Suffering is an inescapable part of life. Some suffering is so profound, so violating, or so dogged that it fundamentally changes people in indelible ways. Many existing therapeutic approaches, from a medical model, treat suffering as mental illness and seek a curative solution. However, such approaches often fail to examine the deep questions that suffering elicits (e.g., existential themes of death, isolation, freedom, identity, and meaninglessness) and the far-reaching ways in which suffering affects the lived experience of each individual.
In The Courage to Suffer, Daryl and Sara Van Tongeren introduce a new therapeutic framework that helps people flourish in the midst of suffering by cultivating meaning.
Drawing from scientific research, clinical examples, existential and positive psychology, and their own personal stories of loss and sorrow, Daryl and Sara’s integrative model blends the rich depth of existential clinical approaches with the growth focus of strengths-based approaches.Through cutting edge-research and clinical case examples, they detail five “phases of suffering” and how to work with a client’s existential concerns at each phase to develop meaning. They also discuss how current research suggests to build a flourishing life, especially for those who have endured, and are enduring, suffering.
Daryl and Sara show how those afflicted with suffering, while acknowledging the reality of their pain, can still choose to live with hope.