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71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a really easy read
If you like reading case histories, then this is the book for you. It is a series of case histories with Irvin Yaloms thoughts included as part of the narrative. It tells you what happened, what he was thinking while it happened, what he was aiming for with his responses and where he occasionally went wrong! As a trainee counsellor, I found this a very refreshing and...
Published on 1 Jun 2005 by v harvey

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20 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting subject but the book is dull, poorly written, and might turn you off therapy.
This is a collection of patient case studies by psychiatrist Yalom. It was given to me as a gift by a friend who is a great admirer of Yalom's work. I am not working in the field of therapy or counseling but as I had took a few psychology classes in college I am somewhat familiar with the some of the classic texts of psychology (Freud, Jung, Piaget, etc) and I am...
Published on 9 Nov 2008 by the


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71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a really easy read, 1 Jun 2005
By 
v harvey "vanessa912" (uk) - See all my reviews
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If you like reading case histories, then this is the book for you. It is a series of case histories with Irvin Yaloms thoughts included as part of the narrative. It tells you what happened, what he was thinking while it happened, what he was aiming for with his responses and where he occasionally went wrong! As a trainee counsellor, I found this a very refreshing and honest read. I also found it useful as a loose guide for hints and tips. It may not be an ideal practical skills manual, but it was entertaining, thought provoking and a wonderful insight to existentialism. Like one of the other reviewers, it was on my required reading list for my course, and also like that reviewer, it is the only one I picked up and read cover to cover within a few days - it really made me care about the clients he wrote about and I wanted to see what happened to them - luckily Irvin Yalom tells you!
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, 31 Dec 1999
By A Customer
Only once in a while do you come across a book -- in a shop, library, or friend's collection -- and find that, within just a few lines, it's prose jumps out at you from the page, haunting you, until you posess and devour it for yourself. This is such a book.
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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for trainee counsellors, 17 Feb 2001
By 
Siobhan O'brien (Stockport, England) - See all my reviews
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what can I say, I have been training as a counsellor for three years and this is the first book which was on the college book list that I could not put down. The other books on the list are still unread in my bookcase. Though reading Yalom I now understand existentialism . It was wonderful, very easy to read. the book was delivered on Thursday and I finished it on Friday, which is amazing for me as I live in a household of 4 young children. Buy it tommorrow, I'm going to buy more copies for all my friends as I promised them they could read mine when I had finished with it but I'm afraid that I won't get it back so they will have to have their own copy. If anyone knows of an address where I can write to Irvin Yalom let me know. By the way I have just ordered the rest of his books
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic account of psychotherapy in action, 19 Feb 2000
By A Customer
For anyone who is training as a therapist or counsellor, undergoing therapy, or thinking of doing so, this book is a must-read. It describes case studies in absorbing detail, but it is also peppered with psychotherapeutic insights, so much so that it serves as a training manual for the trainee therapist. A brilliant work of psychology and literature.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 19 Nov 2006
By 
Mrs. B. Cassidy "book-bunnie" (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This book was recommended to me by my tutor because i was having difficulty understanding existential counselling, not anymore!

Yalom writes honestly and beautifully about the client/counsellor relationship.

He is able to perfectly describe the therapeutic process each client goes through as well as being honest about the feelings each client envokes in himself.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A soft, deep touch, to the human soul., 17 Aug 1999
By A Customer
In the last 10 years I read a lot about psychotherapy and most of the time I learned something new and useful. However, most often, the author would try to "sell you" his truth, his method as something truly superior to all the others. His method should be present in everybody's life like the water on our planet. Instead Dr. Yalom's book is full of stimulating doubts. The question we should ask ourselves to get our answers and live to the fullest. It's an honest, warm book
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tells you what therapy is about, 7 Feb 2009
By 
E. Wong (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This is a great book! If you've wondered what the difference is between psychotherapy and counselling (even people in the field are not that sure), this book will give you some insight. If you're doing therapy and are discouraged or thinking 'am I wasting my time?' or 'is my job actually worth doing?', this is the book to read!

It describes what it is like to be human and how we seek to make our existence meaningful. Couldn't put the book down (metaphorically).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very much focused on what a budding therapist will have to face, 28 Dec 2009
By 
AK (London) - See all my reviews
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Yalom's book is in a way an excellent field guide for a junior therapist to use. It shows many of the issue a therapist grapples with, and how certain feelings, not last of all hubris makes the chances of therapy succeeding better or worse.

This book was recommended by a friend, who is now a practitioner and his high opinion was fully justified for me.

There are ten tales of different therapies Yalom was conducting (most of them appear to have happened simultaneously, or at least around the same time) and very different topics are covered. A sufficient description of the cases is given that one gets an idea of what was going on. Subesquently the author describes both his appreciation of the situation as well as how therapy progressed, to be followed by how it eventually ended. Some of the cases have a subsequent epilogue (one or several years later) explaining the long term success of the intervention.

My partner, a practitioner found it very good reading, and in my layman's eyes the book was still very good and interesting reading. I'd recommend it highly!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing book..., 15 Nov 2007
By 
C. Bullen (Northern England) - See all my reviews
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I rarely read books to the end, even those I like, but this had me gripped from start to finish.

Yalom makes interactions with his patients into riveting, detective story narratives wrapped in essential human needs and the essential fears and desires at the heart of nearly all of us (he says we all fear death for example).

He takes each patient (and us as viewers) on a sort of an absolutely enthralling intellectual ramble seeking the essence of the patients pain. He manages to eek out the most interesting characteristics from these stories and his insights into them are incredible. Interspersed in the accounts are interesting digressions into the process of psychotherapy; what it is for and what it aims to do.

For someone interested in psychotherapy (someone "psychologically minded" as he says) or into the deeper meaning of all of our lives journeys, this is juicy juicy stuff.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truely beautiful book, 2 April 1998
By A Customer
I loved this book because it illustrates so beautifully the inescapable challenges and contradictions at the centre of existence. In the words of one of Professor Yalom's patients "everyone has a heart" and we are permitted a rare insight into the therapeutic relationship to feel and understand how these hearts beat, bleed and heal. This book provides unforgettable insights on human relationships and the nature of therapy.
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