Are human beings destined to find perfect complements in love, or are we more like the fabled porcupines-forever jostling for a place between painful entanglement and loveless isolation? This is the question at the heart of this stunning new book. "People seek therapy only when things have gone terribly wrong in their lives," observes Deborah Luepnitz, one of the field's most gifted psychotherapists and a writer of uncommon talent. "They arrive in the grip of a death wish or some unspeakable obsession, but what is at stake always turns out to be intimacy-the endless dilemmas of loyalty and desire." Schopenhauer's Porcupines recounts five stories from Luepnitz's practice, with patients who range from the super-rich to the homeless-as they grapple with panic attacks, psychosomatic illness, marital despair, and sexual recklessness. We watch their therapy unfold week-to-week, from the first phone call to the final sessions, as these men and women learn, in the words of one poet, "to make room in love for hate."
Written with wry humor and deep compassion, Schopenhauer's Porcupines goes further than any other book in unveiling the secrets of "how talking helps." Its wisdom and intelligence will appeal to readers everywhere who are reaching for psychological renewal and want to go beyond "quick-fix" cures.