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Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  18,081 Ratings  ·  723 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 5th 2000 by Harper Perennial (first published 1989)
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Paquita Maria Sanchez
Your therapist is judging you. Sorry, it sucks. I know the idea is that they are objective observers looking out for your best interest rather than the often hypercritical, dismissive average human being with a capacity for conversational boredom and bad advice, but they're not. Especially not Dr. Yalom. Dr. Yalom hates fat people, he develops a sexual attraction to one of his patients' multiple personalities and encourages her to incorporate this split-self into her overarching self so she'll b ...more
Nat
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had originally started Irvin D. Yalom's newest release Becoming Myself, where he mentioned this collection of stories which sounded more fitting because my attention span was slight at the time.

Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy offers a keen insight on ten patients, from all walks of life, who turned to therapy, “all ten were suffering the common problems of everyday life: loneliness, self-contempt, impotence, migraine headaches, sexual compulsivity, obesity, hypertension, gr
...more
Chris Coffman
Jul 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
A friend gave me this book a few days ago. My friend is very well-educated, has lived all over the world, and has experienced more than most people. When he gave me the book, he said to me, "This book reflects my vision of the world".

How could I help but be intrigued?

Opening the book, he then read the following passage from the Preface: "Four givens are particularly relevant for psycho-therapy: the inevitability of death for each of us and for those we love; the freedom to make our lives as we w
...more
Mahsa
بیماری را که نمی تواند سرمای واقعیت را تحمل کند هرگز عریان نکنید.

دومین کتابی که از روایت های روان درمانی یالوم خوندم... و باید بگم فکر نمیکنم هیچوقت از خوندن اتفاقاتی که توی اتاق درمان میگذره خسته بشم.
چهار ستاره دادم بخاطر علاقه ی ویژه م به روان درمانی و لذت خاصی که خوندن هر روایت برام داشت؛ و چون حس و حال من طی تمام داستان های کتاب، بستن چشم هام بود و تصور خودم توی متن هر داستان بعنوان درمانگر...
خوندن سرگذشت آدم هایی که یه جایی از مسیر اشتباه کردن و راه رو اشتباه رفتن - اون هم از زبان و نگاه
...more
Thomas
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"From both my personal and professional experience, I had come to believe that the fear of death is always greatest in those who feel that they have not lived their life fully. A good working formula is: the more unlived life, or unrealized potential, the greater one's death anxiety."

In his book Love's Executioner, Irvin Yalom, a psychotherapist with several decades of experience, shares ten stories of individuals he counseled in a professional setting. Each of these tales revolves around differ
...more
Tracy Sherman
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
There is no adventure more exciting, nothing so wonderful and frightening, and so fraught with danger, as delving into the mind of a human being.
On that point alone this book is moving and emotional and funny as few works of fiction can be.

When going on such a perilous journey into the true heart of darkness it behooves one to have an experienced and trustworthy guide.
Dr. Irving Yalom knows the terrain and the beasts that lurk within... yet I would prefer having Fred C. Dobbs showing me the w
...more
April
Feb 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The stories of 10 patients' experiences in psychotherapy - but they feel like much more.
The stories offer a surprisingly engaging window to peek into the struggles of patients w/ the very same existential pains and miseries everyone experiences. The author is a practicing therapist, and he based these stories on his patients (suitably amended to ensure anonymity). He reflects much on his own role in the therapeutic relationship, and these reflections are often as interesting as the stories of hi
...more
jo
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ο Ίρβιν Γιάλομ έχει γίνει εδώ και καιρό ένας από τους αγαπημένους μου συγγραφείς. Κάθε φορά που βρίσκω κάποιο από τα βιβλία του είτε σε προσφορά, μεταχειρισμένα ή καινούργια το αρπάζω και το φυλάω για την στιγμή που θα με φωνάξει κοντά του. «Ο δήμιος του έρωτα» ήταν μια παρορμητική αγορά αλλά δεν την μετάνιωσα καθόλου μιας και είναι ένα από τα αγαπημένα μου μη μυθιστορηματικά βιβλία που έχει γράψει ο Γιάλομ.

