- Hardcover: 166 pages
- Publisher: Xlibris (November 30, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1465392327
- ISBN-13: 978-1465392329
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,444,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Dark Side of Hope: A Psychological Investigation and Cultural Commentary Hardcover – November 30, 2011
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By Karen Krett, LCSW
Library of Congress Number: 201 1960137
In The Dark Side of Hope, author Karen Krett employs a kaleidoscope of examples to show the many facets of hope. Krett is a psychotherapist with an office in downtown Manhattan, NYC. In practice for twenty-three years, she does individual and couples therapy and mediation for separation and divorce.
According to Krett, the dark side of hope is when an individual hopes for things unattainable. She says most of that kind of hope begins in childhood when the child doesn't receive the necessary support, both physical and emotional, from one or both parents. Rather than be let down repeatedly, the child lowers his expectations but keeps hoping that the parent will finally see what he needs and fulfill those needs.
As he grows up, he continues to hope until, as an adult, he transfers that hope to another person. He has low self-esteem so he often chooses a mate similar to the parent who initially let him down. He expects his partner will see his need and fill the longing. When it doesn't happen he feels trapped in an endless loop of hope and unreciprocated need. He usually is unaware of the condition he is in except that he is unhappy. He moves from relationship to relationship, trapped in the destructive endless hope loop.
Krett's commentary includes the cultural role hope plays in society. The American dream is part of the hope culture. For every person who lives the American dream of self achievement, there are many more who keep hoping they too can have a piece of the pie only to have their hopes dashed because they are unsuited for that which they choose.
Often young people are goaded by parents to enter a particular profession when they truly want to do something else with their lives. Instead of trying to fulfill their own aspirations, they try to please the parent. The bar is set too high and they can't meet the requirements of the chosen profession.
Hope touches all aspects of our society from a child hoping he can have a piece of candy to sports events to the dismal hope of wishing for what can't be had. Krett describes how these facets in the kaleidoscope of hope affect the culture. She writes in a way that can be easily understood by most. She begins with the "good" hope and works through to the dark side of hope to finally tell what must be done to extract oneself from the dark side of hope--a process that cannot be done alone. She gives a detailed analysis of the process of withdrawing from the dark side of hope and the healing process that goes with it.
Her work is not without precedent; Krett discusses some great minds and how they presented the concept of hope as a means of survival. For example, she quotes Victor Frankl (author of `Man's Search for Meaning' or logotherapy) as follows: `'Dr. Frankl asserts that without hope for the future a person would die, illustrating this with stories from Auschwitz. However, he also sees that hope can be misplaced and dangerous. When the hoped-for outcome was not achieved, some prisoners died in response to the overwhelming weight of resurgent despair.'
Krett moves form the child's vision of the world - one of trust and hope - to the adult version and the spaces in between where influences from childhood besmirched the growth of the healthy adult. Hope when based on realistic terms is beneficial, even necessary: hope when based on unrealistic illusions is damaging in its parameters. `We can hope for all the myriad possibilities that do exist in our future; we can hope for changes about which we have some control. We can hope for almost anything as long as we are not ignoring the truth that reality has presented to us.'
One of the goals Karen Krett accomplishes in this erudite but exceptionally readable book is to define the dark side of hope in a way that is not only comprehensible but also in a manner that encourage each of us to embrace hope when it is based on realistic possibilities and step out of the dark side of hope when it becomes obvious by careful consideration that hoping for the impossible can only lead to disappointment, depression, and even deeper consequences. It is this pathway that Krett opens that makes this book so valuable - to all of us. Grady Harp, September 12