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

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  11,664 Ratings  ·  419 Reviews

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

Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Harper Perennial (first published December 24th 2001)
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Jean-baptiste It's a suite of ideas about how to be a good therapist, written by a famous one, in a sometimes serious sometimes amusing way. Easy reading,…moreIt's a suite of ideas about how to be a good therapist, written by a famous one, in a sometimes serious sometimes amusing way. Easy reading, entertaining and useful at the same time, mostly if you are following a therapy or if you are a psychologist yourself, I guess.(less)

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Sally McRogerson
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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 ...more
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Oct 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Zeinab by: Saba Ghabrai
همزمان اشتیاق فراوان به درمانگر شدن پیدا کرده، و از درمانگری ترسیدم.
بعضی فصلها عالی بودند. جز قسمتهایی که به وجدم میآوردند، فصول ۳۹ و ۴۶ هم برای کمک به دو سه نفر از کسانی که با هم صحبت میکنیم خیلی کارآمد به نظر رسیدند. البته وقتی میخوانیشان میبینی انگار نکتههای کلی و خیلی بدیهی هستند، ولی خوب، معمّا چو حل گشت آسان شود؛ معلوم نیست اگر دربارهشان نخوانده بودم هیچوقت حواسم بهشان جلب میشد یا نه.
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
عالی بود و فوق العاده کاربردی... نه فقط برای بیمار و درمانگر؛ که برای یه خواننده معمولی که میخواد بتونه بهتر خودش رو کاوش کنه، عکس العمل ها رو ببینه و درک کنه و ارتباط بهتری رو بسازه.
کتاب تقریبا تمامِ مباحثی که یه درمانگر احتیاج داره رو داخل خودش جای داده، بعضی مباحث کوتاه و در حد یک صفحه هستن اما با مطرح شدن شون ذهن رو درگیر میکنن و همین میتونه کافی باشه.
طرز بیان این کتاب خیلی ساده س و خواننده حتی اگه درمانگر نباشه به زیبایی میتونه خودش رو مخاطب حرفای نویسنده ببینه و تطبیق بده و از نکات مفید و
Jul 29, 2012 rated it liked it
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 more, know more and "cram" in anything to quiet the panic of "doing the damn thing" with so much le ...more
Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Mengran Xu
May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 no more than a handful pages. He addressed many practical issues that all therapist have encountered and struggled with—therapeutic relationship, boundary, disclosure, transparence, dream, death, and more. You
Sara Kamjou
یالوم نکاتی ریز از درمانگری را در این کتاب با روانشناسات در میان میگذارد که قابل توجهاند، با این حال نحوه ارائه این اصول و نوع چارچوببندیاش گاه پراکنده به نظر میرسید و گاه تیتروار رها میشد.
بخشهای ماندگار کتاب:
غمانگیز است که مدتی طولانی با دیگران باشی و با این حال، اجازه ندهی آنها آنقدر برایت اهمیت پیدا کنند که بر تو تاثیر بگذارند و تغییرت دهند.
گرچه مادیت مرگ، نابودمان میسازد، اندیشهی مرگ، نجاتمان میدهد.
Oct 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: MSW students, anyone in the "helping" professions
A professor recommended How Can I Help? to 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.
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was primarily acquainted with Irvin Yalom: "the group psychotherapy guru." However, he is equally strong as an individual psychodynamic psychotherapist and well-known author of several other books on the therapy process, most notable "Love's Executioner." This book is a slim volume he has written late in his career to advise primarily new therapists, drawing from 45 years of experience. It consists of 5 sections with short chapters, some only one page. Each chapter is succinct and direct.

May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book when I started. However, as with all non fiction books I started loosing focus by the end of it. Not the books fault, I just have a short attention span when it comes to non-fiction.

