A Therapeutic Journey by Alain de Botton [8/10]

What a healing, eloquent book A Therapeutic Journey: Lessons from The School of Life is! I have not read Alain de Botton for years and have tended to view his School of Life as undoubtedly helpful but also as an upper middle-class self-help clinic. Yet something of this book reeled me in and I suspect it was because I experienced existential anxiety a couple of years ago. Perhaps A Therapeutic Journey best suits not those afflicted with serious mental conditions but those hovering on the edge of serious damage. Be that as it may, the book is a treat, moving from the issues confronting those in despair, to a suite of pictures/photographs offering existential or mental health vantage points, to a sweeping, rousing collection of ideas around the rubric of “hope.” The author writes in soft, compassionate prose that is a pleasure to read, and a wonderful sense of novelty pervades the entire book; this is not typical of how-to tomes. Personally, I found A Therapeutic Journey to be indeed “therapy in the reading,” and anyone anxious or gloomy should seek it out.

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