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The State of Disbelief

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781780725444

Price: £12.99

ON SALE: 10th February 2022

Genre: Society & Social Sciences

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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
'A masterpiece... bold and accessible.'
Professor Brett Kahr, Psychotherapist, Senior Fellow at Tavistock Institute
'A beautifully written, profoundly moving and immersive account of grief that will bring solace to readers who have been bereaved, and guide anyone who knows them, who feels at a loss how to understand what they are going through. Which pretty much means all of us, at some point in our lives.'
Louise France, The Times
'Rarely has the physical nature of memory of the dead been so well written about.'
The Oldie
'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
'Great stories - entertaining but not patronising'
Financial Times