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The Fear of Doing Nothing
Notes of a Young Therapist
Valery Hazanov
ISBN: 9781912573059
Book (Paperback)
Sphinx Books
$19.95
5 x 8
224 pages
July 1, 2019


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For sale in North America only

"Imagine a rich blend of 20th-century Russian literature and philosophy, a 21st-century journalist’s approach to the very real and gritty problems of under-served people, an Irvin Yalom-like focus on the inner and outer worlds of patients, and a first-person account of a beginning therapist’s quest for integrity. You’ll be intrigued by and admire Hazanov’s journey." — Barry A. Farber, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Psychology, Columbia University, and author of Secrets and Lies in Psychotherapy

In the spirit of Mikhail Bulgakov’s A Young Doctor’s Notebook and Sandeep Jauhar’s Intern, this is a deeply honest, searching examination of psychotherapy based on the experiences of a young sceptical trainee in New York City meeting his first patients.

“Why is psychotherapy different from talking to a friend?” Hazanov asks. “Because generations of self-interested therapists told us so?”

Through ten linked stories, we follow Hazanov as he navigates the maze of psychological theories he’s been taught, facing the alarming dissonance between them and the tragic reality of his patients’ lives. "How does psychotherapy work? And why do people not get any better?" Frustrated by fancy jargon and unrealistic depictions, Hazanov is on a quest to dispel the myths of psychotherapy and discover its essence. In The Fear of Doing Nothing he illuminates the intimacy, vulnerability and messiness of the therapeutic encounter, providing his answer to the question of what psychotherapy is.

Valery Hazanov was born in Russia and raised in Israel. He graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a BA in psychology and the humanities and received a PhD in clinical psychology from Columbia University. He is the winner of the White Institute Psychotherapy Case Presentation Award for his paper “The Fear of Doing Nothing,” which served as inspiration for this book. He currently lives in Tel Aviv and works as a psychotherapist with international students at Tel-Aviv University.
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