Το βιβλίο περιλαμβάνει δέκα αληθινές ιστορίες ψυχοθεραπείας με βασικό τους πυρήνα τις ανθ
...more
Shannon
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Love's Executioner is a wonderful collection of psychotherapy tales of master psychiatrist Irvin Yalom. Although the book does have a sort of instructional focus, I believe anyone could enjoy the content. Yalom describes treating patients with a multitude of symptoms and presentations, and his intelligent and thoughtful approach to them all. Even though his theory of choice doesn't align with my own, I really do have to awe at and truly appreciate the true mastery of the therapeutic process. I r ...more
Maxime
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Love's Executioner. God that's a good title. Vaguely profound statements are the best. (Fortune cookies anyone?) In this book, Yalom gives accounts of patients he has had. I am not sure what criteria were used in picking the case studies he did for the book; I imagine he has rich history of intriguing patients and these are no exception. In Love's Executioner you will read about interesting characters and their neuroses and watch from behind the scenes as Yalom applies his psychological scalpel ...more
Cassian
Aug 04, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book gave a lot of insights into the therapeutic process, but I found the guy a total putz--very self-aware of his own reactions to the patients he describes, but not so concerned about their own experience of the process that he wouldn't describe them in great detail to the world at large. Also, just comes off as self-satisfied; it made the reading distasteful, and I didn't finish in the end. I couldn't stand the supercilious sense he gives of being in some way, better than his clients.
Jason Pettus
Last year I started seeing a therapist for the first time in my life, although not by deliberate choice but rather as a side benefit of something else -- namely, I attended one of those "computer coding bootcamp" programs here in Chicago, and one of the things they provide for their students for no cost is a licensed therapist on staff for weekly sessions. I ended up responding so well to the process, though, that I've continued seeing her in private practice ever since.

As part of this therapy p
...more
Rosanna
Libro corposo, non solo per le 424 pagine e le 10 terapie qui raccontate.
Ci sono esseri umani qui, corpi ovunque e anime e sentimenti e dolore e non solo: c'è il terapeuta e ci sono anch'io ora. Libro corposo. Ripieno d'esperienze, farcito di trattamenti terapeutici con e senza trucco e manipolazioni.
Bella la definizione di 'creatore dei sogni' per l'ultimo paziente trattato: ognuno di noi lo è a prescindere dal lettino, reale o immaginario, su cui ci si racconta delle cose. A volte le più belle
...more
Emily
Apr 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: psychologists-to-be
This is not the book to read while you are actually in therapy. Although I think Love's Executioner Other Tales of Psychotherapy was meant to show people the "behind the scenes" of psychology, Dr. Yalom will make you question the motives of any practitioner, no matter how saintly. That's not to say that the book isn't intriguing, informative, or balanced; it is all of those things. It's just that Yalom comes across as unbearably arrogant in many of the case studies, which belies the work he's tr ...more
Sonya
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
اين اثر اورين يالوم توصيف ماجراي روان درماني، ده بيماري است كه به درمان روي آورده اند. اين اثر پر از " خواستن" هاي انسان و تلاش او براي مقابله با اضطراب اگزيستانسياليس است كه هر كدام به نوعي با مرگ، تنهايي، آزادي و جستجوي معناي زندگي درگير هستند. اين كتاب مانند ساير آثار اروين يالوم جذاب و سرشار از نكات روانشناختي مفيد مي باشد.
Benjamin Petrovic
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
As a psychology student with plenty of knowledge about mental health but zero experience with what actually happens in real life therapy, this book was incredibly interesting and helpful for me.

Yalom is refreshingly honest about his own thoughts and experiences in therapy, openly admitting to instances where he made wrong decisions and sharing his darker thoughts - thoughts that one would expect highly trained psychologists to be above as they operate in their supernatural realm free of judgeme
...more
D'Argo Agathon
Feb 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to D'Argo by: Sarah Jane
I started reading this book with the expectation that I would find an interesting but nonetheless mechanical look into the brass tacks of psychiatry... and found something far more dangerous and intriguing: Dr. Yalom is a creative writer. And he's utterly brilliant.

Starting with the prologue, this work is filled with deep and genuine originality, taste, and introspection. Dr. Yalom's prose is sagaciously crafted, and a pleasure to read and reread.

The entirety of the collection is used as an abs
...more
Jasmine
Apr 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: american
I read this book for a second time sometime last week and have been too busy to write anything about it. Currently I really need to be asleep and am not, so this will be slightly confused, short, and likely unnecessary, deal.

The first time that I read this book I appreciated the fact that Yalom's therapy is relationship based. It is really about the people and caring about those people. Instead of diagnosis and being crazy. Not to say that this can't be completely misinterpreted as I saw in my
...more
Marty :} (thecursedbooks)
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Some day soon, perhaps in forty years, there will be no one alive who has ever known me. That's when I will be truly dead - when I exist in no one's memory. I thought a lot about how someone very old is the last living individual to have known some person or cluster of people. When that person dies, the whole cluster dies,too, vanishes from the living memory. I wonder who that person will be for me. Whose death will make me truly dead?”
I loved it, gave me insight of how the therapist-patient r
...more
Steven Doyle
A more fitting title would be 'How counter-transference, insidious prejudice and sexism destroys the therapeutic process'. The man's a creep and from what I can tell in these vignettes a poor to average psychotherapist. Though, I can see how one could become seduced by his writings and spurious analysis to believe there is some insights to be gleamed from this book.
Irina
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitvno najbolja Jalomova knjiga :)
Derya
Türkiye'de popüler olduğu 90 sonlarından bu yana hemen her kitabını okumaya çalışan, sabık bir Yalom okuyucusu olduğumu söyleyebilirim. Bu kitabın ilk baskısını da tahminen 1990’ların sonlarında almış, hatta okuyup bitirmeme az kala şehirlerarası bir otobüste unutmak suretiyle kaybetmiştim. Yıllar sonra kitaplığımın Yalom rafına iade ettiğim Aşkın Celladı'nı tekrar okumak, muhtemelen o yıllarda tecrübe etmemin mümkün olmadığı, psikanalize bakışımı dönüştüren bir deneyim armağan ettiği bana.

