François Roustang

Learning to Wait Publication date : February 7, 2008

“What is it that cures someone, that produces change? Nature, or the life force, was the answer given in the old days. So the question remains: How can life be trapped, how can life be drawn out?”

These are the issues that François Roustang addresses here. In La Fin de la plainte, he argued that words and tears served no purpose. In Il suffit d'un geste, he pointed out that real change is a question of physical attitude. Now, in his new book, Roustang delves deeper and extends his earlier penetrating study of what causes inner change.

What he proposes here 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 place 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 highly original, profound reply to the debate about the efficacy of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. Roustang is an original, nonconformist author whose views have imposed themselves. In this, his most powerfully argued book to date, he serves as a guide in an inner journey to well-being.

“This is a rousing call to action,” Psychologies magazine

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. He is the author of Un destin si funeste, Elle ne le lâche pas, Influence, Qu'est-ce que l'hypnose ?, Comment faire rire un paranoïaque ? (1996), La Fin de la plainte (2000) and Il suffit d'un geste (2003).