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The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth
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The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  71,431 Ratings  ·  1,860 Reviews
The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth
316 pp. "Psychotherapy is all things to all people in this mega-selling pop-psychology watershed, which features a new introduction by the author in this 25th anniversary edition. His agenda in this tome, which was first published in 1978 but didn't become a bestseller until 1983, is t
Paperback, 316 pages
Published December 31st 1978 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1978)
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Popular Answered Questions
Marc Cooper It's a reference to Robert Frost's well-known poem, The Road Not Taken.
Poem: …more
It's a reference to Robert Frost's well-known poem, The Road Not Taken.
Gari Worzalla read it and see, you could also look at the "preview", for an introduction and table of contents

Community Reviews

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Chris Wolfe
Feb 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
It gets four stars for the simple truth of the opening lines:

"Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult--once we truly understand and accept it--then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters."

It amazes me how much damage I have done by expecting life to be something other than difficult
Sanjay Gautam
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author has delved deep into, with profound insights, on what really causes unhappiness in our life. He asserts that it is precisely in avoiding our problems and hurdles that we suffer in our life; it is the pain and suffering caused by difficulties in life that we have to meet in order to grow mentally and spiritually. We cannot solve life's problems except by solving them.

The following were the key-takeaways:

* LIFE IS DIFFICULT. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a gre
Birdie Passaro
Aug 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An extraordinary book about Life and the art of Living. It was the most complete and indepth book about personal development from which one become much more aware of the nature of all kinds of relationships.
This book will help to shape your vision of Life!
Please, just read it. Your perspective about things will never be the same. Notable, indeed!
Sep 28, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
"Dr." Peck's first doorstop. Inexplicably, this sorry waste of time and paper remained on the NYT Bestseller list for something like ten years. (I don't know why I'm surprised, actually -- this is the same country that elected George W. Bush twice, not to mention the vulgar talking yam who now sits in the Oval Office.) If you were unfortunate enough to buy this, or have it given to you as a gift, do yourself a favor now: put this one the shelf right beside that other pop-pseudo-psychology piece ...more
Martina Röll
Probably the most important book on love, psychological and spiritual development that I have ever read. Clear, straightforward, concise, very accessible. Don't be put off by the criticism of the numerous references to "God" and "grace" in the later chapters: I found them useful and "open" (in the sense that "God" might be substituted by "universe", "energy", "oneness" or whatever you might want to call it. There is no need to believe in a deity.) If you do find the reference to concepts of onen ...more
Jonathan Ridenour
May 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
This book is by now a classic in the field of psychology. Yet, it's written for a mainstream audience and goes through some of the basic tenets of psychological theory (e.g. attachment, individuation, boundaries, delayed gratification) but does so through the lense of spiritual growth. Peck is an excellent writer and fine therapist who is sensitive to the issues of spirituality. The case examples and stories in the book really bring his concepts and ideas together. This is a book that I would re ...more
Aug 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
A very insightful book authored by a psychologist/psychiatrist who reveals the secrets to fulfilling, healthy, meaningful and lasting relationships. It really makes you see yourself and others in a different light, as well as words and concepts we think we understand. His hallmark argument is that we so often view love as a noun instead of a verb... as something that just happens to us or doesn't happen to us, instead of an ongoing task we must work at...that work, that action-is love. In fact, ...more
Gina Marcelin

This book is second only to the bible to me. It teaches you what love is. What love is not. Why old fashioned values like honesty, hard work, discipline and integrity are important. Every person should read it. This book should be required reading in high school or college.
Feb 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
I initially picked up this book because I was told that this author was the inspiration for a women's retreat I went to a couple years ago. However, I found no connection to the theme of the retreat and this book.

