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"This book will provide therapists with the tools necessary to help their clients differentiate themselves from their parents, families of origin, and other influences that have unconsciously dominated and predetermined their lives. The authors argue that most of us are unaware of the extent to which our lives have been predetermined and pre-empted by a parent whose thoughts, beliefs, and feelings can actually be antagonistic to our own goals and desires. An integrative theoretical approach to personality development and human behavior is introduced, providing the foundation for an innovative cognitive-affective-behavioral therapeutic process centered around Firestone's Voice Therapy technique"--
How much of our identity or 'self' is truly representative of our own wants, needs, and goals in life and how much does it reflect the desires and priorities of someone else? Are we following our own destiny or are we unconsciously repeating the lives of our parents, living according to their values, ideals, and beliefs? In this thought-provoking book, noted clinical psychologist Robert Firestone and his co-authors explore the struggle that all of us face in striving to retain a sense of ourselves as unique individuals. The self is under siege from several sources: primarily pain and rejection in the developmental years, problems in relationships, detrimental societal forces, and existential realities that affect all people. Through numerous case studies and personal stories from men and women who participated in a 35-year observational study, the authors illustrate how voice therapy, a cognitive/affective/behavioral methodology pioneered by Firestone, is used to elicit, identify, and challenge the destructive inner voice and to change aversive behaviors based on its prescriptions. The theory they describe integrates the psychodynamic and existential approaches underlying voice therapy and is enriched by research findings in the neurosciences, attachment research, and terror management theory (TMT). An important addition to the area of personality development theory, The Self under Siege offers a new perspective on differentiation and the battle to separate ourselves from the chains of the past. It provides psychotherapists and other mental health professionals with the tools needed to help clients differentiate from the dysfunctional attitudes and toxic personality traits of their parents, other family members, and harmful societal influences that have unconsciously dominated their lives. This book will have a special appeal to clients and, in fact, to any person interested in his/her own personal development
Draws on twenty-five years of research and clinical practices to outline a strategy for managing a self-critical inner voice, providing dozens of exercises, questionnaires, self-assessments, and journaling activities. Original.
What keeps people from living in ways that satisfy their individual needs and priorities? This book explores psychotherapist Robert W Firestone's voice therapy technique, the goal of which is to uncover these limiting forces, which are represented by internal messages or voices. Firestone maintains that from childhood, people are prevented from experiencing an individuated life by the pressures of society, particularly the nuclear family. He expounds the theory, which synthesizes psychodynamic and existential approaches, behind his technique. He demonstrates how the therapy helps clients reveal these voices quickly, recognize their source and begin to take a path to a meaningful life.
"This book fruitfully serves those looking to apply Ernest Beckerís ideas psychotherapeutically, in individual counseling or in group therapy. A capstone to Robert Firestoneís 50 years of work in psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and psychiatry and to the numerous books written by these authors, Firestone and Catlett show how to apply the themes and implications of the ideas of Ernest Becker in everyday life. Their basic premise is that accepting death is part of developing an affirming and meaningful experience of life. Contributing to the credibility of their presentation is the wealth of clinical evidence and personal experience Firestone and Catlett incorporate." --The Ernest Becker Foundation "[F]ascinating and an enjoyable read....steeped in well researched and relevant psychological and sociological perspectives applicable to all social studies areas..." --Carol Lloyd University of Chichester "Firestone and Catlettís work is a marvelous achievement....This volume is both innovative and intrepid. Firestone and Catlett challenge prevailing psychoanalytic views on death and they demolish many of the accepted canons of thanatology and existential psychology. ...This is required reading for anyone who purports to talk about death." -- Jerry Piven, PhD Author of Death and Delusion: A Freudian Analysis of Mortal Terror "[A] towering synthesis of personal and clinical wisdom about death....with a superb overview of the psychology of death and death anxiety....Dr. Firestone draws on the best of the existential-humanistic as well as the psychoanalytic thinkers to address a flourishing path toward self-realization." -Kirk J. Schneider, PhD Author, Existential-Integrative Psychotherapy and Awakening to Awe (From the Foreword) Firestone and Catlett's groundbreaking volume assists mental health practitioners in helping their clients learn to accept and face their mortality. They describe the many defenses of death anxiety that keep individuals from achieving personal fulfillment, and also suggest methods to cope directly with fears of death; an approach that, ironically, can lead to more satisfaction, more freedom, and a greater appreciation for the gift of life. This book examines the many destructive consequences of death anxiety, including introversion, depression, and withdrawal from life. Throughout the book, the authors demonstrate the importance of achieving what they call life-affirming death awareness. Key topics include: The dawning awareness of death and its impact on the developing child Literal and symbolic defenses against death anxiety Separation theory and "the fantasy bond" Challenging the defenses that interfere with living fully Microsuicide: the death of the spirit Breaking with limiting religious dogma and cultural worldviews With this book, mental health practitioners and their clients will be able to better understand death awareness, overcome the defenses against death anxiety, and ultimately lead richer, more fulfilling lives.
Many people grapple with destructive thought processes or a "critical inner voice" that directs their behavior and, to varying degrees, limits their lives. Using deeply personal and very human stories based on his own clinical practice, noted psychologist Robert W. Firestone illustrates the struggles of his clients to give words to this "enemy within," and in the process overcome its damaging influence. These revealing and captivating stories offer glimpses into the uniquely human relationship that develops in the therapeutic encounter and demonstrate the powerful impact that the experience has on both client and therapist. Dr. Firestone is the originator of a therapeutic method called "Voice Therapy," by which clients learn to identify the language of the defense system and eventually separate their own point of view from its harmful effects. Each story provides an intimate look into one person's life, illuminates aspects of his or her "dark side," and highlights an important insight into the therapeutic process. This sensitively written book will evoke emotional responses in readers, and inspire them to take action to challenge the dictates of their own inner critic. Taken together, these stories underscore the distinctive merits and continuing relevance of the therapeutic process, especially in our distracted, technological world increasingly detached from feeling. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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