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Citing the mythical Baron von Munchhausen's method of rescuing himself and his horse from drowning by hoisting himself up by his pigtail, Paul Watzlawick, in this collection of essays and lectures, asks: do we – by choosing to see the world in a particular way – blind ourselves to seeing it another way? Is it possible to pull oneself (or others) out of some untenable situation and see life from the outside with new eyes?
With his usual insight and wit, Dr. Watzlawick shows us how we can change our perspective of reality to suit our needs rather than adhering to a fixed view, and thus avoid the consequences of self-imposed limitations. Along the way he pays homage to such seminal thinkers as anthropologist Gregory Bateson, psychiatrist Don D. Jackson, hypnotherapist Milton H. Erickson, and bio-cybernetician Heinz von Foerster, whose writings have influenced his own work and the collective work of the Mental Research Institute at Palo Alto.