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Love's Executioner Paperback – 4 Apr 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 181 customer reviews

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  • The Gift Of Therapy: An open letter to a new generation of therapists and their patients: Reflections on Being a Therapist
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (4 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014197544X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141975443
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Dr Yalom demonstrates once again that in the right hands, the stuff of therapy has the interest of the richest and most inventive fiction (Eva Hoffman New York Times)

These remarkably moving and instructive tales of the psychiatric encounter bring the reader into novel territories of the mind - and the landscape is truly unforgettable (Maggie Scarf)

Love's Executioner is one of those rare books that suggests both the mystery and the poetry of the psychotherapeutic process. The best therapists are at least partly poets. With this riveting and beautifully written book, Irvin Yalom has joined their ranks (Erica Jong)

Inspired ... He writes with the narrative wit of O. Henry and the earthy humor of Isaac Bashevis Singer (San Francisco Chronicle)

Dr Yalom offers a valuable insight into the delicate process of therapy (Sunday Telegraph)

Irvin Yalom writes like an angel about the devils that besiege us (Rollo May)

These stories are wonderful. They make us realize that within every human being lie the pain and the beauty that make life worthwhile (Bernie S. Siegel)

Dr Yalom is unusually honest, both with his patients and about himself (Anthony Storr)

Yalom is a gifted storyteller, and from the sound of these tales, a no-less-gifted psychotherapist (Los Angeles Times)

This is an impressive transformation of clinical experience into literature. Dr Yalom's case histories are more gripping than 98 percent of the fiction published today, and he has gone to amazing lengths of honesty to depict himself as a realistic flesh-and-blood character: funny, flawed, perverse, and, above all, understanding (Phillip Lopate)

I loved Love's Executioner. Dr Yalom has learned something that fiction writers learned years ago - that people's mistakes are a lot more interesting than their triumphs (Joanne Greenberg)

About the Author

Irvin D. Yalom is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine. As well as an award-winning psychiatrist and psychotherapist, he is an extremely prolific author. His many other works include The Gift of Therapy, Staring at the Sun, When Nietzsche Wept, The Theory and Practice of Group Psychiatry, The Schopenhauer Cure, Lying on the Couch, Momma and the Meaning of Life, Existential Psychotherapy, I'm Calling the Police, Inpatient Group Psychotherapy, Every Day Gets a Little Closer and The Spinoza Problem.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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By A Customer on 31 Dec. 1999
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
I value Irvin D. Yalom's books on his psychotherapy work hugely, because the weight of his arguments go far outside the field of psychotherapy, and explore what the beingness of human entails. Much of what he explores in the one-to-one sessions can be translated into the relationship each of us has, firstly, with ourselves, and secondly, with 'the other'. This to me is the fascination of the existential approach : how we deal with these givens: isolation, meaninglessness, mortality and freedom.

These are not just problems for those society might perceive of as 'unwell' and needing help - they are the bedrock of being a self-conscious embodied being, and flow, like a deep river, more or less acknowledged and observed, through our day to day moment to moment lives

The wonderful and shocking title of the book refers to the role of therapy in helping us to see clear and live outside denial - the denial of the challenges of those four givens. The psychotherapist is here cast as the executioner of illusion - not of love itself, but the giddy, distorting, exhilarating, wondrous 'being in love' state. We all crave and enjoy this - but it is an illusory state, a kind of unreal, seductive, beautiful madness; it is intoxication, and is possibly the most potent of intoxicants. The broken illusions and despairs of the Western Romantic Tradition bring many into therapy.
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
Freud's case studies have become famous not least because they are well written. There have also been arguments that they are largely fiction. Yet case studies often are fictionalised because there is a need to protect patient confidentiality. In the early pages of this book, Irvin D Yalom, explains this, suggesting nobody would guess the true identity of the patients stories he tells, with their permission.

In the first chapter, Yalom explains his own theoretical bent which is existentialist, stating:

"I focus on what is going at the moment between a patient and me rather than on the events of his or her past."

He has explored the fuller theoretical implications of this kind of therapy in more detail for therapists in his larger volume Existential Psychotherapy. But the chapter here gives a good brief account of this, which will suffice for most people. This is followed by the ten cases described.

Yalom is an excellent, literate, and, at times, even exuberant writer. There is an honesty which reveals itself in his descriptions of patients, which are not always flattering. In one, for example, he mentions he has a prejudice against fat women, and his description fully unravels the extent of it though at the end he does come to like the patient he has taken on. All through he examines his own feelings and what they might tell him about the patient in front of him, something a therapist often has to do. In this we get an excellent picture of what it is to be a therapist.

The details of patient symptoms are described, and make for fascinating reading rather like Oliver Sachs' neurological portraits.
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