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Life is a Brief Opportunity for Joy [Kindle Edition]

Will Meyerhofer
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 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: 309 KB
  • Print Length: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Mill City Press (November 22, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #491,333 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 Concise, Helpful Stories on Finding Joy in Life September 17, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
We all know how many self-help books flood the market. This one stands out from the multitudes. Meyerhofer shares stories from his clients' and his own experiences on looking in the mirror (or talking to your therapist) to understand oneself, specifically to see the self-destructive habits that we humans develop as we become adults. The author leads readers to see the most common problems that we face and how to turn them around to create self-love. In addition, instead of speaking in long-winded platitudes (as too many authors do), Meyerhofer boils down his stories into very well edited segments.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Terrific May 13, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The notion that life is SUPPOSED to be enjoyable may be directly antithetical to the grim, Protestant, tea-partying vision of America, but Will Meyerhofer, first in his blog and now in this book, is one of its most pursuasive and passionate advocates. His pithy and punchy prose makes some difficult psychoanalytic concepts readily accessible to the lay person. I loved it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 1 month 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 2 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 10 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 10 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 16 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 19 months ago 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 19 months ago 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 20 months ago by andylee
5.0 out of 5 stars Positive & Helpful
I really liked the book, and the author's columns and blog. The author was an attorney at a top firm, realized it wasn't for him and decided to explore why. Read more
Published on September 8, 2011 by justapill
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting & Extremely helpful
Although not the answer to everything, Will uses examples from every day life to bring the point home for the reader. Read more
Published on August 16, 2011 by Zara
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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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