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on 24 February 2015
Excellent
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on 1 September 2005
Well, after reading "Loves Executioner" I couldn't wait to get stuck into this one. A slightly different format this time, but a natural successor and designed to be exactly what it was - a treasure trove of hints and tips for counsellors and therapists. Yalom states at the outset that he drew up a list, words of advice that he wanted to impart, but upon finding that he had over 200, had to whittle it down to essential key issues. This he does well, using lots of mini-chapters and case histories to illustrate what might happen, how he dealt with it, how he and the clients benefitted and of course, the pitfalls that we may encounter. The advantage of his hindsight and experience provides us with a wonderful tutorial.
The chapters may sometimes only be a paragraph long, but they keep things nicely succint, grouped together in themes which helps the flow. Just as easy to read as "Loves Executioner", just as interesting, but much more useful for the trainee or novice counsellor. Im sure many of us have experienced situations that we felt might have been better handled - this book will give you ideas for future encounters. For me, it showed me where I may have gone wrong and how to remedy things should a similar situation occur in the future. I thoroughly recommend this book.
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on 4 October 2006
I bought this amongst a lot of work related text books, for my work as a metaphysician and therapist. I've found this invaluable and the insight into the author's work an absolute delight.

Beautifully written, in meaningful and free flowing language, this is an effortless read which really brings great ideas for one to one therapy.

I'd recommend it highly and am now on a mission to read everything by this author.
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on 24 July 2010
My first Yalom book, and it's clear that he writes with great insight from many years of experience. The advice in here - a series of letters and notes to Clients and therapists alike - are rooted in a profound understanding of the relationship between two people in a room, one of whom is seeking 'answers', the other seeking to help. Practical and engaging.
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on 2 November 2011
Such a refreshing read in these days of 'measured outcomes', 'quick-fix' therapies, and other such nonsense.
It is the spirit of therapy that shines through in these little musings and a therapist's voice, deeply personal, mellow and infused with the wisdom of experience; idiosyncratic to a degree and yet tempered (most of the time) with necessary humility.
Kevin Chandler: psychotherapist and novelist Listening in: A Novel of Therapy and Real Life
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on 11 June 2016
Very interesting book whether you are looking for examples in existentialism or just looking to change your out look on life and the way you react to other people.
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on 25 March 2014
First book of this sort I have read and I devoured it in a day! Interesting and has kind of helped me understand my own therapist.
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on 27 May 2002
'Gift'comprises a treasury of 85 tips gathered from Yalom's forty five years of psychotherapy experience. They're organised into four sections: the therapist-patient relationship; therapy content; issues arising from therapy; dreams; and the hazards and privileges of being a therapist.
But don't be mistaken this book of tips is in a different league from some-page-a-day-help-book-for-therapists. Remember this is the same man who has written books that scare potential readers at 20 paces with their size and titles (see The Theory and Practice of Group Therapy and Existential Psychotherapy). The stories are still there, thankfully, and so is the clarity. It is a gem of book that underlines many of the important qualities in the humanistic psychotherapy approach. Practical, inspiring and wise.
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on 16 August 2014
As a qualified counsellor I found this book very interesting and informative. As a client I was intrigued by Yalom' s thoughts about his clients and how much self-disclosure he uses. This book will have a positive effect on me as a professional and as someone sitting in the opposite chair.
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on 11 August 2009
Dr Irvin D Yalom is a professor of psychiatry, a master psychotherapist and a best selling author. He combines his many years of experience with a multitude of patients and uses it to form the backbone of this book. It's presented as " eighty five tips for beginner therapists " and with each tip comprising of a short chapter on the relevant subject this format works quite well.

I was impressed with the forthrightness and honesty of the writing and found each chapter easy to digest. With titles such as " Avoid the crooked cure " and " How to talk about death " I found my attention was easily held, even the controversial subjects of boundaries and physical contact were discussed openly and candidly.

Overall an enjoyable book written by a very eloquent and intelligent scribe, however I must knock one star off due to the incessant and shameless plugging of his other work throughout. It became a little tiresome and off putting. Tut tut !!
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