"Madness can afford the individual certain resources and abilities that are not available to others. The fantasy life, free flight of ideas, distortions of reality, and heightened senses . . . offer a unique perspective on the world."
—From the Introduction
Why do some extraordinary individuals overcome mental anguish and produce brilliant creative artistry that is often enhanced by their madness? New York Times best-selling author and noted psychologist Jeffrey Kottler explores this fascinating question in Divine Madness. His book is filled with the compelling stories of emotional turmoil that many great artists have undergone as they struggle for success and survival.
Jeffrey Kottler writes about the dramatic and tragic lives of cultural icons Sylvia Plath, Judy Garland, Mark Rothko, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Charles Mingus, Vaslav Nijinsky, Marilyn Monroe, Lenny Bruce, and Brian Wilson. In this riveting book, Kottler highlights the personal story of each of these extraordinary individuals and analyzes how they struggled to overcome their emotional hardships.
Divine Madness clearly differentiates between those who surrendered to their illness, often taking their own lives, and those who managed to endure and even recover. Kottler details how their profound psychological issues affected their lives and work, their great productivity and success, and how they strove to achieve some kind of personal stability.
The fascinating and brilliantly told stories in Divine Madness help us to find meaning in the incredible lives of these artists. They also serve as an inspiration for those who are grappling to rise above their own challenges and limitations and express themselves more productively and creatively.
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Praise for Author Jeffrey A. Kottler
"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."
"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
"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 it 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."
"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
Jeffrey A. Kottler is professor and chair of the Department of Counseling at California State University, Fullerton. He is the author of sixty-five books, including On Being a Therapist and The Mummy at the Dining Room Table both from Jossey-Bass Publishers.
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