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If anyone is interested in talking about this book please give your opinion.

"The Gift of Therapy" by Irvin D. Yalom is one that anyone in T can relate to. Irvin has the ability to bring out the best in himself and his patients(IMHO).

My T told me when she was in grad school she thought "he hung the moon". Big Grin I would have liked for my T to be more like Yalom. I would have liked for T to stop midway in our session and find out and talk about how I was feeling "here and now" ... to question how I was feeling about issues as I talked about them.

I also love the title of the chapter "The Therapist has many Patients; The Patient One Therapist"!Brick wall I wondered if the T ever thought how "I" felt. I knew T had other patients, but "I" was T patient for my hour!

Yalom may have not agreed with patients, but he was always listening to them...even the critism was important to him. I cannot relate and wonder what Yalom would think of T that are late for appts., no shows, berate patients and terminate them. IMHO there is no excuse for this type of action by T.

Opinions/thoughts welcome. Big Grin
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I haven't read the whole book but I would also like T to do some of that "midway thru the session" stuff. Only once or twice has she done that but it was really helpful. I told her it was helpful. It's always good because then you know they're there with you.

I may update later as I go thru the whole book but so far I really like it.

I saw this thread by chance and it made me very very happy. Magia, I am so glad you bought that book I suggested! I hope it will make a Yalom fan out of you Big Grin

I have read all of Yalom's books and the one that got me to consider therapy was 'Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy' and the book that finally gave me real therapist insight, and made me feel like I know all there is to finally start therapy was 'The Gift of Therapy'.

Sometimes when I am struggling to make sense of something, I go back to this book (its like a manual/guide) and I pretend to be the therapist and help myself navigate my sessions.
One of the most important things I learnt from reading this book is that 'the here and now' is the most important and useful thing to focus on in therapy. You should make it all about the present moment and your relationship with your therapist. If I hadn't read this book and gone to T, I could see myself being extremely confused as to why I had checked into therapy for anxiety but was so obsessed with my therapist instead. This book helped me understand and accept the transference and erotic transference phenomenon. I honestly feel sorry for people who have not read about these things and start therapy because it must be really embarrassing and confusing to deal with these feelings and not know that they are normal. Forget normal, they are actually the whole point of therapy! It's what's going to heal you.

The downside to reading Yalom is that you fall in love with him and assume all therapists are like him, but they are actually not. He is one in a million and if you ever find someone like Yalom; as professional as a traditional Freudian analyst yet as boundary-less and close as a human centred therapist, do not let them go!

In my opinion, Yalom saved psychoanalysis and gave it a good name in mainstream science. If you are in therapy and haven't read any of his books, you are missing out greatly!

All my love,
Last edited by ambert
I was getting nothing from my first Counsellor and started to buy books to enable me to understand what therapy is all about, the role a C plays and my part in it, although I didn’t tell C that! I told her I found them useful and interesting and offered some to her to read but she declined and made it clear to me she wasn’t happy that I was buying books and at one point asked if I wanted to counsel myself or her! Of all the books bought and without a doubt Irvin D. Yalom’s books was a breath of fresh air, understandable and poignant. My new T mentioned that she read his books which felt good knowing she likes his way of work and although she doesn’t have the years behind her that he had I think she’s going down the same road which I am happy about.


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