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Summary

The collection of 10 absorbing tales by master psychotherapist Irvin D. Yalom uncovers the mysteries, frustrations, pathos, and humor at the heart of the therapeutic encounter. In recounting his patients' dilemmas, Yalom not only gives us a rare and enthralling glimpse into their personal desires and motivations but also tells us his own story as he struggles to reconcile his all-too-human responses with his sensibility as a psychiatrist. Not since Freud has an author done so much to clarify what goes on between a psychotherapist and a patient.

The audio version of the book includes an exclusive interview with Dr. Yalom.

©1989 Irvin Yalom (P)2013 Echo Point Books & Media, LLC

What members say

Average customer ratings

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loves executioner

fabulously narrated and a revealing glimpse into the mind of a psychotherapist through an examination of 10 case studies.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely fantastic.

I loved this book. it was brilliantly narrated, although I struggled with the narrator at first. stick with it and prepare to be amazed at done of these true stories!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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a classic

very useful to psychotherapy trainees or to anyone wanting to explore the human condition. the narrator is excellent but unfortunately the recording cut short the end of each chapter, which prevents you from taking time to think about Yalom's conclusion.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting and alarming

The book is read and written nicely, the stories are interesting as are the patients. Sometimes I was laughing out loud, other times pondering the issues, people and situations. However there were many moments when I was alarmed at the author's interpretation of what the clients were presenting or his responses and I finished the book feeling uncomfotable. The author seemed very self-focused with little strategy, understanding or structure for helping patients. Sometimes I actually felt stressed or irritated for the patients and had to turn audible off, but mostly it was thought provoking, I like books that make you think, like this one.

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  • Fiona S
  • Bingley, W.Yorks, UK
  • 30-08-18

Disappointed

Think this book is more geared towards people in the USA rather than the UK. It started off fairly promising but I rapidly lost interest & just didn't get it, I thought a lot of it was just ludicrous and now very dated.
I really enjoyed The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz and would thoroughly recommend it rather than this book.

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Amazing!!! Cant wait to read more of his books!

I have always wanted to buy this book, and after I saw it at Audible, I thought I must try to listen to it at least! And it was brilliant - the story telling and the content was really eye opening. I wish more people would explain therapy in his way.

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Loved it!

As a trainee counsellor I think this book has helped me see the counselling relationship from a different perspective. It has also brought out a range of emotions within me which helped me think about my own personal prejudices and beliefs.

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fab. must read.

really gwt to understand the depth of client work. different issues and client and therapist rship.

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Brilliant!

Up there with Lying on the Couch and The Schopenhauer Cure as Yaloms very best (though of course they are all pretty great). beautifully crafted teaching stories, great for professionals and lay people alike.

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Loves executioner

A very interesting read, a good story teller and very educational. Bonus interview with the author makes it even better.

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  • Espanolish
  • 02-11-16

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

The saying, “You can’t make this stuff up” lives in the cases Irvin D. Yalom shares with us. Considering that not much action happens in most of the stories, each has its own way of reaching out and touching you, deeply. Some stories don’t just touch, they grab and hold on. We all, each of us, struggle. In excellent narrative form, Yalom consistently weaves this thread throughout and between the stories. This connected commiseration binds the reader/listener to the perspectives of both the therapist and his patients, while it also keeps the reader/listener in full appreciation of the art of narrative, simply for the sake of story, which in this collection happens to be true and, as such, more intriguing.

Please note, I did not pay attention to the narrator’s by line before engaging in the listen— I know, shame on me. The certainty that the voice in my ear was author Irvin D. Yalom remained fully in tact until the writing of this review. Narrator C.M. Carlson speaks the trials in this book with the ease and connectedness of a person who has known firsthand knowledge of and experience with each patient. Carlson delivers a quintessential voiceover experience— one that is free of a grating voice; over dramatization; insufficient pitch or enunciation; poor or non-existent character distinction; and most difficult of all (in my humble opinion), detectible gaps between story and narrator. I dropped a star because in several areas, extraneous background noise injects itself into the production. Had the noise been more strategically placed, it would have worked well as chapter markers, which was exactly what I thought it was at first. The noise occurs more frequently in the first few stories than the latter. It took me a while to figure out that the rather jilting interruptions were jet engines. This is another prime example of why Audible should add an “Editing” or “Production” rating category. Since there is none, and because the likelihood that Carlson was aware of his proximity to an airport and the correlating noise level, I’m knocking off what could have been a perfect narration score.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • luke
  • 30-08-16

Required reading for any therapist

I didn't know this is what I have been looking for until I read it. A must read for therapists, or potential therapist, gives a colorful representation of what it is like to work with clients.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Chang
  • 02-11-16

Espectacular read

Personal, incisive, honest and exposing. I enjoyed every single story and the connections that each patient had with my own fears, shame, anger and disappointments. Yalom's candid observations about himself were so meaningful as well. Wow...What a gift of a book!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-04-17

One of my favourite book

This is probably the third time I read this, but the first time reading this by audiobook. It was portraits quite nicely, and the voice change helps me getting into the scene. Well done!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • GradStudentMom
  • 29-12-16

Beautifully written, wonderfully read!

Carlson beautifully reads these wonderfully insightful case presentations from Yalom, which should be read by any aspiring counseling psychologist. Very difficult to stop listening!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jacqui
  • 29-09-17

Fascinating insight into a therapist's world

Beautiful short stories from the practice vault of Dr Yalom. Candid, heartwarming, sometimes shocking. I found some parts of the narration challenging. As each chapter is distinct from one another it was disconcerting to go from one to the next without so much as a pause. It was also difficult to tell the characters apart in some of the stories as there was no change of voice (or maybe i needed to concentrate more!).

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shandy F.
  • 14-05-17

Amazing!

There's not much to say that hasn't been said. The stories are enthralling and heart wrenching. The insights are invaluable and made me take pause to look at my own life.

The narrator is fantastic and the best I've heard so far.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • mistewar
  • 19-01-18

Great novel about psychotherapy.

Loved to listen to this novel. The story does show it was written 30 years ago but the themes are relevant to today's culture.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Christine A. Byma
  • 23-10-17

must read for any clinician

aa a therapist this book was very important to me for Yalom's open self-disclosure. it was refreshing for a clinician to open up about their insecurities. very well done, as usual for Irvin Yalom.

the narrator was very good with the exception of the voice for Marvin, that felt a little fake and lazy to me, otherwise the voices were great.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Hani
  • 12-05-17

Amazing

Any additional comments?

I couldn't stop listening and I wanted more
This book is thought provoking and for me that's very important when I am reading a book
It gives you the chance to think about the case being presented, and also to think about yourself, similar stories in your life or your loved ones' lives
I did learn a lot, while I absolutely enjoyed it
Learning should be this way, it's not a chore, you listen to true stories and you are learning and growing along with it.
I highly recommend it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful