François Roustang

Just Let It Happen Publication date : April 28, 2006

“What is it that cures someone, that produces change? In the old days, it used to be said it was the work of nature, of the life force. So the only question is: How can life be trapped, how can life be drawn out?”
These are the issues that François Roustang addresses here. His earlier books had examined suffering and how to deal with it. In La Fin de la plainte, he argued that talking and weeping about one’s problems, anxiety and distress served no purpose. In Il suffit d’un geste, he pointed out that real change resulted from a physical approach. Now, in his new book, Roustang delves deeper and extends his earlier penetrating study of what causes change.
What he proposes is a step-by-step process of transformation: accept suffering; be completely present in your actions; stop thinking constantly about yourself and your problems; let your sensations put you back in touch with life; come out of yourself; and put an end to the relentless quest for efficacy, for the total cure, for relief at all cost — but do put yourself in a position to find them.
As François Roustang writes: “If we give our intelligent bodies the time to draw inspiration from our existence as a whole, we will find the gestures that take our lives into account, and we will be freed of much of the pain we suffer. Above all, we mustn’t think; instead, we must allow life in its multiple forms to lead us.”
This is a powerful call to “let go” and a highly original and profound reply to the questions about the efficacy of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. In this, his most powerfully argued book to date, Roustang points the way to the inner path to well-being.

François Roustang is a psychotherapist with psychoanalytic training. For more than twenty years, he has been one of the most virulent critics in France of psychoanalysis, questioning its purpose and results, and arguing that the goal of psychoanalysis must necessarily be the patient’s cure. His position led him to the study of hypnosis and the discovery of its power to produce profound change.