Divine Madness: Ten Stories of Creative Struggle
December 2005, Jossey-Bass
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"The Last Victim is an engrossing and gut-wrenching read!"
"On Being a Therapist is one of those rare and exciting books that reaches deep into the heart of a profession and discloses not only its day-to-day workings but also the very personal satisfaction, problems, doubts, and joys its practitioners experience."
"In Travel That Can Change Your Life Kottler . . . believes that the urge to travel is activated by more than the need to take a break or see new sights, that is actually an unconscious desire to change something significant about ourselves. Kottler’s book builds convincingly on this intriguing theory. He offers suggestions for planning a journey that can lead to personal transformation."
It's commonplace to observe that the line between genius and mental illness is razor thin, and critics point to a long list of writers, artists and musicians—from William Blake to Sylvia Plath—as illustrations. Kottler, a professor of counseling at California State University, Fullerton, superficially probes the relationship between madness and creativity through 10 case studies of artists who are as famous for their mental instability as their work: Sylvia Plath, Judy Garland, Mark Rothko, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Charles Mingus, Vaslav Nijinsky, Marilyn Monroe, Lenny Bruce and Brian Wilson. An excellent storyteller, he uses these case studies to illustrate the loneliness, sensitivity and intensity that characterized the lives of these artists and the extent to which their personal traumas and psychological instability blossomed into creative genius. For example, he tells how Plath's contentious relationship with her mother and her tortured marriage to Ted Hughes drove her into depression and eventually suicide but also fueled her poetic genius. But the stories of these artists are already very well known, and Kottler offers no genuinely new insights. Moreover, he resorts to sophomoric and clichéd notions—"we are all a little crazy, some more than others," "creativity is thinking outside the box"—to explain the relationship between madness and creativity. (Jan.) (Publishers Weekly, November 14, 2005)"Beyond Blame explains why so many people seem incapable of settling their disputes. It tells how to quit the blame game and how to resolve controversies. I can’t think of anybody who should not read this book."
—Robert Coulson, former president, American Arbitration Association
"The Mummy at the Dining Room Table reaches deep into the heart of human nature. The reader will never be the same after exposure to these fascinating cases. Looking into the therapy hour at the world’s finest therapists and their most unusual cases can change your view of life. Many of the cases are heartwarming while others are beyond belief!"
—Jack Canfield, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series