[read online books] The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their PatientsAuthor Irvin D. Yalom – Bilb-weil.de

Anyone interested in psychotherapy or personal growth will rejoice at the publication of The Gift of Therapy, a masterwork from one of today s most accomplished psychological thinkers From his thirty five years as a practicing psychiatrist and as an award winning author, Irvin D Yalom imparts his unique wisdom in The Gift of Therapy This remarkable guidebook for successful therapy is, as Yalom remarks, an idiosyncratic m lange of ideas and techniques that I have found useful in my work These ideas are so personal, opinionated, and occasionally original that the reader is unlikely to encounter them elsewhere I selected the eighty five categories in this volume randomly guided by my passion for the task rather than any particular order or system At once startlingly profound and irresistibly practical, Yalom s insights will help enrich the therapeutic process for a new generation of patients and counselors


10 thoughts on “The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients

  1. Sally McRogerson Sally McRogerson says:

    Pushes the boundaries of modern therapy The man touches his clients Physically OMG Not only that, but he recommends that therapists should allow space between clients to digest and record and not fill every available therapeutic minute chasing another How wonderful, that we can still behave like humans in a field where that is what is so often needed Validation If therapists can t connect with clients how the hell is therapy supposed to work Be where the client is I think that s the m Pushes the boundaries of modern therapy The man touches his clients Physically OMG Not only that, but he recommends that therapists should allow space between clients to digest and record and not fill every available therapeutic minute chasing another How wonderful, that we can still behave like humans in a field where that is what is so often needed Validation If therapists can t connect with clients how the hell is therapy supposed to work Be where the client is I think that s the main message of the book with, of course, wonderful examples of how he was with his clients He may not be orthodox by today s standards but his clients went on to lead happier lives Loved the inclusion of the Harry Stack Sullivan quote describing therapy as a discussion of two people, one of themanxious than the other Note that it is not necessarily the client who is the anxious party


  2. Thomas Thomas says:

    A fabulous book I would recommend to any aspiring or current therapist Irvin Yalom writes concise and easy to read chapters that span several pertinent psychological topics, such as how to exude empathy and when to self disclose He hits on unique subjects like the relationship between sex and therapy, as well as the role of research in a therapeutic setting His advice to focus on the present and to engage with clients in a way that transcends typical boundaries shows his expertise and insight A fabulous book I would recommend to any aspiring or current therapist Irvin Yalom writes concise and easy to read chapters that span several pertinent psychological topics, such as how to exude empathy and when to self disclose He hits on unique subjects like the relationship between sex and therapy, as well as the role of research in a therapeutic setting His advice to focus on the present and to engage with clients in a way that transcends typical boundaries shows his expertise and insight to the field of therapy, and his use of case studies keeps The Gift of Therapy an inviting and intriguing read.Once again, recommended to anyone interested in therapy at all One of those books that excites me for my future career


  3. Katja Katja says:

    My fourth Yalom book, this text was the perfect supplement to my Masters course in Psychology actually sometimes the uni course felt like a supplement to the book In an age of don t touch your clients and don t let your clients into your life , comes such advice as Let your patients matter to you , Be transparent and Make home visits While I wouldn t agree with everything in this book, it is nonetheless a much needed antidote to the rigid and restrictive formal training young therap My fourth Yalom book, this text was the perfect supplement to my Masters course in Psychology actually sometimes the uni course felt like a supplement to the book In an age of don t touch your clients and don t let your clients into your life , comes such advice as Let your patients matter to you , Be transparent and Make home visits While I wouldn t agree with everything in this book, it is nonetheless a much needed antidote to the rigid and restrictive formal training young therapists today receive There is so much wisdom in this book, formulated as a very readable guide for the young therapist, with fascinating case examples the whole package


  4. Matt Matt says:

    I have the impression that many books on therapy in the self help section are full of watered down insight and oft repeated platitudes,like clever pats on the back repackaged a thousand times before but this book is nothing like that Yalom is widely considered a contemporary genius in the field when it comes to group therapy which he is often credited with formulating for contemporary contexts , and this book, despite his occasional self indulgences, is a testament to his brilliant self effa I have the impression that many books on therapy in the self help section are full of watered down insight and oft repeated platitudes,like clever pats on the back repackaged a thousand times before but this book is nothing like that Yalom is widely considered a contemporary genius in the field when it comes to group therapy which he is often credited with formulating for contemporary contexts , and this book, despite his occasional self indulgences, is a testament to his brilliant self effacing handle on the power of informed compassion and the human capacity to attend to difficulties in the here and now If you think you may want to be trained as a therapist or counselor, this book may provide excellent insight into how an expert counselor thinks and behaves, and it is full of wry and honest anecdotes about clients he has worked with, and all of their peculiarities On that note, his clients are characters but they are also normal enough to normalize what receiving therapy may be like so if you are considering it for yourself this is a good way to test the waters of your pre contemplation This book reflects experiential depth and without being painfully, theoretically explicit, is an exploration of what healing means to both those who heal and those who are healed This will be a classic if it isn t already


