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Wisdom from the Couch: Knowing and Growing Yourself from the Inside Out Paperback – June 10, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A modern day version of M. Scott Peck's now classic work, "The Road Less Traveled..." This is good stuff. -David McMillian, Shreveport Times and KEEL Strategies for Living

Kunst's tone is passionate and sensitive, her writing is clear and moving, and her aim is to help people find truth, love, and meaning in their lives.Wisdom from the Couch will appeal to both lay and professional audiences, including psychoanalysts and other mental health professionals, patients, students, and anyone who seeks to live a more meaningful life. -Dr. Ofra Eshel, Book Review Editor, Sihot - Dialogue, Israel Journal of Psychotherapy

Rather than cover the oft-travelled ground of treating disorders and proffering 6-step life hacks, Wisdom from the Couch tackles such common yet complex issues as gratitude, thinking, work, feeling, balance, guilt, and humility. Not just a description, but how can we do it and why is it important? Dr. Kunst's use of metaphor and storytelling keeps you turning pages.You'll find she has a knack for artfully weaving insights from psychoanalysis, theology, and popular culture in a way that is accessible to anyone seeking a deep understanding. - Dr. Ryan Howes, Psychology Today's In Therapy

From the Author

From the Foreword
In this impressive book for the general reader, Jennifer Kunst finds wisdom not only from her training and practice as a psychoanalyst, but also from her experience of everyday life, from films and children's books, and from her religious training and experience. Not content with the isolation of the clinical situation, she applies the knowledge acquired there to the tasks of everyday life. In doing so, she allows readers to reflect on the psychoanalytic dynamics that might be at play in their own lives. -John Steiner, MD, British Psychoanalytical Society

Special Praise for Wisdom from the Couch
When Freud's ideas were first introduced, they seemed obscure and arcane, and they never became reader--or patient--friendly. In Wisdom from the Couch, Jennifer Kunst artfully presents a number of theoretical ideas, some complex and others simpler, all with such seamless clarity that the work speaks meaningfully to seasoned psychoanalysts, beginning mental health workers, students, parents, and others. -James S. Grotstein, MD, Psychoanalytic Center of California

Dr. Kunst has written a remarkably readable book about what is often a difficult quest for the meaningful life. Despite all our complicated theories and scientific efforts to identify the secrets of a life well lived, I agree with her that it all essentially comes down to one thing, love. Those who read this book will be more equipped to be better lovers of others, themselves and God. -Mark W. Baker, Ph.D., author of Jesus the Greatest Therapist Who Ever Lived

In this marvelous book Jennifer Kunst gives us a highly readable primer on the fascinating therapeutic approach of Melanie Klein--making her case with references to the likes of Shaq O'Neal, The Velveteen Rabbit, and St. Benedict. But even more, her "wisdom from the couch" is offered in terms of a candid and inspiring account of her own spiritual journey. -Richard J. Mouw, Ph.D., President Emeritus, Fuller Theological Seminary
 
All those who have been scratching their heads and wondering how to find their way to a more sane and meaningful life will, if they are open to Jennifer's guidance, begin to find an answer. This book beckons us to open its pages and read with care and attention. -Neville Symington,  Australian Psychoanalytical Society
 
 
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Central Recovery Press (June 10, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937612619
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937612610
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jennifer Kunst, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in Pasadena, CA. She is also a faculty member at the Psychoanalytic Center of California and the Graduate School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary. She writes a popular blog on Psychology Today called "A Headshrinker's Guide to the Galaxy." Dr. Kunst hopes to demystify the process of psychoanalysis and make it accessible to anyone who is searching for a more satisfying and meaningful life.

