Love's Executioner Paperback – 4 Apr 2013
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
A great book for any helping professional.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very sad how complicated we are as human beings. I could not put this book down, it was fascinating reading.Published 24 days ago by Jadatoady
Very entertaining read. Good to see some of the honest inner workings of a therapists mind, reminds us all that it is ok to have our own attitudes as long as we are willing to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I found it great to hear some case studies of therapist as much from the perspective of what the clients brought to the meetings but more the therapists own thoughts, doubts,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ben Wilson
Excellent insights into psychotherapy, written in an extraordinarily candid and moving way.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I liked this book because it was easy to read and follow the meaning of the author. Much of what he said was insightful and certainly offered food for thought, if you like to... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joanne v
A great book for all therapists. It is really inspiring and Yalom shares his vulnerability and doubts as a therapist which shows that we are human as well and alongside the clients... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
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