The accent of this book is on ?positive psychotherapy? which can help in addressing day-to-day interpersonal conflicts. The author makes appropriate use of stories intelligently told to invoke intuition and imagination as a useful resource to understand and resolve daily problems. People get overwhelmed and overpowered when concerned with abstract concepts and theories. Since psychotherapy serves as a bridge between patients and non-experts, the stories, poems, maxims and jokes act as important tools to facilitate understanding of ideas and concepts.
Nossrat, an Iranian by birth, is a professor in neurology, psychiatry, psychotherapy and psychosomatic medicine and heads the Wiesbaden Academy for Psychotherapy in Germany, where he has been living since 1954. He says that though psychotherapy reached its height in the European Occident, ?the roots of the tree bearing this fruit lie in the Persian Orient, the country of my birth and youth?. He successfully combines the knowledge of the Orient with the advances made of Occidental problems, especially when geographical distances are vanishing to prove that our ?own experiences are costly; others? experiences are valuable?.
Through stories and maxims, Nossrat highlights three basic principles of positive psychotherapy?principle of hope; principle of balance and principle of advice.
The word positive is derived from the Latin positum which means ?pre-given?. The actual and pre-given are not only disturbances, illnesses, conflicts and prejudices, but also the capability and possibility of resolving the conflicts and the opportunity of understanding each other to work together rather than against each other.
The author begins by telling the story of a wanderer, who trudges along a seemingly endless road, loaded with all sorts of burdens. On moving ahead he has to drag himself painfully, often not perceiving the reason for his laborious trudge. He meets other people on his path and they point out the burden that he carries but he fails to recognise these himself. Even in our own lives, such burdens keep on accumulating on the entire journey causing fatigue and dullness. But freed from the compulsion of carrying these loads, the wanderer is able to free himself from his biggest burden?the millstone. It is the millstone that makes him bend low while walking, preventing him from becoming an ?upright? person. Similarly the inability of a person to be honest will reflect as a difficulty in dealing with oneself and other persons. The author'saim is to show that ?one can stand on one'sposition but should not remain sitting on it?.
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