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Summary

Irvin D. Yalom has made a career of investigating the lives of others. In Becoming Myself, his long-awaited memoir, he turns his therapeutic eye on himself, delving into the relationships that shaped him and the groundbreaking work that made him famous.

The first-generation child of immigrant Russian Jews, Yalom grew up in a lower-class neighbourhood in Washington, DC. Determined to escape its confines, he set his sights on becoming a doctor. An incredible ascent followed: we witness his start at Stanford Medical School amid the cultural upheavals of the 1960s, his turn to writing fiction as a means of furthering his exploration of the human psyche and his rise to international prominence.

Yalom recounts his revolutionary work in group psychotherapy and how he became the foremost practitioner of existential psychotherapy, a method that draws on the wisdom of great thinkers over the ages. He reveals the inspiration for his many seminal books, including Love's Executioner and When Nietzche Wept, which meld psychology and philosophy to arrive at arresting new insights into the human condition.

Interweaving the stories of his most memorable patients with personal tales of love and regret, Becoming Myself brings listeners close to Yalom's therapeutic technique, his writing process and his family life.

©2017 Irvin Yalom (P)2017 Little, Brown Book Group

Critic reviews

"When Yalom publishes something - anything - I buy it, and he never disappoints. He's an amazing storyteller, a gorgeous writer, a great, generous, compassionate thinker, and - quite rightly - one of the world's most influential mental healthcare practitioners." (Nicola Barker, Guardian Best Books of 2017)
"Wonderful, compelling and as insightful about its subject and about the times he lived in as you could hope for. A fabulous read." (Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone)

What members say

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Another Fabulous Piece of Work by Yalom

Just love it, it’s probably best if you have read most of his other work as he makes plenty of references there too. If so it is great to get his exposition and critical view. I am impressed that he keeps so close to his view of life after life, (the void, dark abyss, nothingness) the state of eternal unconsciousness experienced once before we entered this brief light of day. I get the sense at 85, this is his farewell, the ending of is quiet emotional and the culmination of many hints throughout this book. I did love the Nietzsche quote at the end wishing for eternal reoccurrence, and I felt the Yalom twinkle of the eye, and thought ...”you Rascal, so there is a little hope in you that Epicurus is wrong and a light might shine in the darkness!” Either way the rippling is definitely confirmed for a century or so before the last flicker is known no more. I certainly will remember Yalom for the rest of my days. Thank you 😊

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Thank you Irvin.

This book is my first encounter with Irvin’s work, and I could not thank him enough. It is like a met someone that will be my friend for life. So much wisdon and honesty in his words. What a man, what a life and what a book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Very interesting and entertaining

Some great anecdotes and very interesting and informative too. Sentimental parts were touching but I couldn't help feeling a sense of self-riteousness from the author. Perhaps this is due to his fame and is inevitable. Or perhaps the opposite is true. Who knows?!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Abz
  • North West
  • 02-11-17

I was brought to tears at the end!

A fabulous overview of Yalom' s journey and his honest reflection of life events. One of my favourite books this year

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Penelope
  • BEDFORD, United Kingdom
  • 22-09-18

Aren't I successful!

The narrator was very good, I kept believing it was Yalom narrating it himself

Yalom described some of his childhood challenges, but mainly focuses on his work acheivements and all the famous people he has met and has positive relationships with.

He said at the beginning how he was now learning from clients but then continues to talk with his clients but having little self reflection which must be obvious to those listening.

I do not recommend, but even though I had read similar negative feedback I was still curious, I have enjoyed some of his books.

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WOW

Having admired Yalom's work for sometime having the privilige of reading his autobiography was a gift. Yalom spreads a floodlight on his life with bravery and the complete honesty that Ide expect from a therapeutic genius. Rarely if ever have I read the life story where there wasnt anything, not a thing , I disliked about the man himself. The genuine nature of his reflections on his practice his family life and his childhood are not only a pleasure to read but a series of lessons from a true legend. Thanks Irv youve answered many of the questions I needed to ask but wasnt yet aware. 10/10 brilliant.

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Insight into the human behind the therapist

It is easy to imagine who we should be and how we should be, it is even easier to project onto therapists, psychologists and coaches a sense of perfection. This was an invitation into key moments, that made Irvin who he was, with an understanding of who he became. One of my favorite memoir's.

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  • K. Sewell
  • Kitty Harri's Sculpture Garden, Spain
  • 10-07-18

A learning experience

Much enjoyed Yalom’s humble take on his extraordinary life. Much to be learned from it, like always being open to have one’s attitudes and opinions changed.

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becoming myself<br />

a great insight into the life of Irvin Yalom
highly recommend this read. great book

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Good read <br />it's the last of his books <br />

great read and very helpful, reflection on his life and work good to hear and good remembering the other books

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  • Brian K. Cutshall
  • 18-10-17

One of his best books!!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommended it to everyone. After listening to this audiobook, I feel inspired to go back and listen to all his previous books again.