Love's Executioner

Love's Executioner

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The collection of ten 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.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 312 pages
  • 139.7 x 208.28 x 22.86mm | 362.87g
  • The Perseus Books Group
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 0465020119
  • 9780465020119
  • 8,634

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New York Times "Dr. Yalom demonstrates once again that in the right hands, the stuff of therapy has the interest of the richest and most inventive fiction." Washington Post Book World "Like Freud, Yalom is a graceful and canny writer. The fascinating, moving, enervating, inspiring, unexpected stuff of psychotherapy is told with economy and, most surprising, with humor." Los Angeles Times "Yalom is a gifted storyteller, and from the sound of these tales, a no-less-gifted psychotherapist. He restores a sense of awe and mystery to an endeavor that all too often gets mired in the muck of jargon and categorization... In addition to bringing the reader up close to his patients, and to a process often (necessarily) cloaked in secrecy, he gives the reader an un-airbrushed picture of the therapist, warts and all." Chicago Tribune "Here is the naked therapist, stripped of the armor of god-like omniscience, aware of his flaws." San Francisco Chronicle "Inspired... Yalom writes with the narrative wit of O. Henry and the earthy humor of Isaac Bashevis Singer." Newsday "Love's Executioner is Yalom's wise, humane, stirring and utterly absorbing account of how 10 of his patients try to cope with what he calls 'existence pain' - the knowledge that death is inevitable, that each of us is ultimately alone, that life has no clear meaning, but that we nonetheless have the freedom 'to make our lives as we will'... Irvin Yalom's book is charged with hope and generosity of spirit." Miami Herald "By his honesty and literary talent, Yalom convinces us that these are, in his words, 'everyman, everywoman stories' and that in each of these 'crazies,' in my word, is a little bit of you and me." Toronto Star "Dr. Irvin Yalom ... bravely steps into this chaotic void in Love's Executioner ... [H]e brings understanding, order, and the 'feel' of the process of psychotherapy as few before him have done." Globe and Mail "Dr. Yalom's point is not to merely document psychological abnormality, it is to demonstrate that 'it is possible to confront the truths of existence and harness their power in the service of personal change and growth.' Read Love's Executioner, and weep." Sunday Herald (Melbourne, Australia) "[Yalom's] honesty can be unnerving ... Love's Executioner offers a tragic, deeply felt vision of the human condition. In demystifying the therapist-patient encounter, Dr. Yalom brings us into broader territory: he reminds us of our need for intimacy and trust and the struggle necessary to achieve them." Arkansas Democrat-Gazette "The vicissitudes of neurosis and its treatment have always provided irresistible material for dramatic narratives. In Love's Executioner Yalom demonstrates that in the right hands, the stuff of therapy has the interest of the richest and most inventive fiction." Monterey County Herald "[I]nsightful." Existential Analysis (London) "In Love's Executioner I marvelled at Yalom's courage in writing about therapeutic relationships which had not been a great success and also at his skill in bringing these encounters to life." Rollo May "Irvin Yalom writes like an angel about the devils that besiege us. These beautifully wrought true stories go way beyond therapy; they are incisive and moving tales of life, by a wise psychotherapist." Erica Jong "Love's Executioner is one of those rare books that suggests both the mystery and the poetry of the psychotherapeutic process. The best therapists are at least partly poets. With this riveting and beautifully written book, Irvin Yalom has joined their ranks." Bernie S. Siegel "These stories are wonderful. They make us realize that within every human being lie the pain and beauty that make life worthwhile." Phillip Lopate "This is an impressive transformation of clinical experience into literature. Dr. Yalom's case histories are more gripping than 98 percent of the fiction published today, and he has gone to amazing lengths of honesty to depict himself as a realistic flesh-and-blood character: funny, flawed, perverse, and above all, understanding." Maggie Scarf "These remarkably moving and instructive tales of the psychiatric encounter bring the reader into novel territories of the mind - and the landscape is truly unforgettable. Anthony Storr "Dr. Yalom is unusually honest, both with his patients and about himself." Joanne Greenberg "I loved Love's Executioner. Dr. Yalom has learned something that fiction writers learned years ago - that people's mistakes are a lot more interesting than their triumphs."

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About Irvin D. Yalom

Irvin D. Yalom, M.D., is an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Stanford University and a psychiatrist in private practice in San Francisco. He is the author of many books, including Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy, The Gift of Therapy, and When Nietzsche Wept.

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