The gift of therapy book review
Mental Health Book of the Month -- The Gift of Therapy
THE GIFT OF THERAPY: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients
Yalom, M. HarperCollins, New York, N. An office visit for even a simple condition like hypertension may be routine to a physician, but patients, in the back of their mind, may fear the implications of the doctor's assessment for the length of their life or changes in their lifestyle. Existential concerns are never far from a physician's daily business, yet we receive little formal instruction in how to use the doctor-patient relationship to talk with patients about issues like death and life meaning in a helpful way. While Yalom's intended audience is the young psychotherapist, physicians of any specialty will find both the existential theme and his reflections on the healing relationship quite relevant to their own practices. The Gift of Therapy is a brief work written as a series of 2- to 3-page tips of the trade, with a tone somewhere between that of an informal memoir and off-the-cuff teaching on morning rounds with a seasoned psychiatrist. It is peppered with brief clinical examples invariably on point, as well as well-distilled literary references.
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 succ. 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.
The Gift of Therapy. By Irvin D. Yalom, M. Yalom draws on his 45 years of clinical practice and comes up with a collection of his most passionate categories of interest. In this book he attempts to gift to the new generation of therapists his pearls of wisdom from those years by selecting 85 categories of subjects that come up in a therapy practice and elaborating on his successful interventions in these areas.
If the future of psychotherapy lies in psychopharmaceuticals and the short-term therapies stipulated by HMOs, argues Yalom, then the profession is in trouble. Yalom, the recipient of both major awards given by the American Psychiatric Association, professor emeritus of psychiatry at Stanford and the author of both fiction and nonfiction volumes about psychotherapy, writes this book in response to that crisis. Based on knowledge gained from his 35 years of practice, the resulting book of tips a "gift" for the next generation of therapists is an enlightening refutation of "brief, superficial, and insubstantial" forms of therapy. Other tips, though, such as "Never Be Sexual with Patients" are no-brainers. Although the book dies somewhat in the second half, and not much here is new, the wise ideas are perfectly accessible. Forecast: Yalom has explored many of these ideas before.