WORKING IT THROUGH by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


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Once again, with concision and deep faith, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross provides significant glimpses of mourning processes--specifically of the ways adults learn to come to terms with grief and other feelings, in workshops at her Shanti Nilaya retreat. The four-day sessions, with their essential themes of unconditional love and peace, offer insight and support to large numbers of the sick, the elderly, their families, and the professionals who work with them. Why have these workshops prevailed when so many similar human-potential-movement gatherings foundered? The few rituals are simple, using basic symbols (a pine cone tossed into a camp fire); the techniques are subtle and uncoercive (no structured humiliations or functional deprivations); the goals are open-ended and broadly appealing. Furthermore, Kubler-Ross herself seems an unintimidating source of religious truths, psychological insights, and gracious sympathy. She also counsels using ""crisp images."" ""We have to be good gardeners,"" she frequently advises; ""Take the shit and use it for fertilizer."" Though Kubler-Ross relies on the words of the most enthusiastic participants for amplification, she freely acknowledges the spectrum of responses--from those dramatically changed to the untouched who withdraw. And, for the first time, she includes a more formal accounting, the results of a survey in which 82 percent of workshop participants responding testified to positive and lasting change. This last evidence is the least convincing; but it is not intended as proof, merely as additional data. Written in the same accessible idiom as her previous works, this has more than 60 photographs of Shanti Nilaya and its pilgrims, capturing moments of anger, sharing, or release with modest candor--and extending the reach of an already persuasive work.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1982
ISBN: 0684839423
Publisher: Macmillan