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Existential Psychotherapy [Hardcover]

Irvin D. Yalom
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 8 1980 0465021476 978-0465021475 1
Existential therapy has been practiced and continues to be practiced in many forms and situations throughout the world. But until now, it has lacked a coherent structure, and analysis of its tenets, and an evaluation of its usefulness. Irvin Yalom, whose Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy has rendered such a service to that discipline since 1970, provides existential psychotherapy with a background, a synthesis, and a framework.Organized around what Yalom identifies as the four “ultimate concerns of life”—death, freedom, existential isolation, and meaninglessness—the book takes up the meaning of each existential concern and the type of conflict that springs from our confrontation with each. He shows how these concerns are manifested in personality and psychopathology, and how treatment can be helped by our knowledge of them.Drawing from clinical experience, empirical research, philosophy, and great literature, Yalom has written a broad and comprehensive book. It will provide an intellectual home base for those psychotherapists who have sensed the incompatability of orthodox theories with their own clinical experience, and it opens new doors for empirical research. The fundamental concerns of therapy and the central issues of human existence are woven together here as never before, with intellectual and clinical results that will surprise and enlighten all readers.

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Existential Psychotherapy + The Gift Of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients + Love's Executioner: & Other Tales of Psychotherapy
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Review

"A classic for those studying existential psychotherapy and indeed for all clinicians." -- --Rollo MayA

"Should be read by every psychiatry resident and every clinical psychology intern. It belongs in the library of every psychotherapist." -- --H. Keith BrodieA

About the Author

Irvin D. Yalom, M.D., is professor emeritus of psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He was the recipient of the 1974 Edward Strecker Award and the 1979 Foundation's Fund Prize in Psychiatry. He is the author of When Nietzche Wept (winner of the 1993 Commonwealth Club gold medal for fiction), Love's Executioner, Every Day Gets a Little Closer (with Ginny Elkin), and the classic textbooks Inpatient Group Psychotherapy and Existential Psychotherapy.

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First Sentence
ONCE, several years ago, some friends and I enrolled in a cooking class taught by an Armenian matriarch and her aged servant. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Reminder July 28 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Existential Psychotherapy is a convincing and moving reminder of the vagaries of life and the dignity with which we might respond to them. It's a hopeful exploration of death, separation, fantasies of rescue and regression, and the impossibility of transcending our earthly limitations.
Yalom writes with clarity and compassion. By reminding us of the timeless and undeniable, Yalom grounds us, gives us a foundation to begin building a more realistic version of our lives upon. Well done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an insight to the soul of man Sept. 25 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
within the space of a lifetime, ugly realities inevitably arise in both our outer and inner worlds. i have tended to accept this and assume there are not any answers, only more troubling truths. yalom's book explores this risky terrain with a brilliance and lucidity that i had not thought possible. i read this over two years ago, i have read it again in pieces many times since then. it would not be an exageration to say it has changed my life. i have often thought that god's secret instruction book has been revealed to the struggling human species and am grateful to live in a place and time that i could glimpse into the ummeasurable profound.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Simply great stuff! Sept. 15 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book is a very enriching and expanding experience, not only for the person reading the book, but also for the people around the reader, as you simply can't help discussing the themes with friends and family. It is admirable how Yalom treats the subject without neither moral judgement nor dogmatic lecturing, opening a challenging universe, leaving it to the reader to find his or her own way through the chaos of life. Compulsory reading for anyone interested in psychology, philosophy or simply oneself and other human beings.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yalom's diluted existentialism Aug. 18 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Yalom is a fine writer, but his encounter with existentialism is piecemeal and often un-understanding. He seems to think that just dealing with certain *themes*- death, meaninglessness, etc. makes him existential. It doesn't. Existentialism is not just a school of thought that looks at these things, but it also includes a very special *way* of looking at them called *phenomenology.* Phenomenology is a research method and way of understanding human beings that is indispensible for true existential thought. It is phenomenology that makes existential psychology *better* at understanding human beings than other psychologies, and without phenomenology, "existential psychology" is nothing more than, as Yalom himself suggests, a psychodynamic theory with a different clinical focus. This is pretty watered-down stuff, and readers would be better off reading true existential psychologists like Medard Boss, and, more recently, Louis Sass.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding: Should be required reading Jan. 8 1997
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Yalom's book contains a unique interpretation and presentation of common behaviors, such that these behaviors can be seen as a response to existential dilemma's...
As a layperson, I found it extremely enriching, and very accessible. It should be required reading for anyone in the profession (and is probably Yalom's magnum opus?)
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