Similar authors to follow
Manage your follows
About Edward A. Dreyfus
Before turning to writing fiction, I was a practicing clinical psychologist for fifty-plus years. I have been privileged to enter the lives of countless people as their psychotherapist. Their lives and struggles revealed profound truths about the human condition. Many of the stories I heard in my practice have provided themes for my books. Often a common issue rather than a particular individual stimulated the stories.
Everyone has a story to be told. Usually, we get so caught up in living our lives that we fail to see the extraordinary embedded in the ordinary. We look at our life as just putting one foot in front of the other, trying the best we can to live our lives in a meaningful, productive way. For some of us, the task is merely to survive in the world in which we find ourselves. Sometimes it takes an outsider to tell the story.
As a psychologist, I have tried to help people make sense of their life experience, come to terms with their inner demons, cope with tragedy, and find greater fulfillment. As a writer, I try to tell their story in a way that might help others find meaning, purpose, and fulfillment.
A recurrent theme in my writing is the exploration of the light and dark sides inherent in all of us. I hope to encourage people to embrace both sides, learn to integrate them, and thereby experience a greater sense of wholeness and fulfillment.
More than once, their stories resonated with my own life and helped me to gain clarity and perspective. I am profoundly grateful for the insights provided by those who trusted me with their stories and permitted me to join them on their journey of self-discovery.
I have been married to my wife, Barbara, for almost thirty-five years, have three grown children, five grandchildren, and two pooches named Charlie and Benji. My hobbies include vegan cooking, photography, woodworking, and physical fitness. I am active in nonprofit agencies that serve children, youth, and families. All profits from the sales of my books go to these charities.
Find out more at http://www.edwarddreyfusbooks.com
Customers Also Bought Items By
The Great Recession of 2008 left hundreds of thousands feeling lost and insecure; a similar but much bigger event occurred in 1929. When such events occur, we could fall into despair or perhaps it could be the time to re-evaluate what we really want out of life. What is most important to you? Most of you would say that you'd like to be better, happier people.
In their pursuit of happiness people have defined themselves by their careers, their money, their possessions. They have acted as though their self-esteem, their self-worth, could be bought. Material acquisition became a way of life. Bigger and more is better. And then in a nanosecond it all can disappear. Wealth vanishes, careers and jobs are wiped out. Then what?
This paradigm could be referred to as living life outside in. Defining oneself by stuff that lies outside of our control, by how things appear on the outside, as though happiness and self-worth can be bought, is living outside in.
This book focuses on a different paradigm: living inside out. Rather than defining oneself by titles, wealth, possessions, acquisitions, and other things, this model requires a look inside of ourselves to discover who we really are. It creates an empowering model that places individuals in control of their life, their personal value, and their happiness, rather than placing external circumstances in control of how we feel about ourselves. Religious thinkers, philosophers, secular humanists have for centuries argued that the pursuit of the “golden calf” will not provide ultimate happiness. Dante spoke of selling one’s soul to the devil when we pursue riches rather than focusing on basis human values. Today, thanks to Positive Psychology, we have empirical evidence to support these claims. Incorporating many of the principles of Positive Psychology, this book brings together the thinking from various approaches to the issue of human happiness into a paradigm called Living Life Inside Out.
Positive psychology has changed the way in which many psychologists view human happiness. Historically clinical psychology and psychiatry have focused on ameliorating psychological pain through studying mental illness, seeking treatments for depression, anxiety, addiction, and the myriad difficulties that confront individuals.
For many years humanistic psychologists, myself among them, have argued that human beings are resilient with the inherent capacity to overcome dysfunctional families, disasters, mind-numbing personal tragedies. They have stated that much, if not most of what we describe as psychopathology is the individual's attempt to adapt to these circumstances. They stressed that more time, effort, and research should be expended in understanding how we can help individuals strengthen their capacity to adapt.
This book places emphasis on teaching people how they learn to strengthen their psychological core just as physical trainers stress core exercises for strengthening the body. One’s psychological core is comprised of values, principles, and social consciousness. Just as our physical core gives strength to how we perform physical exercise or athletic performance, our psychological core gives strength to how we perform in life.
The chapters that follow empower people to create a world in which they are in charge by defining themselves from the inside out rather than the outside in. It creates a foundation that cannot be destroyed regardless of the circumstances of their life.
You do not have to be alone; and there is more than one partner for you if you are willing to change your attitudes and put in a little effort. You must give up certain myths, time-honored beliefs, and begin to take charge of your romantic life. Romance is no different from any other aspect of your life. It requires that you take the responsibility for making it happen. Your perfect partner is not going to materialize out of thin air and appear in your living room. You must develop a plan of action and then act upon it. Many folks are very sincere about their desires to be involved with another person, but are not committed to making it happen. Sincerity is an attitude, while commitment is an action. Sincerity without action does not make anything happen.
Let's take a critical look at some common myths about romance.
Myth I. Luck is the essence of romance. Luck has very little to do with romance other than to maintain the illusion that we are helpless pawns in the game of love. Most folks engage in their search for a partner and then hope for the best. These people have no expectation of winning. Many people approach romance in the same way that they approach a gambling table in Las Vegas. They put their dollar on the crap table, roll the dice, and pray. Professional gamblers, however, do everything in their power to increase the odds in their favor. In addition, professional lovers do everything in their power to increase their possibilities of meeting the person of their dreams.
People tend to pray, wish, hope, and dream about finding their ideal mate, but they seldom develop a strategy or plan of action. They spend more time and energy planning a dinner party than the most important human relationship of their lives.
Myth 2: Marriages are made in heaven. This myth is similar to the first one in that it assumes that relationships are preordained, out of the hands of ordinary mortals. It assumes that we do not have any control over the mates we end up with and that we must settle for those relationships in which we which we find ourselves involved. Human beings make choices. Many of them are poor choices.