Therapy from Yalom's point of view, is exactly how I always dreamed it should be. Humane and non-commercial. He really cares about reaching out to his clients and exploring his relationship with them, rather than the cold and aloof manner therapists seem to adopt with their patients. Dissecting th
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
So many relevant insights! Yalom's words about the therapeutic process perfectly describes my sentiment about the privilege of walking with clients in their journey of change. "Sometimes I feel like a guide escorting patients through the rooms of their own house. What a treat it is to watch them open doors to rooms never before entered, discover new wings of their house containing parts in exile- wise, beautiful, and creative pieces of identity."
Shelby Machart - Read and Find Out
This book took me a while to read because it's 85 different snippets of advice. I would read a chapter or two a day and then sit it down. The flow was alright, as Yalom grouped these by similar topics. A lot of these tidbits were very common sense. I wonder if it might have done better had it been written in an actual letter format.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, psychology
I'm not a therapist but this book was full of so much wisdom about communicating with others that a lot the material is applicable to both my personal life and in my work as a teacher. There are so many useful tips here, and so this book merits rereads—and I will make sure to dip back in to fish out some morsel of wisdom from time to time.
Mar 22, 2015 rated it liked it
If Yalom's goal here was to make new therapists feel better about not being perfect, I think he more or 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!
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

It would be far too one-dimensional to merely assert this is a must read book. Conceivably, it is better to present a summary of why this book should hold a space in the professional and the personal library of any person working in the field of mental health counseling and therapy.

Throughout the pages, Dr. Irvin D. Yalom provides a keen insight collected from over three decades of practice. What he has given the practitioner is an assortment of topics that are sure to help invigorate a new gene

Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
*The critical "throw-ins" of therapy*

In the introduction of his _Existential Psychotherapy_ text, Yalom recounts how in a cooking class he discovered that it was the instructor's "surreptitious throw-ins (that) made all the difference." He then makes the parallel that the "critical ingredients" of effective psychotherapy are the therapist's intuitive "throw-ins" that exist outside of formal training and "are hard to describe, even harder to define."

Fortunately, in _The Gift of Therapy_, Yalom h
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: counseling-books
When I started this book I was working on my master's and absolute loved the book and all the helpful advice that is given by Yalom. It took me a while to finish it and now I'm working in the field and I'm a little more cynical of the book. While I definitely think there are some universal lessons that apply to all counselors no matter where you're working there were a lot that I don't think apply to a beginning counselor. Most beginner counselors are not working in a private practice and their ...more
Christine Olson
Aug 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone working in a "helping profession"
This is my all time favorite of Irvin Yalom's books.

Yalom is probably best known for his Existential Psychotherapy and The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy texts, which are viewed as classics for counseling theory/practice courses. His recent (2002) publication, The Gift of Therapy, is my favorite because he--in a frank, very readable, and knowledgeable way--shares insights about the dynamics of therapeutic change that he has acquired from 45+ years of clinical practice. The short "ch
Milad Gudarzi
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
یالوم در ایران بیشتر با رمان وقتی نیچه گریست شناخته شده ولی در حقیقت یکی از بزرگترین رواندرمانگر های تاریخه که در توسعه درمان به سبک وجودگرایی بسیار موثر بوده و با سخاوت مثال زدنی تجربه های ناب و موشکافانه ی کاوش های درمانی و تجربیاتش رو در قالب 83 فصل چند صفحه ای به درمانگران و مخاطبان آینده انتقال داده. مخصوصا فصل های آخر که مربوط به تعبیر رویاست حیطه ی مورد علاقه ی منه. تعبیرهای خیلی عجیبی از رویاهای مراجعینش کرده. حرفهای جالبی مثل اضطراب ناشی از آزادی انسان و فرار از مسولیت پذیری انتخاب ها ...more
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-for-school
There are a lot of points in this book that really resonate with what I have felt has helped me as a patient to have a great experience in therapy. It is well written, with fantastically succinct chapters that are grouped by themes and treatment times.

