In The Importance of Suffering: The Value and Meaning of Emotional Discontent James Davies considers emotional suffering as part and parcel of what it means to live and develop as a human being, rather than as a mental health problem requiring only psychiatric, antidepressant or cognitive treatment. This book therefore offers a new perspective on emotional discontent and discusses how we can engage with it clinically, personally and socially to uncover its productive value.
The Importance of Suffering shows that much emotional suffering is a healthy call-to-change and shouldn’t be chemically anesthetised or avoided. The book challenges conventional thinking by arguing that if we understand and manage suffering more holistically, it can aid individual and social transformation in powerful and surprising ways.
The Importance of Suffering offers new ways to think about, and therefore understand suffering. It will appeal to the educated general reader and anyone who works with suffering in a professional context including those in the fields of counselling, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, psychiatry and clinical psychology.
“The Importance of Suffering is a brave and creative work that will change how we think about human suffering… This is a bold and hopeful book; a major contribution.” – Dr Rebecca J. Lester, Washington University
Davies offers a highly original and insightful approach…Drawing from anthropology, philosophy and psychology Davies weaves a rich narrative that deserves to be widely read.” – Dr Alistair Ross, Oxford University
“This book, fluently and engagingly written, takes us back the revolutionary assertion that the origin of suffering is due to an unduly oppressive social environment. Such a prodding enlivens one’s critical stance and places the book next to classics like Philip Rief’s The Triumph of the Therapeutic, and Ian Craib’s The Importance of Disappointment.” – Professor R. D. Hinshelwood, University of Essex
“Elegantly written in crisp prose, [this book] offers an incisive critique of the medicalization of suffering… Rich in insights of value to psychoanalysts, philosophers, psychologists, and the broadly educated European and North American. Professor Janis H. Jenkins, University of California
“The Importance of Suffering is provocative…[Davies’] argument and treatment of the subject matter is innovative, refreshing, and worth reading and pondering….Davies’ ideas are coherent, counter-cultural and well written in a clear and accessible style. I am eager for those in other disciplines, such as theologians, spiritual directors, chaplains, sociologists, and anthropologists, to review Davies’ work and apply and test his ideas to their own fields”.
— Journal of Religion and Health