Myth 3: There is only one partner that is perfect for each of us. If this were the case, then it would not be possible for people to have happiness in a marriage after the death of a spouse. Clearly, since people do indeed find happiness in second and even third marriages, there is more than one potential mate available for each of us. Our job is to increase the probabilities of finding those potential partners.
In order to find these potential mates we must develop a strategy. Just as there is more than one house that we can fall in love with, there is more than one potential mate. If we increase the pool of available partners, we can then fall in love with any one of them. The trick is to set up our criteria, take appropriate actions, and then allow for nature to take its course.
Romance and love at first sight are integral to our fantasies about mate selection. We love to hear stories about how people fall in love. We love the notion of two people gazing across a crowded room, eyes meeting, and love is in bloom. More often than not, these people are in lust, not love. However, this is not to say that this cannot happen. However, it is unlikely.
More often love grows between two people who have a common connection.
With no one to protect them, the twins grow up fearful of attachments to anyone else but one another. They learn to use being idents to hustle the world around them, becoming the ultimate grifters focused on becoming as rich as possible as quickly as possible. Money is power – and they craved power.
As they mature, a fissure begins to emerge in their otherwise symbiotic relationship causing friction between the brothers, threatening to divide them. When one brother becomes involved with a female grifter, their differences become apparent and threatens their relationship.
Similar to his patients, Dr. Edminson has built his life on a narrative created in childhood. While working on the case of a serial killer of prostitutes and strippers, he learns that his adored grandfather may not have been the great man he thought he was. Dr. Edminson then goes on a journey to discover the truth about his life and the family from which he has been estranged. What he learns shakes the very foundation upon which he has built his life sending him into an existential crisis
At 30-something, they find themselves living in Manhattan at the same time and plan a reunion of their secret club. Once they have caught up on their lives, they decide to maintain contact with one another to play racquetball. On one occasion at the court they befriend RAUL CABRERA, a handsome and very prosperous Argentinian who is in the import-export business of antiquities and ancient relics.
Raul invites his new buddies and their wives to a party at his luxurious, 5th Avenue penthouse apartment where they meet Raul’s exotic, sensuous, and beguiling Brazilian wife, SASHA. All four buddies are immediately smitten with Sasha and become hypnotized by her beauty and vixen-like appeal.
Sasha begins to play them all independently right from the beginning. First she seduces Roy, followed in succession by Billy, Sam, and Joey. They all fall under her spell as she works them for her own ends. She convinces each of them that she is in love with them, that Raul is a dangerous drug dealer who commands an army of murderous thugs, and that her life is in danger. She wants to leave him but is afraid. Each of the buddies believes that he is special and will do whatever he can to protect her with the expectation that she will go off with him once she divorces Raul.
They are willing to sacrifice their friendships, their marriages, and their careers for the sultry Sasha, each feeling that he is the chosen one. When Raul falls from the balcony of their opulent high-rise apartment at a party he hosted, the buddies become suspects. Through the police investigation that ensues after Raul's death, they learn that Sasha is the kingpin in a drug cartel and they realize that they were all used for her nefarious purposes. The police conclude that Raul was murdered and each of the buddies becomes suspect.
However, there is one significant difference between the youth culture of the 1970s and the youth culture today. The youth of the 1970s was invested in social change. They were activists and many were considered radicals. There was the Peace Movement, the Women’s Movement, the Gay Liberation Movement, and the Black Power Movement. These movements galvanized the youth of the day and gave them a sense of purpose; it gave their lives meaning. The youth of today have no galvanizing force around which to rally. Hence, todays’ youth must look within themselves for meaning and purpose. And they appear to be ill-equipped to do so.
Students are concerned for their future and the future of the world. How do they make sense of this world and their place in it? These issues are not significantly different from the world faced by the students forty years ago. The difference appears to be in how they deal with these social and political uncertainties. The youth of 40 years ago took to the streets; the youth of today withdraw into texting, Facebook buzz, and video games.
Throughout the book I discuss the human struggle to live a meaningful life. Meaning is derived from the human connection and the commitment to making a difference in the world. It cannot be found through making money, accumulating wealth or material possessions.
It is in the realm of interpersonal relationships and intimacy that I see the greatest differences between the youth of the 1970s and the youth of today. I believe that technology has so permeated the youth culture that it has adversely affected the human connection. Between internet dating services, Skype connections with strangers, social networking, text messaging, and interactive gaming, intimacy between human beings is being eroded. Youth today rarely engage one another except in sound-bites. Deep emotional sharing and commitment to social change has diminished.
The youth with whom I work today have little understanding of what it means to truly connect. Their sexuality is less about intimacy than it is about a detached activity. Pornography has become commonplace and used in lieu of human engagement. The youth of the ‘70s craved intimacy; the youth of today don’t understand the meaning of the term. Their relationships appear to be shallow. What they lack in substance they attempt to make for in quantity. It is not uncommon to see the number of “friends” on Facebook to be in the 100s if not 1000s. It is not uncommon to see groups of young people at the local mall texting their distant friends rather than talking with the friend standing next to them.
I see many young people wanting to revert to a more structured and simpler time with traditional marriage being viewed as the answer. Similarly, they seem to be migrating toward traditional careers. They seem to be trying to make certainty in an uncertain world.
Alternatively, perhaps they have accepted that they will have more than one marriage and more than one career. Perhaps they have accepted that all things are temporary and that nothing is forever.
In spite of all of the changes with which the youth of today have to deal, for many the meaning of life still eludes them. They continue to look outside of themselves for purpose and meaning rather than engage in the journey inward toward self-understanding. Nor do they seem to look for ways in which they can make a difference in the world.