Initially I found Peck's theories on discipline appealing. He promoted fundamental ideas of Buddhism, such as life is suffering and only through acceptance of that suffering can we truly live and be free of it. He believes that the pursuit of the truth regardless of the pain involved is
Sep 27, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book starts out extremely engaging and helpful in nature - worthy of four or five stars. But midway through Peck reveals his psychology of teaching his patients and readers to become like God. While I'm certain he means no malice in this objective, he seems ignorant of negative psychological aspects of this philosophy. Indeed, the book "Toxic Faith" cites "You can become God" as one of the twenty-one Toxic Beliefs of a Toxic Faith (p.98). Having observed the deleterious effect of this belie ...more
Thom Dunn
Peck begins well, citing the first of Buddhism's Four Noble Truths, "Life is Suffering". And what we all need is a discipline instilled in our childhood by a love which teaches us to face our problems instead of ducking them in procrastination, denial, and the like. Sounds fine, but there seems to this reader to be something missing....a mythic element, perhaps. Life will be beautiful if only we get ourselves under control and work hard, etcetera, etcetera.... It feels to me as if all wonder has ...more
Jan 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Jennie by: my mom
I read this book to make my mom happy. Her church book group was reading it, and she got all stoked about it after reading the first section. It was a fairly bland combination of basic common sense (self-discipline is good, laziness is bad), pseudo-spiritual psychobabble (your unconscious mind is God!), and the occasional moral zinger (open marriage is the only real form of marriage). Overall, I was unimpressed, but I wasn't begging the Lord for the 6 hours of my life back, either. I never even ...more
Apr 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I cherish this book and give praise to Scott Peck for writing this masterpiece, a wealth of knowledge and wisdom.
The first time I read it I was in my early 30's. It changed my life, encouraged me to live authentically and with courage. when your raising a family one needs to follow their conscience and make tough decisions. Peck teaches and encourages this process. I have followed up with Peck's subsequent books in the last few years.
I recomend this to any adult searching for a better life but p
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Panik ataktan, ağır depresyondan muzdarip olanlar
Kitap ruhsal açmazlarım olduğu bir dönemde bana önerildiği için tüm kitapların önüne yerleştirip okumaya başladım. Kitabın ilk bölümü bana gerçekten çok iyi geldi. Zaten şu cümleyle başlıyor:
"Yaşam zordur,
Bu yüce bir gerçektir."

Bu bölümde savunduğu ve temellendirdiği temel fikirler şunlar;
1) Kişiliğin tekamül etmesi gerektiği, bunun da disiplinle mümkün olacağı.
2) Gerçeğe sadık bir yaşamın açık ve dürüstlükle sürdürüleceği bunun da kişinin başının dik ve özgüveninin tam olmasını sağlayacağı;
3) G
Murray Crowe
The author endeared me early on to his obvious skill, professionalism and empathy with his patients. The first part was fairly entertaining, with the right amount of insight and entertainment from Peck's own therapy sessions. I could identify with the people and situations and could pause at times for self reflection. There was a challenge to personal change as Peck built his case for seeking maturity and using therapy to achieve that end.

Peck is strongest as a therapist. His insight is keen, an
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I read the Road Less Travelled because several Internet sites rated it the most read self-help book ever. As a therapist and fan of self-help books I felt like I needed to get right on it. I'm glad I did. Peck has wisdom and depth to spare on the topics of psychotherapy and human fulfillment. He offers a fundamental jumping-off point to anyone hoping to improve their life, whether through therapy or introspection. So you need to read it! That being said, there are some cautions. Peck can by turn ...more
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have owned this book since I believe 1980 or so, but consider this a book, everyone should have on their life travel.
Aug 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okuduğum kişisel gelişim kitabının haddi hesabı yok.
Pis huylarımdan halen kurtulamamış olduğum gözönünde bulundurulursa,bu tür kitapların gram faydası olmadığı aşikardır.
Kressel Housman
Apr 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book was recommended by one of my seminary teachers whose specialty was mitzvos bein adam l'chavero, i.e. the Biblical laws that govern interpersonal relationships. It was the only non-Jewish self-help book she respected, and considering her own expertise, I think that's quite a compliment.

