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

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

5 out of 5 (1 rating)


THE GIFT OF THERAPY is the culmination of master psychiatrist Dr Irvin Yalom's thirty-five years' work as a therapist, illustrating through real case studies how patients and therapists alike can get the most out of therapy.

Presented as eighty-five 'tips' for 'beginner therapists', Yalom shares his own fresh approach and the insights he has gained while treating his patients.

Personal, and sometimes provocative, Yalom makes some unorthodox suggestions, including: Let the patient matter to you; Acknowledge your errors; Create a new therapy for each patient; Make home visits; (Almost) never make decisions for a patient; and Freud was not always wrong.

This is an entertaining, informative and insightful read for both beginners and more experienced therapists, patients, students and everyone with an interest in the subject.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Psychotherapy
  • ISBN: 9780749923730

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This is the latest book by Irvin Yalom, whose books I've been following over the years. From the very first page of the introduction, Yalom's writing is gripping & right to the point. He mentions turning 70 years old, which has made him feel a need to "pass on" his knowledge & some of his experience to younger generations of therapists & patients. This is what he tries to do in this substantial book, a book of tips, long on technique & short on theory (as Yalom himself says).Each "tip" that Yalom gives comes from years of experience & in most cases, makes perfect sense. Something that should be noted is that his book is not written, I think, for the non-psychologically trained reader. It's aimed towards psychotherapists, & tries to steer them in the direction of good choices & good therapeutic work with clients / patients. Most tips may seem like common sense to most psychologists / psychotherapists, but if you think a little bit more about them, most of them are not used as often as they should be. Also, apart from the more obvious tips, Yalom offers a whole range of extremely innovative (& maybe some times controversial) pieces of advice. These chapters alone are, in my opinion, well worth the price of the book, since they make you sit down & think.All in all, a great reference book for psychotherapists which comes alive through wonderful, clear writing, & lots of lively clinical examples.