State of Disbelief

A therapist's story of love, death and mourning

by Juliet Rosenfeld

  • Published: 10 Feb 2022
  • Price: 9.99
  • ISBN: 9781780725444
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‘A beautifully written, profoundly moving and immersive account of grief that will bring solace.’ – Louise France, The Times

When Juliet Rosenfeld’s husband dies of lung cancer only seven months into their marriage, everything she has learnt about death as a psychotherapist is turned on its head.

As she attempts to navigate her way through her own devastating experience of loss, Rosenfeld turns to her battered copy of Freud’s seminal essay ‘Mourning and Melancholia’. Inspired by the distinction Freud draws between the savage trauma of loss that occurs at the moment of death – grief – and the longer, unpredictable evolution of that loss into something that we call mourning, Rosenfeld finds herself dramatically rethinking the commonly held therapeutic idea of ‘working through stages of grief’.

This is a beautifully written meditation on what the investment of love means and how to find your own path after bereavement in order for life to continue.

“A breath-taking piece of work: tragic, terrifying and gripping as any novel, but ultimately, thanks to Rosenfeld's clear-eyed psychoanalytical honesty, also deeply consoling. I don't think writers or human beings can share their experience more movingly and generously than this.”
Julie Myerson
“A brave and beautifully-written account of an experience usually shrouded in silence. This is such an intelligent and honest book.”
Amelia Gentleman
“This powerfully written book has much to say both to the bereaved and to those working with them about loss and how we can come to live with it, lovingly, as we once lived with the one who has died.”
Therapy Today Magazine

About Juliet Rosenfeld

Juliet Rosenfeld is a British psychotherapist whose first book is The State Of Disbelief, published in February 2020, by Short Books. She lives in North London and works in private practice.