Psychoanalyst Neville Symington of Australia said about her book, Wisdom from the Couch, "All those who have been scratching their heads and wondering how to find their way to a more sane and meaningful life will, if they are open to Jennifer's guidance, begin to find an answer. This book beckons us to open its pages and read with care and attention."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Wisdom From The Couch is a wonderful tool to help to understand our constant need to work on personal growth. It's written simply, like talking to an old, intelligent friend. Too often in life people feel stuck and lost. The reality is that our thoughts become our life. If you live in negativity, you'll get negativity. Turn that frown upside down and live with a positive mental attitude and watch your world transform! This book is a great reference on how to understand why we think the way that we do and how to achieve positive thoughts by training your brain. Know and grow! Highly recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David on August 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jen Kunst’s book is a wonderfully simple exploration into what makes us tick. She tackles topics like: not avoiding problems and pain, living humbly, being grateful, the interplay of thinking and feeling … all with the goal of helping the reader understand the process of personal and spiritual growth. She writes like a friend (a well-trained one!) who offers suggestions on how to avoid pitfalls in life. If we all would just follow one simple rule we would be so much better off: Accept life as it comes, not as you wish it would be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Speakman on September 23, 2014
Format: Paperback
I am a psychologist myself and I found this book to be at once heartful and practical, encouraging and challenging. I know I will recommend it to my own patients. It is a hard and rewarding process to "grow ourselves", and I took in many things from this book about this process of growth. In particular, I am reminded that growth and change require TIME and that minor change can have a lasting impact. I was also particularly taken with Kunst's discussion of dependency and obedience, and the role of those two qualities in our growth. This is a lovely book and worth the read. Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sabrina Abney on June 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The author shares her intuitive insights into the depths of psychology with clarity and accessibility. She utilizes stories and references from children’s books and pop culture to help explain and offer examples of seemingly complex concepts. This book gives you gem after gem of wisdom on topics like work, humility, guilt, gratitude, love, and even your unconscious. The author makes depth psychology seem easy to understand and apply to your life. I learned so much about myself, and I am a more grateful and more loving person after reading this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anthony Robbins might be humbled after reading this book.

Nothing against Robbins, but it is refreshing to instead discover a book that challenges us to make peace with who we are… warts and all.

Dr. Kunst has written a wonderful book that weaves together psychoanalytic theory and spirituality in an easy to digest yet psychically challenging way.

I think "Wisdom from the Couch" should be required reading for newbies entering psychoanalysis (and even the expertly “shrinked”). It does a superb job synthesizing complex information for the reader to understand and yet provides enough detail to instigate re-reading the book several times.

Humorous personal anecdotes and enlightening stories intertwine with psychoanalytic principles to encourage us to live true to ourselves.

We learn how to embrace reality with all its complexity and contradiction. We do this with a dose of realism by focusing on what we have and not what is missing. We find peace with our inner conflicting states. And finally, we repeat the repair work of mature relationships that fill us with growth, gratitude and love.

Given the choice between walking across burning coals or a lifetime of small course corrections, I’d choose the latter. After reading this book, I’m confident you will too.
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Format: Paperback
After reading this book myself and finding it remarkably clear yet full of depth, I bought several more copies and gave them to people I know--friends, family, the assistant at my neighborhood sunglass store. All of them had asked me about psychoanalysis or its underlying principles, and I had tried to offer on-the-spot answers to their questions, often with some struggle. This book provides much better answers than I can. Each person I know who has read it later told me how helpful it has been in clarifying thoughts, sparking new ones, and generating a more complete way of considering oneself as both an individual and a partner in relationships with other people. I rarely find a book that can offer insight (in the category of "self-help") without feeling superficial or watered-down. This book succeeds. I wrote that Wisdom from the Couch makes psychoanalysis accessible to everyone, but that isn't entirely true. It makes psychoanalytic ideas accessible to anyone with a curious mind--fortunately there are many people with a curious mind who would thoroughly enjoy reading this book, a surprisingly accessible yet thought-provoking collection of universally applicable ideas communicated through the lens of personal experience.
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By erika on February 21, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent, must-read! Dr. Kunst has artfully managed to convey difficult psychological concepts using language, imagery and beautiful stories that don't require a doctorate in psychology to understand - and it's life changing! She is real about the challenges of making lasting positive changes in oneself. She tells it like it is, and she does it without losing grip on hope and the importance of retaining/developing self-love and self-compassion throughout the process. Take a deep breath, prepare to be challenged, and expect to start your journey towards a better version of you when you pick up this book.
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