Jean Cottraux

Rehearsing Life Scenarios Tomorrow Is Another Day Publication date : April 1, 2001

Why do we keep repeating the same mistakes? Why do we keep falling into the same traps, whether personal or professional? What is it that makes us relive a scenario that does not conform to our deepest selves? What can we do to change scenarios?
Jean Cottraux, a psychiatrist specialising in behavioural and cognitive therapies, shows how we create and, above all, how we maintain ourselves in a situation of unhappiness simply out of loyalty to certain mental patterns. We may keep falling in love with the wrong person; we may insist on following a career which is not right for us; we may create situations of conflict or dangerous behaviour patterns.
We are all capable of trapping ourselves in repetitive life “scenarios”. The author lists some of the main ones, drawing examples from clinical experience, literature, films and television (X-Files, Gone With the Wind). Each example is analysed, the underlying psychological causes examined, and its dramatic consequences revealed. The author then explains, clearly and carefully, what should be done to break the pattern.
This is a key work which will help readers stop choosing the wrong scenario (“That wasn’t the right story”) and to stop making casting errors (“That was the wrong person”).

Jean Cottraux, a psychiatrist, was formerly President of the European Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies. He heads the unit for the treatment of anxiety at Lyon’s university hospital. He is the author of many highly respected works on psychiatry, including Les Ennemis Intérieurs, published by Editions Odile Jacob in 1998.