Rollo May challenges the idea that "mental health is living without anxiety," believing it is essential to being human. He explores how it can relieve boredom, sharpen sensibilities, and produce the tension necessary to preserve human existence. May sees a link extending from anxiety to intelligence, creativity, and originality, and guides the reader away from destructive ways to positive ways of dealing with anxiety. He convincingly proposes that anxiety can impel personal change, as it is only by confronting and coping with it that self-realization can occur.
This book is the result of several years of exploration, research, and thought on one of the most urgent problems of our day. Clinical experience has proved to psychologists and psychiatrists generally that the central problem in psychotherapy is the nature of anxiety. To the extent that we have been able to solve that problem, we have made a beginning in understanding the causes of integration and disintegration of personality.
But if anxiety were merely a phenomenon of maladjustment, it might well be consigned to the consulting room and the clinic and this book to the professional library. The evidence is overwhelming, however, that men and women of today live in an “age of anxiety.” If one penetrates below the surface of political, economic, business, professional, or domestic crises to discover their psychological causes, or if one seeks to understand modern art or poetry or philosophy or religion, one runs athwart the problem of anxiety at almost every turn. There is reason to believe that the ordinary stresses and strains of life in the changing world of today are such that few if any escape the need to confront anxiety and to deal with it in some manner.
This study seeks to bring together in one volume the theories of anxiety offered by modern explorers in different areas of our culture, to discover the common elements in these theories, and to formulate these concepts so that we shall have some common ground for further inquiry. If the synthesis of anxiety theory presented here serves the purpose of producing some coherence and order in this field, a good part of the writer’s goal will have been achieved.
„Orientarea psihoterapiei existențiale nu-și propune să arunce peste bord inovațiile tehnice ale lui Freud sau pe cele din alte ramuri ale psihologiei. În schimb, abordarea existențială își propune să așeze toate aceste descoperiri pe un nou fundament, pe o nouă înțelegere a ființei umane.“ – Rollo May
„O carte clară, acurată și interesantă. Este cea mai bună introducere în abordarea existențială a psihologiei.“ – Dallas Morning News
„Datorită viziunii sale referitoare la posibilitățile de devenire ale omului, Rollo May este un autor pentru ziua de mâine... Timp de mulți ani, a fost unul dintre cei mai temerari pionieri ai psihologiei.“ – Psychology Today
Dr. May discusses five levels of power's potential in each of us: the infant's power to be; self-affirmation, the ability to survive with self-esteem; self-assertion, which develops when self-affirmation is blocked; aggression, a reaction to thwarted assertion; and, finally, violence, when reason and persuasion are ineffective.
The brilliant psychologist Rollo May was a major force in existential psychology. Here, he brings together the ideas of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and other great thinkers to offer insights into its ideas and techniques. He pays particular attention to the causes of loneliness and isolation and to our search to find new and firm moorings in order to move toward a future where responsibility, creativity, and love can play a role.