It happens almost daily in a therapist's office. A patient, recalling a person, an event, an emotion, quite unexpectedly supplies a link from a life in the present to one of the durable myths of our culture. In this moment, the myth becomes a mirror, revealing to the patient the source of disturbance and pain in a pattern of behavior that often stretches a year or longer. The healing process begins. The myth, "eternity breaking into time" in Rollo Mays's words, becomes the focal point of recovery.
Through tracing myths – whether from classical Greece and Dante's Middle Ages, European legend (Faust and the prototype of Sleeping Beauty), or contemporary American life (Jay Gatsby) -- and relating them to the dreams and associations he encounters in his own practice, Dr. May provides meaning and structure for all who seek direction in a morally confusing world.
In this, perhaps the finest achievement of a great therapist, Rollo May writes with "the grace, wit, and style: for which he recently received the Gold Medal of the American Psychological Society.
Originally published in The Times in the early 1920s, these divinely witty and brilliantly observed pieces are still loved today for their warmth and friendly advice and, with their emphasis on fresh, simple, stylish dishes, were years ahead of their time.