Kita
...more
Jennie
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology
Ugh, I am so disappointed. I very, very badly wanted to love this book. Staring at the Sun was revolutionary, and The Gift of Therapy unequivocally changed who I am as a mental health professional.

One of Yalom's greatest assets is that he has always been very open about his flaws, judgments, and humanness. But in this book, he reveals that he has many flaws and more judgments than most people I know. I started reading (well, listening, actually - I did this one on audiobook and managed to mostl
...more
Jennifer
Jun 17, 2012 rated it liked it
In "Love's Executioner", Yalom describes the presentation and treatment of 10 patients of his real-life from his psychotherapy practice. This is a book I selected on my own free will, but it ended up feeling more like a school assignment as I trudged to the ending. I chose the book for the play-by-play of the therapy hour, for Yalom's well-documented experience in psychotherapy and for my intimate knowledge of my own inexperience here at the beginning of my career. The motivation to read the boo ...more
Bookaholic
Sunt patru lucruri care definesc condiția umană, spune Yalom, care sunt și bazele terapiei sale așa numit existențialiste: inevitabilitatea morții pentru noi și pentru cei pe care-i iubim, libertatea de a ne face viața așa cum dorim opusă neputinței sau responsabilității, lipsa unui sens evident al vieții și singurătatea noastră esențială. În Călăul dragostei (Love’s Executioner în original), Irvin Yalom, reputat psihoterapeut și scriitor, profesor la Stanford, spune poveștile a zece pacienți, z ...more
Sunil
Feb 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
"Four givens are particularly relevant for psycho-therapy: the inevitability of death for each of us and for those we love; the freedom to make our lives as we will; our ultimate aloneness; and, finally, the absence of any obvious meaning or sense to life."

It is not without reason that Love’s executioner and other tales has developed a reputation as one of the leading books accessible for a lay reader on the interactions of psychotherapy. It comprises of ten interesting stories, semi fictionali
...more
Paul
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In his introduction, Yalom lays out the fundamental ideas in which existential psychotherapy is grounded, including our “ultimate aloneness”: Existential isolation…refers to the unbridgeable gap between self and others, a gap that exists even in the presence of deeply gratifying interpersonal relationships – a seemingly strange premise for a book which consists of ten tales of a psychiatrist trying to understand and help his remarkable patients. Yalom, however, embraces the paradox and shares hi ...more
stephanie
this is a series of essays, based on yalom's private practice. yalom is a freakin' massive genius is the world of psychology - he basically founded existential psychotherapy, and also was the first person to effectively use the group model in any productive way. (he uses the process group method, dbt uses a more classroom style approach.)

"the fat lady" is maybe the most famous story from here - what i love about yalom is you know he's the biggest pompous asshole, but at the same time, he's tota
...more
Sarah Schorr
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
valuable insight into what it's really like to deal with your inner critic running while you're practicing therapy, but ultimately was really repulsed by Yalom himself.

he casts himself as the conquering hero of every story, he sexualizes all of his female clients, and is fatphobic to an incredible degree. even after re-reading and writing a new afterword decades later, he praises his younger self for his bravery and shows he learned exactly nothing about his incredibly problematic views of peop
...more
Laurie
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This guy! I feel almost transformed while reading his books--like I'm suspended in something profound that I can't quite put my finger on, yet I know it intimately. I have 2 more Yalom books sitting in view. But I don't want to overindulge, so I'm reading something else and spacing them out as if they were precious and rare gems. Which is pretty much what I think this one was. And the one before it . . .
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Goodreads Librari...: Update book first published date 2 13 Nov 04, 2016 10:03AM  
dilemma 1 14 Aug 22, 2016 06:12AM  
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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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“Some day soon, perhaps in forty years, there will be no one alive who has ever known me. That's when I will be truly dead - when I exist in no one's memory. I thought a lot about how someone very old is the last living individual to have known some person or cluster of people. When that person dies, the whole cluster dies, too, vanishes from the living memory. I wonder who that person will be for me. Whose death will make me truly dead?” 181 likes
“Love is not just a passion spark between two people; there is infinite difference between falling in love and standing in love. Rather, love is a way of being, a "giving to," not a 'falling for"; a mode of relating at large, not an act limited to a single person.” 87 likes
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