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Existential Psychotherapy

Existential Psychotherapy [Kindle Edition]

Irvin D. Yalom
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

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.

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5717 KB
  • Print Length: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 1 edition (8 Dec 1980)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #196,054 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Dr Irvin Yalom is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Stanford University. He has won two major awards from the American Psychiatric Association. He continues to run his clinical practice and lectures widely.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wise, profound and witty 22 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This is, without a doubt, a profound and wise book - but one that can make you laugh too. Yalom writes like a dream, and communicates deep truths in simple language. My only reservation - and it's a small one - is that so many of his cases seem to have intriguingly neat endings. In my experience, life ain't like that! But it does make for good reading.
Whether you're a therapist, counsellor, social worker - or just an interested human being - this book will repay your time, and I'm sure, like me, you'll come back to it time and again. A real investment.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By calmly
Yalom follows Rollo May in making Existentialism accessible to American psychotherapists. The introduction clearly explains the need for doing so. Freudian-based therapy, Behavioral therapy, and the anti-intellectual forms of humanistic therapy, all have limitations in the areas that existential psychotherapy may shine at.

As he states in the Epilogue, Yalom regards "this existential paradigm as an early formulation..." that will "not only be useful to clinicians in its present form, but will stimulate the discourse necessary to modify and enrich it." What Yalom has done is to select four significant existentialist concerns (death, freedom, isolation and meaninglessness) and discuss them in the context of his experiences with clients, the writings of major Existentialists, and other therapies. In doing so, it may become clear what Existentialism has to offer to psychotherapy. Although this introductory work may be rich enough to, by itself, benefit clinicians, the interested reader can also then turn to the rich literature in Existentialism and existential psychotherapy, guided by Yalom's focus on death, freedom, isolation, and meaninglessness.

As a work of introduction, it seems understandable that, although he quotes Sarte, Yalom doesn't present Sartre's existential psychoanalysis, not even (it seems) Sartre's analysis of "bad faith" or Sartre's existential analysis of Jean Genet. Yalom said in the introduction that he did not intend to discuss existentialist philosophy much, but rather focus on what would be helpful for clinicians. Although Sartre's work in the area of existential psychoanalysis is ignored, as well as British psychiatrist R.D.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 11 Dec 2005
I recommend this book to any person who is interested in Psychotherapy/Counselling of any particular approach /model. Ride the storm of existential anxiety with Yalom as your Captain who freely admits of his existential anxiety, shares his experience of countless case histories. This book is not just for those who are training in counselling, etc.The book is easily read by the layman though a dictionary is required for some single words, the content/ context is always very understandable and crystal clear. Yalom writes with such eloquence and is a gripping author. A pleasure to own, this book is a text book for me.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a fantastic book 28 April 2007
I borrowed a copy of this book from the library at Uni almost by accident and to be honest it is prehaps the most thought provoking, fun, enjoyable, fasinating, happy, sad, and just fantastic book i've ever read on existentialism.

Yalom is such a witty and subtle writer and his knowledge of literature is amazing. I found myself reading various books from his bib, books i'd very have dreamt of as being my cup of tea.

The book itself could have a profound effect on your preception of life, love and the universe, it did for me, you seem to see yourself and those around you in a completely different. For example our constant (and hidden) fear of death or fear of not existing has just a major effect on our society and how we talk with each other, organise ourselfs and our attempts to organise those around us. I found the book to be a bit like a spotlight, highlighting with a cold, stark white light just what my existence and everyones existence can be. My light does get dime quite often and I slip back into my well practised bumble through life but now and again the power comes back on and I can see the funny side you life.

Anyway this is a ramble so even if you dont really care for existentialism and all that I promise you that its still a great read.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every cent and syllable 4 Feb 1999
By A Customer
While Yalom's novels captivated me and "Love's Executioner" would not let me go, this book is the heart of Yalom's genious. I learned more psychology through the reading of this text than I learned in my undergraduate degree in psychology. Get it. You'll be satisfied.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding: Should be required reading 8 Jan 1997
By A Customer
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just for Professionals 27 Jun 2012
This is a profound, wise and scholarly book. That is its blessing and its curse.
Yalom writes about the existential fears lurking at the back of our minds in a way that is accessible yet carries an echo of deep truth. Although he deals with the topics of death, isolation and meaninglessness in a psychological context, there is also a good deal of philosophy (as well as literature) to be mined from this work.
Unfortunately, its main readers are likely to be from the 'talking cure' professional community. That is a great shame. Many lay people could learn something valuable (and take comfort) from this book.
One can only hope that those who have become followers of his novels might be tempted to dip into his more meaty writing. I suspect they would find it worthwhile.
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