Review of by Ofra Eshel of: Jennifer L. Kunst’s Wisdom from the Couch: Knowing and Growing Yourself from the inside out Las Vegas: CRP Central recovery Press, 2014, pp. 231.
Wisdom from the Couch is an effort to transport the useful ideas of psychoanalysis out of the scholarly journals and the consulting room to a general audience. It fulfills the desire of the author, Los Angeles psychoanalyst Jennifer Kunst, to bring psychoanalytic wisdom to people who are seeking deep personal development but, for reasons of time and money and personal psychology, could not afford the luxury of a long-term analysis. This is an outreach project of the first order. The reader is introduced to the psychoanalytic models of Freud, Klein, and Bion in an accessible and user-friendly way. Kunst explores the nature of unconscious fantasy, transference, the dynamics of the inner world, splitting and projective identification, infantile states of mind, modification of the super-ego, and even the Oedipus complex but is able to do so with virtually no technical jargon. She is able to accomplish this task by means of story-telling, drawing from children’s stories, Aesop’s fables, ancient myths, scenes from popular films, parables and characters from religious literature, as well as her own personal journey. Kunst’s tone is passionate and sensitive, her writing is clear and moving, and her aim is to help people find truth, love, and meaning in their lives.
Wisdom from the Couch will appeal to both lay and professional audiences, including psychoanalysts and other mental health professionals, patients, students, and anyone who seeks to live a more meaningful life.
Dr. Ofra Eshel
Book review editor, Sihot – Dialogue, Israel J. of Psychotherapy