Acclaimed author and psychoanalyst Adam Phillips has written a marvelous book and one that could not have been discovered by me at a more opportune time. It comes to me as comfortingly rewarding to have several personal beliefs confirmed in light of unsettling developments seeming to permeate my life these days. The many pertinent essays selected as his best acknowledge for once what has weighed on my mind for so many years now. To name just a few certain selected subjects that Phillips wrote digressive essays about example compromise, boredom, obstacles, parenting, desire, and frustration. Though the work is scientific and based on clinical experience, Phillips manages to make each essay interesting and in the vein of what Johnson’s Dictionary
definition of an essay describes as being a loose sally of the mind
. However dense any particular Phillips essay is it still manages to offer enrichment and understanding typically absent from most psychology generally encountered. Though the book is more likely suited to lives of already long accomplishment (read this as old people
), there are kernels scattered within that certainly contain enrichment and some momentary sense of pleasure and satisfaction for anyone seeking a specific answer, suggestion, or confirmation concerning a wide range of topics. Again, comforting
is the word I most associate regarding this book, even in light of its unsettling truths about our defects connected with being human. …The one suffering no one can avoid, and everyone needs to be able to suffer, though they can try to hold themselves back from it, is frustration…Frustration makes us work—it gets us to work and it gives us work to do—but we are not always sure which is the work worth doing. And many of our so-called satisfactions do not appease, or even touch, the frustration we feel.
___Adam Phillips from Punishing Parents