  5. Laurie Laurie says:

    God, I love this book It s 3 a.m and I have 5 patients tomorrow, so I need to sleep instead of write right now But I really really love this book So much of it resonates with my beliefs about what therapy should be, which too often is not what we re taught or how many of us behave In many ways reading it was an experience of validation for the way I work and my complex feelings about all of it I m usually a library reader, but I m glad I bought this one, because I ll be reading it again an God, I love this book It s 3 a.m and I have 5 patients tomorrow, so I need to sleep instead of write right now But I really really love this book So much of it resonates with my beliefs about what therapy should be, which too often is not what we re taught or how many of us behave In many ways reading it was an experience of validation for the way I work and my complex feelings about all of it I m usually a library reader, but I m glad I bought this one, because I ll be reading it again and again


  6. Mengran Xu Mengran Xu says:

    Process, Process, Process You simply cannot ignore Yalom Every psychologist can benefit from reading his work regardless of their clinical approach, so did I I love the way he writes and how this book is structured There are 85 chapters in total and each chapter consists of nothan a handful pages He addressed many practical issues that all therapist have encountered and struggled with therapeutic relationship, boundary, disclosure, transparence, dream, death, andYou Process, Process, Process You simply cannot ignore Yalom Every psychologist can benefit from reading his work regardless of their clinical approach, so did I I love the way he writes and how this book is structured There are 85 chapters in total and each chapter consists of nothan a handful pages He addressed many practical issues that all therapist have encountered and struggled with therapeutic relationship, boundary, disclosure, transparence, dream, death, andYou can easily pick up a few pages here and there and you will be amazed by how many reflections this book would evoke These thoughts will stay with you for a few days and then you find them resurfacing during therapy sessions Of course, not all chapters apply and not all psychologists find his approach sensible, this book still has abundant treasures to offer A few things really hit me and I am very aware how they have transformed me and my practice 1 It is the therapeutic relationship that heals 2 Let your client matter to you 3 Process the here and now 4 Create a new therapy for each client Whether as a new therapist or a human being, I always ask myself this question which isimportant, being or doing I have been trained in CBT, which means two things 1 therapeutic alliance and collaborative work, and 2 skills training, such as thought record, behavioural experiments, exposures, cognitive reconstructing What often puzzles me is that the client does not take in the skills and returns empty handed I also find it difficult to balance two urges from inside of me one is to explore and validate their experiences, and the other is to teach skills and problem solve In a way, there is part of me who wants to be a listener but part of me desires to be a coach CBT believes, or what I have been trained to believe, all the client needs is the right tools and the capacity and motivation to use such tools to address their symptoms As a therapist, my job is to sell, teach, and help my clients master a variety of cognitive and behavioural tools Therapeutic relationship is important, but only in preparation for such training to take place I do not fully agree with this approach and sometime I feel that the therapeutic relationship, or love as I would label it, is farimportant than skills training When I heard others telling me that I don t have enough skills to deal with some issues, I felt ridiculed no one can be perfectly trained, but with love and faith, one can learn and even develop all the skills that are needed to help the client Training in clinical psychology is not about skills either, it is by thousands of hours of learning and practicing that one thinks like a psychologist, acts like a psychologist, and most importantly, becomes a psychologist On this point, I am in total agreement with Yalom What heals in psychotherapy is not the skills training, it is the supportive, transparent, and caring relationship that empower the client to confront and deal with their own difficulties To do so, one must have complete faith in the following two 1 we all need care from others, and 2 we are capable of providing this care It is not what you do, but who are you The reason is also simple if you don t let your client matter to you, they will know A big block as a clinician was my fear and hesitance to process the here and now, i.e., what is happening in the therapy room between me and my client I felt that a strict boundary needs to be maintained and I should not let my client access my internal processing What a fool I was Processing the here and now has been proved to be of tremendous help since I started implementing it last week My client appreciates my efforts in paying attention to what they felt and my curiosity in knowing what they thought By attending and labeling their emotions, my client made important disclosures, which not only improved rapport but also accelerated treatment From my perspective, I was able to bespontaneous, transparent, and effective, and by doing so, I provided a model to my client in terms of how to deal with one s emotions and interpersonal relationships The last point is so true that I do not feel the need to defend it Every client deserves a new therapy By labeling us as a CBT therapist or psychoanalyst, it gives us a sense of security and some control over therapy process But does it benefit our clients Whether it is psychoanalysis, interpersonal therapy, CBT, DBT, or existential therapy, they all need to be client centred We are not the expert to give them a solution that we think will work the best for them Instead, it is by working together on building a solution for them and them only that treatment outcomes can be sustainable How do I love this book


