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Summary

Psychotherapist Irvin D. Yalom probes further into the mysteries of the therapeutic encounter in this entertaining and thoughtful follow-up to his best-selling Love's Executioner.

In six enthralling stories drawn from his own clinical experience, Irvin D. Yalom once again proves himself an intrepid explorer of the human psyche as he guides his patients - and himself - toward transformation. With eloquent detail and sharp-eyed observation, Yalom introduces us to a memorable cast of characters. Drifting through his dreams and trampling through his thoughts are Paula, Yalom's "courtesan of death"; Myrna, whose eavesdropping gives new meaning to patient confidentiality; Magnolia, into whose ample lap Yalom longs to pour his own sorrows, even as he strives to ease hers; and Momma - ill tempered, overpowering, and suffocating her son with both love and disapproval. A richly rewarding, almost illicit glimpse into the therapist's heart and mind, Momma and the Meaning of Life illuminates the unique potential of every human relationship.

©2015 Irving D. Yalom (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Momma and the Meaning of Life

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Loved this....

Having recently been introduced to Irvin Yaloms work, in particular the gift of therapy and liking his style and ease for understanding I thought I'd give this a go and I'm glad I did! Really insightful stories, that have allowed me to reflect more deeply on my own practice and have given me permission to be more authentic in my work. The guy who read the book was excellent, which can be rare on audio books of this nature. I wouldn't hesitate to listen to this book again, but for now, on to loves executioner

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Fantastic- I did not want it to end

This audio is riveting. I felt that the beginning was slightly slow and I found it difficult to engage with- but it got better and better the more I listened to it. Not only did I find it interesting but I also found it educational especially since I am a trainee psychologist. I found the indirect and direct teaching Superb. I am looking forward to listening to his next story.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Sublime to the Ridiculous: A Poor Show from Yalom

I really enjoyed the first few stories of this book. However, I felt that it quickly degraded into a series of extremely flat, caricatured and fantasy stories, written in the third person, instead of from the usual vantage point of Yalom himself.

I felt the narration to be slightly off key in parts especially where the reader mimics the female voice. At this point, it felt as though he were mocking the characters - probably not what was intended.

The book, while sublime in parts, landed up giving me a rather tacky, lacklustre finish.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jo
  • 27-02-18

Couldn't stop listening

A fascinating mix of factual and fictional studies. I could not stop listening to this, in the car, in the kitchen, in the bath!

2 people found this helpful

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Great Reflections on Death

I can appreciate how Yalom is not everyone's cup of tea but he's just about the right cuppa for me. I love his humane approach where his work is very much focused on his own feelings about the clients, in the process, and what gets triggered for him (countertransference). He shows how mental health professionals are human too, despite the myth that they all have their lives in order!

This book is really about death, how we deal with it, how it impacts how we live our lives, how it shapes out relationships, and how death is really at the core of everything. I really enjoyed this read from start to finish. However, the book does not keep a steady rhythm, it is a collection of stories, each feeling more unravelled as the book goes on, which may have been intentional given the theme. It ends with a wonderful but completely fantastical story, which is still relevant to the theme and a wonderful metaphor.

For me this is not Yaloms best work but still offers his insight and teachings from start to finish. If you have read any of his earlier work you can notice the difference, there is an increased confidence lets say, in this, that he wouldn't have gotten away with in earlier writings.

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Life changing

I couldn’t put it down ( or rather, I couldn’t take the ear buds out) I immediately want to listen to more from this author.

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Second of Dr Yalom’s books heard on Audible

This was such a great listen. Learned a lot and really valued the lessons shared and these experiences that I can value as I work with my own clients.

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Brought me some understanding

Helped me take a different look and understand my therapist and our group better.

Will read Yalom more

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Exceptional as usual

Very much enjoyed this audiobook. The narration is also excellent and makes the narrative encapsulating and engaging.

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Wonderful content and performance

This book left me feeling puzzled and a bit twisted. In the best way possible. I think there's a lot that's packed into the short stories or chapters or what ever vignettes that they are. I'll certainly revisit this once I've had a chance to process it all.

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  • ya-rule
  • 27-09-20

so full of himself

There are some valuable lessons to be learnt, no doubt, this man's pomposity is only exceeded by his refusal to move past his atheistic convictions developed when he was 13. Yalom missed the boat due to his religious fanaticism and adherence to dogma--the religious convictions apposed by Freud and his ilk are, despite his atheistic fanaticism, still religious and dogmatic in spirit.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-06-20

Just wonderful

I didn't know what to start with in the exploration of Irvin D Yalom. I chose this book maybe to understand more of my relationship with my sons. I listend to it in 3 days. I couldn't stop. It's that catching. I just loved it. Worth every moment! I know now I won't be able to stop exploring Dr. Yalom's work too soon...

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  • Nicole P.
  • 07-09-18

Love Yalom!

This book was beautifully written. The narrator was perfect for this book as well. Now onto "Becoming Myself".

4 people found this helpful

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  • Guidoman
  • 03-08-18

compelling!

great storytelling. learn about humanity, psychology, families, development, healing, psychotherapy. all through the experience and imagination of one of the world's great psychiatrists.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Joseph
  • 08-01-18

another great listen!

this made my commute fly so quick. Just like his other works, this is both entertaining and educational!!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Thanosman
  • 03-05-19

Gets better and better as it progresses

Easy read, sad at some points, yet enjoyable! Poking into our existense using tales of psychotherapy

3 people found this helpful

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  • Faraneh
  • 07-10-21

Fiction

It was OK but not the depth and quality expected from Yalum but still good to read.

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  • Annelise
  • 28-08-21

Not what I expected

I thought these stories were going to be factual from the therapists experience but that wasn’t the case. There were at least two stories that were made up and you don’t find this out until the way end of the book. Also, this guy is so full of himself it’s sickening. I can’t believe how important he thinks he is to someone’s therapeutic process. If he was a colleague of mine I would be very disappointed in the way he worked with patients.

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  • Negar
  • 08-07-21

Love the book and performance

Loved Yalom’s writing in general but this one is definitely one of his greatest works. Loved the performance as well. Will listen to it again soon.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jonas Nielsen
  • 31-12-16

DR. Lash and that ungarian cat, merges ...

dream terapeutic interventions and Lots off good essential paradoxes to think about, far in the future. the narrotator is great and i'll never get borred.

4 people found this helpful