Arabella Kurtz

The Good Story
  • The Good Story

  • The Good Story is an exchange between a writer with a longstanding interest in moral psychology and a psychotherapist with a training in literary studies. J. M. Coetzee and Arabella Kurtz consider psychotherapy and its wider social context from different perspectives, but at the heart of both their approaches is a concern with stories.

    Working alone, the writer is in sole charge of the story he or she tells. The therapist, on the other hand, collaborates with the patient in telling the story of their life. What kind of truth do the stories created by patient and therapist aim to uncover: objective truth or the shifting and subjective truth of memories explored and re-experienced in the safety of the therapeutic relationship?

    Drawing on great writers like Cervantes and Dostoevsky and on psychoanalysts like Freud and Melanie Klein, the authors offer illuminating insights into the stories we tell of our lives.

J. M. Coetzee’s work includes Waiting for the Barbarians, Life & Times of Michael K, Boyhood, Youth, Disgrace, Summertime and The Childhood of Jesus. He was the first author to win the Booker Prize twice and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003. Arabella Kurtz is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and is completing psychoanalytic psychotherapy training at the Tavistock Clinic. She has held various posts in NHS adult and forensic mental health services and is currently Senior Clinical Tutor on the University of Leicester clinical psychology training course.