The definitive account of existential psychotherapy.
Existential therapy is practiced throughout the world. But until now, it has lacked a coherent structure. In Existential Psychotherapy, Irvin Yalom finds the essence of existential psychotherapy, synthesizing its historical background, core tenets, and usefulness to the practice.
Organized around what Yalom identifies as the four "ultimate concerns of life" -- death, freedom, isolation, and meaninglessness -- the book takes up the meaning of each existential concern and the type of conflict that springs from our confrontation with each. He shows how these concerns are manifested in personality and psychopathology, and how treatment can be helped by our knowledge of them.
Drawing from clinical experience, empirical research, philosophy, and great literature, Yalom provides an intellectual home base for those psychotherapists who have sensed the incompatibility of orthodox theories with their own clinical experience, and opens new doors for empirical research. The fundamental concerns of therapy and the central issues of human existence are woven together here as never before, with intellectual and clinical results that will surprise and enlighten all readers.
About the Author
Irvin D. Yalom, MD, is professor emeritus of psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He was the recipient of the 1974 Edward Strecker Award and the 1979 Foundations' Fund Prize in Psychiatry. He is the author of When Nietzsche Wept (winner of the 1993 Commonwealth Club gold medal for fiction); Love's Executioner, a memoir; Becoming Myself, a group therapy novel; The Schopenhauer Cure; and the classic textbooks Inpatient Group Psychotherapy and Existential Psychotherapy, among many other books. He lives in Palo Alto, California.
"I believe this excellent book will become a classic for those studying existential psychotherapy and indeed for all clinicians. But it would be a mistake to relegate it to psychiatrists and psychologists alone-any person interested in what makes people act as they do will find help here. I found it so readable that I could scarcely put it down."—Rollo May
"This remarkable treatise explores psychotherapy in the context of its relevance to the major problems of human existence. The product of extensive clinical experience, evaluated and integrated by a sensitive, well-informed and powerful mind, it is an impressive achievement. The style is eloquent, lucid and enlivened by flashes of wit."—Jerome D. Frank
"Professor Yalom's book is one of the irreducible classics of psychotherapy-wise, sensitive, scholarly, and beautifully written-not least in his gentle humor with psychiatric and philosophical emperors who have no clothes on."—Alex Comfort
"Once again Irvin Yalom has produced a volume of great meaning and timeliness. He has crystallized the essence of existential psychotherapy. With numerous clinical illustrations and a thorough review of the literature, he has constructed a volume on conflicts which flow from the individual's confrontations with certain ultimate concerns: death, freedom, isolation, and meaninglessness. This book should be read by every psychiatry resident and every clinical psychology inter. It belongs in the library of every psychotherapist."—H. Keith H. Brodie