Are we too obsessed with excess? What can childhood teach us about bad behaviour? And should we be happy, or is there something better we might be? In On Balance, acclaimed psychoanalyst Adam Phillips explores a variety of urgent concerns related to how we attempt to manage our conflicting desires, needs and motives. In essays on excess, childhood development, fairy tales and the pursuit of happiness, Phillips provides exhilarating arguments, witty wordplay and much intellectual and emotional food for thought on literature and life.