In a world rife with traumatizing illness , death, and violence, multiple cataclysms, environmental destruction, and mind-numbing distractions, I welcome you to this website as a place of grounding and healing where you can return to your heart's innate wisdom and reconnect with your spirit, even in its darkest moments
Read an excerpt from Healing Through the Dark Emotions: the Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair
Read poems written from the front lines of the opiate epidemic in my forthcoming book, The Heroin Addict's Mother (Atmosphere Press, January 28, 2021)
Be inspired by a gallery of photos and quotations
Boston Globe Bestseller
Winner of 2004 Nautilus Award in self-help/psychology
In an age of global threats and multiple cataclysms, the dark emotions of grief, fear, and despair have become widespread and overwhelming. Our culture calls these emotions 'negative' and views them as symptoms of mental disorder or spiritual inadequacy, harmful unless controlled.
This book takes a fresh approach to the three core dark emotions that humans most dread and devalue and makes the case that the avoidance and denial of these emotions, not the emotions themselves, have led to the epidemic of psychological disorders characteristic of our age: chronic depression & anxiety, psychic numbing, widespread addiction, and irrational violence.
By befriending the dark emotions, we discover their innate intelligence and purpose. We learn the alchemy by which grief turns to gratitude, fear delivers us to joy, and despair becomes a doorway to a more resilient faith in life. The wisdom of the dark emotions helps us to heal and transform our lives as well as to strengthen our connections to one another and the world.
This is a book of remarkable depth. It is also engaging and wonderfully readable. The author is a brilliant thinker and a natural storyteller. Best of all, I loved the stories from her own life. I've read countless books about the difficult emotions. None is as interesting, helpful, and riveting as this one--or offer as much hope for our personal suffering and turbulent times. This book is exactly what the world needs.
Harriet Lerner, author of The Dance of Anger
Thoughtful and compelling...a crucial book...(that) teaches us to alter fundamentally our fearful and avoidant relationship to deep feelings. (This book) is a road map to using our own emotional darkness to understand and...change our world.
One of the best spiritual books of 2003
Spirituality & Health Magazine
Greenspan writes intensely and compassionately...a committed, serious look at the emotions most of us would rather sweep under the rug.
The gold standard of books on difficult emotions. This book has the power to heal your body and to change your life and the way you live it.
Dr. Christiane Northrup, author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom
A modern day alchemist, Miriam Greenspan teaches us to turn pain into wisdom and fear and sorrow into energy to improve the world. She offers us a clear and profound analysis of what we must do as individuals and as a species to survive these troubled times.
Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia:Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls
This remarkable book has taught me a whole new way of thinking.
Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People
A beautiful piece of work, destined to be a perennial classic.
Martha Beck, author of Expecting Adam and The Joy Diet
A beautifully written, deeply compassionate, and revolutionary approach to working with the most difficult human emotions. Miriam Greenspan teaches us how to trust our emotions and... listen to the truth they reveal...a practical guide that illuminates how the wisdom of the heart can heal ourselves, each other, and our world.
Janet Surrey, co-author of Women's Growth in Connection.
...a profound and liberating book that helps us discover the life-redeeming power of the very emotions we most fear...and thus opens ways to both our integrity and our freedom.
Joanna Macy, author of Widening Circles
"I have turned to, and deeply benefited from, the wisdom and kindness and hope that you generously share in Healing Through the Dark Emotions. Recently, surviving and recovering from hurricane Harvey has proven to be a trigger for the deep despair which has underpinned my life. After wallowing and fighting and medicating for a month, your book, which sits on a shelf by my pillow, caught my eye. Thanks to you, I am back in my body, grounded, and restored to a state of gratitude, wonder and presence. There are no adequate words to express my gratitude."
G. Gallaway, Santa Fe, Texas
I'm reading Healing Through the Dark Emotions, for me a fiercely compelling book, because it's so evident that my troubles with addiction find their roots in not allowing the dark emotions of grief, fear, and despair into my life since early childhood...Already, I am less of a stranger to myself, and bless you for it. Thank you for this healing gift.
Miriam is an internationally renowned psychotherapist, author, public speaker, workshop leader and poet. In all these capacities, she is known for her unique combination of down-to-earth authenticity and inspiring eloquence. Her lifelong work is about encouraging people to discover that the darkness has its own light.
For more than 4 decades, Miriam worked as a psychotherapist specializing in female survivors of abuse and trauma. Her first book, A New Approach to Women and Therapy, helped pioneer the fields of feminist psychology and psychotherapy--for which she has been honored as a 'Feminist Foremother.'
Her best-selling book, Healing Through the Dark Emotions: the Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair won the 2004 Nautilus Award in psychology for “books that make a contribution to conscious living and positive social change" and has been translated into French, Mandarin Chinese, Dutch, and Korean. Her work has been featured in numerous magazines, including Psychology Today, Ms., Body & Soul, Shambhala Sun, New Woman, Tikkun, Spirituality & Health, The Sun, HuffPost, and LA Review of Books.
The Heroin Addict's Mother, which will launch on January 28, 2021, s Miriam's latest book, a memoir in poetry that serves as a witness to the opiate epidemic that is ravaging millions of families throughout the United States. It has been praised as "a gritty and stirring collection...emanating from the power of a mother's undying love for her addicted child...(that) will resonate with so many out in the world suffering from addiction." It is available at Amazon, Indiebound, and other online retailers.