Bergner, R.M. / Published 20101 / Article
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Citation: Bergner, R.M. (2010). The Tolstoy dilemma: A paradigm case formulation and some therapeutic interventions. In K. E. Davis, F. Lubuguin, & W. Schwartz (Eds.), Advances in Descriptive Psychology: Vol.9. (pp. 143-160). Ann Arbor, MI: Descriptive Psychology Press.
Abstract: Some psychotherapy clients report a core life problem in which, like Leo Tolstoy over a century ago, awareness of their inevitable death undermines significantly their sense that life can have meaning. This article presents a paradigm case formulation of these individuals. In it, I shall (a) delineate the beliefs embodied in this Tolstoyan world view, (b) show how each is problematic, (c) formulate alternative and more meaning-generative views of reality that may be promoted by psychotherapists, and (d) proffer a number of specific therapeutic recommendations that have proven helpful in my own work with clients in the grip of this dilemma.