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Hope saturates the cultural air we breathe: in movies, songs, advertising, political slogans and self-help books. Now, for the first time, “hope” is being put on the therapist’s couch and its duality is examined in depth.

For too long, hope has been promoted as an unmitigated virtue without any consideration of its darker side. Hope that is a reflex divorced from reality may, all too frequently, impede development and contribute to psychological suffering.

In a childhood lacking in parental love or protection, hope can be the emotional glue that keeps one from falling apart, from losing the thread of life. In adulthood, replaying unconscious patterns of hoping for what can never be interferes with our ability to make good choices in the most important areas of our lives. It may seem as if giving up any hope would be disastrous, but this book offers a different and progressive perspective. By breaking the hold of the dark side of hope, we can become free to direct ourselves toward hopes which can be realized and thereby gain greater fulfillment.

Readers will also receive a comprehensive view of how our culture activates excessive hopefulness and steers us away from important reality testing. One can stay stuck on the dark side of hope in relationships, in work, or as a society. Or one can break free. The Dark Side of Hope answers the many questions that arise about how to differentiate between legitimate hope and the kind that keeps us running in circles. A resounding case is made for how leaving the dark side of hope can empower us to create authentic love and true success in life.

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KAREN KRETT MSW from Fordham University Postgraduate training in Modern Psychoanalysis and Self Psychology In private practice since 1988: 4 years at Long Island Consultation Center 1 year at Catholic Charities Glendale Center for Mental Health Intensive group workshops conducted on: Anxiety and depression Assertiveness and self-esteem Creativity Creating a meaningful life Relationships Member of IAPSP, The International Association for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology