The wonderful works of Irvin D Yalom

At my last workshop I promised to post details of the living psychiatrist (going strong at 79) that has inspired me more than any other. He is an authority on both Group Therapy and Existential Psychotherapy – the importance of finding meaning in one’s life. What makes him so unique for me, is that while his textbooks are highly respected in these respective fields, he has written best selling novels that spoke to my heart. I enjoyed reading these three books as much as I have enjoyed reading anything (and I read a lot). Few psychiatrists are prepared to talk about their failures and personal feelings as publicly and as openly as Yalom does (read The Fat Lady from Love’s Executioner). He lives his mantra that ‘it is the relationship that heals’ (not clever advice). In making himself vulnerable to the world he allows us all to be perfectly flawed humans. And then he writes like an angel. My three favourite books are:

  • Love’s Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy
  • When Nietzsche Wept
  • Lying on the Couch

His two textbooks that are must reads for students of these fields are:

  • Existential Psychotherapy
  • The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy

To read more about him, here is the Wiki on this great psychiatrist: Irvin D Yalom

To go to Amazon, here’s the link: Yalom’s Books on Amazon

(While I have read all of his books the only one I’m not so enamoured with was The Schopenhauer Cure – it was a little too spiritually bereft for me.)