By Force of Fantasy: How We Make Our Lives

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9780140259964: By Force of Fantasy: How We Make Our Lives

We’ve been taught that fantasies are a waste of time, keeping us from focusing on the realities of our lives. But this innovative study shows us how truly valuable these mental emanations can be. Drawn from clinical experience and research as well as examples from literature and art, here is evidence that fantasies fuel our behavior, test our limitations, and deepen our connections with others. They protect us from acts of desperation and serve as viable life plans. Find out why each of us plays out specific themes from childhood through old age, how we guard our fantasies even from ourselves, and why most of our fantasies are sexual ones. Most important, this groundbreaking study offers encouraging proof that spinning fantasies is no idle pursuit, but rather a critical component in shaping our behavior and personality, and ultimately the path we travel through life.

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About the Author:

Ethel S. Person, M.D., is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons.

From Publishers Weekly:

While many people?as well as early psychoanalytical theorists?discounted fantasies and daydreams as insignificant, such essential constructs help charge and organize our lives and even contribute to cultural formulation and change, argues clinical psychiatrist Person (Dreams of Love and Fateful Encounters). For this accessible, textured and thought-provoking study, she draws on patient anecdotes, interviews and research data. Fantasies assuage needs beyond those of sex or aggression, such as mastery, autonomy and the repair of trauma; Person probes their sources and contents. She also tracks fantasies that unfold and influence life choices, such as "family romances," in which children dream of substitute parents. Other fantasies have broader effects, such as those transmitted from parents or the cultural scripts that help shape male and female identity. Perhaps most intriguing is Person's exploration of the use of borrowed fantasy?such as gay men's affection for iconic divas?and how creative fantasists such as Theodor Herzl transmuted their visions into world-changing actuality. Behavioral Science Book Service and Psychotherapy Book Club alternates.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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