  7. Jennifer Jennifer says:

    I started this book in an independent study in the last semester of a my MSSW This was an exciting and wholly overwhelming time as season of school was ending and the season of getting a job and actually doing the damn thing was starting I felt like I had a precious handful things I that I knew and a bathtub full of knowing of what I don t know I had and still sort of have an urgency to get , knowand cram in anything to quiet the panic of doing the damn thing with so much le I started this book in an independent study in the last semester of a my MSSW This was an exciting and wholly overwhelming time as season of school was ending and the season of getting a job and actually doing the damn thing was starting I felt like I had a precious handful things I that I knew and a bathtub full of knowing of what I don t know I had and still sort of have an urgency to get , knowand cram in anything to quiet the panic of doing the damn thing with so much left that I didn t know This book was a good read during that time It reads quickly because of the very short chapters and conversational writing style I particularly appreciated the last two chapters which discuss the occupation hazards and occupational privileges of clinical work Yalom says that therapists are often either devalued irrationally feared by clients or overvalued viewed aspowerful than they actually are This can be internalized into a tendency for a therapist to critique her own work with either ripples self doubt or grandiosity I was thankful to read this and could relate to the inner critic on these extremes He had other chapters called Let the Patient Matter To You , The Therapist has Many Patients The Patient, One Therapist , Acknowledge Your Errors Teach Empathy , etc And in a discussion of therapist going to their own therapy, Yalom admits to several stints in therapy of his own, including a nude marathon encounter group in the sixties So there s that While this book was good and worthwhile, I think I m coming to accept that most of that bathtub of not knowing won t be drained by books and probably won t ever be drained at all very unfortunately With some time removed from the pre graduation panic, I think my urgency to KNOW A WHOLE BUNCH MORE RIGHT NOW has shifted toof an awareness that I need to keep building knowledge, which will happen slowly, through the experience of practice, learning from mistakes Sort of like a bathtub, draining slowly, slowly, slowly


  8. Jeanne Jeanne says:

    I d like Irv Yalom as my therapist.In Gift of Therapy and all of his books Yalom is compassionate, wise, and literate He is an emotional risk taker, ethical, thoughtful, honest, and sometimes even funny He is well read and, even in the very short chapters that characterize this book often two pages or less , Yalom may refer to Schopenhauer, Hesse, and Rilke, the way that I refer to my best friends and my children Yalom is very human with his clients, even in the places where many of us w I d like Irv Yalom as my therapist.In Gift of Therapy and all of his books Yalom is compassionate, wise, and literate He is an emotional risk taker, ethical, thoughtful, honest, and sometimes even funny He is well read and, even in the very short chapters that characterize this book often two pages or less , Yalom may refer to Schopenhauer, Hesse, and Rilke, the way that I refer to my best friends and my children Yalom is very human with his clients, even in the places where many of us would pretend to greater perfection than we could ever have He is generally described as an existential psychotherapist and asks his clients to create real relationships with him and others, face the finiteness of life, and accept responsibility for how they are living Even if ninety nine percent of the bad things that happen to you is someone else s fault, I want to look at the other one percent the part that is your responsibility We have to look at your role, even if it s very limited, because that s where I can be of most help pp 139 140 For Yalom, the therapeutic relationship is everything and technique is merely the conduit to building that relationship He is a writer and philosopher, not a researcher, but would agree with Wampold and Imel 2015 , for example, who observe that there is muchevidence supporting the efficacy of the therapeutic relationship than the therapeutic tasks alone Yalom confesses to things that many of us do or would want to do but believe are verboten He would argue that rigidly avoiding crossing boundaries isn t ethical, but inhumane He says therapists are told Avoid informality avoid first names, do not offer coffee or tea, do not run over the fifty minute hour, and do not see a member of the opposite sex for the last hour of the day all offenses to which I plead guilty p 192 Obviously, Yalom wouldn t recommend violating boundaries e.g., sex with clients , but he is able to see the difference between those interactions that foster relationships and those that undermine people.When therapists recommend books to each other for inspiration, this is always on the short list Mentioning Gift of Therapy reminds most of us who we want to be in and out of the therapy room.A brief segment of Yalom working with a client


  9. Heather Heather says:

    A professor recommended How Can I Helpto budding social workers, and I m recommending The Gift of Therapy It s quite possible that no one in the world can really understand why we do what we do except for others in the profession, and this open letter is an excellent resource to remind us to keep on keeping on with a sense of humor and open hearts and minds.I give it two very solid thumbs up.


  10. Genna Genna says:

    If Yalom s goal here was to make new therapists feel better about not being perfect, I think heor less got it I took away a star because he has a thing for dream interpretation and because there were a few chapters I didn t connect to Otherwise, really helpful