider it. ("I liked this book and I think you'll like it, too" is probably a lot easier to take than "I really think you need to see a shrink.")
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Cover a Book by its Judge February 13, 2012
By Rani
I find it fascinating that readers seem to have a very intense reaction to this book.

Whether positive and life changing to the reader, or having a very intense aversion, these responses interest me.

I think we often attack what we do not understand.

I think we go after what affects us too deeply, or we dismiss it. We tend to have to destroy it somehow, because it forces us to feel.

When we haven't learned it is ok to feel, anger comes up.

This book sat on my nightstand for quite some time before I had the courage to open it up.

Even the title scared me.

To allow myself to have something, to allow in the good, sometimes these are the hardest things we do in life. The simplest lessons can be the hardest to learn.

Will Meyerhofer, MSW, happens to be a Harvard grad and a JD. But you don't need to be a rocket scientist to recognize and apply the concepts in this book. Staying present, forgiving and becoming conscious of the self, expressing the self to ward off depression--such are teachings that seem so simple.

So why is it that as a society so many of us are unhappy? Simple is not easy.

As we learn to deepen our consciousness, I am grateful to have guides such as this one at my disposal. Like a deep meditation, this book reads between the lines. Removing what seem like deeply grooved patterns in the brain, rows of text speak gently yet clearly, instigating new insights. With every page, years of personal damage to the self can be undone.

That is, if you can get past the cover, open the book, and allow yourself to have it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insights told in an accessible style February 7, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It is not often that I come away from a book believing I learned something new about life. This is one of those remarkable books.

As its wonderful title suggests, the driving theme of the book is how to find joy in life. Unlike many books of its kind, the author does not offer instant fixes or faddish solutions. Nor does the author sugarcoat the difficulties of life.

Instead the author helps show the reader how to "take steps" towards joy. A great strength of the book is that the author explains to the reader how the mind works. He draws on everything from evolutionary psychology to Freud to Buddhist philosophy. While I did not agree with everything in it, I learned something from every chapter.

Another strength of the book is that he conveys complex principles through stories. The stories are both interesting and insightful. You will recognize yourself and others in the stories. The stories explain rather than lecture, too.

There is a lot of truth in this book. I've found myself rereading sections of it every few days. The book will give you hope and guidance in life. I highly recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff!
Some things are just meant to be. I "accidentally" came across this book (Kindle version) while doing some unrelated research. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Helene
5.0 out of 5 stars How I wish I had had access to this book ...
How I wish I had had access to this book as a tween! I could have saved thousands of dollars on therapists. This book is a must read for parents and children of all ages.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Accurate and succinct
Mr. Meyerhofer's words are truthful and poignant. He summarizes the faults of the average man and concludes with a definable solution by refining the notion of the timeless... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Angelmarauder
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book
A wonderful read. Definitely a book to pull out when you need to redirect your perspectives back to life's big picture. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Krista Ramirez
5.0 out of 5 stars five stars
This is a wonderful book. The author skillfully synthesizes and offers wisdom from many traditions -- from analytic perspectives, to spiritual practices, to highlights from poetry... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Rebecca W Carman
5.0 out of 5 stars a brief, joyful read
I stumbled across Will Meyerhofer's book on law school, and found the sample chapter hilarious and insightful (even though I've never considered law school). Read more
Published 17 months ago by Sam Torode
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating!
I am currently a practicing attorney who is considering switching career paths like the author did. I've been also engaged in weekly psychotherapy sessions for almost three years. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Considering Master of Social Work
5.0 out of 5 stars Short read but deep book
Highly recommended. This is a deep little book. The concepts and thinking on anger and depression are potentially life changing. Worth reading for that alone.
Published on March 4, 2013 by Henri Cartier Bresson
5.0 out of 5 stars Invigorating and inspiring
This book is psychotherapy in 127 pages. Its a quick/easy read. I was hooked immediately in finished it in 4 hours!
Published on February 23, 2013 by MLB
3.0 out of 5 stars Standard
There's some useful stuff in here, but like most relationship and self-help books, it's about 10 pages worth of information fleshed out to book length with dozens of redundant and... Read more
Published on January 24, 2013 by andylee
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More About the Author

Will Meyerhofer, JD LCSW is a psychotherapist and author living in New York City. For information on Will's psychotherapy practice, visit

Will writes a popular column, "In-House Counseling," for, and also keeps up a blog,, which has received more than 1,000,000 views since it was created in 2010.

In March 2013, Will published a comic novel, "Bad Therapist: A Romance" about a mild-mannered New York City therapist who falls in love with a blue alien from outer space.

Will's first book, "Life is a Brief Opportunity for Joy," an introduction to the philosophy and ideas underlying psychotherapy, was published in December, 2010.

Will's second book, published in October 2011, was "Way Worse Than Being A Dentist (The Lawyer's Quest for Meaning)", based on his columns from No book contains more honesty about the sad state of the legal profession. It has consistently remained on the best seller lists in its category.

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