François Roustang

The End of Complaining Publication date : January 1, 2000

What is the most common reason for going to a therapist? Most patients say it is wanting to change. By the same token, they complain about their present lives. According to François Roustang, all forms of complaining must be dropped; patients must forget their precious egos which serve only to nurture more complaining and whining. Once patients have let go of these trappings, they will be able to remould their lives. They will become childlike once more, opening themselves to the world around them and to others, instead of trying to make themselves seem more interesting in their own eyes and those of their peers by wallowing in their “psychological problems”. The author believes that traditional psychoanalysis only serves to reinforce the very things it seeks to eliminate, and he argues that talking about their problems will not help patients to change. Instead, he holds that bodily exercises and hypnosis can play a central role by revealing the patient’s forgotten potential. In addition, Eastern traditions can teach us how to be in closer harmony with the world around us and to discover what is sacred in our daily lives and activities. This book offers a powerful criticism of traditional therapy and of its failure to reach its avowed goal: to help us to change. It argues for a spiritual approach to inner development.

A philosopher, psychoanalyst and unconventional practitioner, François Roustang is the author of many fascinating works that have become classics in their field, including Un Destin Si Funeste and Qu’est-ce que l’Hypnose?, published by Editions de Minuit, and Comment Faire Rire un Paranoïaque, published by Editions Odile Jacob.