As the subtitle states, this is a book about the union of psychology and spirituality, or more specifically, how psychotherapy and spirituality are so close, they are almost one and the same. Having been
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have run across this book so many times in used bookstores that at some point, I don’t know when, it started to indicate in my mind that a store was overstocked with generic titles. I periodically stop in at thrift stores—hoping to salvage some prophetic oracle from the ravages of being sandwiched and left to die a slow death between the James Pattersons and Julie Garwoods of the bargain aisles—and there this book can be found in droves. The title, extrapolated from a poem by the great poet Ro ...more
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Initially, I was intrigued and really enjoyed this book. Then I got to the Grace section. It all went downhill from there, and quickly. It seems very jumbled as to the actual point of this book until the Grace section where Peck goes wacko with the God talk. Even for a Christian or person of faith, I would imagine that his ideas are far out there. As an atheist, I was dumbfounded by the abrupt bullshit and disappointed that a book with such potential came to a screeching halt. I have never not f ...more
Feb 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book wasn't absolutely terrible, but it was terrible. It has nothing to do with a Road Less Traveled and there is virtually no unifying theme to it whatsoever. If you can get through the author's self-congratulation of himself and all psychoanalysts you can actually find some very good points in the first few sections. But as the book progresses it gets worse and worse. The finial section is absolutely horrible. It's about God and some shit about Jesus. (I couldn't bare to read it all the w ...more
May 08, 2009 rated it liked it
I loved sections I-III. Section IV turned pretty biblical on me, and very fast, although I got the point. Going into section IV, it was a solid 4 stars.

Afterwards, I'm not sure so much. Maybe that might change as my spirituality grows, but it just seemed like I was reading the bible instead of a book on Psychology.

"What I Learned From This Book" - what a freaking loaded question this is - you always take out of something what you *want* to take out of it. As Mr. Pirsig would state, I took out o
Loy Machedo
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loy Machedo’s Book Review - The Road Less Travelled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck

It amazes me to know I had purchased the book when I was 19 years old without any knowledge of its contents or even an understanding of what psychology was all about. In fact even though my grasp of the English language was still in its infancy, the only driving force that compelled me to buy this book was the big bold red letters printed at the bottom of the cov
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading The Road Less Traveled as I felt as though the author, Dr. Peck, was an older and much wiser friend intent on guiding me out of my current pathology. The book is written by a psychiatrist and seeks to help the reader explore her life through her preconceived notions and definitions of love, the self and personal values. Using a gentle voice and clear examples the author grapples with profound life questions. For example, Dr. Peck addresses the ways in which each person's uncons ...more
Jul 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I give this book five stars because I can honestly say that reading it has made me a better person. I have plenty of criticisms, which I will get to, but the bottom line is that there are a lot of difficult truths in this book and it stands as a challenge and a guide to the reader to progress and develop beyond where you may be comfortable. I do not often read or like this genre of book, but my mom has been recommending this book to me for years and I finally borrowed her copy (which incidentall ...more
Davis Aujourd'hui
Sep 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
"The Road Less Traveled" will make you realize that you CAN take charge of your life and your destiny. It is a journey toward self-acceptance that will affirm that life is worth living. It is one of the best books I have ever read.

I was introduced to the book when I first began 12-step recovery over twenty years ago. I have had a long road to travel in coming to terms with my past and learning to accept myself. This is a powerful book for anyone who has come from a troubled background and who wa
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I can't believe I didn't like this book as much as I thought I would. I listened to the audio and it it came across as "stiff". So the narration didn't match up to the message. This more repetitive than I like and it had a dated feel to it, as well. I think during this past year, I've read better books on the subject, so maybe this book suffers by comparison.
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2016
The Road Less Traveled begins with two very basic premises—suffering is integral to life and avoidance of challenge is a characteristic of human nature. What follows is a selection of case studies from M. Scott Peck’s pyschotherapeutic practice. Each of them illustrating the remarkably creative ways we let our emotions circumvent rationality in decision-making, from the mundane to the life-altering. We so easily choose the path of myopic, infantile, self-destructive behavior, because remaining u ...more
John Rhode
Feb 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't hate this book, but didn't enjoy it either, and I think it's because this book targets older readers particularly those with children. But I have to praise the book for it's continuous reminder to the reader that life is hard and the sooner you realise that and tackle the challenges that come with life, the Freer you'll be
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Dr. Peck was born on May 22, 1936 in New York City, the younger of two sons to David Warner Peck, a prominent lawyer and jurist, and his wife Elizabeth Saville. He married Lily Ho in 1959, and they had three children.

Dr. Peck received his B.A. degree magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1958, and his M.D. degree from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1963. From 1963 unti
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“Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” 630 likes
“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.” 320 likes
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