By (author) Valery Hazanov
A deeply honest, searching examination of psychotherapy based on the experiences of a young sceptical trainee meeting his first patients.
"Why is psychotherapy different from talking to a friend?" Hazanov asks. "Because generations of self-interested therapists told us so?"
In the spirit of Mikhail Bulgakov's A Young Doctor's Notebook and Sandeep Jauhar's Intern, this sparkling collection of ten linked short stories, set in New York city, follows 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 Hazonov illuminates the intimacy, vulnerability and messiness of the therapeutic encounter, providing his answer to the question of what psychotherapy is.
As a therapist who also provides psychotherapy, I felt deeply connected to Valery's experiences. It was overwhelmingly relatable. His book described the true art of balancing the delicate relationship we form with our clients, ever conscientious of our our human-ness, relationship dynamics, boundaries, and clinical orientation. My own fears of being inadequate as a therapist, and inability to always know what is best, has been, at times...depressing. This memoir, so honest, gave me some hope that maybe I am not missing the mark as much as I had feared. Well done, Valery. Thank you.