This book purports to redefine therapy as a spiritual practice requiring discipline and a process of creating meaning for one’s life. The word “psyche” originally meant “soul,” and it is that which this book leads the reader back to. As a professional psychotherapist, Dr. Matise describes Freud as not just the discoverer of psychoanalysis but as one who was more spiritual in his approach than is given credit. The book calls therapy back to its roots and original intentions as “soul work.” Therapy is not just for the sick of mind but more and more acceptable to all people, as our modern lives become busier and more detached from one another.
The pressures to succeed and be happy, though widely held Western values, have left individuals devoid of real meaning. In the age of quick fixes, therapy as a process of spiritual growth and development has lost its appeal and conditions us to avoid legitimate pain at all costs. The book provides case studies to clarify the integration of psychology and spirituality. While written from the perspective of a psychotherapist, its audience is far wider, as the book explores human nature and the existential questions of humanity, rather than the nuts and bolts of therapy. This book is for the “searcher” in each of us who is seeking a deeper experience of what it means to really live and not so much be happy, but be real.