That being said, I don't think I would have finished this book if not for it having been assigned to me for schoolwork. Yalom's examples are reminiscent of those you would find in a self-help workbook, and his desire to guide therapists with an od
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bu kitapla ilgili bir blog yazısı girmem çok büyük ihtimalle. Bağışlanan Terapi, aslında Yalom'un yeni nesil terapistler için yaptığı bir dizi önerinden ibaret. Ben de bir aday terapist/psikolojik danışman olarak keyif alarak okudum. Ama bunu hep söylerim, Varoluşçu Terapi, bana seanslarda kullanılacak bir kuramdan çok, benimsenmesi gereken bir hayat tarzı gibi geliyor :D Yine de hoşuma giden çok yer oldu, 20'den fazla post-it kullanmışım :D Herkese hitap eden bir kitap olduğunu düşünmüyorum, çü ...more
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
البته فکر میکنم درست نباشه من نظر بدم راجع به این کتاب؛ چون من روان درمانگر نیستم و با دید حرفهای این کتاب رو نخوندم.
این کتاب رو خوندم چون دوست دارم من هم سهمی در این جنبش داشته باشم و روزی من هم به این گروه بپیوندم.
این سه تا ستاره رو هم الان میدم و این نظر رو مینویسم که اگر روزی کتاب رو با دید حرفهای خوندم، تفکر امروزم رو بتونم مرور کنم.
از دید یه غیرحرفه ای، خوندنِ این کتاب رو به همه کسایی مثل من که حوزه روان رو دوست دارن توصیه میکنم.

کلام آخر اینکه، ترجمه های خانم دکتر سپیده حبیب واقعا روون هست
بقول مترجم همین که کتاب شما را به اندیشه وادارد به نتیجه ای که خواسته رسیده
لحن کتاب صمیمیه مثل کتابهای روانشناسی یک سری علائم رو ذکر نکرده برای شناسایی و درمان بلکه با خواندن کتاب حس میکنید یالوم شما رو در تجربه های خودش در برخورد با افراد شریک کرده, مشکلاتی که در رفتار دیگران میبیند و نوع برخوردتون یا مثلا در وقت بی حوصلگی چه رفتاری میتونید داشته .باشید صداقت داشتن و درعین حال حفظ فاصله و در آخر شما در برخورد با بیمار (غیر از بیمار رو هم میتونید در نظر بگیرید ) خودتون رو بهتر میشناسید
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
While this book came recommended from a professor I deeply respect, I have to admit it didn't do a whole lot for me. While some of what Yalom says I really appreciate - particularly in regards to working in the here and now with clients - I found a lot of it a little too fluffy for my liking. From home visits to dream work, it's not my jam right now, at least in the field in which I'm working. Maybe I'll pick this up down the road and find more value in it but for now I feel like I need somethin ...more
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love this book. It’s my second time reading it, first time since leaving grad school. I found myself saying, “I wish Yalom was my supervisor,” because while the advise offered here is incredibly helpful, I want and crave more. For example, I would love to do more dream work but feel like I need a really good supervisor to support me through it.

Anyway, this book served as a good therapeutic tune up.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
اين اثر در واقع نامه ي سرگشاده اروين يالوم به روان درمانگران و بيمارانشان مي باشد كه شامل بيش از هشتاد نكته ي جالب توجه و مهم در ارتباط با روان درماني مي باشد.
خواندن اين اثر نه تنها براي روان درمان گر ها بلكه براي خواننده عادي نيز خالي از لطف نيست.
قسمتي از كتاب:
همه ي ما انسان ها بار اسرار رنج آوري را بر دوش مي كشيم، احساس گناه از كارهايي كه كرده ايم، شرم از كارهايي كه نكرده ايم، اشتياق به دوست داشته شدن و تسلي داده شدن، آسيب پذيري هاي ژرف، ناامني ها و ترس ها، با گذشت سالها ملايم تر و پذيرنده
fateme movahedi
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
سعی داشتم با خوندن این کتاب راهی برای کمک به یکی از دوستانم و حل مشکلش رو پیدا کنم. مطالب جالب و نکات جدیدی از این کتاب یاد گرفتم و مهمتر از همه این که فهمیدم نمیتونم در قالب یک دوست مشکل شخص مورد نظرم رو حل کنم. علاقه ام به حیطه ی روانکاوی بیشتر شد ولی در مورد انتخاب این رشته به عنوان حرفه و شغل یک مقدار دچار شک و تردید شدم. در ضمن کتاب روانی بود و خشکی مطالب علمی محض رو نداشت.
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Irvin David Yalom, M.D., is an author of fiction and nonfiction, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, an existentialist, and accomplished psychotherapist.
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“Though the physicality of death destroys us, the idea of death may save us.” 29 likes
“love obsession often serves as a distraction, keeping the individual’s gaze from more painful thoughts.” 28 likes
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