The practice of psychotherapy can throw up many fascinating stories. Each chapter of this new book by Irving Yalom, author of Love’s Executioner, reads like a short story covering the history of a different course of therapy with a different person. The writing is limpid and clear and it never gets involved in complicated models or details of any kind. Yalom is of course the therapist, even though he is in his mid to late eighties and can see his own death fast approaching. He is like the wounded healer, aware of his own flaws and weaknesses but also confident in the processes that he has become acquainted with over many decades. Nothing is untreatable, nothing incurable. We as readers start to feel like we too are in the consultation room with all our problems, which might still remain unspoken. But we will be ok, if we just find the right people to listen patiently. We feel sure of that once we have read this book, and hope like that is a precious gift.
Paperback, 224pp, 2015