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

May 30, 2017 on 7:37 pm | In Dream Types | 3 Comments

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 successful therapy is, as Yalom remarks, “an idiosyncratic mÉlange of ideas and techniques that I have found useful in my work. These ideas are so personal, opinionated, and occasionally original that the reader is unlikely to encounter them elsewhere. I selected the eighty-five categories in this volume randomly guided by my passion for the task rather than any particular order or system.”

At once startlingly profound and irresistibly practical, Yalom’s insights will help enrich the therapeutic process for a new generation of patients and counselors.

Speaking directly to the current generation of counselors, The Gift of Therapy lays out simple suggestions that blend personal experience with professional objectivity. This is a book that will remind you why you entered the field in the first place. With tips on avoiding diagnosis (except for insurance purposes), when to disclose personal information, and why it’s important to leave time between patient appointments, the recommendations are aimed at therapists, but they may be useful to patients who want to know what to expect from their counselors. Some references to the DSM-IV may be a little over the layperson’s head, but in general the writing is clear and understandable for lay readers as well as professionals.

Each chapter is just a few pages long, a nice format for busy folks whose reading time occurs in snippets. A single topic is addressed in each chapter, and author Irvin Yalom doesn’t waste any time in getting to the point. Many of the sections revolve around balancing the “magic, mystery, and authority” that come with the job of freeing your clients of their reliance on you.

From when to offer an occasional hug to finding the perfect time for deeper questioning, Yalom’s experienced observations will help you achieve even greater professional effectiveness while avoiding some of the more obvious traps in this HMO-directed age of mental health care. –Jill Lightner

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3 Comments »

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  1. He is a gifted writer and has provided a wonderful gift for anyone interested in learning about what goes …

    Comment by Larry Drell,MD — May 30, 2017 #

  2. Great for new professionals in the field

    Comment by Amy B — May 30, 2017 #

  3. Comment by Anonymous — May 30, 2017 #

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