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Becoming Myself

A Psychiatrist's Memoir
Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
Categories: Biographies & Memoirs
4.5 out of 5 stars (334 ratings)

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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 listeners say about Becoming Myself

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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.

9 people found this helpful

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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 😊

14 people found this helpful

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Really enjoyable wise book

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the man who narrated it. I had to keep reminding myself the voice wasnt Irvin's, a perfect voice for his books.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope Irvin is still alive and well. Beautifully written and an interesting insight into his life and work as a psycotherapist.

As an end stage four cancer survivor all naturally healed including natural tumour removal of dozens of tumours all iver my body. I wept about his support group with cancer patients. Treatment kills before cancer does usually. Its hard to watch someone go through mainstream cancer treatments. Ive lost many friends with cancer who went mainstream treatment.
He found it difficult too and it brought up his own mortality and it does bring death in the face of people who know you. It affected him too supporting cancer patients, even as a psychotherapist. I lost most of my friends when i told them i had cancer, was laughed at for thinking juicing saves lives here i amstill alive ene stage four years later. People act like cancer is contagious. People cant cope with death. It makes people face their own fragility and mortality.

I enjoyed this as Irvin layed bare his flaws too as a human, his childhood, his life, his regret with his mother. His quest to be sucessful to please his parents.

enjoy this author will buy more books i had not came across him before. The narration voice matters in Audible books many i cant listen too because of the voice.

Well worth the read. I listen to Audible for education on healing naturally and quantum physics and metaphysical. After having cancer i came to realise its a mind, body and soul connection illness, disease, cancer. This was my INDULGENT book for fun for once just for me. Been a while since I did that. Im so glad i bought it. Buying the lying on the couch book next.

Lovely intelligent man with an extraordinary life, touching so many lives across the globe in the decades if sharing himself and his eork and books. I would love to meet this beautiful man hug him and thank him the book affected me profoundly. He's something special to the world and doesnt even realise it still doubting his soul greatness. I feel it and sense it through his book the beaury of this man's soul. We should leave this world a BETTER place, than it was before we came in as a person. Being IN in this incarnation is to do this on soul level as well as leatning lessons. He has done that.
Im sure his mother IS very proud of him and his father on the other side.

Im out in wilds of Scotland wrapped up in ski gear planting willows during winter, listening to his book daily during my wild garden time. His books i could relisten too over over. Excited to buy the next book in a few days. I didnt want his book to END.

Our souls are Eternal and even though he knows hes closer to the veil in his 80s. Souls are eternal, his transition when it comes will be just a step into other side. Ive learned as a soul living a human experience, its nothing to fear.

I hope he gets to write more books before he crosses.
Much love to you Irvin and to the beautiful voice that narrated this book i love his voice. Thank you for sharing your wonderful life with us.

4 people found this helpful

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Brilliant book!

One of the most beautiful books I have ever read/heard! So much wisdom in this brilliant man! May he be blessed! His work always inspires me to strive to be the best therapist I can be for my own patients. Thank you Professor Yalom!

3 people found this helpful

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you'll love it

such an inspirational story! you'll want to read more of his books and the narrator is very good

2 people found this helpful

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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

5 people found this helpful

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Fantastic book

I love Irvin Yalom and this, his final book, does not disappoint. There are so many gems in it. I can’t wait for paperback to be published so I can saviour the words.
At first I wasn’t so keen on Peter Berktot narration but a couple of chapters in I loved hearing him speak Irvin Yalom’s words bringing the pages alive.
Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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Immersive life story of therapist and writer

I'd only read 'Love's Executioner' before downloading this memoir which does a great job of connecting me to 'Irv' (yep, I know I don't know him but feel like I do!) at all stages of his life to now in his 80s. It presents how his own path (particularly but not only in relation to his work) developed and grew from the library books he read as a child, through to medical school, experiences of therapy, developments in group and existential therapy, developing as a practitioner and as a writer, and into continuing learning in his later life. A sign of how engrossing I found it is that there were times whilst I was listening on my commute I wanted to say something to Irv, to ask him questions, for instance to say 'hey could you just ask your wife how she felt about that' (especially when her career moved forward and he found it difficult to adjust)! This is because he is so open and reflective when there's the slightest gap or possibility for more exploration it makes me want to pause for more conversation with him. I have an interest in psychotherapy but would think it is only necessary to have an interest in engaging with ideas about how we experience ourselves, each other and the life course - so in people and relationships over time - to find that there is so much to enjoy here.

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such a brilliant and well written book

I loved every chapter of this book. Off I go to read more of yaloms work

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Totally gripping and full of compassion.

For the journeyman/-woman person, therapist, partner, seeker and for those who wish for inspiration and hope.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Karlien
  • 28-06-19

Exceptional

I love Yalom and his memoir does not dissapoint. He remains true to his style and weaves many stories into his own.

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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.