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The Discovery of Being: Writings in Existential Psychology Paperback – December 17, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (December 17, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393312402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393312409
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Clear, accurate, and interesting. There is no better short introduction to the existential approach to psychology.” (Dallas Morning News)

“A brisk, clear, popular introduction to existential psychology/psychotherapy. . . [Rollo May] makes a good case for it as a pragmatically broad and flexible method. . . . A solid, stimulating presentation.” (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

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.

More About the Author


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.

Customer Reviews

It knocks most books for six and is easy to read, yet carries with it soome really profound knowledge.
Edward Mckenzie
I recommend this to anyone interested in learning more about existentialism, existential psychology, and, in particular, existential psychotherapy.
Colin M. Burchfield, Ph.D.
I think it would be broadly appreciated by historians, political scientists, and anyone struggling for context in the modern world.
Mark Winter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 99 people found the following review helpful By dr. on July 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is the most succinct and authoritative introduction to existential psychology and psychotherapy currently available. It contains a variety of May's pithy and penetrating essays on the subject, including his introductory chapter to the classic collection EXISTENCE (1958) that first conveyed the tenets of European existential analysis across the Atlantic to America. When I teach courses on existential psychotherapy, this is one of the titles I like to include as required reading.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Katharena M. Eiermann VINE VOICE on April 8, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Think: Loneliness and Isolation

"...the whole existential approach is rooted in the always curious phenomenon that we have in man a being who not only can but must, if he is to realize himself, question his own being."

The Discovery of Being -- Writings in Existential Psychology -- by Rollo May is a superior introduction to Existential Psychology. If one is concerned with the causes of loneliness and isolation, in the human being -- which is also a major theme of the Existentialist school of thought -- this book is an excellent place to start. The Discovery of Being is a brisk, unclouded read. Stimulating would be an understatement, to say the least.

For those interested in how Existential Psychology applies to Existentialism and Phenomenology, there is a section dealing with Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Freud...as background material. Other interest peaking sections that I enjoyed: How Existentialism and Psychoanalysis Arose out of the Same Cultural Situation, To Be and Not to Be, Anxiety and Guilt as Ontological, Being in the World, and The Three Modes of World. That should be enough to whet one's appetite. --Katharena Eiermann, 2005, the Realm of Existentialism -- Presidential Hopeful
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Colin M. Burchfield, Ph.D. on November 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
Rollo May provides in this book a good introduction to existential psychotherapy. He clearly introduces the central concepts of existentialism and provides wonderful insight into human beings from that perspective. What makes this book especially appealing is the fact that May writes in an incredibly readable manner about sometimes quite obtuse information. I recommend this to anyone interested in learning more about existentialism, existential psychology, and, in particular, existential psychotherapy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Lavoie on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
I've found Rollo May's treatment of the precursors and pivotal events which led to a recognizable school of philosophy and psychotherapy to be very understandable, readable and engaging. He writes in a style that pulls you into the philosophical debate and is adept at explaining the various contentions so that a casual reader of these texts can easily understand and follow the debate. It's a great primer that should lead to further readings in existentialism inspired by the bibliographical references!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Rollo May is the most insightful psychotherapist to ever write. I am a philosopher, not a psychologist, yet I find myself thrown into the position of [religious & philosophical] counselor time & time again. This book reaffirms what I have encountered repeatedly and have coined "suburban psychosis", or the psychological problems of the healthy person. This book provides a much better model for understanding human anxiety and happiness than the mere behavioual models adopted by our modern "qualified" therapists. I reccomend this to everyone--not just therapists, counselors, and clergy. The truths revealed in this book are gems; they will become precious to you and only gain in value over time.
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By Ramatruda on October 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great content, very knowledgeable writer and added so much to the field. Unfortunately a majority of the text was focused on philosophy, with only minimal look at how this adds to psychotherapy. I was looking for a book on therapy, and found a history of existential philosophy. Still very enjoyable, however unfortunately not what I was looking for. I can see how Rollo May influenced current existential analysts, and I will stick with their material as they put more of an emphasis on therapy and less on philosophy. As a caveat, this was the first book that I read of Rollo May's, and therefore this review may be biased due to lack of knowledge of Rollo May's writing style.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Pulls together the historical contexts and driving philosophy of existential counseling and its application. This book explains complex ideas in clear concise language. I think it would be broadly appreciated by historians, political scientists, and anyone struggling for context in the modern world. It is a clarion call for how to approach an increasingly fragmented, industrialized world. An exciting read, one of the best I've read!
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By S. W. Morris on May 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Rollo May for many years - am just now getting around to sharing the book with others.
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