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The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life


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While most psychotherapies agree that therapeutic work in the 'here and now' has the greatest power to bring about change, few if any books have ever addressed the problem of what 'here and now' actually means.

Beginning with the claim that we are psychologically alive only in the now, internationally acclaimed child psychiatrist Daniel N. Stern tackles vexing yet fascinating questions such as: what is the nature of 'nowness'? How is 'now' experienced between two people? What do present moments have to do with therapeutic growth and change?

Certain moments of shared immediate experience, such as a knowing glance across a dinner table, are paradigmatic of what Stern shows to be the core of human experience, the 3 to 5 seconds he identifies as 'the present moment.' By placing the present moment at the center of psychotherapy, Stern alters our ideas about how therapeutic change occurs, and about what is significant in therapy. As much a meditation on the problems of memory and experience as it is a call to appreciate every moment of experience, The Present Moment is a must-read for all who are interested in the latest thinking about human experience.


“Immensely important, indisputably major.....authoritatively straddling the spectrum encompassing psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, adult and child, neuro-science and phenomenological philosophy, and much else, a book which summates many years of preoccupation and collaborative labour, on his part, in a most lucid, concise, and comprehensive way.” — International Journal of Psychotherapy

“Stern writes very clearly so that complex concepts can be readily understood. . . . This book is a gift. . .[A] must-read in order to understand the in-depth work of psychotherapy.” — New Directions in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis