Author:  Karen Krett, LCSW

Publisher: Xlibris

ISBN: 978-1-4653-9231-2

Often when times are hard all over, wages and inflation running in opposite directions, dreams shattered, jobs and homes lost, suicide on the rise, HOPE becomes a commodity marketed by televangelists, private vocational schools, salespeople and politicians with a frenzy.

The Dark Side of Hope could not have come out at a better time.  Karen Krett is not only a trained (and, I suspect, highly effective) psycho-therapist but has read widely (and in depth) the classics of  philosophy and works of history (from ancient to modern),  to formulate her important and enlightened theories. I was excited to read herein many ideas I had vaguely pondered over the years so extremely well articulated and supported.

What are these theories? And to whom will they be the most helpful?  To begin with she discusses what people hope for and why, discussing the kinds of childhood deprivations both emotional and financial that can cause people to develop dreams that can be unrealistic and therefore result in repeated disappointments, and what patterns must be broken to allow adults to do the necessary reality checks to find the bright side of hope (i.e to find satisfaction in achieving the possible).  In addition to her excellent background in history and philosophy, the author has paid close attention to modern films and television programming which have indeed been a huge influence on Americans for several generations now. And she includes examples of specific cases that most readers can relate to or recognize as similar to their own experiences or the experiences of friends and/or family members.  Here is just one of many familiar scenarios she describes:

Perhaps you are one of those people who give all their time and energy to a job that feels deeply thankless. Perhaps you are someone  who has been stuck doing the kind of spirit grinding work that never produces joy or satisfaction. Perhaps you are contributing a great deal to the bottom line of your company but receiving  only meager pay. You may have been doing this for years or even decades. Do you still harbor the hope that during the next annual review you will get that promotion you have been waiting for? Do you tell yourself that the really interesting position will open up and be given to you? What is keeping you from moving on, looking elsewhere, from realizing that you are in an environment that is willing to use you but does not value you?” (p. 127)

This book is itself as good as a series of therapy sessions. In fact toward the end, Dr.Krett includes a comprehensive twenty step list of what the person trapped in the shadows of the dark side of hope needs to do to step into the light.  In these truly difficult, even terrible, times, this book can make a serious difference in the lives of people overcome with repeated disappointments and the consequent despair. This book that rationally analyses hope in our seemingly hopeless times can in fact restore the best of what hope can offer.

Follow Here To Purchase The Dark Side of Hope: A Psychological Investigation and Cultural Commentary