This intimate account of a successful analysis illustrates the innovative approach of the analyst, Paul Diel. The anonymous author of the journal was a forty-year-old man beset by anxiety and obsessed with his failures, resentments, fantasies, and disappointments. He was drawn to Diel's method of psychotherapy because of its focus on distorted motivations as the root of emotional disturbance.
Diel saw neurosis as arising from the individual's transformation of every feeling into morbid resentment, imaginary humiliations and victories, feelings of superiority and inferiority, shame at others' opinions, excessive self-justification and self-blame, emotional complaints, and vindictive criticism. Diel's patient unravels the tangle of these negative states in his diary as he recounts his life, faces his inner conflicts, and reflects on his therapy sessions. Through the process of honest and courageous self-examination, he succeeds in discovering the guiding principles that lead him to a more balanced life and happier relationships. Paul Diel's Introduction and Epilogue shed further light on this therapeutic process.