A Sense of Self
The Work of Affirmation
An exploration of the crucial role of affirmation in human development
A clinical psychologist as well as a sociologist, Thomas J. Cottle is the author of more than twenty-five books. At the heart of his work is a concern with the problems confronted by ordinary people in their everyday lives, the kinds of issues that shape who we are and how we interact with the world around us.
In A Sense of Self, his focus is on affirmation, on that mysterious process by which the self comes to know itself in relation to others and forges an identity. He pays particular attention to the role of devotion, showing how the taking of responsibility for another is the essence of affirmation, which in turn is the fundamental ingredient in the development of a self.
"Cottle has written a tour de force, filled with ideas, insights, and questions. He tells an engrossing story of a notion called affirmation, of the power of its presence to light up our lives, and the power of its absence to plunge us into the darkness of despair."—Lane Conn, Harvard Medical School
"The highest praise I can give to a book is to say to myself, 'I wish I had written this.' Every page contains important insights, lucidly and often elegantly expressed. A Sense of Self is learned without being pedantic, and synthetic without being overly general. Cottle's voice is strong, original, and unique."—Jeffrey Berman, author of Risky Writing: Self-Disclosure and
Self-Transformation in the Classroom